Tags: Russia Probe | Trump Administration | bannon | subpoenaed | mueller | white house | russia

Report: Mueller Subpoenaed Bannon to Avoid Undue WH Influence

Image: Report: Mueller Subpoenaed Bannon to Avoid Undue WH Influence

By    |   Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018 08:49 AM

Special counsel Robert Mueller opted to subpoena Steve Bannon to avoid undue influence from the White House on the former chief strategist, NBC News reported.

FBI agents showed up at Bannon's Washington home last week to serve him the subpoena to appear before the grand jury investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, only to find out he had just retained counsel, NBC reports.

The FBI then sent the order to Bannon's attorney, William Burck, NBC reports.

Bannon testified Tuesday before the House Intelligence Committee that the White House had instructed him not to answer questions about his tenure there or the transition period between the election of President Donald Trump and his inauguration, NBC reports, citing executive privilege.

The committee responded by serving Bannon a subpoena of its own.

Mueller might swap out the subpoena for a voluntary interview with Bannon, the courtesy extended to other key principles that Mueller's team has interviewed, NBC reports.

But the subpoena is seen as a tactic by Mueller to avoid what happened Tuesday during Bannon's appearance before the intel panel.

"By forcing someone to testify through a subpoena, you are providing the witness with cover because they can say, 'I had no choice — I had to go in and testify about everything I knew,'" Solomon Wisenberg, a prosecutor for the independent counsel that investigated Bill Clinton when he was president, told The New York Times.

Bannon would be open to that course of action if it's offered, NBC reports, and will cooperate with Mueller's probe either way.

"Mueller will hear everything Bannon has to say," a source told The Daily Beast.

Bannon is persona non grata with Trump and the White House over quotes he gave in support of Michael Wolff's new "Fire and Fury" book, calling Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians "treasonous" and Ivanka Trump "dumb as a brick."

Bannon was forced out as chief strategist in August, and he was forced out of Breitbart News last week in the aftermath of the release of Wolff's book.

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Special counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed Steve Bannon to avoid White House influence on the former chief strategist, NBC News reported.
bannon, subpoenaed, mueller, white house, russia, probe
Wednesday, 17 Jan 2018 08:49 AM
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