Steve Bannon Hires a Pardon Broker (and Rudy Giuliani Lawyer) to Replace His Competent Lawyer

Steve Bannon just filed notice of what lawyer will defend him in his SDNY prosecution for defrauding Trump chumps. He had been represented by the very competent Bill Burck. But after Bannon started making death threats against Anthony Fauci and Christopher Wray, Burck dropped him.

Instead, Bannon hired Robert Costello.

TO THE CLERK OF COURT AND ALL PARTIES OF RECORD: PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that Robert J. Costello of Davidoff Hutcher & Citron, LLP, with offices located at 605 Third Avenue, New York, New York 10158, hereby appears on behalf of Defendant Stephen Bannon.

Costello represents Rudy Giuliani in his many sordid influence peddling investigations.

He’s also the guy who tried to buy Michael Cohen’s silence with a pardon, an investigation that fairly obviously got referred under Mueller. I guess that makes it clear what Bannon’s defense strategy will be.

The problem is, SDNY is now on notice (if they weren’t already by Trump’s promises that “Bannon will be okay”). So they can simply share their case file with New York State, where fraud is also a crime.

I may be missing something but I don’t think Trump’s evil genius is on his A game.

46 replies
  1. Peterr says:

    “He’s also the guy who tried to buy Michael Cohen’s silence with a pardon.”

    Remind me again: how’d that work out for Cohen?


    “I may be missing something but I don’t think Trump’s evil genius is on his A game.”

    Marcy, I think that’s the understatement of 2020 – or Bannon’s PR game may be A rated, so as to disguise Bannon’s B- level evil genius game, and that’s just now becoming evident.

    • ducktree says:

      Okay, since you’ve brought it up, his “A” game is Abbott.

      Which leads to the obvious question: now that Costello is practicing on Rudy’s behalf in the 2nd Circuit (SDNY) ~ Who’s on 1st?

      [I’ll see myself out . . . ]

    • Eureka says:

      [My favorite line was “where fraud is also a crime.”]

      Speaking of Bannon’s reveal as the washed crank he is, has anyone else noticed in those ubiquitous Parler screenshots that they all sound like they’re just not into it? Same with lots of the twitter comments under some of the dumb Krakeny stuff. Something about it is devoid of emotion, of the heat required to care or act (and which would indicate any level of sincerity. In other words, there are lots of posters who really do NOT believe they unfairly or undemocratically lost the election — they are just going through the motions (accidental pun alert)). Now to be fair they’re surely radicalizing some more folks, and that’s a danger beyond whatever data they’re cultivating, harvesting. But these glimpses have shown me that we are in more of a sofa civil war than anything else. Bannon’s mystique is evaporating more quickly than Paul Ryan’s financial genius. So much of this theater is to own the libs (and GOPers who’ll happily subvert the Constitution) with fear. It’s kind of driving me nuts that the solutions are at once so simple yet seemingly impossible because of this growing social architecture.

      And of course add Parscale to the pantheon of fallen GOP mythos. They are all just cheaters bolstered by (super)computers and corrupted programs, added to the old-school brutish-force techniques.

        • Eureka says:

          Well now this is why exotic gasses are ruled out by the Geneva.

          They are not the most compliant with ceding cushion territory in any case.

          But you’ve sparked a different idea to evict the Clampetts (hmm, Klan pets?) from the White House: Cry, Havoc! and let slip a bunch of happy, slobbery, tail-waggers on the premises. Can you imagine Melanie at the thought of _dog hair_ on her “couture”? She won’t even let her clothes in the same washing machine as the Don’s. Trump trying to run away in his lifts (No! Stop trying to love meeeee)? Any remaining staff with souls left quietly, then openly, cheering? I’d watch this comedy.

        • Eureka says:

          Ooh, differently fiery but my grandfather had one of the ‘new’ multi-rocket launchers (one of the few amusing things about WWII). There’s Signal Corps footage out there somewhere (T43 Calliope). (They didn’t work very reliably — ended up being mostly for the show. Of fire.)

        • Eureka says:

          This is awesome and had escaped my attention, thanks.

          Honey bees are the best. (And are really smart communicators.)

        • pdaly says:

          Yes. And the article brings up the question whether honey bees, by manipulating the dung with their mouths, are tool users, a sign of higher intelligence.

        • Eureka says:

          Their behavior here certainly fits the definition (though historically they’ve made said definition a moving target to deny animal intelligence/maintain a notion of human uniqueness, lately there’s more of an embrace of animal smarts). And because bees are already vaunted as communicators*, their deployment of tools for same makes sense and is also probably more ‘acceptable’ to some who might otherwise wish to deny them a ‘tool-user’ designation.

          *I’m calling this “communication” sensu sending disruptive signals to the murder hornets.

        • Synoia says:

          Though historically they’ve made said definition a moving target to deny women intelligence.

          Please note I am NOT promoting that idea.

