President Trump's former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who was arrested over the summer for alleged fraud, has lost his lawyer after suggesting that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded.
Lawyer William Burck on Friday "abruptly moved to drop" Bannon as a client after the former Trump strategist suggested violence against Fauci and Wray, The New York Times reports. Burck reportedly did not provide an explanation as to why he was doing so. A judge will have to approve change, the Times notes.
"Mr. Bannon is in the process of retaining new counsel," a letter to the court reportedly said.
The move came after Bannon said during his online show that Trump should fire Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Wray, director of the FBI, at the start of a second term should he win re-election, and then suggested he would like both to be killed.
"I'd actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England," Bannon said. "I'd put the heads on pikes. Right? I'd put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you're gone."
Twitter has also permanently suspended Bannon's show's account over the remarks, while YouTube removed a video of the comments for violating its policy against "inciting violence," CNN reports.
Bannon was arrested and hit with charges in August for allegedly defrauding donors to an online "Build the Wall" fundraising campaign. He has pleaded not guilty.
Fauci has spoken out about receiving death threats against him and his family during the COVID-19 pandemic, telling 60 Minutes in October that the "very fact that a public health message to save lives triggers such venom and animosity to me that it results in real and credible threats to my life and my safety" is "sad."
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