Former White House chief strategist and Trump campaign chief Steve Bannon has reportedly been ordered to testify as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation — the first instance of a close Trump staffer or confidante being bound by a grand jury subpoena.
FBI agents, at the time unaware that Bannon had retained lawyer William Burck the same day, arrived at his house in Washington, D.C., to serve him with the subpoena, people familiar with the events told NBC News. Burck is also representing two other witnesses involved in Mueller's probe into possible contacts between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia.
The court order, which arrived last week, was first reported by The New York Times on Tuesday.
It isn't surprising that Mueller would want to interview a figure who had as much access as Bannon, experts say, even if only to corroborate the information the special counsel's team already gathered. Now, the question becomes: What is Mueller trying to get out of Bannon?
"It's a fishing expedition to see if Bannon can provide them with confirmatory evidence regarding the firing of [former F.B.I. Director James] Comey and obstruction of justice," said David Shapiro, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice with FBI experience and a financial crimes specialization. "That might be the stronger charge here, rather than Russian collusion."