Kobach resigns from ‘We Build the Wall’; nonprofit is accused of defrauding donors

photo by: Associated Press

In this photo from Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020, former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, answers a question during a debate at a statewide Kansas Republican Party convention in Olathe.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Republican candidate for Kansas attorney general resigned Friday from the board of directors of a nonprofit group that has been accused of defrauding people who believed they were donating to help build a wall on the U.S. southern border.

Kris Kobach resigned from the board of directors and as general counsel of WeBuildTheWall Inc., The Kansas City Star reported.

Kobach, a former Kansas secretary of state, has built a national reputation by advocating tough immigration policies and questioning the integrity of elections. He was vice chairman of former President Donald Trump’s commission on election fraud.

The company and Steve Bannon, a longtime Trump ally, were indicted Thursday in New York on allegations of money laundering, conspiracy and fraud in connection with the fundraising campaign.

Kobach, who has not been accused of wrongdoing in the case, said he doesn’t believe he is in legal jeopardy.

On Wednesday evening, before the indictment was unsealed, Kobach said he was still with the organization to help it legally shut down. His campaign said he resigned from the board after The Star asked about his continuing involvement.

State Sen. J.R. Claeys, a Salina Republican and Kobach’s campaign spokesman, said Friday that a nonprofit corporation could be shut down even if a case was proceeding against it.

Bannon and the organization were accused of transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars to third-party entities and using them to funnel payments to two other people involved in the scheme.

The organization and Bannon have pleaded not guilty.

Bannon was pardoned by Trump after he was indicted on similar federal charges but that does not affect state-level charges.


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