Steve Bannon expected to meet with House Intel Committee

President Donald Trump laughs during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington. Trump has proven himself an unconventional leader time and time again in his first year in office. (AP P

U.S. President Donald Trump's former chief strategist Steve Bannon has been subpoenaed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify before a grand jury in a probe into alleged ties between Russian Federation and Trump's 2016 presidential campaign, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

The move marked the first time Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Trump's inner circle. Mueller is likely to allow Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel's offices about ties between Trump's associates and Russian Federation and about the president's conduct in office, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case.

Investigators could also seek to question Bannon about Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey, even though he was not present at the time, or the president's drafting of Trump Jr.'s statement about the June 2016 meeting, where he was also not present.

Mr Bannon was quoted in the book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, as calling a meeting between Trump campaign staff and a Russian lawyer "treasonous".

Mueller's Russia investigation has most significantly led to the dismissal of Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI over meetings he had with Russian officials.

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Bannon was sacked by the White House in August and returned to the right-wing news website Breitbart News.

"The three senior guys in the campaign thought it was a good idea to meet with a foreign government inside Trump Tower in the conference room on the 25th floor - with no lawyers", Bannon said, according to Wolff. But that doesn't mean they're in his camp against the president: Seventy-eight percent of the Breitbart readers say they're on Trump's side, and just 2 percent that they're on Bannon's.

News of the subpoena came on the same day that Bannon testified before the House Intelligence Committee about what he witnessed when he worked on the Trump campaign between August 2016 and November 2016.

A source familiar with the matter said Bannon was issued subpoena by House committee after refusing to disclose information from the time period of the transition and White House, as first reported by Fox News.

It also comes on the heels of a public rift between Mr Bannon and the President, after the former strategist criticised the Trump administration to the author of a tell-all book on the White House.

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