Trump Works Overtime to Silence Bannon's Testimony Before Special Prosecutor

Trump Works Overtime to Silence Bannon's Testimony Before Special Prosecutor

Cobb previously said that he expected the investigation to be over by Thanksgiving 2017 and separately by the beginning of 2018. On Wednesday, the White House insisted such coordination between the White House counsel's office and congressional witnesses isn't unusual in a case like this.

Committee members sought answers around Mr Bannon's time working for Mr Trump, including the President's thinking when he fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, but Mr Bannon refused to answer a broad array of questions about that crucial period. "If the White House is permitted to maintain that kind of gag rule on a witness, no congressional investigation could ever be effective". Burck declined to comment on the potential for conflicts.

"We said 'Hey, hey, pump the brakes, '" one White House official said.

Conaway and Schiff said the White House never formally invoked executive privilege for Bannon, and Conaway added that he was not aware of the White House invoking privilege with any witness who has appeared before the committee in its Russian Federation probe.

"Steve has had very, very little contact with the White House since he left", aside from a few phone calls, Kelly said.

Bannon has now agreed to sit down with prosecutors on Mueller's team.

But Bannon refused to answer questions from the House Intelligence Committee about his time working for President Donald Trump, provoking a subpoena from the panel's Republican chairman. The goal of the cooperation, from the White House perspective, has been to help the investigation conclude as quickly as possible.

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Bannon, the former head of Breitbart News, appeared before the House intelligence committee on Tuesday.

The combative Bannon is quoted in the new book "Fire and Fury" by Michael Wolff as calling Donald Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting with Russian nationals "treasonous" and "unpatriotic". If Democrats take back the House a real investigation is coming, which means that teetering Trump presidency is living on borrowed time.

The article said deputy White House counsel Uttam Dhillon presented legal rationale that the Trump administration might be able to limit the testimony of Bannon and others under executive privilege claims.

The unrestricted testimony of Trump's estranged political strategist could be explosive: he had a front-row seat as chief executive of the 2016 election campaign in its final months, and as a top policy advisor in the first seven months of the administration.

It looks like Mueller wants to hear those facts too. Lawmakers also wanted answers from him about Trump's thinking when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Such agreements may be severed in the event the clients end up in a position to testify against each other.

"I'm not sure how you do that, but he did it", Gowdy said. "And it could be extraordinarily hard for even the most outstanding lawyer to avoid conflicts not to mention ethical peril".

Bannon also reportedly told Wolff that Mueller's Trump-Russia probe could ultimately result in charges related to money laundering. Steve Bannon claimed that the White House is asserting three privileges.

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