Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

August 2022
S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: steve bannon

FBI Interviewed Trump Attorney Justin Clark, DOJ Reveals in Court Filings Tied to Steve Bannon

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling

The FBI interviewed former President Trump’s attorney Justin Clark, according to a Justice Department court filing early Monday morning. 

The June 29 interview was revealed in a court filing in the criminal contempt case of Steve Bannon, Politico reports.

A report of the interview was provided to Bannon’s team on June 30. 

Details of the interview weren’t immediately clear, but Clark contradicted Bannon’s claims that Trump had invoked executive privilege to prevent Bannon from testifying before the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

In an extraordinary about-face over the weekend, Bannon said he’s prepared to testify. 

“The Defendant’s timing suggests that the only thing that has really changed since he refused to comply with the subpoena in October 2021 is that he is finally about to face the consequences of his decision to default,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Vaughn wrote in the court filing. 

“All of the above-described circumstances suggest the Defendant’s sudden wish to testify is not a genuine effort to meet his obligations but a last-ditch attempt to avoid accountability.”

Bannon Surrenders to FBI After Being Indicted for Defying Congressional Subpoena

Steve Bannon moments before surrendering to the FBI. Photo: Screenshot of his live-streamed video.

By Steve Neavling

Steve Bannon, a onetime top advisor to former President Trump, turned himself in to the FBI after he was indicted last week for defying a congressional subpoena to provide information to the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. 

Bannon, a 67-year-old right-wing media personality, surrendered at the FBI’s Washington Field Office. In a live-streamed video moment earlier, Bannon was defiant.

“I don’t want anybody to take their eye off the ball of what we do every day,” Bannon said before surrendering. “We got the Hispanics coming on our side, African Americans coming on our side; we’re taking down the Biden regime.” 

“I want you guys to stay focused, stay on message,” he said. “Remember, signal not noise.”

A grand jury indicted Bannon on two counts of contempt of Congress. He faces up to one year of jail on each count. 

“As detailed in the indictment, on Sept. 23, 2021, the Select Committee issued a subpoena to Mr. Bannon,” Matthew M. Graves, U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, said in a statement. “The subpoena required him to appear and produce documents to the Select Committee, and to appear for a deposition before the Select Committee. According to the indictment, Mr. Bannon refused to appear to give testimony as required by subpoena and refused to produce documents in compliance with a subpoena.”

Arraignment has not yet been scheduled. 

Biden Supports DOJ Prosecuting Trump Allies Who Defy Subpoena to Testify

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

President Biden said he supports prosecuting Trump allies and officials who defy subpoenas to testify before the House Select Committee that is investigating the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. 

“I hope the committee goes after them and holds them accountable,” Biden told CNN’s Kaitlan Collins on Friday.

Asked if he supports prosecution for those people, Biden responded, “I do, yes.”

Committee leaders said they were taking steps to hold Steve Bannon, a Trump ally and former administration officials, in contempt, for refusing to comply with a subpoena. 

Ultimately, the decision belongs to the Justice Department, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said when asked about it Thursday. 

“That would be up to the Department of Justice, and it would be their purview to determine. They’re an independent agency,” she told reporters at a White House press briefing on October 8. “They’re independent. They would determine any decision on criminal prosecutions. I’d point you to them and, of course, the committee.”

The Justice Department hasn’t said yet what it plans to do. 

“The Department of Justice will make its own independent decisions in all prosecutions based solely on the facts and the law. Period. Full stop,” DOJ spokesman Anthony Coley said Friday. 

Steve Bannon, 3 Others Charged with Fraud in We Build the Wall Campaign

Steve Bannon at a fundraiser for “We Build the Wall” in Detroit. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Former President Trump adviser Steve Bannon and three others were charged with defrauding donors to a private fundraising campaign ostensibly intended to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Federal prosecutors say Bannon and Air Force veteran Brian Kolfage spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations on personal expenses after insisting that all the contributions would be used to build a wall.

The fundraiser collected more than $25 million.

On Thursday morning, Bannon was arrested on a 150-foot yacht owned by fugitive Chinese billionaire Gun Wehgui.
Bannon pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.

After leaving the federal courthouse, Bannon said, “This entire fiasco is to stop people who want to build the wall,” CNN reports.

Kolfage is accused of using more than $350,000 in donations to pay for a luxury SUV, cosmetic surgery, and jewelry and make payments toward a boat, home renovations, and credit card debt.

Bannon, Kolfage along with Andrew Badolato and Timothy Shea, were charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“As alleged, the defendants defrauded hundreds of thousands of donors, capitalizing on their interest in funding a border wall to raise millions of dollars, under the false pretense that all of that money would be spent on construction,” Acting Manhattan US Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement. “While repeatedly assuring donors that Brian Kolfage, the founder and public face of We Build the Wall, would not be paid a cent, the defendants secretly schemed to pass hundreds of thousands of dollars to Kolfage, which he used to fund his lavish lifestyle.”

