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Tag: donald trump jr.

Russian in Trump Tower Meeting Charged in Case That Reveals Close Ties to Kremlin

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Russian lawyer who met with top Trump campaign aides at Trump Tower in 2016 was charged Tuesday in a money-laundering case that reveals her close ties to the Kremlin.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Natalia V. Veselnitskaya with obstruction of justice in a U.S. money-laundering case involving Yury Chaika, a wealthy Russian businessman connected to the Trump Tower meeting, The New York Times and Guardian report.

The June 2016 meeting was prompted by a representative close to the Kremlin who told Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., that Chaika could provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

The meeting has become a focus of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Attending the meeting were top campaign aides, Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who has been convicted of crimes in unrelated cases.

Although the case against Veselnitskaya is unrelated to the Trump Tower meeting, the indictment reveals how closely she is connected to the Russian government.

Trump Aides Face Potential Perjury Charges As House Democrats Help Mueller with Records

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Democratic takeover of the U.S. House could spell trouble for current and former aides of the president, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and his long-time aide Roger Stone.

Democrats plan to hand Mueller all evidence the House collected during its investigation of Russian interference, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif.

That increases the chances of perjury charges against Trump Jr. and Stone if they lied to Congress during closed-door interviews with the House intelligence committee.

Schiff said Sunday that he plans to soon provide special counsel with transcripts of the congressional testimony, “including for the bringing of perjury charges, if necessary, against any of the witnesses ,but also to see the evidence that they contain.”

“I don’t want to go into enumerating particularly who I have concerns about, but I do have concerns about certainly multiple witnesses,” Schiff told host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“Bob Mueller, by virtue of the fact that he has been able to conduct this investigation using tools that we didn’t have in our committee, meaning compulsion, is in a better position to determine, OK, who was telling the truth?” Schiff said. “Who wasn’t? And who can I make a case against in terms of perjury?”

Schiff said some witnesses felt like they had “some kind of immunity” when Republicans controlled the committee.

“There’s no reason to protect these witnesses,” Schiff said. “There’s every reason to validate Congress’ interest in not having people come before it and lie.”

Ex-West Wing Official: I’m Worried About Donald Trump Jr. Getting Indicted

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

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The rumblings involving the Robert Mueller  probe declined quite a bit before the Nov. 6 election.

Now, they’re revving up again.

Gabriel Sherman writes in Vanity Fair that some folks are concerned Donald Trump Jr. may have perjured himself with investigators when he said he never told his father in advance of the infamous June 16 Trump Tower meeting to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton.

“I’m very worried about Don Jr.,” a former West Wing official who testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, tells Sherman. .

Trump Changes Story, Admits His Son Met with Russian Operative at Trump Tower

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump last summer cried “fake news” and “witch hunt” when the media first reported that his campaign team, including his son Donald Trump Jr., met with a Russian attorney at Trump Tower to get dirt on Hillary Clinton in June 2016.

When the New York Times broke the story in July 2017, the Trump administration released a statement suggesting the gathering was about an obscure Russian adoption policy, not a meeting to get information obtain damaging information on his Democratic opponent.

In a series of tweets Sunday, the president acknowledged the meeting “was to get information on an opponent, totally legal and done all the time in politics – and it went nowhere.”

“Fake News reporting, a complete fabrication, that I am concerned about the meeting my wonderful son, Donald, had in Trump Tower,” Trump tweeted.

It has been widely reported that special counsel Robert Mueller was investigating whether the meeting constituted collusion with Russia. 

The question becomes: Was it illegal to meet with a foreign political operative to get dirt on a political opponent?

NPR reports that campaign finance laws prohibits foreign nationals from “directly or indirectly, make a contribution or a donation of money or other thing of value.” 

“Hard to see how there is not a serious case here of solicitation. Trump Jr. appears to have knowledge of the foreign source and is asking to see it,” Rick Hasen, a campaign finance law expert wrote on his blog last year. “Such information can be considered a ‘thing of value’ for purposes of the campaign finance law.”

NPR’s Brian Naylor reported that if Trump was aware of the meeting in advance, “or cast doubt on denials by Trump and Trump Jr., it would be a dramatic addition to Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference in the 2016 presidential race and possible collusion by the Trump campaign.”

Secret Service Watching Over Donald Trump Jr.’s Date Nights in New York

Donald Trump Jr. (Photo by Gage Skidmore)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The New York Daily News reports that witnesses have seen what appears to be a black U.S. Secret Service car parked outside Kimberly Guilfoyle’s Central Park West apartment.  She’s dating Donald Trump Jr.

The Daily News reports:

For the fourth straight Tuesday, Donald Trump Jr. enjoyed a date night with Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, according to a source on the scene. The 40-year-old scion’s secret service detail dropped them both off outside the 49-year-old TV host’s Central Park West apartment for a nightcap.

