Robert Mueller Has Subpoenaed Steve Bannon In Russia Probe: Report
Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon as part of the federal probe into Russian interference in the election, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Bannon is one of the few known instances that Mueller has used a subpoena to compel information from a member of President Trump’s inner circle.
Mueller team has interviewed dozens of Trump associates, including former campaign chair Paul Manafort and former National Security adviser Michael Flynn. Both have since been charged with a slate of federal crimes.
The revelation came as Bannon was appearing behind closed doors with the House Intelligence Committee to testify in that committee’s probe into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. He reportedly recently retained Bill Burck, of the law firm Quinn Emanuel.
Citing sources with knowledge of the matter, The Times reported that Mueller subpoenaed Bannon over comments he made to Michael Wolff, the author of a controversial new book about the Trump White House.
The former Trump official told Wolff that a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer believed to have political dirt on Hillary Clinton was “treasonous.”
“The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor—with no lawyers,” Bannon said, according to Wolff’s account. “Even if you thought that this was not treasonous, or unpatriotic… you should have called the FBI immediately.”
Further, Bannon added, “the chance that [Donald Trump Jr.] did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the twenty-sixth floor is zero.”
The president broke publicly with Bannon after the publication of Wolff’s book, tweeting that “Sloppy Steve” has “been dumped like a dog by almost everyone.”
One source told the Times that Mueller would likely allow Bannon to forego the grand jury appearance and instead be interviewed by investigators in a less formal setting — suggesting that the move could be a negotiating tactic.
Meanwhile, as Bannon lawyers up, Trump declared Tuesday that allegations that his campaign conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election were “dead”.
“Do you notice the Fake News Mainstream Media never likes covering the great and record setting economic news, but rather talks about anything negative or that can be turned into the negative,” Trump tweeted. “The Russian Collusion Hoax is dead, except as it pertains to the Dems. Public gets it!”