Whether the president likes it or not, the Russia investigation is continuing to proceed in all its forms, from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s inquiry to the few concurrent Congressional investigations. The president’s team has insisted that they believe Mueller’s investigation to be soon wrapping up, but since they rarely seem capable of admitting that they were wrong, they are no doubt having to redefine “soon” over and over again.
On Tuesday, as the latest installment in the Russia investigation, former Trump ally Steve Bannon appeared before the House Intelligence Committee as a part of its probe — but he wouldn’t answer questions.
Top Democrat on the committee and California Rep. Adam Schiff revealed as much while speaking to reporters, saying that after Bannon initially refused to answer questions about the period of time including the transition and his time in the administration, the committee served him with a subpoena. At that time, Rep. Schiff told reporters, Bannon still wouldn’t answer questions, with his lawyer relating that he had been instructed to stay quiet by the White House.
Rep. Schiff called the White House allegedly putting Bannon under such a wide-ranging gag order “breathtaking.”
All hope, however, is not lost, as it came out on Tuesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office had itself served Bannon with a subpoena, ordering him to testify before a grand jury.
As was clear from the outset could happen, CNN is now reporting that Bannon has struck a deal with Mueller’s team to avoid testifying in front of a grand jury, instead going to sit down for a private interview conducted by Mueller’s investigators.
As CNN’s David Wright posted to Twitter:
‘Steve Bannon struck a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team and will be interviewed by prosecutors instead of testifying before the grand jury, a person familiar with the process said.’
Wright added that Bannon “is expected to cooperate with the special counsel,” in contrast to his behavior in front of the House Intelligence Committee.
Bannon and Trump, it’s worth noting, experienced a very public falling out earlier this year after the publication of explosive comments from Bannon in a book by author Michael Wolff, although that may not affect his behavior in front of investigators or the White House’s attitude towards his appearances.
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