Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18, King James Version
Or, in the case of former chief strategist for President Donald Trump and former Breitbart chief Steve Bannon, pride goeth before a subpoena.
The fallout from Bannon’s participation in Michael Wolff’s book Fire and Fury had already had a thermonuclear impact on Bannon’s personal ambitions: he was excommunicated from the White House, cut off by his financial benefactor Rebekah Mercer, viciously mocked on Twitter by Trump as “Sloppy Steve” and a crybaby, forced to resign from his position at Breitbart, dumped by SiriusXM, and even preemptively rejected by Fox News.
Now, a report by Betsy Woodruff at The Daily Beast has revealed a potentially even more catastrophic consequence for Bannon’s unwise chatter to Wolff: putting him on the radar of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
According to Woodruff, a “lawyer close to Mueller’s investigation” told her that Mueller’s team had “indicated zero interest” in questioning Bannon before the book was released, and had not even requested to interview him.
One of Bannon’s quotes in the book reveals this was his expectation as well.
“I know no Russians, I don’t know nothin’ about nothin,’” said Bannon. “I’m not being a witness. I’m not hiring a lawyer.”
After the book’s contents became public, however, the situation changed — radically.
The FBI went to Bannon’s home on January 9 to deliver a subpoena to Bannon, and he quickly retained a lawyer. He faced questioning by the House Intelligence Committee on January 16, and is expected to be questioned by Mueller’s team by the end of the month.
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Follow Sarah Rumpf on Twitter: @rumpfshaker.