House intel panel interviewing Bannon after his fall from grace

Investigators from the House Intelligence Committee will interview Steve Bannon in closed session Tuesday as part of their investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election.

The committee will likely want to hear mostly about the evaluation of Donald Trump Jr and Jared Kushner that Bannon shared with author Michael Wolff for his book Fire and Fury, which quoted Bannon as saying that “money laundering” was at the heart of the investigation and that Don Jr would “crack like an egg on national TV.”

His interview follows his dramatic fall from power after being quoted in a book that he sees the president’s son and others as engaging in “treasonous” behavior for taking a meeting with Russians during the 2016 campaign.

In Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury,” Bannon accuses Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of essentially betraying the nation by meeting with a group of Russian lawyers and lobbyists who they believed were ready to offer “dirt” on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

More recently, Bannon has said he was not referring to Trump Jr. but rather to Manafort. Wolff stands by his account.

After the anti-Trump book’s release, the president quickly repudiated “Sloppy Steve Bannon” and argued largely there was no evidence of collusion between his presidential campaign and individuals tied to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Bannon apologized a few days later, but stepped down from his job leading the news site Breitbart.

Steve Bannon last year had largely avoided the scrutiny of congressional investigators, who instead focused much of their energy on trying to secure interviews with top witnesses like Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

But Bannon played a critical role in the campaign, the presidential transition and the White House — all during times now under scrutiny from congressional investigators looking for possible evidence of a connection between Trump’s operations and Russia.

Bannon recently retained the same lawyer being used by former Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus and White House general counsel Don McGahn.

The House Intelligence Committee is running toward a completion of its interviews in its Russia probe. The final result could be marred by partisan infighting, which has some segments discussing the likelihood that the GOP on the panel will issue one set of findings and the Democrats will issue their own seperate report.

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