After one of the worst weeks that anyone in politics has ever had, Steve Bannon suddenly has nothing left to lose. His billionaire backer, his Breitbart site, and his satellite radio gig are all suddenly gone, thanks to his spat with his former pal Donald Trump. It’s not surprising to see that Bannon is preparing to get his revenge by cooperating in the Trump-Russia investigation. What is surprising is that, as given away by a move he made today, he’s already decided he’s cutting a deal with Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Bannon hired an attorney today to represent him in the Trump-Russia scandal, as he prepares to be called to testify before Congress. But he didn’t just hire any attorney. He hired the same guy who also represents former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and current White House Counsel Don McGahn in the scandal, according to the Daily Beast (link). The same attorney cannot represent different people in the same criminal investigation if those clients are in any danger of having competing legal interests.
Last week we learned from the New York Times that Priebus had been taking detailed personal notes about the Trump-Russia coverup all along (link), and that he voluntarily gave those notes to Mueller months ago. This means Priebus cut a formal or informal deal to flip on Trump. By extension it means McGahn must have done the same, or else their shared attorney would have had to immediately cut one of them loose. That same attorney could only be taking on Bannon as a client if Bannon is 100% set on cutting a formal or informal deal with Mueller as well. In other words, Bannon is flipping on Trump.
Now comes the question of what all Steve Bannon has to offer. Robert Mueller is already investigating Cambridge Analytica, the Donald Trump campaign’s voter data firm. Bannon just happened to be running that company before he took over the Trump campaign. Bannon may have evidence of Trump’s role in the Russia scandal during the campaign, and Trump’s role in the coverup after he took office. This could prove to be an even more significant development than Michael Flynn’s deal.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report