- Why the Twitter left loves to dunk on Max Boot Today 6:30 AM
- How to watch ‘Last Week Tonight with John Oliver’ online for free Today 6:30 AM
- How to stream Francis Ngannou vs. Cain Velasquez for free Today 6:00 AM
- How to stream the 2019 Daytona 500 for free Today 5:50 AM
- 7-year-old YouTuber to get his own show on Nickelodeon Saturday 5:30 PM
- ‘Hipster’ jobs are trending, and Indeed says the market is booming Saturday 3:33 PM
- Trump meme removed after copyright complaint Saturday 2:15 PM
- Facebook pushes back against moderators complaining about ‘Big Brother’ environment Saturday 12:46 PM
- Twitter hid post from an account linked to Iran’s Supreme Leader Saturday 10:17 AM
- How to stream Leo Santa Cruz vs. Rafael Rivera for free Saturday 8:00 AM
- ‘Larry Charles’ Dangerous World of Comedy’ finds the balance between tragedy and comedy Saturday 7:30 AM
- How to stream Michael ‘Venom’ Page vs. Paul Daley for free Saturday 7:00 AM
- How to watch the NBA Dunk Contest 2019 online for free Saturday 6:50 AM
- The best new TV shows to stream this weekend Saturday 6:00 AM
- Bug lets Twitter save your DMs—even after you delete them Friday 7:21 PM
Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC-BY)
Bannon had himself a rough day.
Steve Bannon, former senior aide to President Donald Trump, became the center of not one but two investigations into Russia interference in the 2016 election over the past day.
On Tuesday Bannon spent 10 hours testifying behind closed doors in front of the House Intelligence Committee. Bannon refused to speak about conversations with the president, forcing the committee to subpoena him.
Then, late last night, news broke that Bannon had also been subpoenaed as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Bannon is the first person of Trump’s inner circle to be subpoenaed to testify in Mueller’s investigation.
It’s likely, the New York Times reports, that Bannon will not be forced to testify before Mueller’s grand jury, but that the subpoena is being used to get Bannon to speak with investigators on Mueller’s team. Bannon infamously was quoted as saying in Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury that the Mueller investigation would focus on “money laundering” and that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer was “treasonous.”
In his testimony with the House Intelligence Committee earlier in the day, the former counselor and campaign chair refused to answer questions about conversations between him and Trump, citing executive privilege. In response, the House issued a subpoena that would compel Bannon to testify.
Members of the House committee said that Bannon’s refusal to speak was because of a “gag order” from Trump.
“This was effectively a gag order by the White House preventing this witness from answering almost any question concerning his time in the transition or the administration,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) said. “The scope of this assertion of privilege, if that’s what it is, is breathtaking. It goes well beyond anything we have seen in this investigation. If the White House is permitted to maintain that kind of gag rule on a witness, no congressional investigation could ever be effective. So this obviously can’t stand.”
In response to those claims, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders called that assertion false.
“We’ve been cooperating fully with these ongoing investigations and encourage the committees to work with us to find an appropriate accommodation in order to ensure Congress obtains information necessary to its legitimate interests,” she said.
However, according to the Associated Press, Bannon’s lawyer was in communication with the White House during his testimony.
BREAKING: AP Sources: Steve Bannon attorney relayed questions to White House during House interview, was told when not to respond.
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 17, 2018
It’s been a precipitous downfall for Bannon, who just a year ago was considered a rising star in the Republican party. Instead, his White House coalition fractured and he was forced out. Then, in the wake of Wolff’s explosive tell-all, he lost the support of his financial backers and was forced out at Breitbart, becoming a target of Twitter derision from the president.
This article has been updated.
David Covucci is the Layer 8 editor at the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the web. His work has appeared in Vice, the Huffington Post, Jezebel, Gothamist, and other publications. He is particularly interested in hearing any tips you have. Reach out at [email protected]