Bannon Subpoenaed By Mueller In Russia Probe

Update: Fox News is reporting that Steve Bannon was told by the White House not to answer questions before House Intel Committee abut the White House or the transition. Bannon testified before the committee on Tuesday.

 

 

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The bad news for Steve Bannon just keeps on coming.

Not long after Bannon was bounced from Breitbart following his feud with Trump over his comments in Michael Wolff's book, moments ago the NYT reports  that Trump’s former chief strategist was subpoenaed last week by the special counsel, Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury as part of the investigation into possible links between Trump’s associates and Russia.

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And the reason why stocks dipped modestly and the VIX bounced on the news, is that the subpoena marks the first time Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle.

After excerpts from the book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” were published this month, Mr. Trump derided Mr. Bannon publicly and threatened to sue him for defamation. Mr. Bannon was soon ousted as the executive chairman of the hard-right website Breitbart News.

Mueller reportedly issued the subpoena after Mr. Bannon was quoted in a new book criticizing Mr. Trump, saying that Donald Trump Jr.’s 2016 meeting with Russians was “treasonous” and predicting that the special counsel investigation would ultimately center on money laundering.

According to the NYT, the subpoena could be a negotiating tactic:

Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices in Washington, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case. But it was not clear why Mr. Mueller treated Mr. Bannon differently than the dozen administration officials who were interviewed in the final months of last year and were never served with a subpoena.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Bannon was testifying behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The NYT quotes legal experts who said the subpoena could be a sign that the investigation was intensifying, while others said it may simply have been a negotiating tactic to persuade Mr. Bannon to cooperate with the investigation. The experts also said it could be a signal to Mr. Bannon, who has tried to publicly patch up his falling-out with the president, that despite Mr. Trump’s legal threats, Mr. Bannon must be completely forthcoming with investigators.

Prosecutors generally prefer to interview witnesses before a grand jury when they believe they have information that the witnesses do not know or when they think they might catch the witnesses in a lie. It is much easier for a witness to stop the questioning or sidestep questions in an interview than during grand jury testimony, which is transcribed, and witnesses are required to answer every question.

The news will hardly come as a surprise to Trump: "the president appeared to ease his anger toward Mr. Bannon at the end of last week. When asked in an interview with The Wall Street Journal whether his break with Mr. Bannon was “permanent,” the president replied, “I don’t know what the word ‘permanent’ means.”"

As a result, "people close to Mr. Bannon took the president’s comments as a signal that Mr. Trump was aware that his fired strategist would soon be contacted by investigators."

Whether or not Bannon actually knows something that can help the Mueller probe, of course, remains to be seen.

Despite a modest blip lower in risk, stocks have promptly BTFD on the news and for now appear unbothered by this latest development involving the Trump probe.

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Comments

Unreliable Narrator Sir Edge Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:11 Permalink

How does a probe "intensify"?  Does it mean they discuss things in louder voices?  Wear more colorful clothing?  Increase the office lighting brightness?

 

What I wish would "intensify" is the brainpower of journalists.

 

 

Oh . . . and "Hillary" has two l's.  Like "hell" has two l's.

In reply to by Sir Edge

FORD_FIESTA nmewn Tue, 01/16/2018 - 13:13 Permalink

How much has this idiot Mueller pissed away in taxpayer money? Washington Gov is a total waste.....beyond repair I would say. From that Idiot Black Chick who wears the Cowboy hats like a Clown from the Circus, to the 84 fucking year old senile Bitch Feinstein......to waste of time and money.   This Country is lost.

In reply to by nmewn

house biscuit macholatte Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:45 Permalink

Mueller began slowly, carefully: "Steve, we know you're concerned, but it's not what you're thinking. Everyone here has been hurt by you & this time we're not going to stand by in silence. I've got to say it- your hygiene & fashion choices- we just can't take it anymore, goddamnit!"

In reply to by macholatte

Keyser house biscuit Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:40 Permalink

This Russian collusion narrative has run it's course and Mueller is grasping at straws to come up with anything to nail Trump, be is tax evasion, lying to the FBI or any other host of charges that have NOTHING to do with Russia... All the while he turns a deaf ear to the Clinton / Russian collusion... Muelller's clock is ticking down though as his obvious involvement in the coverup of the Uranium One debacle will be his undoing... That is if Jeff Sessions gets off his ass and does his job...

In reply to by house biscuit

MrBoompi espirit Tue, 01/16/2018 - 15:29 Permalink

No amount of fake drama will change the fact most Americans would not vote for Clinton because 1) republicans would never vote for her anyway and 2) many democrats and independents thought she was corrupt before the wikileaks releases.  Russia didn't have a fucking thing to do with the election.  Who the fuck is in charge anyway?  

In reply to by espirit

Ghost of PartysOver Dilluminati Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:03 Permalink

First, did he even say some of that stuff to the author of the book, as has been well publicized that the author is a known liar, fabricator, creating fiction for the sake of book sales.  This stinks of the collusion story from the NY Times, which was BS, that got this whole colossal crock of simmering cow crap started.

Second, is Bannon that petty or does he see the bigger picture?

Third, will Muller make the same mistake that he made relying on the bogus dossier? 

In reply to by Dilluminati

ColorMehJewish Dilluminati Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:56 Permalink

Just like Manafort and Flynn, Bannon will end up helping lead Mueller towards the opposition. This is all political theater. Anyone who ACTUALLY thinks that these clearly blackmailed ppl (from the past) are going to help Hillary and O-bomb, are not paying close enough attention.

 

The theater used w/ Bannon, was also used w/ Comey in the past too. The actions of Comey a week before the election made him into one of the most hated people... but after Trump put on the show, ppl began calling Comey "a martyr". They will do the same thing w/ Bannon over time, but more importantly, they will not scrutinize what is going on until it is far too late. Bannon's sabbatical from Breitbart is b/c he will be heavily involved w/ the investigation, and theater to come.

In reply to by Dilluminati

eclectic syncretist Never One Roach Tue, 01/16/2018 - 12:10 Permalink

The $145 million was way more than it would take for Hilliary to sell out America's uranium stockpile to Russia. It's far more likely that most of that money was for something else, much bigger, that Hilliary/Chelsea/Babblin bill didn't dare deliver, but thought they could get away with fucking the Russians out of. Now they are getting fucked, slow and hard, for trying to fuck over America and the russians. The Democratic party and FBI are collateral damage for their pathetic roles in the sad affair.

In reply to by Never One Roach