The alleged scheme amounts to a coordinated fleecing of some of President Trump’s most loyal supporters, and the ties to the White House go much further than Bannon. Acting Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf appears to have been in contact with We Build the Wall organizers and even visited the project site less than a year ago, as federal investigators were closing in. A powerful GOP “super lawyer” acted as the nonprofit front group’s legal counsel. A HuffPost analysis of social media and the public record shows repeated contacts between Kolfage and both of Trump’s adult sons, including during an event at Mar-a-Lago, a Trump-owned resort in Florida. And in some instances, the president himself appears to have brushed up against the scheme.

There are questions, in fact, as to whether Attorney General William Barr’s sudden and confusing attempt to help remove U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, who oversaw the Manhattan office that just produced this indictment, earlier this summer was a failed effort to keep the public from learning of a damning accusation: that several people in Trump’s orbit were running a huge scam on his voters.