The Man of the Hour

#DimensionTrump | #WhatTheyVotedFor

Political strategist Stephen Bannon speaks at a Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore campaign rally in Midland City, Alabama, 11 December 2017. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

The triple-bylined exclusive from The Daily Beast opens like sublime comedy:

Steve Bannon is lawyering up as he gets ready to face investigators looking into the Trump-Russia nexus.

The Daily Beast has learned that the former top White House strategist has retained Bill Burck, of the firm Quinn Emanuel. Two sources tell us Burck is helping Bannon prepare for an interview with the House intelligence committee, which is currently scheduled for next week. Sources also said Bannon plans to “fully cooperate” with investigators.

Puti TootsBurck also represents White House Counsel Don McGahn and former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus for the purposes of the Russia probe ....

(Woodruff, Markay, and Suebsaeng)

To the one, this ought to be in some manner artistically appreciable; to the other, we cannot reiterate enough that as much as Mr. Bannon needs to testify under oath, and about more than simply his time with the Trump campaign, neither, really, can he be trusted. That is to say, spectacularly flaming paragon of right-wing cynicism he might be, Steve Bannon not only can be expected to throw the House Intelligence Committee, and thus the entire Beltway, into chaos, but virtually cannot fail to discredit Congressional inquiries into the #TrumpRussia affair.

Or, as Brad Reed summarizes for Raw Story:

Republican strategist Cheri Jacobus speculated on Thursday that Bannon was planning to crush Trump in the Russia probe after the president was instrumental in getting Bannon fired from Breitbart and his Sirius XM radio program, as well as convincing the wealthy Mercer family to stop funding Bannon’s campaigns.

“Bannon and others who ‘know too much’ can be dangerous to a president with a few too many secrets,” she wrote. “Trump would be wise to heed this advice: Never put anyone in a position where they’ve got nothing left to lose.”

Naturally, it is easy enough to chuckle at USA Todayα; of course the Republican strategist speculated; of course the sensationalist editorial page ran with it:

Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser for veterans organizations, 28 January 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc)Let that sink in for a moment. When Bannon promoted white nationalism, misogyny, an accused child molester, severe online bullying and conspiracy theories, he was a king to the right-wing media, Trump and most of the Republicans in Congress. But when he dared to tell the truth, when confirmation from an insider could help save the country from the danger, Bannon was cut out like a member of Tony Soprano’s “family” who turned state’s evidence.

Expectations tend to run somewhere in the range of hellfire shitshow, but remember, this is a closed-door interview about only part of Bannon’s time and activities with Donald Trump, conducted by members of or staffers from a Republican-controlled House Committee showing actual antipathy toward investigating the Trump-Russia affair. We might check our expectations on the front side, and remember throughout that President Trump, and therefore Republicans, would seem to prefer any spectacle that might lend to perceptions of delegitimization of the investigative process as screeching, scorching politicking.

____________________

α Ijeoma Oluo’s tale of what happened when USA Today asked her to write a column is illuminating; the newspaper appreciates relies on a certain degree of indignity.

Image notes: Top — Political strategist Stephen Bannon speaks at a Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore campaign rally in Midland City, Alabama, 11 December 2017. (Reuters/Carlo Allegri)  Middle — Protest image of Vladimir Putin.  Middle — Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser for veterans organizations, 28 January 2016, in Des Moines, Iowa. (Detail of photo by Mark Peterson/Redux for msnbc)

Jacobius, Cheri. “Bannon’s brutal ouster from Trump and Breitbart circles should frighten Americans”. USA Today.

Oluo, Ijeoma. “Due Process Is Needed For Sexual Harassment Accusations — But For Whom?” The Establishment. 30 November 2017.11 January 2018.

Reed, Brad. “Steve Bannon lawyers up amid speculation that he’ll turn on Trump in the Russia probe” Raw Story. 11 January 2018.

Woodruff, Betsy, Lachlan Markay, and Asawin Suebsaeng. “Steve Bannon Lawyers Up… as Russia Investigators Get Ready to Pounce”. The Daily Beast. 11 January 2018.

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