Profile picture
Seth Abramson @SethAbramson
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
BREAKING NEWS: Mueller Subpoenas Bannon…
2/ Four possibilities: Bannon tries to quash the subpoena and fails; Bannon ignores the subpoena and is found in contempt until he testifies; Bannon testifies and pleads the Fifth; Bannon testifies freely, under oath, and incriminates others.

The last is BY FAR the most likely.
3/ That said, the second-to-last possibility I just mentioned is the second-most likely (again, BY FAR). In that case, Bannon would try to cut a deal with Mueller prior to his testimony—which he'd ask Mueller to delay—so he could testify freely without fear of self-incrimination.
4/ What Mueller has done here is directly, publicly and dramatically punished the president for his aggressive self-distancing from Bannon. Mueller is subpoenaing Bannon at the very moment he knows Bannon has nothing left to lose and no loyalty to Trump. It's no accident, either.
5/ The two chief benefits of grand jury testimony versus an informal interview are that the former is under oath and without counsel, which severely limits there being any restrictions whatsoever on the questions.

And the grand jury can indict Bannon if he incriminates himself.
6/ But I think there's no reason to believe Bannon is one of Mueller's primary indictment targets. Rather, the timing of this subpoena suggests he wants to force Bannon into cutting a deal to incriminate others. And Bannon has previously implied he can incriminate Jared Kushner.
7/ So this subpoena is the legal equivalent of direct fire aimed at the president (metaphorically speaking). And the message Mueller is sending Trump is absolutely unmistakable (and chilling to Trump, undoubtedly): I'm coming for you and your family. So this changes some things.
8/ The already near-zero chance that Trump would voluntarily allow himself to be interviewed by Special Counsel Bob Mueller just went through the floor.

Almost certainly, we will now end up with a prolonged legal battle to see if Mueller can get Trump before a grand jury.
9/ I think Mueller may have held off on a Bannon subpoena had he thought he could get Trump to come in for a voluntary interview over the next few weeks. I suspect he took Trump's statements about an interview being "unlikely" as his signal to proceed with a subpoena for Bannon.
10/ What's striking here is that Mueller subpoenaed Bannon without first seeking an informal interview—that's what suggests that there's a strategy behind this rather than Mueller merely wanting to speak to Bannon, which he probably could've gotten through a voluntary interview.
11/ So either Bannon already turned down a voluntary interview or Mueller thinks he has enough evidence to indict Bannon for something and therefore he knows this subpoena will force Bannon to the negotiating table (on a deal to testify against others above him in the hierarchy).
12/ It could be that Mueller wanted to cut off at the pass a possible future detente between Trump and Bannon—which Trump might immediately seek if he knew Bannon was about to go in for an interview. With a subpoena, Bannon is unambiguously a witness in a criminal investigation.
13/ So a subpoena, unlike a voluntary interview, could scare Bannon into a plea deal *and* more effectively scare Trump from trying to secretly approach him for a detente (which would undoubtedly be Witness Tampering, at that point).
14/ But this subpoena only hurts Mueller's chances of convincing Trump to come in for a voluntary interview—which fact both Trump and Mueller know—which means either Mueller has already given up on that possibility or he wants Trump under oath before a grand jury no matter what.
Missing some Tweet in this thread?
You can try to force a refresh.

Like this thread? Get email updates or save it to PDF!

Subscribe to Seth Abramson
Profile picture

Get real-time email alerts when new unrolls are available from this author!

This content may be removed anytime!

Twitter may remove this content at anytime, convert it as a PDF, save and print for later use!

Try unrolling a thread yourself!

how to unroll video

1) Follow Thread Reader App on Twitter so you can easily mention us!

2) Go to a Twitter thread (series of Tweets by the same owner) and mention us with a keyword "unroll" @threadreaderapp unroll

You can practice here first or read more on our help page!

Did Thread Reader help you today?

Support us! We are indie developers!

This site is made by just three indie developers on a laptop doing marketing, support and development! Read more about the story.

Become a Premium Member and get exclusive features!

Premium member ($3.00/month or $30.00/year)

Too expensive? Make a small donation by buying us coffee ($5) or help with server cost ($10)

Donate via Paypal Become our Patreon

Thank you for your support!