House Intel Panel Violated Agreement Limiting Scope Of Bannon Questioning

More details about Steve Bannon's marathon 10-hour appearance before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday are beginning to come to light.

According to an CNBC report, Bannon agreed to testify before the committee because the White House believed it had an agreement in place to limit questions only to events during the presidential campaign while avoiding questions about Bannon's six-month stint in the West Wing, one Trump administration official said.

This explains yesterday's report that Bannon had invoked executive privilege during his meeting to avoid sharing details about his time in the Trump administration, where he served as chief strategist.

Bannon reportedly stopped answering questions once his lawyers had alerted the White House that the scope of the House panel's questions would be expanded to include his time in the White House.

According to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, staffers for the committee and the White House on Friday discussed the parameters of Bannon's testimony.

The White House emerged from that conversation believing it had an agreement to limit the questioning of Bannon just to events during the campaign, and not during the transition period or his time in the White House.

Then, hours into Bannon's closed door testimony, his lawyers informed the White House from Capitol Hill that the questions would extend beyond the scope of what the White House understood the agreement to be. At that point, the White House told Bannon not to answer any further.

"We said 'Hey, hey, pump the brakes,'" the official said. "We said to Bannon, 'Don't answer those questions because we haven't agreed to that scope under the process.'"

The official declined to say who initiated the mid-testimony phone call or who took part on behalf of the White House.

Following Bannon's refusal, Republicans and Democrats joined forces to issue Bannon a subpoena on the spot to compel his testimony. It is not clear what, if any, questions Bannon answered after that. A Reuters report said the former top Trump aide refused to comply with the subpoena. Committee member Trey Gowdy was frustrated by Bannon's refusal and his decision to invoke executive privilege.

Bannon

Gowdy, one of the Republicans leading the committee's investigation, told Fox News Bannon's excuse was "...the most tortured analysis of executive privilege I have ever heard of," Gowdy said on Fox News.

"Executive privilege now covers things before you become the chief executive — which is just mind-numbing and there is no legal support for it."

Democrats were also frustrated by Bannon's refusal, with Adam Schiff saying it was tantamount to a gag order.

"This was effectively a gag order by the White House preventing this witness from answering almost any question concerning his time in the transition or the administration and many questions even after he left the administration," Schiff said.

The committee had previously turned down a White House offer on Friday to have an administration attorney sit in on the Bannon session to referee the questions surrounding scope of the interview. "The committee's belief was it was not necessary," the official said.

Members of the committee say they still want to hear more from Bannon, and have raised the possibility of him returning on Thursday, though right now, things are unclear.

"We have additional questions," said Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas. "The subpoena remains in effect. And we have additional questions we don't have the answers to yet. We're going to work to get those answers."

Bannon, who lost most of his political support in the conservative community following his falling-out with President Trump earlier this month, has also struck an agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to avoid - or at least put off - testifying before a grand jury. He instead will meet privately with Mueller and his team.

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Comments

syzygysus Negative Interest Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:11 Permalink

"Ve-a hefe-a eddeeshunel qooesshuns," seeed Rep. Meeke-a Cunevey, R-Texes. Um gesh dee bork, bork! "Zee soobpuena remeeens in iffffect. Um de hur de hur de hur. Und ve-a hefe-a eddeeshunel qooesshuns ve-a dun't hefe-a zee unsvers tu yet. Um de hur de hur de hur. Ve're-a gueeng tu vurk tu get thuse-a unsvers. Um gesh dee bork, bork!"

In reply to by Negative Interest

JimmyJones Bes Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:19 Permalink

Yep, the Russian Proof of collusion is right around the corner...  So is Trump a Russian Agent, or a Zionist, He cannot be both since Russia is Iran's buddy and Israel and Iran hate each other.  He could be neither. He could be just a man that wants his people (US Legal Citizens) to succeed.

In reply to by Bes

JRobby AllTimeWhys Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:53 Permalink

Bannon seems very much subject to his emotional movements. This is a common alcoholic / sociopath trait.

"The act of kanly was originally created as a way of allowing bitter disputes to be resolved without any harm being brought upon innocent bystanders. It was similar in many ways to the ancient duels made on Earth, although it usually had much broader ramifications. Kanly (kanli) is a Turkish word meaning sworn enemy (bloody, from the stem kan, blood). This animosity continued from father to son, until the last child was dead or the two families made peace."

