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Bannon attorney relayed questions to White House during House interview: report

Bannon attorney relayed questions to White House during House interview: report
© Greg Nash

An attorney for former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon reportedly relayed questions to the White House in real time while his client was testifying before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

The Associated Press reported Wednesday that Bannon's attorney Bill Burck was communicating with the White House counsel's office via phone to check on whether it would allow Bannon to answer certain questions.

It is not clear who Burck communicated with at the White House. Burck is also representing White House counsel Don McGahn in special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerWhy a special counsel is guaranteed if Biden chooses Yates, Cuomo or Jones as AG Barr taps attorney investigating Russia probe origins as special counsel CNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump MORE's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Overnight Defense: Administration says 'low to moderate confidence' Russia behind Afghanistan troop bounties | 'Low to medium risk' of Russia invading Ukraine in next few weeks | Intelligence leaders face sharp questions during House worldwide threats he Hillicon Valley: Biden administration sanctions Russia for SolarWinds hack, election interference MORE (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, had said that Bannon's counsel conferred with the White House on Tuesday after the congressional panel issued a subpoena for his testimony. 

Schiff, who described the effort as a "gag order by the White House," said Bannon "was instructed by the White House to refuse again to answer any questions concerning the time during the transition and his time in the administration.”

Bannon sat for a 10-hour, closed-door interview with the House Intelligence Committee, during which the former top Trump aide refused to answer questions about his time at the White House and on the presidential transition team.

Reports surfaced Tuesday that Bannon had also been subpoenaed to appear before a grand jury as part of Mueller's law enforcement investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow.

CNN reported Wednesday that Bannon had struck a deal with the special counsel's office, and would speak with investigators, rather than appear before a grand jury. Bannon is expected to cooperate with Mueller's team and openly answer questions.