Published: Sun, January 21, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump Ordered Bannon to Limit Testimony

Trump Ordered Bannon to Limit Testimony

After the book's release, Trump quickly disavowed "Sloppy Steve Bannon" and argued there was no evidence of collusion between his presidential campaign and operatives tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin. There is no reference to executive privilege in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has held that it derives from the president's ability to carry out the duties he holds under the Constitution.

During his testimony, frustrated members of the House Intelligence Committee formally served Bannon with a subpoena after it became apparent that he was not giving specific answers to questions. He didn't open up even when the panel took the unusual step of serving him with a subpoena during the hearing.

When one is testifying before Congress, it's the lawmakers who determine if questions must be answered, he continued.

Daily Beast reported Bannon informed the lawmakers that Trump has invoked the executive privilege for congressional inquiry purposes, citing it as the reason to for not answering numerous committee's questions. The optics of the claim are also not flattering.

"I certainly think that the committee respects executive privilege, it's when does that attach is the question that's sort of dominating the day", Rooney said. It appears disingenuous for Bannon to claim a privilege for campaign transition activities and conversations, as Trump was not yet sworn into office.

Bannon "slipped up" when he revealed the information, Axios reported, since it was part of his time as chief White House strategist, and exactly the period White House lawyers are maintaining is off limits.

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Dhillon, who is a top aide to chief White House counsel Donald McGahn, was apparently the one to come up with the idea of ordering Bannon to invoke "executive privilege", telling Trump that Bannon would have legal standing to do so since some of White House discussions that he was present for could have been confidential. A subpoena requires mandatory attendance at a court proceeding, and failure to comply with the subpoena can be met with a contempt of court charge. "Everybody must comply with a grand jury subpoena and you can only refuse to answer questions that might tend to incriminate".

Mr Mueller issued a grand jury subpoena for Mr Bannon last week.

More recently, Bannon has said he was not referring to Trump Jr. but rather to Manafort.

"Kelly has finally ventured into Steve Bannon territory when it comes to trying to create the perception that he's the 'great manipulator, ' saving the country from Trump's ignorance", the source told Axios.

Bannon clammed up about the presidential transition, his seven months in the White House and his conversations with Trump after he was sacked in August - frustrating Democrats and Republicans.

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