Bannon offers up Priebus to ‘sing’ to Mueller

There are reports that ousted White House chief strategist Steve Bannon wants former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus to testify to Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller on the chain of events that led to President Donald Trump firing FBI director James Comey. Bannon is apparently aware that it was Kushner and First Daughter Ivanka Trump that convinced the president to fire Comey at a family get-together at Trump’s Bedminister, New Jersey, golf club this past May. According to a Vanity Fair article, presidential aide Stephen Miller, who has cultivated a close relationship with Kushner, was also at the Bedminster meeting.

If these reports are true, Priebus’s information could prove as devastating to Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner as White House counsel John Dean’s information to the Watergate investigators was to Richard Nixon. Trump and Kushner may have created in Bannon and Priebus two unrelenting hostile witnesses against Trump for Mueller’s investigators. Both top White House officials were unceremoniously fired by Trump, creating an alliance of two men who had previously represented entirely different wings of the Republican Party: Bannon and his Breitbart News and alt-right nationalists and Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, and his mainstream GOP big business free traders. As a united force, Bannon and Priebus figure they can serve a “cold dish of revenge” to Kushner, Ivanka, and Miller.

Trump fired Comey, without prior warning, on May 9. Trump’s firing of Comey led to the present investigation by Mueller of various aspects concerning the Trump presidential campaign. The investigation expanded to include the finances of Trump’s and his family’s various businesses, including the likelihood that Trump and Kushner properties have been used for international money laundering by criminal syndicates, with the knowledge of Donald Trump and Jared Kushner.

Mueller’s investigation is also focused on the international business dealings of Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and the former national security adviser, retired Lt. General Michael Flynn. Testimony by Priebus before one or both of the grand juries now impaneled in Alexandria, Virginia, and Washington, DC, could speed up Mueller’s investigation.

WMR was among the first outlets to report that Mueller’s focus was not on reports of Russian intelligence involvement in the 2016 presidential campaign but on the dubious business activities of the Trump and Kushner families.

Having the former Republican chairman and White House chief of staff testify as a cooperating witness before Mueller’s investigators would send a shock wave through the White House, particularly if Bannon’s Breitbart begins leaking out details of Priebus’s sworn testimony. Although prosecutors would rather not have grand jury witnesses revealing what they said under oath and without their attorneys present, there are no legal prohibitions against it. And that “strategy” may be what’s up Bannon’s sleeve in coaxing Priebus to testify. Bannon has a vendetta against Jared and Ivanka, whom he refers to as “Javanka,” and the Priebus angle is only the first volley in what stands to become a major political battle within Republican ranks.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright © 2017

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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