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) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign.

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Rep. Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffFlynn urged Russian diplomat to have 'reciprocal' response to Obama sanctions, new transcripts show The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - George Floyd's death sparks protests, National Guard activation Hillicon Valley: Trump signs order targeting social media legal protections | House requests conference with Senate after FISA vote canceled | Minneapolis systems temporarily brought down by hackers 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.