Bannon Strikes Deal With Mueller to Avoid Grand Jury

Posted: Jan 17, 2018 12:35 PM

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon was the first subject to be handed a grand jury subpoena in the special counsel investigation into Russian collusion led by Robert Mueller. Yet, after negotiations between Bannon's attorney and Mueller's office, the two parties have agreed that Bannon will be interviewed by Mueller's office like other White House staffers instead of testifying before the grand jury.

Bannon refused to answer any questions before the House Intelligence committee Tuesday, which frustrated Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) to no end. On Fox News, he said Bannon was trying to assert a privilege that does not exist. Why was Bannon "happy" to tell controversial author Michael Wolff about supposed unpatriotic acts made by the Trump campaign, but not elected representatives?

Bannon, Gowdy said, "can't pick and choose" who he answers questions for.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was pretty upset too. It's "unprecedented" that Bannon refused to give any details about the Trump transition.

"But here was an entire time period that was essentially made off-limits by the White House," Schiff fumed.

Gowdy didn't agree with his Democratic colleague on everything, however. How is it that Schiff found evidence of collusion before the investigation had even begun, Gowdy wondered on Fox News Wednesday.

"I'm not sure how you do that, but he did it," Gowdy said.

Bannon was quoted in Wolff's book "Fire and Fury" as having called Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer "treasonous." It infuriated President Trump, who now refers to Bannon as "Sloppy Steve."

Asked by Fox News's Bill Hemmer if any collusion had been found between Russia and the Trump campaign, Gowdy said, "No, sir."