Speed Reads


Stephen Bannon just hired a lawyer

Despite once claiming that Russia intrigue is a "waste of time," it seems Stephen Bannon is starting to sweat the investigations into the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 election.

Bannon — the former White House chief strategist who recently resigned his post atop Breitbart News — will be interviewed next week by the House Intelligence Committee. The Daily Beast reported Thursday that in anticipation of his testimony, Bannon has hired Bill Burck, a Washington lawyer who The Daily Beast notes is also advising White House Counsel Don McGahn and President Trump's former chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

Both McGahn and Priebus have come under the microscope of the various investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign. Bannon's arrangement with Burck "covers only Bannon's role on Trump's campaign," The Washington Post explains, adding that the scope is limited to the House's Russia probe and does not include any potential cooperation with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's separate investigation.

The Post notes that Bannon didn't seek legal counsel at all until the House Intelligence Committee asked to interview him. The recent release of Michael Wolff's tell-all book Fire and Fury may inform at least some of the committee's interview with Bannon, as the former strategist was quoted describing a meeting held by Donald Trump Jr. with Russian individuals as "treasonous," as well as suggesting that Mueller's investigation will eventually home in on money laundering by Trump Jr., former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and the president's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner.