Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon escaped his last legal tussle with a pardon from the former president, an option that he is highly unlikely to have repeated with his latest indictment. His new legal turmoil just got even more precarious with the news that the attorney representing him in his contempt of Congress case has asked to be removed from representing Bannon. The right-wing firebrand is currently charged with two counts of contempt for refusing to cooperate with the House Select Committee in its investigation of the events leading up to the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Attorney Robert Costello, who represented Bannon up until now, told the court:
“Since it appears there will be a trial, and since it appears that at this point in time I might be called as a witness, I must reluctantly ask the Court to grant my request.”
The request was Costello’s removal as Bannon’s counsel.
Steve Bannon is the first of only two of ex-President Donald Trump’s inner circle to be indicted by the Justice Department. Despite Bannon employing stall tactic after stall tactic, his July 18 trial is still on the docket. His attempts to claim executive privilege failed because he wasn’t employed at the White House when his former boss incited the insurrection. It was that same boss who recently attempted to throw Bannon under the bus in a futile attempt to waive executive privilege that it was no longer his to waive.
Trump can consider all he wants, but it's a waste of time. 1. Not his privilege to waive. It is @POTUS'. 2. No privilege for ex-employee or for talk about crime as in #Watergate. 3. National interest supercedes privilege as it dud for Nixon tapes. https://t.co/feyuxsHP7U
— Jill Wine-Banks (@JillWineBanks) July 9, 2022
House Select Committee Chair Bennie Thompson (D-MS) disputed Bannon’s claim of executive privilege – which Bannon never proved that he was given by Trump – in a letter to his legal team.
“Even if your client had been a senior aide to the President during the time period covered by the contemplated testimony, which he was most assuredly not, he is not permitted by law to the type of immunity you suggest that Mr. Trump has requested he assert,” Rep. Thompson wrote.
After Bannon’s attempts to have his case dismissed were denied by the District Court of D.C., Costello cited his reasons for recusal as being a “potential witness” in the Justice Department’s case against his client.
In April, Bannon had blamed defying the select committee’s subpoenas on his attorney’s advice.
While receiving a Hail Mary pardon for his role in the Build The Wall scam before Trump left office, it appears that this time Bannon won’t be so lucky. After the abandonment by the false King that he allied himself with — and now the desertion by his legal counsel — the future doesn’t look bright for the conspiracy-theory-pushing grifter.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick