Rep. Chris Collins: If I were Bannon, I'd answer lawmakers' questions

Rep. Chris Collins: If I were Bannon, I'd answer lawmakers' questions

On Tuesday, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is expected to meet with the panel, while Trump's former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, is expected to testify this week before the committee as well. The New York Times reported that it was the first time Mueller used a grand jury subpoena on a member of Trump's inner circle, many of whom have already been questioned as part of the investigation.

"Only Steve Bannon could unite this committee", said Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.

A person familiar with the subpoena said the committee issued the order after Bannon's counsel advised him he did not have to answer lawmakers' questions regarding his discussions with Trump.

"This was effectively a gag order by the White House preventing this witness from answering nearly any question concerning his time in the administration and many questions even after he left the administration", Schiff said. But it was not clear why Mr. Mueller treated Mr. Bannon differently from the dozen administration officials who were interviewed in the final months of a year ago and were never served with a subpoena.

The congressional subpoena for Bannon came after the former far-right media executive and recently scorned Trump adviser received a grand jury subpoena issued by Mueller.

Dorf referred to the court case surrounding the Supreme Court's rejection in 1974 of President Richard Nixon's assertion that he could use executive privilege to prevent the release of tape recordings involving him and other aides.

"There was a great deal of consternation on both sides of the aisle", Himes said.

But Mr Bannon played a critical role in the campaign, the presidential transition and the White House - all during times now under scrutiny from congressional investigators looking for possible evidence of a connection between Mr Trump's operations and Russian Federation.

Bannon refused to speak not only about his time at the White House, but also any conversations he had with President Trump after he had left the administration "that might be for the objective of the President seeking his advice on anything", Schiff said.

Steve Bannon, left, leaves the building after he testified before the House intelligence committee.

Former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon arrives for an interview by the House Intelligence Committee investigating alleged Russian interference in the 2016 USA election on Capitol Hill in Washington, US, January 16, 2018.

Florida Rep. Tom Rooney, a senior Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said Tuesday that Bannon's testimony is running into problems over whether he can invoke executive privilege for events that occurred during the transition. "At what time does that attach - during the transition or during the actual swearing-in?"

According to the book, Bannon criticized the 2016 Trump Tower meeting involving campaign officials, Donald Trump Jr. and some Russians - calling it "treasonous" and "unpatriotic". He said the committee expects to have Bannon return for more questioning.

A second subpoena for Mr. Bannon to testify came from a House panel on Tuesday.

Congress is holding its own inquiry into the allegations. "This is part of a judicially recognised process that goes back decades", Ms Sanders told reporters.

"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.

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