Not very evolved for someone who is touted as a "Strategist"

In reply to by AllTimeWhys

caconhma JRobby Wed, 01/17/2018 - 14:26 Permalink

WOW!

This fool Bannon has been Trump's chief advisor.

Well, the fake US President surrounded with fools and idiots. Thank God Trump is a fake President. The same was true with GWB but he was too boring. The present one is an entertainer: a liar, a clown, and a buffoon.

In reply to by JRobby

chunga wmbz Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:41 Permalink

If the clinton mob is not charged with crimes (there are 40 years of lawless behavior to choose from) then I hope the red team is wiped out in the mid-terms for good. And minor underlings do not count, I'm talking about the clintons themselves, lynch, podesta, wasserman, comey, etc.

They are NOT a legitimate opposition to the blues and their survival only dilutes the chances of a political solution to the fraud and corruption in dc, if there is one and that's a big if.

In reply to by wmbz

chunga loveyajimbo Wed, 01/17/2018 - 14:24 Permalink

No. They have to be replaced. What's foolish is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

The DNC chair wrote a book admitting to rigging the election and your reds voted unanimously to sanction the Russians.

Here you go. This happened almost a YEAR ago and here's bigmouth Gowdy ganging up on Bannon with Schiff!

https://oversight.house.gov/release/chaffetz-asks-justice-department-up…

 

In reply to by loveyajimbo

Blankone Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:09 Permalink

So Trump was not smart enough to document the agreement in writing or even in an email sent to all who attended the meeting?

It also sounds like a trap where the plan was to issue the subpoena on the spot.

z530 Blankone Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:30 Permalink

And he already started talking, so I don't think he can exercise his right to plead the fifth (unless his name is Lois Lerner). This is why he should have told them to issue a subpoena and then said he was exercising his right to plead the fifth from the beginning. I wouldn't be saying a fucking word to anyone.

In reply to by Blankone

LetThemEatRand Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:10 Permalink

You can't just serve someone with a subpoena and tell them to start answering questions then and there.  Lately I'm not so sure there are any rules, but at least back when this was a nation of laws a witness served with a subpoena has the right to lodge objections and have them heard by a judge if necessary.

This is typical grandstanding BS so they can say "he refused to comply with the subpoena," not mentioning he was perfectly within his rights not to.

MoreFreedom chubbar Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:38 Permalink

It's not odd the GOP is on board with this gambit.  The RINOs controlling the GOP hate Trump probably more than the Democrats.  He's shown the public, just how much they lie to get elected.  Like their promises to repeal Obamacare, cut spending, and reduce regulation.  None of which they've done, and only Trump has cut regulations thanks to Congress allowing the executive branch to "interpret and write" the rules.

In reply to by chubbar

Got The Wrong No chubbar Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:43 Permalink

The blatant rotting fish is right in our face and laughing. Smell that stench, unwashed masses? What are you going to do about it? They are holding all the cards. They know that a revolution, if it ever takes place, will be stopped as fast as it starts. Fuck these bastards. Live your life as free and as happy as you can. I'm beginning to think I was better off, when I was too busy to see beyond the little world I could control. 

In reply to by chubbar

Endgame Napoleon Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:23 Permalink

Bring your potted plant, Bannon.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brendan_Sullivan

All of these political elites need a potted plant when dealing with the tricky Deep State. 

Unfortunately, underemployed American citizens do not have a simple potted-plant solution when wading through the deeply unfair, rigged system created by the Uniparty Swampians, where socialism for some citizens and noncitizens rigs the labor market for those who can afford to accept low pay due to welfare-covered household bills and other wage boosters, like doubled, refundable child tax credits for citizens and illegal immigrants up to $6,444.

It makes the American labor market, with its pay scale that does not cover rent that absorbs more than half of many individual citizens’ earned-only income, even more brutal and hard work even more futile.

wbill Wed, 01/17/2018 - 13:28 Permalink

One thing can be said about Trump, He did cause a change.

From Victor Davis Hanson of National Review, “The Left and Never Trump Right claim that Trump is Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini. In fact, for the first time in eight years, it is highly unlikely that the FBI, IRS, CIA, DOJ, and other alphabet-soup agencies see their tasks as going after the president’s perceived opponents." I think that goes for the Congress also.