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Published: Wed, January 17, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Russian investigation, Fox News reports

Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Russian investigation, Fox News reports

Former White House adviser Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed to give evidence before a grand jury for the special counsel's Russian Federation investigation, The New York Times has reported.

"Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel's offices in Washington, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case".

What is Mr Mueller investigating?

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon speaks during a rally for United States senate hopeful Roy Moore. Mueller is likely to allow Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel's offices about ties between Trump's associates and Russian Federation and about the president's conduct in office, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case.

Mr Bannon and his representatives are yet to comment.

Fox News reports, citing sources, that Bannon's subpoena requires him to appear before a grand jury investigating the alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

While Bannon has derided Comey's dismissal as a dumb move, his comments about the meeting between Donald Trump, Jr., and a Russian lawyer came out in a new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. The Times reported, however, that even Bannon's secondhand knowledge could be compared to testimony from those Mueller has already interviewed. He was also not present for the controversial firing of Mr Trump's former Federal Bureau of Investigation director, James Comey.

Other top Trump staffers - including former chief-of-staff Reince Priebus, press secretary Sean Spicer and White House counsel Don McGrath - have had informal interviews with the special counsel team.

Bannon, 64, was a powerful figure in the Trump election campaign and the White House in the early months of Trump's presidency, pushing a hard-line nationalism aimed at shaking up U.S. domestic and foreign policy. Mr Bannon stepped down from his role as chief executive of Breitbart News shortly thereafter. The special counsel previously issued a grand jury subpoena for documents related to Mr Flynn's business dealings.

Former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti said when he does testify before the grand jury, which will be without his attorney present, "it will be easier to catch Bannon off-guard and receive truthful answers".

Mr Trump's campaign and transition teams have been accused of colluding with Russian agents to influence the USA election in the Republican candidate's favour.

Asked last week if he would sit down for an interview with Mr Mueller, the President replied simply: "We'll see what happens".

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