President Donald Trump's ousted chief strategist Steve Bannon is pitching the White House on a plan intended to "cripple" special counsel Robert Mueller and protect the president.
The Washington Post reported Wednesday night that the people close to the erstwhile Breitbart executive say his plan has multiple stages. First: fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Second: stop cooperating with Mueller. Third: invoke "executive privilege," which would supposedly render all of the interviews Mueller's team has done with people close to the president "null and void."
The pitch may already be working. On Tuesday, CNN reported that Trump was considering firing Rosenstein to "check" Mueller — a move possibly in retaliation for the FBI raid on his personal attorney Michael Cohen's office and residences earlier this week, which came at the referral of the special counsel and was signed off on by the Justice Department.
Trump, Bannon told the Post, "wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege.
“It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process," the former adviser said, "and xecutive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”
Bannon himself attempted to invoke executive privilege when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in January. In response, House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said the fired Breitbart executive was attempting to invoke a form of executive privilege "that doesn’t exist and that no one’s ever heard of before."