An attorney representing President Donald Trump’s former top aide Steve Bannon moved to drop him as a client Friday after Bannon discussed beheading infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci and putting his head on a pike.
Bannon said in his “War Room” podcast on Thursday that he wanted to put both Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray’s “heads on pikes” at “two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats.”
He added: “You either get with the program or you’re gone ― time to stop playing games ... that’s how you win the revolution.”
Bannon’s podcast was removed by YouTube and Facebook, and his Twitter account was permanently suspended. The social media platforms cited violations of policies against “glorification of violence,” and inciting violence and harassment, National Public Radio reported.
Prominent lawyer William Burck, Bannon’s lead lawyer at the Quinn Emanuel law firm, moved quickly to drop Bannon as a client on Friday in a letter to the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, where Bannon is facing felony fraud charges.
“Mr. Bannon is in the process of retaining new counsel, and Quinn Emanuel intends to move to withdraw,” Burck wrote in a letter to the court. He offered no explanation.
Burck also requested a three-week continuance of a status conference in the case, which had been scheduled for Monday.
Bannon, who is out on $5 million bail, allegedly misused hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations to a “We Build the Wall” campaign to privately fund construction of barriers along the Mexico border.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has urged the public to follow safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19. He complained in August that he and his family have become the targets of death threats because of his efforts to save lives.
The coronavirus pandemic has killed nearly a quarter of a million Americans so far. Fauci and other health experts have urged the use of masks, social distancing, handwashing and isolation to try to protect against infection.
Neither Fauci nor NIAID has commented on Bannon’s remarks. Trump hasn’t responded to his former aide’s gruesome scenario.
Critics have blasted Bannon’s comments just as Trump and his supporters are urging protests over the president’s baseless accusations that the presidential election, which has not been going his way, is illegitimate. Donald Trump Jr. called for his father to “go to total war over this election.”