Steve Bannon, the embattled right-wing political operative who served as one of the top aides to former President Donald Trump, stiffed his legal team of nearly $500,000 in attorney fees, the law firm alleged in a suit on Friday.
Midtown law firm Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP filed the lawsuit against Bannon in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleging the far-right provocateur only paid $375,000 out of an $855,487.87 legal bill run up over two years from Nov. 2020 to Nov. 2022, leaving open a tab of $480,487.87.
Bannon had the firm’s services on retainer as he faced a myriad of legal challenges related to his criminal contempt charge for blowing off a subpoena by the House Jan. 6 Committee, as well as state and federal fraud charges alleging he defrauded donors into believing they were contributing to the construction of a border wall. The firm claims its representation led to Trump’s pardon of Bannon in 2020 on the federal fraud charges.
Bannon could not be reached directly by amNewYork Metro. An inquiry left with “Real America’s Voice,” the network hosting Bannon’s podcast “War Room,” did not respond to a request for comment.
Bannon was the chair of Breitbart News and one of the most influential figures in the right-wing media sphere when he was tapped to head Trump’s 2016 campaign. Upon Trump’s ascension to the White House he was named “Chief Strategist,” but his tenure in the Trump administration was short-lived after a falling-out between the two personalities, after which Bannon resumed his career in right-wing media and supported various far-right political campaigns abroad.
In 2020, Bannon was arrested by federal agents while lounging on a yacht belonging to Chinese billionaire Guo Wengui. The feds said Bannon had held a bogus fundraiser where proceeds would allegedly go to build Trump’s border wall on the Mexican border. Instead, the roughly $15 million haul went towards enriching Bannon and his pals, prosecutors said.
Bannon secured a pardon for the federal charges on Trump’s last day in office, but was ultimately indicted on New York state charges in the case by the Manhattan District Attorney’s office last year. He had pled not guilty in state court.
The conspiracy theorist’s legal troubles don’t stop there: after failing to comply with a subpoena by the House Select Committee on the Jan. 6th Attack regarding his involvement in the attempted insurrection at the Capitol, the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress. In October, Bannon was sentenced to 4 months behind bars for the contempt charge; he is currently out pending an appeal.
Davidoff Hutcher & Citron filed a motion to end their representation of Bannon last summer, with partner Robert Costello arguing he may be called as a defense witness at the time.
Bannon’s most recent lawyer, David Schoen, extricated himself from the case last month after telling a judge there had been a “complete breakdown in communication” with his client. Bannon has until the end of February to find a new lawyer.