Bannon Suggests A Plan For The White House To Weaken Mueller Probe

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Bannon allegedly advised the White House should stop providing information and allowing interviews of administration employees for the investigation.

 

Former White House Chief Strategist, Steve Bannon, who was ousted by the White House, has reportedly been making plans to weaken the Russian investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and has been giving ideas to protect President Donald Trump for the consequences of the constant probing into the White House, the Washington Post reported.

Despite being fired by Trump, Bannon has managed to keep in touch with the White House. According to Washington Post sources, the former strategist believes the first step to curb the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign will be firing Deputy Attorney General  Rod J. Rosenstein, who recently signed of a warrant for the F.B.I. to raid’s Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen’s residence and office.

Rosenstein also oversees the investigation conducted by the special counsel.

Trump’s legal team has so far co-operated with the Russian investigation. Bannon advised the White House should stop this practice of providing information and allowing interviews of administration employees, the source added.

Another suggestion allegedly made by Bannon is that the president should consider asserting executive privilege. He also stated that any information obtained through interviews of White House officials over the past year should not be admissible. 

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

Despite Bannon’s alleged plans to help the president, there is no news whether the president is aware of them. According to sources, the president, who said the former chief strategist “has lost his mind,” despises even the mention of his name.

“If you say his name in front of the president, it’s not a pretty sight. The president really goes off about him,” said a senior administration official.

However, these alleged suggestions by Bannon reflect on Trump’s base’s proclivity towards firing Mueller. The president recently, lamented about the possibility when asked if he could fire the special counsel. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also echoed Trump’s thoughts, claiming, he “certainly believes” he has the power to fire Mueller.

People close to Trump believe the investigation poses a huge threat to his presidency and leadership. The president himself slammed Mueller and the Russian investigation on Twitter, calling it “corrupt.”

 

 

 

Even though Trump might be unaware of Bannon’s plans— which have been allegedly conveyed only through back channels until now— sources close to him said he has discussed taking actions against the Russian investigation to save his presidency and only needs a slight push to fire Rosenstein.

However, Rosenstein’s potential firing could abate the Russian investigation massively. His removal could rescind the authority given to Mueller for the investigation and change its course entirely.

“Depending on how aggressive this person wanted to be, they could dismiss the criminal cases, they could get rid of the grand jury. In the end, if Trump is determined, the people he appoints could shut it down,” said Louis Seidman, a constitutional-law professor at Georgetown University.

Thumbnail Banner Credits: REUTERS/Carlos Barria

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