Donald Trump recently made another campaign leadership change, hiring Stephen Bannon of Breitbart News as CEO and saying farewell to Paul Manafort as facts continue to emerge regarding Manafort’s ties to the Ukraine and Russia. But aside from his ties to the alt right, Bannon has personal issues of his own.
It has now emerged that Bannon has had charges filed against him for misdemeanor domestic assault in the past. The charges date back two decades to when he allegedly attacked his now ex-wife in their Santa Monica home.
A Santa Monica, California Police Report described the incident. Mary Piccard, his then wife, claimed that Bannon grabbed her by the neck and wrist during an argument over finances. On New Year’s Day, 1996, she had asked to borrow the credit card, and after beginning as a quarrel about whether or not she should just write a check, the argument turned towards one about the future and financial stability. Bannon went to his car, with Piccard in tow, who then spat on him. This prompted him to grab her wrist and neck in an attempt to pull her into the car. Officers on the scene reported visible red marks on her neck and wrists, bolstering her claim.
After she was freed from Bannon’s grip, she returned inside the house in order to to call 911. “I took the phone to call the police and he grabbed the phone away from me throwing it across the room, and breaking it as he [was] screaming that I was a ‘crazy f*cking c*nt!,’” she said in the document.
On February 22, 1996, a complaint was filed against Bannon for misdemeanor domestic violence, battery, and dissuading a witness.
Thereafter, Bannon began to threaten Piccard in an attempt to convince her to leave town long enough for the charges to be dismissed. “If I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty,” she said Bannon told her. She also described conversations with Bannon’s lawyer, telling her that if she did not leave, there would be no money for her and her twins.
Piccard complied, and the charges were dropped after she failed to appear at trial. Afterwards, Bannon’s lawyer informed her that she could return.
When asked if Piccard’s account of the attack were true, his spokeswoman, Alexandra Peate, declined to answer, and instead dodged the subject. “The bottom line is he has a great relationship with the twins, he has a great relationship with the ex-wife, he still supports them.”
Bannon, the former head of right-wing Breitbart news, was brought on the Trump team to reset the campaign and possibly attract minority and female voters to the campaign.