President Trump’s former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, was subpoenaed to testify in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, claims a person familiar with the matter. The former Breitbart News chairman has reportedly been summoned before a grand jury as part of the ongoing investigation into possible ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian officials.
According to the source, Bannon is scheduled to meet with Mueller later this month, however, a date has not be specified. The former White House officials won’t plan to invoke executive privilege during his testimony, the person added.
On Tuesday, the former Breitbart executive spent approximately 11 hours on Capitol Hill to testify before the House Intelligence Committee. According to the lawmakers of the committee, the White House did not allow Bannon to answer questions regarding the Trump campaigns possible collusion with Russia.
According to the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff, the White House told Bannon to abstain from answering several questions mainly because they wanted to preserve President Trump’s option to assert executive privilege in the future.
Intelligence Committee Chairman, Devin Nunes, said that he gave the go-ahead for the subpoena due to Bannon’s reticence to answer these questions.
Bannon boarded Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in August 2016 and has been perceived by many media journalists as a key player in the Trump administration up until he was reportedly fired by the president.
Representative, Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, claims that the subpoena was issued because the aim of the investigation is too sensitive to invoke executive privilege.
“Executive privilege now covers things before you become the chief executive- which is just mind-numbing and there is no legal support for it,” Gowdy said.
Due to Bannon’s voluntary appearance on Tuesday, he had the right to decline any questions regarding the meetings or conversations that occurred during his transition into the White House or during his tenure as Chief Strategist, said Bannon’s lawyer.
Bannon’s reluctance to answer questions forced the Intelligence Committee to subpoena the former Breitbart executive and make his next hearing “compulsory”.
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