Call it Terrible Tuesday for the White House. As the administration continues to deal with the fallout from comments Donald Trump made last week in reference to immigrants from “shithole” countries, news comes that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has formally subpoenaed former chief political strategist Steve Bannon.
According to The New York Times:
“Some legal experts said the subpoena could be a sign that the investigation was intensifying, while others said it may simply have been a negotiating tactic to persuade Mr. Bannon to cooperate with the investigation. The experts also said it could be a signal to Mr. Bannon, who has tried to publicly patch up his falling-out with the president, that despite Mr. Trump’s legal threats, Mr. Bannon must be completely forthcoming with investigators.”
No matter how you parse the fact that Bannon will now either have to appear before a grand jury or for an interview with members of Mueller’s team, one thing is clear: Mueller is drawing closer to the Oval Office and Donald Trump with each passing day. The Mueller team has already questioned numerous current and former White House officials, but Bannon, who has been publicly disowned by the president for comments he made to author Michael Wolff, which also cost Bannon his job as head of Breitbart News.
Now that he’s been kicked to the curb, Bannon has nothing to lose, and that’s should scare the hell out of Trump and his legal team. And a subpoena allows Bannon to spill his guts while also claiming he had no choice. As Solomon L. Wisenberg, a prosecutor for the independent counsel that investigated Bill Clinton, noted:
“By forcing someone to testify through a subpoena, you are providing the witness with cover because they can say, ‘I had no choice — I had to go in and testify about everything I knew.'”
What Bannon knows either first or secondhand could prove devastating to Trump. He was there for the firing of former FBI Director James Comey and also aware of the lies told surrounding the firing of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.
The Russia investigation just went into overdrive, and it now looks like Donald Trump’s days in the White House may be numbered. Buckle up!