Looks Like Steve Bannon Might Be The Next White House Figure To Lawyer Up

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Steve Bannon of Breitbart

If Breitbart CEO turned White House strategist Steve Bannon is under investigation for obstruction of justice, as former Clinton White House staffer Claude Taylor claims, then we can expect him to “lawyer up” soon.

Taylor is controversial, but his sources have been correct about many things, such as the existence of two federal grand juries in Virginia that are looking into different aspects of the Trump-Russia scandals.

Furthermore, Bannon has a history of violence, a reputation for loud, authoritarian management, ideological ties to Russia, and an oversight role in the Trump campaign’s digital partner, Cambridge Analytica. So while Taylor’s report remains uncorroborated and unconfirmed, it is entirely too plausible.

Taylor disclosed the morsel of information in a pair of tweets yesterday afternoon.

The acronym “EDVA” is short for the Eastern District of Virginia, the federal court jurisdiction where a grand jury has been looking into disgraced national security advisor Michael Flynn and potential crimes related to him. Taylor was the first to acknowledge this grand jury’s existence on Twitter.

It is important to note here that Donald Trump reportedly fired FBI Director James Comey against Bannon’s advice, initiating the sequence of events that has led to Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation. The consistent picture here is of Bannon trying to protect his agenda while still pursuing his own ambitions.

Bannon has allegedly massaged the situation to his advantage all along. As Joe Scarborough acknowledged once again Friday morning, most of the damaging leaks about Trump son in law Jared Kushner seem to have come from Bannon or Reince Priebus, the president’s chief of staff. Those headlines have relieved much of the pressure on Bannon, who began to lose favor in early February and was clearly on the outs by April.

Bannon seems to have calculated that he could restore his prominence within the administration while simultaneously waging a public relations fight to preserve the Trump presidency sans Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner. Again, all of this is perfectly in line with Bannon’s long-established patterns of throwing people under the bus to win power.

A little while after his first tweets, Taylor clarified the report and followed up.

Everything here rings true. Steve Bannon is a bully, and his bullying is most explosive with women. He blocked Dana Loesch’s exit from the website, for example, forcing the conservative writer and talker to sue Breitbart News in order to get released from her contract.

According to those who have left Breitbart in recent years, Bannon is an awful, controlling boss. Former Breitbart editor at large Ben Shapiro says he inspires actual terror in subordinates. Emphasis mine:

He is a vindictive, nasty figure, infamous for verbally abusing supposed friends and threatening enemies. Bannon is a smarter version of Trump: he’s an aggressive self-promoter who name-drops to heighten his profile and woo bigger names, and then uses those bigger names as stepping stools to his next destination. Trump may be his final destination. Or it may not. He will attempt to ruin anyone who impedes his unending ambition, and he will use anyone bigger than he is – for example, Donald Trump – to get where he wants to go.

Bannon has never actually stopped communicating with Breitbart News, either. In fact, Trump recently signed a dubious ethics waiver that seems entirely aimed at excusing that behavior. So it’s worth remembering that the FBI is reportedly looking into Breitbart as part of its counterintelligence investigation — just one of many tantalizing reports that lead back to Bannon.

For he also sat on the board of Cambridge Analytica, one of the two data firms paid tens of millions of dollars by the Trump campaign. Its principal owner is Robert Mercer, the racist right wing hedge fund billionaire who bankrolled Trump’s super PACs and campaign. The subject of many rumors concerning potential collusion with Russian “active measures,” Cambridge Analytica had a somewhat combative relationship with Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director, who has also come under investigation by the House Intelligence Committee.

Finally, Bannon has deep philosophical alignments with Russia. He’s a huge fan of Alexander Dugin and his “brand of Russian mystical conservative nationalism known as Eurasianism, which is the closest the Kremlin has to a state ideology,” Reuters reporter Joshua Roberts says. “Eurasianism proclaims that Russia’s destiny is to lead all Slavic and Turkic people in a grand empire to resist corrupt Western values.” To court the approval of American evangelicals, Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as a global leader in conservative values.

Breitbart visibly gravitated towards Putinism under Bannon. For example, Breitbart contributor and veteran anti-LGBT activist Austin Ruse has taken part in the World Congress of Families, an international hate group that works to pass anti-gay laws around the world — and also pushes a pro-Russian agenda. Bannon also elevated Michael Flynn before he ever went to Russia.

Again, Claude Taylor is the only source for this story. But his assertions about the federal grand jury looking at Steve Bannon are completely credible, while the details of his allegation are perfectly in character. So keep an eye out for reports that Bannon has hired an attorney — and bear in mind that he probably knows the underlying narrative of this scandal better than almost anyone.

Bannon is an original gangsta Trump disciple. Would he flip on Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions, and Jared Kushner? If his freedom depended on it, he would not hesitate. And what a tale he could likely tell.


Featured image via Don Irvine Flickr under Creative Commons license

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