Kolfage, who along with Steve Bannon and two others faces charges for activity related to the GoFundMe-powered private border wall project, has trashed the case against him non-stop on social media. On Tuesday, he claimed on Facebook that federal prosecutors wanted to seize donors’ information and target the donors “for political reasons.”
In a letter to the court Friday, prosecutors said Kolfage’s reaction on social media to the charges has in many cases “been highly inflammatory” and risked tainting the pool of potential jurors.
In all, We Build The Wall solicited more than $25 million in donations to build stretches of wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Kolfage, a triple-amputee Air Force veteran, was a relentless pitchman for the project.
He and others involved with We Build The Wall have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Kolfage is accused of secretly taking $350,000 from the group despite publicly promising to forgo a salary.
Prosecutors asked Judge Analisa Torres to remind Kolfage on Monday, when he’s due in court, about a Southern District of New York rule against commenting on a case “if there is substantial likelihood that such dissemination will interfere with a fair trial.”
They attached several examples to the letter of Kolfage’s posts. “The witch hunt is on!” Kolfage said a day after the charges were unveiled last week. “I’m not going to be bullied into being a political prisoner for my beliefs.”
“They will ruin innocent peoples [sic] lives in order to have a war trophy pinned to the wall just before elections,” he added, referring to prosecutors — who he said were on an “all out assault to take down every Trump insider from the 2016 election, that means Bannon.”
The posts go on and on (read them here). Kolfage reaches 630,000 people on Facebook and 68,000 on Instagram, the feds noted. (His Twitter account was taken down shortly after the charges were announced.)
Reached for comment Friday, the We Build The Wall Founder wrote to TPM, “They tainted the jury pool when they made opinionated statements in the indictment about me ‘living a lavish life’ and the main investigator calling me a ‘fraudster.’ Someone is going to get ripped Monday and it won’t be me.”
Kolfage isn’t alone in trashing the case against We Build The Wall’s leadership. Steve Bannon, who also faces the two conspiracy charges, called the situation “a total political hit job” a day after he was arrested.
The federal prosecutors who wrote to Judge Torres Friday noted in their letter that they brought their concerns to Kolfage’s attorney on Aug. 25. Unfortunately, they said, “the posts appear to have continued unabated since that conversation.”
The prosecutors said they were simply asking for the judge to remind Kolfage of the rules. But if Kolfage keeps it up, they said, they could ask for a court order on the matter.