Sources: Bannon Will Avoid Grand Jury in Mueller Investigation

Another report says Bannon's lawyer fed questions to White House
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 17, 2018 1:37 PM CST
Bannon's Lawyer Fed Questions to White House: Report
Former White House strategist Steve Bannon leaves a House Intelligence Committee meeting where he was interviewed behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Following Tuesday's accusations—and ensuing subpoena—from the House Intelligence Committee that the White House told Steve Bannon not to answer certain questions comes a report that not only was that the case but it happened in real time. Sources "familiar with the closed-door session" tell the AP that Bannon's lawyer, Bill Burck, was on the phone with someone at the White House counsel's office during Bannon's interview. The report says Burck asked the White House if Bannon could answer questions as they were asked. Bannon was reportedly told not to discuss his work on the Trump transition or in the Trump White House. It's unclear who at the White House Burck was speaking to, and the White House has denied the claims.

In addition to his interview in front of the House Intelligence Committee, Bannon has also been subpoenaed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. Now, two sources "familiar with the process" tell CNN that Bannon has agreed to a deal to avoid appearing in front of a grand jury. Instead, he'll be interviewed by prosecutors as part of the investigation. One source says Bannon will answer questions from Mueller's team that he avoided answering in front of the House Intelligence Committee because executive privilege will no longer be in play. The New York Times reports it's unclear why Mueller's investigation subpoenaed Bannon when it didn't issue subpoenas for any of the other dozen or so administration officials it has interviewed. (More Steve Bannon stories.)

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