Possible signs that things were unravelling date back all the way to August 2020, when Mr Bannon was arrested aboard a yacht owned by Mr Guo, accused of defrauding donors to a not-for-profit company which aimed to build a wall on the US-Mexico border. He pleaded not guilty.

As Mr Guo and Mr Bannon were cementing their partnership in the New Federal State project, US authorities had begun investigating their business activities.

It led to Mr Guo’s companies facing allegations of misleading investors, forcing him to pay $539m to settle a lawsuit by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the US financial regulator.