Steve Bannon’s Mueller and Mueller Aftermath Interviews, with Backup

Given the release of the backup materials to several Steve Bannon interviews in the BuzzFeed FOIA, I wanted to pull together the known interviews Steve Bannon did as part of the Mueller investigation and its aftermath. I’ve discussed Bannon’s interviews and grand jury appearance here and here; I discussed how White House scripted his HPSCI testimony — specifically to deny discussion sanctions — here. I did a similar post pulling together Mike Flynn’s interviews here.

Bannon’s Mueller-related materials have been released in waves, all in ways that (I suspect) were designed to keep as much of his testimony as possible hidden for as long as possible. His first interview on February 12, 2018, which pertains to Mike Flynn-related events and obstruction generally, was released in February 2020, as Flynn’s prosecution was blowing up. His second interview, on February 14, 2018, was released in three releases. DOJ released it with a bunch of other Stone-related interviews just before the rat-fucker’s trial started in November 2019, thereby hiding much of those interviews under the pre-trial gag (though this release did include back-up). Then, five pages were released in March 2020, effectively withholding under a DOD deliberative exemption stuff that had earlier been withheld under a referral/consult withholding. Finally, six pages originally withheld under the Stone trial gag were re-released in June 2020, after Billy Barr had blown up that prosecution. Bannon’s third known interview, on October 26, 2018, was released among the last batches, on October 1, 2020. A four-page interview that occurred before Bannon’s January 18, 2019 grand jury appearance has never been released, but the proffer for it was released on December 2, 2019, after it had been revealed at trial. Bannon had at least one more interview before Stone’s trial (I suspect on July 26, 2019) that has likewise never been released; but we know he reverted to his lies again in it. Early this month, DOJ released backup relating to the first and third interview.

January 16, 2018: HPSCI Interview [link]

February 12, 2018: Flynn’s December 29, 2016 calls and aftermath, Trump’s anger with Flynn [link]

Attendees: James Quarles, Michael Dreeben, Andrew Goldstein, Elizabeth Prelogar

Entered: June 13, 2018

Topics:

  • How the transition worked, including Bannon’s role in foreign policy and the choice of Secretary of State
  • Bannon’s views on Russian outreach and Russian investigation
  • Problems with Mike Flynn and KT McFarland
  • The trip to Mar-a-Lago
  • The initial ICA briefing and the Steele dossier
  • Bannon’s claims about when he first learned about sanctions discussion
  • Sally Yates’ meeting
  • Discussions of Flynn’s firing
  • Shinzo Abe visit
  • Bannon’s efforts to get on the NSC
  • Trump’s dinner with Comey and the Yates notification
  • Details of Burr sharing details about the Senate investigation
  • Comey’s May 3 SJC testimony
  • Bannon’s relationship with Kushner
  • Bannon’s (lack of) role in firing Comey
  • Kislyak/Lavrov meeting
  • Lestor Holt interview

Backup:

  • 12/29/16 Russian Hacking Obama email
  • 12/30/16 email referring back to 12/29/16 meeting
  • 12/31/16 Bannon email giving McFarland an “attagirl”
  • 12/29/16 Transition statement on sanctions
  • 2/13/2017 Daily caller interview
  • Possibly article on Trump ordering IC heads to lie
  • Document including claim that, “During transition you had an IT guy do email search of trump servers and discovered Jared met with Anbang and Qataris to raise money for 666 Fifth. You viewed the email that connected the dots. Those meetings left Jared exposed to Comey.”
  • Document claiming that firing Comey was Kushner’s idea
  • Talking points on firing Comey
  • Email inquiry from reporter saying, “I hear DJT is pissed at Jared. POTUS has told people he blames Jared for Comey and Manafort.”

February 14, 2018: Trump’s views on Russian coverage, Sessions’ recusal, Trump’s request of Don McGahn, Prince’s relationship with Bannon, his purported silence about Dmitriev, Bannon’s deleted messages

[201102 First release]

[200302 release with DOD reprocessing 23-27]

[200630 Post-Stone declassification release 31-36]

Attendees: Quarles, Dreeben, Goldstein, Zelinsky, Prelogar.

Entered: June 26, 2018

Topics:

  • Sessions recusal
  • Comey’s purported conflicts
  • Response to disclosure of June 9 meeting
  • Early relationship with Trump
  • Debate prep
  • Erik Prince
  • George Nader
  • How he met Stone

Backup:

February 15, 2018: Second HPSCI Interview [link]

October 26, 2018: Prince and Dmitriev, Mueller’s alleged conflicts [link]

Attendees: James Quarles, Jeannie Rhee, Andrew Goldstein, Aaron Zelinsky, Zainab Ahmad (second half)

Entered: June 29, 2019

Topics:

  • Stone’s boasts about Julian Assange
  • October 4, 2016 press conference (b7A)
  • Stone as Trump whisperer (b7A)
  • What Stone claimed Assange had (b7A)
  • Bannon’s conversation with Stone on October 4, 2016 (b7A)
  • Several people on the campaign Bannon claimed not to remember (b7A)
  • Andrea Preate’s presence at Trump Tower on October 7, 2016 (relevant to her text to Stone, “well done”
  • Stone’s efforts to get donors
  • 2 b7A paragraphs
  • Jerome Corsi
  • 2010 conversation with Trump about running for President where Stone came up
  • Meeting with Stone in early December 2016 that Trump didn’t want to have
  • Someone Bannon fired from Breitbart (probably one character too short to be Lee Stranahan, possibly Chuck Johnson)
  • Several b7A topics, including email referencing Polish prime minister
  • 6 paragraphs b5
  • Bannon’s surprise about Flynn and his concern that he would be investigated for FARA
  • Bannon’s claim not to remember meeting with Prince in January 2017
  • September 8, 2016 text from Prince
  • Business card from Russian who wanted to meet Trump (probably Dmitriev)
  • Bannon read Prince’s testimony to HPSCI, thought he should have hired a lawyer
  • Bannon again denies he and Prince discussed the Dmitriev meeting
  • b5
  • Bannon denies deleting his texts with Prince from his blackberry
  • Bannon met with Foresman through Mark Burnett
  • Bannon’s phone guy in LA
  • Discussion of conflicts of interest
  • 2 b5
  • Bannon mocking the claim Mueller had conflicts
  • Bannon claims it was not an effort to get rid of Mueller
  • 7b5
  • Bannon denies discussing with Jared Kushner injecting money into the campaign (the $10 million bribe from Egypt)
  • Bannon claims all his messages prior to February 23, 2017 were deleted
  • Chuck Johnson and Wesearchr (b7A, not first reference to Johnson), including reference to Stone

Backup:

January 19, 2019: Discussions of WikiLeaks [link to proffer]

Attendees [from trial testimony]: Andrew Goldstein

Unknown date (likely July 26, 2019), pre-Stone trial

November 8, 2019: Stone Trial Testimony [link]

Prosecutor: Michael Marando

Topics:

  • Stone’s claims of relationship with WikiLeaks
  • Private conversations before Bannon joined the campaign
  • Relationship with Erik Prince, Ted Malloch
  • Roger Stone was access point to WikiLeaks

Exhibits:

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