Thursday, January 18, 2018

Making Bannon Snitch On Trumpanzee


Tuesday I was in a hospital waiting room with a TV tuned to CNN when Bannon waddled into a closed door congressional hearing. I noticed that "Sloppy Steve" was wearing a coat and tie. I didn't know he owned a tie. Maybe he borrowed one. That night it was all over the news that he refused-- for 10 hours-- to answer any substantive questions from members of the House Intelligence Committee, even after they served him with a subpoena. Democrat Adam Schiff described the escapade as "a gag order by the White House." Even after the subpoena was served, according to Schiff, Bannon "was instructed by the White House to refuse again to answer any questions concerning the time during the transition and his time in the administration... The scope of this assertion of privilege-- if that’s what it is-- is breathtaking. It goes well beyond anything we’ve seen in this investigation." The White House once again claimed it is “fully cooperative” with the Putin-Gate investigation.

Bannon confirmed that last week he had been served with a subpoena by Mueller and that he would cooperate with that investigation, further infuriating members of the Intelligence Committee, including Republicans. With Intel Committee chair Devin Nunes recused from participating, acting head Mike Conaway (R-TX) adjourned the hearing with the proviso it would be back in session-- with Bannon-- today.

So what do Mueller the congressional investigators want from Bannon? He was part of the regime when Trump decided to fire Comey. They want him to help them prove the very likely obstruction of justice charges in the impeachment process. The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff reported that "executive privilege-- the president’s right to keep certain information from the public so he can have frank conversations with aides-- will not keep Steve Bannon from sharing information with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team," since Mueller is part of the Executive branch.

A report from Kyle Cheney in Politico late Tuesday had silly members of Congress claiming they will force Bannon to disgorge the information he has. They didn't specify how. Water boarding? The iron maiden? The rack? The brazen bull? The garrote? Brown rats? Pear of anguish? Boiling in oil? No dinner? I guess they could lock him in the congressional basement and play Nickelback, Justin Bieber or the Jonas Brothers really loud all night 'til he stops stonewalling.

"We’re going to get answers from Mr. Bannon," said Rep. Mike Conaway of Texas, the top Republican on the committee's probe of Russian interference in the presidential election.

Tensions flared early in the proceedings after Bannon informed the committee that he was refusing to answer any questions about his time in the White House or on the post-election transition, infuriating Democrats and Republicans on the panel, who subpoenaed him on the spot, according to a source familiar with the interview.

...Bannon was behind closed doors with committee members and staff for more than 10 hours. Schiff said much of the time was spent negotiating the parameters of his testimony. Conaway recessed the interview after 8 p.m., and he declined to say whether he would pursue additional steps, such as holding Bannon in contempt or issuing a further subpoena for documents.

Schiff and Conaway confirmed that Bannon and the White House didn't specifically assert executive privilege to avoid answering questions, but rather suggested that some of the answers could potentially infringe upon executive privilege. Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a similar case when he declined to answer some questions he had received from lawmakers in various ongoing Russia probes.

But Bannon also refused to discuss conversations he may have had with Trump even after he left the White House in August, Schiff said. And a source familiar with the interview added that lawmakers were perplexed at Bannon's suggestion that the transition period-- when Trump wasn't yet in office-- could be subject to executive privilege claims.

The decision by Republicans and Democrats to subpoena Bannon represented unusual bipartisan pushback for a committee that has recently been mired in partisan discord. And Bannon's appearance came just weeks after a falling-out with Trump over comments Bannon made in an explosive new book.

  ...The source familiar with the interview said Republican lawmakers-- including Conaway and former federal prosecutor Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina-- were also frustrated that Bannon was not more forthcoming.

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At 6:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, it's horse shit that republicans are anything but pleased that bannon stonewalled.

Congressional committees have brought all manner of nefarious motherfuckers guilty of everything from fellatio to treason to trillions in finance fraud for sham investigations. Nothing is ever discovered, nobody ever gets punished and the congresswhores go on endorsing the checks they get from the same corporations and billionaires.

And that is how it works... or does not work.

All congressional "investigations" are political theatre... most of it is really bad theatre. Everyone should know this. And DWT should not waste space reporting on it.

At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bannon thinks he's playing everyone for the fools he believes them to be. If they don't find a way to get him to tell what he knows, he'll be proven correct about them.

At 12:50 PM, Anonymous Hone said...

Let's hope he "cracks like an egg" with Mueller.

We are living a a farce.

Bannon should either claim executive privilege or answer, or be held in contempt.


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