Steve Bannon, former White House chief strategist, has indicated that he will meet with Robert Mueller only under a separate grand-jury subpoena.
But with this, there could be a conflict in the questioning he may endure due to the House investigation potentially overlapping Mueller’s probe.
Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is not expected to appear before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, risking being held in contempt for failing to comply with a subpoena, according to a source close to the process.
Escalating a tense standoff with the panel, Bannon isn’t planning on showing up because the White House and committee haven’t reached an agreement over the scope of the questioning, the source said.
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Republican running the committee’s Russia probe, told reporters Monday evening he expected Bannon to comply with the subpoena demands of the committee and was unaware of any deal to limit the answers he would provide to the panel.
As reported by Hot Air:
“JUST IN: House Intelligence Committee has pushed back Steve Bannon’s subpoena deadline to next Tuesday. This is the third time the committee has extended the deadline, Rep. Trey Gowdy says”
JUST IN: House Intelligence Committee has pushed back Steve Bannon’s subpoena deadline to next Tuesday. This is the third time the committee has extended the deadline, Rep. Trey Gowdy says
— NBC Politics (@NBCPolitics) February 6, 2018
If that’s the case, then Bannon won’t have any problems with Mueller or the grand jury — as long as he lets his lawyers run the show, of course. However, he has to figure that there will be a number of people on the House Intelligence Committee that would like his scalp for political reasons rather than strictly legal issues, which makes that a much less attractive venue in which to appear.
At this point, Bannon probably figures that he can defy a subpoena and that Trump’s Department of Justice won’t leap to prosecute it, and he’s probably correct. If he’s working with special counsel investigators, Mueller won’t be too anxious to enforce a contempt referral either.
Unless the HPSCI offers him a highly narrowed scope of questioning, a Bannon appearance at their hearing seems unlikely.