Bannon Flips, Agrees To Speak To Mueller

By on January 17, 2018
Steve Bannon

Reports came out Wednesday morning that Steve Bannon, former chief strategist to President Donald Trump, will cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

CNN is reporting that Bannon will be interviewed by prosecutors directly as part of the deal, meaning he would not have to testify before a federal grand jury. Sources tell the news agency that Bannon is expected to cooperate with the probe.

Previously, Mueller had issued a subpoena to Bannon that would have required Bannon to have testified in front of a grand jury. It was an unusual move for the Mueller investigation, one that Washington Post writer Aaron Blake suggested could have meant the investigation wanted to put more pressure on the former chief strategist.

“Basically, if Mueller has a juicy piece of inside info that he wants Bannon to respond to, he may want that exchange to take place in front of the grand jury so that Bannon feels pressured to respond more quickly and to be more forthcoming,” Blake wrote on Tuesday.

So what has changed between yesterday and today? If Bannon has that “juicy” information, and Mueller wanted to obtain it from him, why is Mueller no longer hoping to obtain it using a subpoena or a grand jury? The answer could be that Bannon has decided to be more forthcoming about that information — in other words, it could mean he’s “flipped” on Trump, which should have the president very worried.

All of this is speculation, of course, but it does fly in the face of Trump’s previous statements on the Russia investigation. He and his lawyers keep saying that the investigation will be wrapping up soon — but if Bannon, one of his formerly most trusted advisers in his inner circle, is ready to talk, all indications seem to point that just the opposite could be true, and that much more can be learned in the weeks and months ahead.