Steve Bannon subpoenaed in Russian investigation, Fox News reports

Wikimedia Commons 
    Michael Wolff's book

Himes said he was not familiar with an individual using executive privilege as it relates to conversations with the president-elect, or conversations that don't involve the president.

However, the summons could be a tactic to induce Bannon to cooperate fully with Mueller's investigation, the paper said.

The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump's inner circle.

"The subpoena is a sign that Mr. Bannon is not personally the focus of the investigation". It was revealed last week that Mueller told Trump's lawyers of his desire to question the president as part of his investigation at some point.

Trump's mental health and acuity have been a subject of fierce discussion since the publication of Michael Wolff's book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House.

Bannon was on Capitol Hill testifying before the House Intelligence Committee when the news broke that Mueller had issued the subpoena for the now-estranged associate of President Donald Trump to testify before a grand jury.

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He was quoted as calling a meeting in June 2016 between Mr Trump's son Donald Jr and a group of Russians "treasonous". The reported subpoena of Bannon does not mean he is a target of Mueller's criminal investigation.

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Mueller is also investigating whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired former Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, who was heading the agency's Russian Federation probe before Mueller was appointed, over Trump's objections, to take over the investigation.

Bannon a year ago had largely avoided the scrutiny of congressional investigators, who instead focused much of their energy on trying to secure interviews with top witnesses like Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Committee members grilled Mr Bannon as part of their investigation into Russian election inference, and also wanted answers from him about Mr Trump's thinking when he fired FBI Director James Comey. Bannon did not speak to reporters before entering the meeting and Mueller has yet to comment.

The White House defended consulting with Bannon's legal representatives prior to Tuesday's closed door hearing. He said the committee plans to call Mr Bannon back for a second interview. They want to retake the House.

"You realize where this is going", says Bannon in the book. Bannon apologized a few days later, but was stripped of his job leading the pro-Trump news site Breitbart News.

Bannon, who served as President Donald Trump's chief strategist until he departed the White House in August, could end up being interviewed by Mueller's team before the end of the month, according to one source who agreed to discuss the matter on the condition of anonymity.

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