(CNN)Federal prosecutors said they raised concerns with an attorney for one of Stephen Bannon’s associates in a border wall project to tone down his “highly inflammatory” language critical of the criminal charges or they may move to seek a gag order in the case.
In a letter to Judge Analisa Torres, prosecutors wrote that Brian Kolfage, Bannon’s associate in the We Build The Wall campaign, has made half a dozen “highly inflammatory” posts on Facebook, including live streamed videos, and several posts on Instagram about the allegations.Kolfage was arrested last week, along with Bannon and two others, and charged by the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York with defrauding investors out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in a project pledging to construct a wall along the southern US border. He is due to be arraigned on the charges on Monday in a video court appearance. Bannon has pleaded not guilty.
In a pinned post on Facebook highlighted by prosecutors, Kolfage wrote, “This case by the SDNY is an assault on every WBTW donors freedom. They want to seize your information, which many of our donors are big corporate executives. They want to target you each for political reasons.”On Friday, in another Facebook post, Kolfage wrote, “Whoever stopped us from building the wall has robbed you of border security. (And your donations) We were weeks away from wall #3. That’s the real crime; a weaponized judicial system with political motivations.” Read MoreProsecutors said they alerted Kolfage’s attorney about the posts on Tuesday “and expressed concern about their potential effect on witnesses and victims (many of whom appear to follow Kolfage’s social media accounts), as well as the potential to taint a future jury pool. Unfortunately, since bringing these concerns to the attention of counsel, the posts appear to have continued unabated since that conversation, and the Government has been given no assurances by counsel that Kolfage intends to refrain from such statements in the future.”Kolfage’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment.
Prosecutors asked Torres to address their concerns with Kolfage and his attorney on Monday, noting that a judge has the ability to issue a gag order curtailing out of court statements. “The Government does not seek such relief at this time, but it may do so if any defendant persists in making extrajudicial statements that are likely to interfere with the Court’s ability to conduct a fair trial with an impartial jury in this case,” prosecutors wrote.