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House panel gives Bannon another week to comply with subpoena

07 February 2018

Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon is reportedly likely to meet next week with special counsel Robert MuellerRobert Swan MuellerSasse: US should applaud choice of Mueller to lead Russian Federation probe MORE, who is investigating Russia's election interference.

"The White House's bar on Bannon's testimony covers matters during the transition, his tenure at the White House, and his communications with the President since leaving government service, even though the President has not in fact invoked executive privilege", Mr. Schiff said in a statement.

Bannon's attorney offered no comment on the subpoena requiring his client's appearance.

Bannon declined to answer the questions in light of executive privilege concerns, a claim of privilege Rep. Adam Schiff, the panel's top Democrat, called "breathtaking". He has, however, agreed to answer all of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's questions for the investigation.

The extension is the third time Bannon's interview has been postponed.

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Representative Mike Conaway of Texas, the top Republican in the intelligence panel's Russian Federation investigation, said on Monday evening that he was "not aware of any executive privilege" being invoked to allow Bannon to sidestep questions about his conversations with Trump. At issue is whether the White House will allow Bannon to answer questions about his time in the Trump administration.

"Should Bannon maintain his refusal to return and testify fully to all questions, the Committee should begin contempt proceedings to compel his testimony".

Committee members from both parties have denounced the White House's prohibitions, and stated that they could hold Bannon in contempt of Congress.

Bannon refused to answer questions about his time in the White House or on the president's transition team then as well, although he did make an apparent slip-up and admitted he spoke to several high-level White House staff members, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus, about the infamous meeting in Trump Tower that took place in July 2016, according to Axios.

"But again, I expect him to be here, expect him to answer the questions, and [we'll] go from there", Conaway said.

House panel gives Bannon another week to comply with subpoena