Russia

Report: Bannon Will “Tell All” to Mueller

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Former chief strategist and Trump campaign executive Steve Bannon was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee yesterday for over 10 hours but, through his lawyer, he refused to answer questions about certain periods of time by citing executive privilege.

That will not be the case when he speaks to special prosecutor Robert Mueller, however, and the Daily Beast reports that he intends to tell Mueller everything he wants to know.

Executive privilege—the president’s right to keep certain information from the public so he can have frank conversations with aides—will not keep Steve Bannon from sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, according to a person familiar with the situation.

“Mueller will hear everything Bannon has to say,” said the source, who is familiar with Bannon’s thinking. [...]

This sweeping understanding of privilege will not affect what Bannon tells Mueller’s team, according to our source. (To be sure, Bannon isn’t known for being predictable, and it’s possible his team may still look for ways to dodge Mueller’s queries.)

It may seem contradictory that Bannon refused to tell the House Intelligence Committee everything he knows but intends to share it with Mueller, but it may not be.

Speculation that Mueller's grand jury subpoena of Bannon was a negotiating tactic appears to have been correct. CNN reported this morning that Bannon has reached a deal to meet with Mueller privately rather than appear in front of a grand jury. His cooperation and willingness to answer all of Mueller's questions is ostensibly part of their agreement.

Bannon's attorney told the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Bannon would answer questions when he goes to the special counsel because executive privilege would not apply, according to one of the sources

A spokesman for the special counsel's office declined to comment.

This may not be something that concerns Bannon at all -- we have no idea what he's really thinking -- but anything he said to the House Intelligence Committee probably would have immediately found its way back to the White House. The Intelligence Committee is chaired by Devin Nunes, a Trump toady who has shared details of his investigations with the White House in the past.

  • Aynwrong

    Stupid Game of Thrones seems to be heating up.

    • I have this image of Trump on the toilet, pants around his ankles, furiously tweeting on his phone with pieces of a shredded Constitution arrayed on his “throne” behind him. So thanks for that….

  • muselet

    When I first read that Steve Bannon stonewalled the Intelligence Committee, I thought I may have underestimated his capacity for loyalty, especially since his lawyer, Bill Burck, was relaying the questions in real time to someone at the White House.

    Turns out, what I underestimated was Steve Bannon’s capacity for being a weasel (with apologies to weasels).

    Bannon isn’t afraid of being held in contempt of Congress. Congress is an impediment to the installation of a Bannon-approved strongman, after all. Claiming executive privilege for the entire time he worked for Donald Trump was a thumb in the eye of the congressional untermenschen who dared ask questions of him, and he’ll dine out on that story for the rest of his life.

    Bannon is afraid of spending an extended period in federal prison. He’s also in an almighty snit over his treatment by the Trump White House, but wants plausible deniability when the high-level indictments start to flow. And, as the cherry on top, Robert Mueller is technically in the executive branch, he can’t claim executive privilege.

    In short, Steve Bannon is only loyal when it serves his purposes, and Donald Trump clearly didn’t pay him enough to stay loyal.

    –alopecia

  • Badgerite

    To talk, or not to talk. That is the question. I would go with talk. Once it’s out, he doesn’t have to worry when someone gives him a cup of tea.

    • Tony Lavely

      Well, there’s always revenge…

      • Badgerite

        Let’s hope so. Couldn’t happen to a more worthy POS.(Pardon my French).

  • Bannon better watch his back. These guys may be getting desperate.

  • Draxiar

    If Bannon decided to not speak with the House Intelligence Committee because of Nunes then that was smart play on Bannon’s part.

    Though it seems that it may be huge, the part Bannon plays in helping to knock trump down we don’t yet know. Regardless, if we’re going to be here then we may as well have fun watching these villains beat on each other.