White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon’s attorney, Bill Burck, reportedly relayed questions to the White House via phone to check on whether it would allow his client to answer certain questions while he testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, reports the Associated Press.
Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.), the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, described the effort as a “gag order by the White House,” and said that Bannon “was instructed by the White House to refuse again to answer any questions concerning the time during the transition and his time in the administration.”
The former top Trump aide refused to answer questions about his time at the White House and on the presidential transition team during his nearly 10-hour closed-door interview.
The White House responded to the AP report on Wednesday, saying that it had followed a precedent set by past administrations.
“We’re following the procedure whether it’s in this committee or any other committee down the road,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing.
Burc is also representing White House counsel Don McGahn in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.