Bannon Will Avoid Grand Jury in Mueller Investigation

Angelo Anderson
January 18, 2018

"You'd have to ask the White House [why]", he said.

Bannon had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Mueller's probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and any ties with President Donald Trump's campaign, according to a person familiar with the matter.

When Democrats and Republicans began to press Bannon about his tenure in the White House, Burck alerted associates inside the counsel's office to the line of questioning, and they raised concerns about its scope, the official said.

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been ordered to give testimony to a grand jury in the investigation into Russian election meddling.

The news confirms reports on Tuesday which said Bannon, citing executive privilege, refused to answer questions related to those topics. The White House has indicated, CBS News has learned, that it is open to a new scope of inquiry regarding Bannon, but wants to go through a certain process.

The developments move the rabble-rousing populist to the heart of the Russian Federation investigation.

The subpoena issued from 's investigation, which occurred last week but was announced Tuesday, was the first for someone in 's group of close aides, according to The New York Times, which first reported the move.

Bannon revealed the subpoena while he was questioned for more than 10 hours on Tuesday by lawmakers.

Representative Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the White House had instructed Bannon to not answer many questions on the grounds that it wanted him to preserve the president's option to assert executive privilege later on. "And no effort to hide behind a later potential invocation of privilege by the executive", Schiff said. "We're going to continue to be cooperative".

His post in the White House also gave him a close up view of the firing of James Comey, the Federal Bureau of Investigation director. "This obviously can't stand".

The reports show a shift from Bannon's handling of a congressional investigation into the possible collusion.

At that point, the White House told Bannon not to answer any further.

Objections to the sweeping preemptive claim of potential executive privilege were echoed by Representative Trey Gowdy of SC, a Republican who has generally supported the president.

Axios said executive privilege probably wouldn't apply to the Mueller interview, because Mueller is working for the executive branch.

It wasn't clear when the interview will take place or if the subpoena would be withdrawn. Dorf said that though it seems unusual for a witness' lawyer to consult in real time with the White House about which questions can be answered, it is a "bit more respectful" than a pre-emptive blanket refusal to answer questions.

Kelly also spoke about his role at the White House, which started when he was hired last summer to replace Reince Priebus.

He didn't refer to the official by name, but it was White House deputy chief of staff, Rick Dearborn. Communications director Hope Hicks and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski are expected to testify this week as well, the network said.

"We want to follow through that", Sanders said.

According to author Michael Wolff's book, "Fire & Fury: Inside the Trump White House,"Bannon called the meeting "treasonous" and "unpatriotic".

Mueller is investigating allegations that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 campaign to try to tip the vote in Trump's favour, as well as any potential collusion by Trump's campaign with Moscow.

Several people connected to the Trump campaign have already been indicted as a result of Mr Mueller's probe, which Mr Trump has called a "witch hunt".

The White House replied and told Bannon's lawyer which questions he should and shouldn't respond to.

Underscoring the break, Trump said Bannon had "lost his mind" and branded him "Sloppy Steve" via Twitter.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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