Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s squirrely maneuvering has left many wondering what his next move will be. Tuesday saw him landing a second subpoena after refusing to answer House Intelligence Committee questions (about possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia) for 10 hours. This arrived after news of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury subpoena for the Justice Department probe, but it seems as if that threat has dropped off the radar. At least, Bannon will avoid testifying for the grand jury, as CNN reports that he will be interviewed by Mueller’s prosecutors instead.
As a result of some sort of deal, Bannon will now appear in a closed-door setting, which will be the special counsel’s D.C. offices. This clearly signals a degree of cooperation by Bannon, but there’s no telling if he’ll decide to be stubborn with Mueller’s team, just as he was with the House on Tuesday. Yet the New York Times notes that Mueller is also not revealing much about his strategy with Bannon:
It was not clear why Mr. Mueller subpoenaed Mr. Bannon and did not first ask him to sit for an interview, as Mr. Mueller had done with more than a dozen current and former White House officials who were questioned in recent months. Mr. Mueller could still call Mr. Bannon to appear before a grand jury after he meets with investigators.
“Sloppy Steve” may have met his match in Mueller, as both men are playing their cards close to their respective vests. Whereas House Intelligence Committee members are anonymously (per the Associated Press) voicing their frustration with the spurned nationalist, and the committee is now demanding that he produce documents for their investigation.
The House is also reportedly thinking about subpoenaing Bannon for another day of questioning, which seems … unproductive. And as if on cue, White House Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah has confirmed (as claimed by the House Intelligence Comitttee’s leading Democrat, Rep. Adam Schiff) that the White House had “real-time communication” with Bannon’s lawyers while he refused to answer questions. Shah maintained that this was perfectly normal to do during congressional investigations. Watch below, courtesy of Fox News.