        • vvv says:

          “the question whether …, by manipulating the dung with their mouths, are tool users, a sign of higher intelligence.”

          Well, the question is still open as to certain recent white House press secretaries and FOX opinionates.

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        “Speaking of Bannon’s reveal as the washed crank he is”–Eureka! Eureka, didn’t you mean the *unwashed* crank? He reeka! Or looks like he does, as evidenced by the 1980s-style slimy hair and layers of shirts. (Disclosure: I sometimes put a tee on underneath my other shirts to keep in the steam from processing 2020.)

        • Eureka says:

          Oh I have a rather vivid notion of what that reek entails, courtesy of a neighbor who resembles Bannon in every way but the payola-enabled lifestyle (also, I’d call him ‘crispy’, as in fried, which subsumes the greasy element — esp. as he was when hauled off of what’s-his-name’s yacht). Please add the overlain waft of *cheap cologne* to your horrors, Ginevra. ;)

  2. Alan Charbonneau says:

    I recall Lucian Truscott’s article in which he referred to Bannon as a “human tapeworm”. The guy has a way with words.

  3. Chris.EL says:

    I elect Trump for glory-be tapeworm status; his head remains in the intestinal mucosa!

    Bannon, et al. constitute the little dispensable broken off pieces observed…
    This vivid “op-ed” style video with narration — even from Aug 2020 — serves to remind what is still at stake!!!
    Trump will go to Florida and just continue in this identical fashion: undermining Biden’s presidency, insulting any females or people of color, trying to investigate Hunter Biden (but the laptop!!!!), and on and on!!

    Yikes — how will we **EVER** get rid of him!

  4. Molly Pitcher says:

    I have just written to Nancy Pelosi demanding that she not seat the Representatives who signed the amicus for the Texas suit. I see their action as seditious behavior, and someone has to make a stand for the Constitution. I would encourage the community here to make your voices heard.

    It is time for We the People to be speak up.

      • Peterr says:

        He filed a motion asking to be allowed to file an amicus brief.

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that it will be denied.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        While the suit itself might be ridiculous, the action that these representatives and the various state AGs have taken is not a joke.

        The next time this is tried, the next hopeful fascist might not be this inept. If this is not slapped down for the challenge to democracy that it is right now, the next try will come sooner, and most likely by smarter people.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I’ve been seeing posts containing variations of “The next time this is tried, the next hopeful fascist might not be this inept” for a while now.

          I’d offer as a friendly amendment that the next hopeful fascist COULD NOT POSSIBLY be this inept.

          I don’t know much about Tom Cotton, but I assume that anyone who served in warzone deployments for five years, ending as a captain, is likely to be about three times as competent as anyone who has served under Trump as a cabinet member, advisor, or lawyer in the past two years. Just to name one hopeful fascist.

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          “…I assume that anyone who served in a war zone for five years, ending as a captain, is likely to be three times as competent as anyone who has served under Trump…”

          And why in any rational universe would you assume that?! Anyone who served five years in a war zone voluntarily would be as crazy as a schizophrenic bat no matter what rank he came out as.

        • ThoughtMail says:

          A captain, you say. Goodness!

          I recollect a General, once upon a time, who had been sacked for cause (something about bedtime security stories, IIRC), who later became a National Security chief. Is anyone here old enough to remember such a person, and what eventually happened to him?

          Maybe I’m just too old because I remember a time when character mattered, and Congress members were required (?) to refer to one another as “The Honorable Mr. X” (no sexism implied; just reporting the facts, ma’am).

        • Norskeflamthrower says:

          “Maybe I’m just too old because I remember a time when character mattered…”

          I don’t know anymore and I think I’m at least as old as are you, but in the “good old days” those who spoke for truth did so because they weren’t worried about being primaried by lunatics. It is time that we acknowledge that the entire Republican Party has been bought and paid for and that what they have been advancing, the end of representative democracy, they have been arguing since 1877.

        • Stacey says:

          Yeah, it’s not just ‘by another less inept head of the coup attempt’ but there are countless local elected officials, Republicans even, that have stood in the gap here and largely prevented this from having anything more than the stink of illusion. THIS TIME they were there to do this. There’s no way those types of officials will be left in place by the Republican apparatus so that the disloyal will be ABLE to thwart this the next time.

          This should be looked at through the lens of biological evolution, meaning when the antibiotic is created that targets a specific bacteria, then the bacteria alters itself to be immune to that antibiotic. These diseased organisms will behave exactly that way. They thought they had packed the courts enough to get them there, but now they know that the other end of their ranks need to be fortified before the next assault. I guarantee you every “hole” that we were thankful for in the dike of their plan they will work night and day to plug before their next anti-democratic assault. I’m guessing our side will be less likely to notice that until it’s too late?

    • Dennis says:

      I agree. It is time for the ” silent majority” to be reactivated. Let’s get some sanity back into the conversation.