Passersby have noticed the black SUV’s with out of state plates parked near Guilfoyle’s building every Tuesday since early May.

 

Mueller Crosses Red Line with Intensifying Probe of Trump, Family

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

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump cautioned last summer that Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian election interference should not include scrutinizing his family’s finances.

“I think it’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia,” Trump said in July 2017

That red line clearly has been crossed after a series of recent revelations that Mueller is investigating Trump’s business dealings with Russia before his presidential run and whether Moscow had compromising information about him.

Mueller also is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing then-FBI Director James Comey and by threatening to remove Attorney General Sessions and others in the administration.

Trump even reportedly discussed ways to terminate Mueller, who was appointed by the deputy attorney general after Sessions recused himself from the Russia probe.

Mueller must decide whether the president’s goal to remove officials close to the investigation was an attempt to exercise control of the probe, which could amount to obstruction of justice.

This week, NBC reported Mueller was questioning witnesses whether Trump knew about Russian hacking of Democratic emails before the discovery was made public. Trump has claimed that Russia interfering in the election is a “hoax” peddled by the “fake news” and top officials out to get him in the FBI and DOJ.

Also this week, CNN reported that Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner was unable to obtain a security clearance because of the Russia investigation. A day earlier, CNN reported that Mueller was investigating Kushner over his business dealings during the presidential transitions. Among the inquiries are Kushner’s contacts with Russia, China and Qatari investors.

At the center of the collusion investigation is a meeting between Kushner, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort and a Russian lawyer who pledged to provide “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. 

Manafort faces trial in September after Mueller charged him with numberous counts of conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.

The president’s attorneys are trying to prevent him from being interviewed by Mueller for fear that Trump will lie under oath and be charged with perjury.

Trump continues to call the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Secret Service Joins Probe of White Powder Scare Involving Trump Jr.’s Wife

Donald Trump Jr., via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Secret Service has launched an investigation into an unidentified white powder that Venessa Tump, the wife of Donald Trump Jr., came into contact with while opening a piece of mail.

Venessa Trump  and two other people who may have been exposed were taken to a New York hospital, where they later learned the substance was non-hazardous, Reuters reports.

“The substance had arrived by mail and it was addressed to Donald Trump Jr.,” said New York Police Department spokesman Carlos Nieves.

The Secret Service and other agencies have taken white powder seriously since 2001, when anthrax-laced envelopes were sent to media outlets and U.S. lawmakers, killing five people. 

Most cases since then have been hoaxes.

Authorities said the packages had a Boston postmark, but law enforcement officials have declined to discuss it.

“Thankful that Vanessa & my children are safe and unharmed after the incredibly scary situation that occurred this morning,” Trump Jr. said on Twitter. “Truly disgusting that certain individuals choose to express their opposing views with such disturbing behavior.”

Former Trump Spokesman to Testify about Suspected Obstruction of Justice in Trump Administration

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

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia is zeroing in on a meeting at Trump Tower between top campaign aides, including family members, and Russian officials who promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Mark Corallo, a former spokesman for Trump’s legal team, has agreed to an interview with the special counsel team and plans to reveal a previously undisclosed conference call with Trump and White House Communications Director Hope Hicks, three people familiar with the situation told the New York Times. The call left Corallo with the impression that Hicks was planning to obstruct justice.

During the call, Hicks insisted that potentially incriminating emails written by Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., “will never get out,” according to sources close to Corallo.

The emails are significant because they show the president’s son and his top campaign officials communicated with a Russian lawyer who wanted to help Trump win the election by providing dirt on Clinton.

When the New York Times broke a story in July 2017 about the previously undisclosed meeting at Trump Tower, the Trump administration released a statement suggesting the gathering was about an obscure Russian adoption policy.

Robert Mueller’s special counsel team is now focusing on the statement, how it was drafted and whether the president was involved in writing it. In recent months, Mueller’s team has questioned numerous White House officials about the statement and recently notified Trump’s attorneys that prosecutors want to address the issue during a face-to-face interview that his lawyers have begun to resist.

Turns out, the president helped write the misleading response, which was attributed to Trump Jr. – to the Times while aboard the Air Force One with Hicks, according to sources familiar with the discussion.

“It was a short introductory meeting,” the response read. “I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up.”

Corallo insisted the response would backfire because investigators would obtain emails that show the real reason behind the meeting with Russians – to obtain dirt on Clinton. That’s when he said Hicks responded that the emails “will never get out.”

Corallo, who declined to comment for the Times story, did not dispute the contents of the article.

So far the Mueller investigation has produced indictments against four former Trump campaign associates. The probe also is focusing on whether the president obstructed justice by interfering with the investigation, including when he fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who testified at a congressional hearing that Trump demanded loyalist and pressured the bureau boss to end the Russia investigation.

The firing prompted Trump’s Justice Department to appoint Mueller in May to investigate ties between the campaign and Russia.