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Steve Bannon, President Donald Trump’s man

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He will have done everything to avoid this moment, but Steve Bannon will have to go through the trial box. The former adviser and close ally of Donald Trump is being prosecuted for obstruction of justice after refusing to collaborate with the January 6 commission of inquiry. His trial, this Monday, July 18, will be followed very closely. Portrait of one of the most influential men in the Trump entourage.

From our correspondent in New York,

Steve Bannon probably didn’t think he would ever get there. He who, a few months ago, promised to ” bring down the Joe Biden regime “. He whom some American media had dubbed ” the most dangerous man in american politics “. He now faces up to two years in prison for refusing to testify before the commission of inquiry charged with shedding light on the attack on the Capitol.

On the eve of this trial, he even reconsidered this refusal, saying he was ready to cooperate. ” A desperate gesture for the sole purpose of avoiding going before the judge “, Estimated the prosecutor in charge of the prosecution and the spokesperson for the Department of Justice.

But if he hoped to avoid trial, Steve Bannon will probably try to turn the situation to his advantage. A few days ago he said: Pray for our enemies, we will slaughter them “. A statement that fits well with his profile as a combative polemicist.

sulphurous course

Because Steve Bannon is not a traditional political adviser. Born in Norfolk, Virginia, he earned a master’s degree in national security studies from Virginia Tech University and an MBA from the prestigious Harvard Business School. He joined the US Navy before going into business, first at Goldman Sachs and then as an investor in media and audiovisual. He touches on the cinema, produces films in particular with Sean Penn and Anthony Hopkins and releases controversial documentaries.

Steve Bannon, talk show host and former White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, arrives at United States District Court in Washington, June 15, 2022. REUTERS – ELIZABETH FRANTZ

In 2012, Steve Bannon was appointed managing director of Breitbart News, the press organ of the Alt Right (“alternative right”, which brings together ultranationalists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites). He made it the mouthpiece of all those who opposed the American establishment, conspiracy theorists, supremacists… and himself became an influential player in these circles.

At the same time, he also turned to politics as a strategist and advised, among others, Sarah Palin. This is how he joined Donald Trump’s campaign team for the 2016 presidential election. According to many experts, Steve Bannon played a crucial role in the victory of the Republican billionaire.

The President’s Ear

At the White House, Steve Bannon is Donald Trump’s right-hand man and pushes him to follow a right-wing populist, anti-immigration, anti-Muslim policy. It is he who is behind the Muslim Ban and the anti-immigration measures imposed by the Trump administration.

For many, he is the eminence grise of the White House and gains even more power with his appointment to the strategic National Security Council.

He is one of the most powerful men in Donald Trump’s entourage and with him, it is the far right that feels represented. But his reign with the 45ᵉ president of the United States is cut short when he agrees to collaborate on the book fire and fury devoted to Donald Trump and his mandate.

key witness

If Steve Bannon disappears from Donald Trump’s entourage, he does not lose his power and influence. He thus made a European tour during which he spoke with the leaders of far-right organizations and parties. Most importantly, he hosts a very popular podcast with Alt-Right supporters.

It wasn’t until the end of the 2020 presidential campaign that the adviser seemed to be in Donald Trump’s good graces again. On the eve of January 6, when the American billionaire lost the election, Steve Bannon finds himself among other allies of Donald Trump for a ” crisis meeting at a luxury hotel in Washington.

A video of Steve Bannon, talk show host and former White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, displayed on a screen during a public hearing of the US House of Representatives Select Committee United States investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, at the Capitol in Washington, United States, June 16, 2022.
A video of Steve Bannon, talk show host and former White House adviser to former President Donald Trump, displayed on a screen during a public hearing of the US House of Representatives Select Committee United States investigating the January 6 attack on the United States Capitol, at the Capitol in Washington, United States, June 16, 2022. REUTERS – SARAH SILBIGER

In his podcast that day, he also claims ” everything converges, it’s time to attack “and promises that the certification of the results” won’t turn out the way you think “. This is why the Commission of Inquiry of 6-January seeks from the beginning to audition Steve Bannon. The elected officials believe that it could provide crucial information on the role played by Donald Trump in the attack which targeted the Capitol.

This week, his trial should be expedited. But if he finally said he was ready to cooperate with the commission of inquiry, it seems unlikely that Steve Bannon will incriminate his former protege. Expect him to choose which questions he agrees to answer or argue the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination. Unless there is a surprise that could well put the former president in an even more delicate situation regarding his responsibility for the riots of January 6th.

Read also : United States: the Secret Service erased text messages sent the day of the assault on the Capitol

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