The man hired to represent Donald Trump’s derailing presidential campaign allegedly roughed up his then-wife and then pressured her not to testify against him in the court.
As Politico reports, Breitbart News Chairman Stephen K. Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996, after he allegedly grabbed his second wife, Mary Louise Piccard, by the “throat and arm” and destroyed her phone when she tried to call 911.
The police report states the incident occurred in the couple’s Southern California home on the New Year’s Day. They were arguing over their finances when Bannon allegedly walked to his car. Piccard followed him and spat at him. He, in turn, responded by “reaching up to her from the driver's seat of his car and grabbed her left wrist. He pulled her down, as if he was trying to pull [her] into the car, over the door.”
Piccard removed herself from Bannon’s grip and ran inside the house to contact the police, according to the testimony. However, Bannon “jumped over her” and their young daughter to snatch the phone and smash it. When the Santa Monica police finally showed up, it reportedly took them some time to calm the Piccard.
Moreover, it was not the first time Bannon had allegedly attacked his wife. Piccard told the authorities he was occasionally physically abusive toward her early in their relationship.
The court dropped the charges after Piccard failed to testify against Bannon, though she filed for divorce in January 1997. The documents obtained by The New York Post claim her former husband had told her to leave the area.
In fact, Bannon’s attorney threatened her that she “would have no money [and] no way to support the children” if she testified against him. The couple had twin daughters, born in 1995 three days after their wedding.
“He also told me that if I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty. I was told that I could go anywhere in the world,” Piccard said in the documents. “Because I was not present at the trial, the case was dismissed.”
Bannon pleaded “not guilty” to the allegations.
While neither Trump campaign CEO or the Republican nominee himself have committed on the matter, Bannon’s spokeswoman Alexandra Preate said in a statement that “the bottom line is he has a great relationship with the twins, he has a great relationship with the ex-wife, he still supports them.”
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Kevin Lamarque