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Archive for July 14th, 2017

Ex-Soviet Intel Officer Also Met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Russian attorney who pledged to share dirt on Hillary Clinton during a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. last year was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist who previously worked in Soviet counterintelligence, according to NBC News.

The Russian-born lobbyist, who was unnamed, served in the military before emigrating to the U.S., where he has dual citizenship. Some U.S. officials believe he still has ties to Russian spy agencies.

The lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, previously acknowledged she attended the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with at least one other man, whom she declined to identify. But Veselnitskaya denied she was working on Moscow’s behalf and told NBC that she met with Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort to discuss sanctions.

Emails released by Trump Jr. suggest Veselnitskaya wanted to share damaging information about Clinton as part of a Russian plot to interfere with the presidential election.

After releasing the emails, Trump Jr. conceded he “probably would have done things a little differently.”

President Trump defended his son, saying “most people would have taken that meeting.”

“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer,” Trump said Thursday in a joint press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. “From a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research or research into your opponent.”

Senate Judiciary Committee to Vote Next Week on FBI Director

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

Christopher Wray at confirmation hearing.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on Christopher Wray’s nomination to FBI director.

Committee chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was impressed with Trump’s pick and wanted to move swiftly.

The committee vote is scheduled for July 20.

If approved, Wray would replace James Comey, whom President Trump fired amid an investigation into Russian interference with the presidential election.

Democrats on the committee indicated they support Wray’s nomination, but it’s unclear whether they plan to delay the vote.

During his nomination hearing earlier this week, Wray pledged independence and said he would resign before succumbing to political pressure.

Special Counsel Taps FBI Official Who Oversaw Hillary Clinton Investigation

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The senior FBI official who oversaw the Hillary Clinton e-mail investigation has been tapped to help manage the special counsel probe into Russia’s suspected meddling in the presidential election.

Peter Strzok will join a 25-member team assembled by special counsel Robert Mueller, CNN reports

Strzok played a major role in the beginning of the Russia investigation last summer.

The team, which includes attorneys and FBI employees, have moved to southwest D.C., about a mile from the Justice Department headquarters.