Steve Bannon On Capital Hill


Former top White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon has agreed to be interviewed by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's team, but his lawyer pushed back against House investigators' demands for an audience Thursday afternoon, arguing there is insufficient time to get the White House's sign-off on what Bannon can discuss.

Other Trump associates have testified either before the grand jury or directly to investigators without needing to be subpoenaed, and the Times writes that "it was not clear why Mr. Mueller treated Mr. Bannon differently than the dozen administration officials who were interviewed in the final months of a year ago and were never served with a subpoena".

Bannon appears prepared to cooperate with the special counsel's Russian Federation probe.

The New York Times reports that Bannon was issued a subpoena last week and it is "the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump's inner circle".

In a rare bipartisan display of solidarity, Republican and Democratic lawmakers on the panel joined in criticizing the administration's move, saying they must preserve Congress's ability to conduct independent investigations.

Hicks' attorney declined to comment on the expected appearance before the House panel, as did a spokesman for Rep. Adam Schiff, the committee's top Democrat.

Schiff and Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Tex.), who is leading the panel's Russian Federation investigation, sent a letter Wednesday to Bannon's lawyer, William Burck, insisting that Bannon return to Capitol Hill on Thursday at 2 comply with the subpoena.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders wouldn't say if the White House gave Bannon instructions on what types of questions he shouldn't answer. "That is no one's definition of executive privilege."I certainly have never heard of an example where executive privilege is claimed for a president-elect, I have never heard of privilege being claimed for conversations between two people that don't include the president, which were precluded from being asked about today", Rep. Jim Himes, a Connecticut Democrat and a member of the committee, told CNN's Anderson Cooper Tuesday". He left the White House and has certainly never returned to the White House. "We encourage the committees to work with us to find the appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains all the information that they're looking for".

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The California Democrat said the attorney for Bannon consulted with the White House after the committee subpoena was served Tuesday and was told his client was still not to answer questions regarding the time during the transition and in the White House.

Lawmakers had been questioning Bannon for roughly 90 minutes when questions began on the transition, several sources said.

"All shots were called by the White House", says one source familiar with the proceedings.Publicly, White House officials and President Donald Trump's personal lawyers have touted the administration's willingness to cooperate with the ongoing probes.

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

Bannon confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that he was issued a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.

But the tense exchange of letters between Burck and the committee is putting Bannon's expected congressional testimony into doubt.

On Wednesday, members huddled for several hours with White House deputy chief of staff Rick Dearborn and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski.


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