Steve Bannon Hires New Lawyers to Avoid Paying Unsettled Bills

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Steve Bannon, the controversial figure associated with the Trump administration, has taken on a fresh team of attorneys in an effort to evade paying outstanding legal fees to his previous legal counsel. The move comes after a lawsuit was filed by Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP (DHC) against Bannon for unpaid fees amounting to $480,487.87, owed to partner Robert Costello. This article delves into the details of Bannon’s legal battles and his recent tactics to avoid financial obligations.

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Details of Lawsuit and New Legal Representation:

In February, DHC initiated legal proceedings against Bannon following their claim for unpaid fees. Additionally, Bannon faced criticism from lawyer Evan Corcoran, who, along with Costello and David Shawn, represented Bannon in a contempt trial last summer. Despite being found guilty, Bannon’s lawyer, Shawn, stated that he was paid in full, but distanced himself from the case due to unspecified “differences” with Bannon.

Bannon’s New Attorney and Unusual Arguments:

Bannon has enlisted the services of Harlan Protass, an experienced criminal defense attorney, who has presented some peculiar arguments in response to DHC’s application for summary judgment. Protass contends that Bannon’s pre-trial detention agreement only pertains to his initial federal prosecution related to the border wall investor defrauding scheme. Therefore, Protass argues, there remains a dispute as to whether DHC is entitled to legal costs for work that is not connected to the subject matter covered by the agreement.

Involvement of Costello and Trump:

Costello, Bannon’s former legal counsel, continued negotiations with Trump’s lawyers and the Select Committee on January 6th to evade a subpoena on the grounds of executive privilege, despite Bannon’s termination from the White House in 2017. Costello’s involvement in Bannon’s contempt case and his previous actions formed the basis of Bannon’s unsuccessful defense strategy.

DHC’s Claims and Bannon’s Affidavit:

DHC claims to have represented Bannon in a subsequent state prosecution related to the border wall scheme, supported by testimony from abandoned accomplices. It is noteworthy that Bannon swore an affidavit stating that he never authorized Costello to speak to the FBI on his behalf in December 2021. This affidavit refers to one of two meetings in which Costello attempted to dissuade prosecutors from charging Bannon with contempt of Congress, ultimately resulting in an FBI warrant for Costello’s communications.

Costello’s Unusual Claims:

Costello’s legal advice to Bannon raises eyebrows, as he advised against cooperation with the Congressional Committee despite acknowledging that seven out of seventeen categories of subpoenaed information did not fall under plausible claims of executive privilege. Furthermore, Costello’s interpretation of privilege regarding conversations between Bannon, Rudy Giuliani, and Jenna Ellis seemed unfounded, as no campaign affiliate had made such a claim. Additionally, Costello argued for privileged rights in a conversation he had with Bannon, even though former national security adviser Michael Flynn was present.

Questionable Contacts and Bannon’s Defense:

Prosecutors have highlighted Costello’s alleged contacts with Donald Trump’s lawyers, which appear suspicious. Contrary to Costello’s claims, Trump never explicitly invoked executive privilege during his conversations with Bannon, instead making general references to any privilege that Bannon might claim. This aligns with the fact that Bannon was dismissed from the White House before the events leading up to the Capitol riot. Despite Bannon now asserting that he ordered Costello to cease work after the second meeting, Costello’s presence at subsequent trials raises doubts about this claim.

Bannon’s Attempt to Avoid Payment:

Bannon’s current strategy involves conducting an extensive investigation to contest the remaining bill. While Bannon holds a strong aversion towards Costello, whose advice led him into a similar predicament as Peter Navarro, who lacked legal representation, he intends to ensure Costello receives maximum payment from the outstanding amount.


Steve Bannon’s legal battles continue as he hires a new team of lawyers to avoid paying unsettled bills to his former legal counsel. The intricacies of his case, including disputes over executive privilege and questionable legal advice, highlight the complexities and controversies surrounding Bannon’s legal defense strategy.

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