Former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon has advised White House aides on a plan to weaken special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into collusion and coordination between the Russian government and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election, The Washington Post reports.
Sources told the Post that Bannon’s plan would involve President Trump firing Trump-appointed Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who recently permitted the search of the hotel room and office of Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Bannon also recommends that Trump fire his personal lawyer Ty Cobb, stop cooperating with Mueller, and instead invoke his executive privilege to protect himself.
“The president wasn’t fully briefed by his lawyers on the implications” of not invoking executive privilege, Bannon told the Post on Wednesday. “It was a strategic mistake to turn over everything without due process, and executive privilege should be exerted immediately and retroactively.”
The Hill added:
There is skepticism within the White House about Bannon’s efforts to influence the president’s decision-making process and there’s no indication that the president will consider his plan, though the president has toyed with similar ideas in the past.
Congressional Trump allies are working to take legislative action against Rosenstein for his disclosure of documents concerning the Russian investigation.
For Bannon, this presents an opportune time for Trump to act to transfer the Russian investigation to Congress where Republicans recently hold majorities in the House and Senate.
“I have the upmost respect for Bob Mueller and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but the developments over the past two weeks make it the right time to shift the center of gravity of this back to Capitol Hill,” Bannon said. “Make the Republican Party own this, force them to have his back.”
According to multiple reports, Trump has been considering firing Rosenstein.
Bannon said that he thinks that Trump just needs a push to fire to him.