Report: Steve Bannon Urged FBI Officials in 2017 to Put ‘Differences’ with Trump Behind Them

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s decision to ask then-FBI Director James Comey to pledge loyalty to his presidency was one of the primary reasons special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed.

But it turns out, Trump wasn’t the only White House official to engage with the FBI as it investigated Russia’s role in the presidential election.

A day after Trump asked for Comey’s loyalty in April 2017, then-White House strategist Steve Bannon asked two top FBI officials to put their “differences” with Trump’s administration behind them, according to The Guardian, which cited “people familiar with the matter.”

Bannon’s discussion was with then-Deputy Director of the FBI Andrew McCabe and Bill Priestap, who was then serving as the bureau’s assistant director of counter-intelligence.

According to The Guardian, McCabe documented Bannon’s remarks in a memo obtained by Mueller’s team. Bannon also was questioned about the discussions.

But for reasons that remain unclear, Mueller’s final report never mentioned Bannon’s meetings with the top FBI officials.

Legal analysts said it “was highly unusual for a senior White House official to make such remarks to the FBI officials, especially at a time when the White House was facing scrutiny,” The Guardian reported.

Richard Painter, former White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush, said the remarks were “reckless” because it could appear that Bannon was pressuring the FBI officials.

“This is the type of conduct that risks obstruction charges. You do not make public comments, you do not contact the FBI or anyone at the DoJ about a pending investigation, and the reason is that those types of contacts can be seen as obstruction of justice,” Painter said. “When you say ‘we are all on the same team’, well, what does that mean?”

Steve Bannon Calls Mueller a ‘Good Man’ But Suggests Rosenstein Should Be Fired Unless Documents Released

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House political strategist Steve Bannon called special counsel Robert Mueller “a good man, a combat-veteran Marine” in a strong departure from President Trump’s rhetoric.

But Bannon also insisted in an interview with The Hill that there was no collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia and that Mueller should release a report on his findings before the mid-term elections so Americans can make up their own minds on the veracity of the investigation. 

“Let the American people, on Nov. 6, let them decide,” Bannon said. “They are going to say that is too thin a reed to hang anything serious on.”

Bannon also suggested Trump should fire Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, if he doesn’t disclose documents related to the Russia investigation.

“If he doesn’t do it in 72 hours, he’s fired. I’d fire him,” Bannon said.

Bannon’s positive comments about Mueller strongly contrast with Trump’s rhetoric.

“Is Robert Mueller ever going to release his conflicts of interest with respect to President Trump, including the fact that we had a very nasty & contentious business relationship, I turned him down to head the FBI (one day before appointment as S.C.) & Comey is his close friend,” the president tweeted. “Also, why is Mueller only appointing Angry Dems, some of whom have worked for Crooked Hillary, others, including himself, have worked for Obama….And why isn’t Mueller looking at all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side-Podesta, Dossier?”

Steve Bannon Pitches Plan to Save President by Stymying Mueller Probe

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon has pitched a bold plan to protect President Trump from the advancing special counsel investigation.

The Washington Post reports that Bannon, who was ousted last summer, advised members of Trump’s inner circle and congressional allies to encourage the president to first fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller in May to investigate Russian melding in the 2016 presidential election and approved the raid on the office of Trump’s attorney. 

Bannon also suggested the White House should stop cooperating with Mueller, invoke executive privilege to prevent further interviews with staff and fire his current legal team. The former Breitbart chief said Trump could then make a legal case that past interviews between his staff and Mueller’s team should be stricken from the record because the president’s attorneys didn’t advise him of all his options.

“The president wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege, Bannon told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”

Legal experts were skeptical of the plan, and it’s unclear whether Trump will consider, though he has suggested taking similar steps in the past.

Democrats and some Republicans said they would vote to impeach the president if he fires Mueller, who is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and if the president obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director James Comey.

According to past interviews, Bannon believes crimes were committed by Trump’s campaign. He even told author Michael Wolff that the Mueller probe likely will focus on money laundering, saying, “They’re going to crack Don Junior like an egg on national TV.” 

Bannon also told 60 Minutes that firing Comey was the biggest mistake “maybe in modern political history.”

Bannon Met Several Times This Week with Special Counsel Investigating Trump, Russia

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met several times this week with the special counsel team investigating President Trump and his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

The former Breitbart news chief, who continued today to defy a subpoena to testify before a House committee about the Russia and Trump probe, was interviewed for about 20 hours by the team led by Robert Mueller, NBC News reports

Details of the interview are unclear, but Bannon is considered a key witness in the investigation because he was a close confident of Trump and played key roles in both the campaign and the presidential administration.

In an explosive book published last month, Bannon blasted the campaign’s handling of Russia and suggested the Mueller investigation will focus on money laundering. He also said it was “treasonous” for some in the Trump campaign, including the president’s son, to meet with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Bannon, who resigned in August, is facing contempt charges for continuing to refuse to answer questions by the House Intelligence Committee.

CNN reports that Bannon met briefly with the committee today and told the panel he had been instructed by the Trump administration to invoke executive privilege.