House Investigators Vow To Get Answers Out Of Steve Bannon

Frederick Owens
January 18, 2018

Former Donald Trump advisor Steve Bannon Tuesday refused to answer questions from a congressional committee probing the president's campaign links to Russian Federation, saying he was under orders from the White House not to.

"Now remember, it's the president who has the executive privilege and so they went back, conferred with the White House, and the White House said that anything that happened, any communications that happened while Steve Bannon was in the White House or during the transition, any communications were off limits", Himes said.

It's unclear who Burck was communicating with in the White House or whether it was top White House lawyer Don McGahn, who Burck is also representing in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Mr Bannon was sacked by the White House in August a year ago, and he returned to the right-wing news website Breitbart News.

Last week, the publication of Michael Wolff's "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump " caused a major public spat between him and the.

A top Democrat has said the White House imposed a "gag order" on Bannon.

Committee members were still waiting to hear when Bannon will return for follow-up questioning, as requested by the panel.

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There was speculation it was a negotiating tactic that to pressure to speak with the special counsel's investigators in the less formal setting of 's Washington office, as opposed to appearing in a courtroom before a grand jury.

At the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the questions were relayed over the phone and said it was a typical process.

"Steve Bannon and his attorney asserted a remarkably broad definition of executive privilege", Representative Jim Himes, a Democratic member of the committee, said on CNN.

GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC and Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff of California used Bannon's "slip-up" to try to press him into answering other questions about his time at the White House, the report said. Sanders told reporters the White House "is following the same practice" as "many White Houses before". Lawmakers questioned Bannon on Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, although Bannon was not present when that decision was made. "Now, as a committee, if we follow the practice that we maintained yesterday, we should have subpoenaed him today and compelled answers to those questions". Trump's lawyer, John Dowd, later said he was the one who drafted the erroneous tweet, not the president. "No, I don't think they do", she said.

The reported subpoena for Mr Bannon does not necessarily mean that he is a target of Mr Mueller's criminal investigation.

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has received a grand jury subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian election interference and possible ties to President Donald Trump's campaign.

Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that showed up at Bannon's home last week were unaware that Bannon had retained Washington lawyer William Burck just hours earlier, who is also representing two other witness in the probe led by Mueller, according to WNBC News.

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