(National Sentinel) Undermine the Underminer: Former top political adviser to President Donald J. Trump, Steve Bannon, is said to be pitching a multi-pronged plan to help his former boss deal with the ever-expanding probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.
As reported by the National Post, the plan involves shaking up the higher echelons of the Justice Department and culling the availability of White House staffers to sit down with the special counsel:
Stephen Bannon, who was ousted as White House chief strategist last summer but has remained in touch with some members of President Donald Trump’s circle, is pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies to cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to four people familiar with the discussions.
The first step, these people say, would be for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees the work of special counsel Robert Mueller III and in recent days signed off on a search warrant of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Bannon is also recommending the White House cease its cooperation with Mueller, reversing the policy of Trump’s legal team to provide information to the special counsel’s team and to allow staff members to sit for interviews.
And he is telling associates inside and outside the administration that the president should create a new legal battleground to protect himself from the investigation by asserting executive privilege — and arguing that Mueller’s interviews with White House officials over the past year should now be null and void.
“The president wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege, Bannon told The Washington Post in an interview Wednesday. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”
The National Post reported that it wasn’t clear if our how much of Bannon’s advice would be taken by the president, though the former Breitbart chief said his plan would “cripple” Mueller’s probe.
“If you say his name in front of the president, it’s not a pretty sight,” said a senior administration official. “The president really goes off about him.”
The White House has said Trump has no plans to fire Mueller. Others who have offered advice to the president, both formally an informally, have said firing Mueller is within the authority of the president but not advisable.
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