  5. madwand says:

    So when these pardon’s start flying out of the White House, that will be a fair indicator that the jig is up? Trump will not give up or concede, he will contest it to the last opportunity. The pardons will come when living is finally forced on him. In the meantime he is seeding landmines all over the government for Biden just in case the “The Big One’ doesn’t fly.

    Just found out my congressman is one of those supporting the lawsuit, he was elected with 58 percent of the vote which is down from 63 percent but there is still a long way to go. He really doesn’t stand a chance of being voted out, the district is too red and he takes care of his constituents, the ones who voted him in that is. Retirement will be the next opportunity for a Dem challenge if at all.

    Perhaps we’ll get an indication from SCOTUS today. Based on law there is no chance the lawsuit will be heard, but based on political considerations and presidential leverage, who knows. I’m dusting off my copies of International Living just in case.

    • Chris.EL says:

      here’s a fun lesson in latin plural vs. singular…

      …”Mike Dunford
      Lin [Wood]. Amicus is singular. Amici is plural. So unless you’re announcing that you’ve gone full damn sovereign citizen and are doing the whole “the settler, the agent, the individual, the person” thing, you are an amicus, not amici.

      Except you’re not really anyone’s friend.
      8:08 PM · Dec 10, 2020″ …

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn – threatened by President Donald Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, that he should approve the Pfizer vaccine by the end of the day or resign – should take Trump/Meadows up on their offer. He should resign.

    That’s not how public health policy is made by a responsible government. Hahn’s approval-under-threat would provide No vote of confidence for the vaccine, the FDA, or the White House. It would tarnish them further – and, coincidentally, ruin Hahn’s future job prospects and ensure that Biden tosses him the afternoon of January 20th.

    As much as this looks like Trump covering his ample ass by making it look as if he’s in charge and doing something for the base (which will have to wait to receive their shots), it also looks like payback for Pfizer and the industry’s lobbyists. Fuck ’em.

    • Eureka says:

      Try as he might have, tonight’s news didn’t dump in his favor. SCOTUS rang first, and the nightly news cameras were all packed up by the time FDA announced their approval.

      Because of the conditions created by Trump, those first in line to get the vaccine are there in the raging COVID fire through no fault of their own and, given relative risks, have virtually no choice but to take the vaccine immediately. Perhaps given case rates like those even two or three months ago, in some locations, it might have been safer to await more data. But with COVID all around, heavy daily exposures only escalating, and no end in sight, the risk ratios have changed.

      We know the long term effects of neither the disease nor the vaccine(s), but the known knowns include that severe COVID disables and kills. The healthcare workers and nursing home residents — who’ve most borne witness to these truths — face less of a ‘free choice’ than ever. [And while the raging COVID fire drives up cases, it also renders _vaccination_ (emphasis on the -tion / population-level effect) less powerful.]

      This is not an abstract concern for me: in a safer world I’d like to see more data; in the world Trump’s created, I am anxious for the moment to arrive when that first shot goes into my loved one’s arm.

  7. BobCon says:

    I sort of have to assume this isn’t the only scheme Bannon has run, and he’s kind of nuts to think a pardon for one gets him off the hook for something else he may face.

    Although it is possible he is juggling so many balls right now that he’s jumping at any relief he can get.

  8. skua says:

    Could this scenario degenerate to include Sidney Powell?

    If so the following list provided by the brutalized volunteers at Wikipedia may help with a hashtag/codename.
    The Day of the Triffids (1951), also known as Revolt of the Triffids
    The Kraken Wakes (1953), published in the U.S. as Out of the Deeps
    The Chrysalids (1955), published in the U.S. as Re-Birth
    The Midwich Cuckoos (1957), filmed twice as Village of the Damned
    The Outward Urge (1959), by John Wyndham and Lucas Parkes
    Trouble with Lichen (1960)

    Chocky (1968)

  9. Zinsky says:

    Bannon’s recent dalliances with Chinese fugitive Guo Wengui (a/k/a Miles Kwok) are likely going to land this slimeball in more trouble than hornswaggling the Trumpers out of their hard-earned dollars with his “Build the Wall” canard. Kwok and Bannon are being investigated by the SEC for securities fraud:

    Bannon is truly an amoral asshole who will do anything for money. I hope the Biden Administration takes this criminal down and he spends his waning years in prison where he belongs.

    • ernesto1581 says:

      Bannon, Bannon…
      Does anyone have a line meanwhile on his erstwhile patrons, Bob Mercer & his daughter, Brunhilde? Still knocking out 80% per annum returns at the RenTech Medallion fund?
      Wonder who’s angling for an intro with them as the 2024 holiday season begins to shape up?

      • Ginevra diBenci says:

        The Mercers are funding Parler, where “conservatives” have sought refuge since being “censored” (their word, not mine) on mainstream social media. (They also call themselves conservatives, when they are in fact reactionary radicals; they seek to “conserve” almost nothing, but rather to deracinate and sabotage government of the people, for the people, and by the people.)

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