by Mundi Live

By choosing to part ways with his advisor and friend Steve Bannon, US President Donald Trump continues to yield to the pressures of his close inner circle, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, his influential daughter Ivanka, and General McMaster, and has thereby resigned himself to pay the political price of the events in Charlottesville, which tarnished his administration in late 2017.
The leniency of the current occupant of the White House towards what the mainstream media presents as a wave of white supremacy, during this internal crisis, has shocked both the left and the GOP, the economic establishment, and above all those in real power.
Bannon was therefore sacrificed and handed over to angry public opinion, which deemed him the primary instigator of the racially charged outburst and downward spiral; he acquiesced and closed this chapter alongside President Trump, confiding to friends that the political strategy he had fought for was now behind him.
Weighing the advantages of his new status, he savored his newly regained freedom and prepared to take his career in another direction…
He was hesitant to embark on a new political venture, but accepted an invitation from a friend, Nigel Farage, to go to Europe.
During a stay in Brussels, Farage laid out fine-tuned plans for a think tank, one capable of bringing together nationalist movements in Europe around guidelines that could unite the wide range of populist parties and accompany the strong winds of change blowing throughout the West, and which the election of Donald Trump in the United States definitively put into orbit.
The name was ready—The Movement—and the idea was far enough along to convince Bannon to throw his weight behind it.
It was a done deal. Bannon enjoyed the attention and began to dream up a role as guru, kingmaker, and authority in a modern, confident, nationalist—and Judeo-Christian—right.
The second stage of the vast plans calling Steve Bannon to the rescue was the creation of a university to protect the “Judeo-Christian West.” The choice of location was within reach, as the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (DHI), led by Benjamin Harnwell, a British conservative and acquaintance of Bannon, had secured a 19-year lease in 2017 from Italy’s Ministry of Culture for a Cistercian monastery 100 km from Rome, for 100,000 euros a month, to set up an academy founded in Catholic values, while also pledging to restore the old buildingin risk of decline, within a reasonable time frame.
All in all, it included 2,500 square meters of cells, libraries, and chapels (no fewer than 10), 100 km south of Rome, in an area known as lower Lazio. A sacred place where only two elder monks reside today.
However, when Benjamin Harnwell first visited Trisulti Charterhouse, the former hermitage only housed about forty stray cats, and the premises had clearly seen better days—the roof and plumbing had to be redone, sanitary facilities and internet access installed, outdoor areas renovated, and space set up to accommodate plans for the university.
As it so happened, Bannon’s arrival in Italy came with an unpleasant surprise: the monument was listed, and Italian bureaucrats decided to launch an investigation into the terms of the agreement. Proceedings were filed.
And so Bannon’s adventure in Italy began—a “link between the Movement started by President D.J. Trump in the USA and citizens and political movements in other countries”, promoting “the rule of law, free enterprise, national sovereignty, effective national borders, popular consultation, the fight against radical Islam, a scientific and not dogmatic approach to climatic phenomena and the defense of Israel as a sovereign state on its historic land.”
In December 2018, Interior Minister Matteo Salvini met again with Bannon and Modrikamen, a Belgian jack of all trades, in Milan and decided to join in the nationalist movement.
But after a photo op arranged for the media, Salvini would do nothing more substantial to promote the alliance. In early April, he organized a summit with certain European nationalist parties, but failed to invite Bannon and Modrikamen. His objective, and obsession, was the 2019 European elections and, as a veteran in Italian politics, he wanted to cast a wide net and avoid offending the Catholic electorate, which had grown disgruntled with Bannon for taking aim at the Pope, the Vatican, and the Church on numerous occasions.
Meanwhile, the monastery, hidden among the oak trees of Monti Ernici, about 100 kilometers southeast of the Italian capital, was in dire need of repair and DHI’s promises were slow to materialize. But a local daily newspaper claimed that Harnwell had failed to make payments as agreed, and that local authorities had yet to receive a single euro.
Moreover, due to poor weather, the Chartreuse was in urgent need of funding to start additional work, but once again, months went by without DHI stepping in to save the building.
The company chosen to carry out work claimed to already be in the design phase, which would inevitably increase costs, pending the approval of the Lazio museum complex. “Dealing with Italian bureaucracy isn’t easy,” Harnwell explained. He continued, “In Italy, it’s always a very long process.”
With regard to protests from the opposition and local communities, Harnwell was optimistic and said he was not afraid of losing the lease.
But doubts remain when hearing his version of the events. First because, as the DHI’s founder admits, in the proposal submitted to the Ministry of Cultural Heritage in 2017, there was no mention of the political academy under Bannon’s supervision. “At the time, the school was known as the Cardinal Martino Academy for Human Dignity, and it was a more centrist school, designed to pass on the social teachings of the Church” he explained. But Harnwell believes that the terms of the lease gave him enough leeway to open the academy.
In court, the public prosecutor, representing museum management with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, accused DHI of falsifying its application, of bypassing requirements to obtain the lease for the site, and of providing false information concerning the financial soundness of the project.
The prosecutor also stressed that DHI’s status did not in any way or form indicate that it could fulfill the various terms of the agreement, specifically with regard to the site’s promotion, or that it had the references required for approval.
The prosecutor informed the court that DHI failed to specify that the five years of experience in managing a site of such importance was not part of the lease application, and that the CV submitted included no references or proof of DHI’s technical accreditation for such a project.
Finally, according to the prosecutor, the exception of the time limit, submitted late, could not be accepted under Art. 21-nonies L/241/90, which provides for ex officio annulment in the event of misleading or false statements in the application, a circumstance which, incidentally, was not disputed by DHI.
Other proceedings were also filed by prosecutor Carlo Villani, against the abbey of Casamari (who died in April 2020 from complications of Covid-19) and Benjamin Harnwell for fraud concerning the bid for the Trisulti Charterhouse lease.
The magistrate accused them of falsifying the application and producing documents that “disrupted” debate and the bid procedure.
Steve Bannon’s adventure in Italy is therefore heading towards an endless saga and a journey fraught with pitfalls.

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