Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is reportedly pressuring President Trump to “defang” Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump Russia probe by defunding it instead of firing him, according to a Politico report.
The problem with this, aside from the obvious ethical issues and the weird push to shutdown an investigation over Russia’s interference in the U.S. election when Trump and many Republicans claim it didn’t happen is that Bannon is currently the executive chair of Breitbart News.
Attorney Walter M. Shaub Jr., former head of the Office of Government Ethics, pointed out that if Bannon is doing this advising on behalf of Breitbart, it is a crime.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) October 31, 2017
The law Shaub is referring to has to do with restricting former officers or employees, including any special government employees, of the executive branch, from knowingly making any communication attempting to influence any officer or employee of any department on behalf of any other person except the United States.
According to a Politico report based on “several sources familiar with Bannon’s thinking”, Bannon is pushing Trump to defund Mueller’s investigation:
But former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is pushing Trump to take action against Mueller, urging him in particular to defund the investigation, according to several sources familiar with Bannon’s thinking – a move that would defang Mueller without the president formally firing him. Longtime Trump confidant Roger Stone told the Daily Caller that for the president appointing another special counsel – this one to investigate an Obama-era deal that allowed a Russian-owned company to take control of about a fifth of U.S. uranium extraction capacity – was his “only chance for survival.”
Chief of Staff John Kelly has already done Roger Stone’s bidding by calling for a special prosecutor to investigate Democrats, even though no rational person is suggesting there is any legitimate issue with Uranium One.
It’s fascinating to see the Party that for so long has claimed it owned patriotism now scrambling to subvert an investigation into Russia meddling with our democracy, what many have called an attack, an act of war against the United States.
This is what siding with Donald Trump has brought men like General John Kelly to. Or perhaps he was always party first. It must take a special kind of person to work for Trump in the first place.
All of this effort, some of it bordering on the criminal if not crossing over, to cover up an attack on the United States. That’s odd.
Why are they working so hard to defang an investigation into whether or not Donald Trump and or his campaign conspired with Russia in their attack on our country?
That Trump’s entourage would be so crude and obviously thuggish in their efforts to shut down law and order should surprise no one. They didn’t bother to familiarize themselves with the laws and basic understandings governing their positions, because they are used to operating in worlds where their power is virtually unchecked. To say they are not a good fit for a democracy is an understatement.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.