U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon declines to comply with a subpoena ordering him to answer questions from a House intelligence panel about his time at the White House as part of its investigation into allegations of Russian interference in the U.S. election.
Those key elements bear directly on the criminal investigation now underway by special counsel Robert Mueller, who is charged with investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation and whether the president obstructed justice by firing Comey or by taking other actions to thwart investigators.
"We expect to have Mr. Bannon back in, we hope very soon, with a different position by the White House", Schiff said.
Bannon a year ago 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.
Late on Tuesday, Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the committee, said Mr Bannon's refusal to answer those questions came at the instruction of the White House. Mr. Bannon did not address reporters, and a spokesman for Mr. Mueller did not respond to messages seeking comment.
However the summons could be a negotiating tactic by Mr Mueller to persuade Mr Bannon to agree to be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel's offices in Washington, the paper's source added.
"He's quoted in "Fire and Fury" calling Trump's son, Don Jr., 'treasonous", and "unpatriotic" for taking a meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
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Since the book's release, Bannon stepped down as the head of Breitbart News.
Lawmakers will likely question him about comments attributed to him in Michael Wolff's book "Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House". Mr Flynn later pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The special counsel is reportedly preparing to interview Mr Trump as well.
Mr Trump responded to the book by distancing himself from Mr Bannon, claiming his former top adviser had little to do with the administration or the campaign's victory. When asked in an interview with The Wall Street Journal whether his break with Mr. Bannon was "permanent", the president replied, "I don't know what the word "permanent" means".
President Donald Trump publicly criticized Bannon for his comments, saying the former strategist had "lost his mind".
Mr. Trump has a history of reaching out to people he has fired, including those under investigation, directly or indirectly, as he did with Mr. Flynn after he was dismissed and before he struck a plea deal with Mr. Mueller's investigators. Mr. Burck also represents several current and former administration officials who have been interviewed as witnesses by Mr. Mueller's investigators.
Matt Apuzzo and Ali Watkins contributed reporting from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from NY.