Published: Thu, January 18, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Angry House Committee Slaps Bannon With Subpoena

Angry House Committee Slaps Bannon With Subpoena

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon was subpoenaed last week by special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury as part of the sprawling Russian Federation investigation, according to a new report.

Mr Mueller's team had secured a subpoena to compel Mr Bannon to testify, which could have forced him to speak with the grand jury.

This is a developing story.

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

President Trump has recently attempted to distance himself from Bannon, downplaying his role in his campaign, presidential transition and first eight months in office.

But Dhillon has also concluded that Bannon and other current and former Trump administration officials do not have legitimate claims to executive privilege when it comes to providing information or testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller, according to the sources.

Mueller's team also charged former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos with making false statements to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents about his contacts with people close to the Russian government.

Mr Bannon was not present at the meeting, nor during the drafting of the President's misleading statement on this issue - both of which are reportedly of interest to Mr Mueller.

Then, late last night, news broke that Bannon had also been subpoenaed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Appearing before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, Bannon was said to have repeatedly avoided answering questions about his time in the White House or on the Trump transition team by invoking executive privilege. "Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic, or bad s--, and I happen to think it's all of that, you should have called the Federal Bureau of Investigation immediately", he said, according to the book.

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, who served as Trump's spokeswoman during his presidential campaign after a tenure with his Trump Organization real estate business, is also expected to be questioned by the committee this week, according to a congressional source. Although the letter sent to Bannon by the committee doesn't specify the reasons for the appearance, or the questions to be asked, it is clear that the interviews are part of the Russian Federation investigation, Bloomberg says.

Robert Mueller testifies at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on February 16, 2011.

"This was effectively a gag order by the White House preventing this witness from answering nearly any question concerning his time in the transition or the administration", Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said.

Those comments were a change from ones he made in June past year when he said he was "100 percent" willing to testify under oath about conversations he had with former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey.

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