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Tag: Matthew Whitaker

AG: Mueller Wrapping Up Investigation of Collusion, Russian Election Interference

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robbert Mueller’s 19-month investigation into collusion and Russian interference is nearing completion, the acting attorney general said Monday.

“The investigation is, I think, close to being completed, and I hope that we can get the report from director Mueller as soon we — as possible,” acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said during a news conference, news outlets reported.  “I hope we can get the report from Director Mueller as soon as possible.”

“I have been fully briefed on the investigation, and I look forward to director Mueller delivering the report, and I really am not going to talk about an open and ongoing investigation otherwise,” he added.

The special counsel investigation, which President Trump continues to call a “witch hunt,” has resulted in criminal charges against numerous aides and associates of Trump.

But when the investigation will end is an open question. The probe is still ongoing. Last week, for example, the FBI raided the home of Roger Stone, Trump’s longtime loyalist, on charges of lying to Congress.

Mueller’s office has not commented on Whitaker’s statement.

How Democrats Plan to Protect the Robert Mueller Investigation

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Congressional Democrats’ latest hopes of protecting Robert Mueller’s investigation hinges on a high-priority spending bill.

Democrats said they plan to tie the protection measure to the spending bill, a move that could cause spark a high-stakes clash with Republicans and President Trump.

Democrats also plan to revive the congressional investigations into Russian interference during the presidential election in 2016, the USA Today reports

On another front, Democrats continue to call for the resignation of Matthew Whitaker, a Trump loyalist whom the president appointed to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Acting AG Whitaker Raked in $904K from Conservative Nonprofit

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker received more than $900,000 from a conservative nonprofit that attacks Democrats on ethical grounds.

The discovery is part of the financial disclosure forms that Whitaker is required to disclose after replacing Jeff Sessions.

Whitaker served as executive director of a nonprofit called the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, or FACT, from 2016 to 2017.

Whitaker also disclosed $15,000 in income from CNN, where made appearances and criticized the special counsel investigation that he may try to take over.

In addition, Whitaker received $103,400 from his own law firm and $1,875 in legal fees from the controversial, Florida-based World Patent Market, which is accused of bilking consumers out of millions of dollars.

Dems, Republicans Warn Trump’s New AG Against Interfering with Mueller Probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Republicans and Democrats are warning President Trump and his new attorney general to keep their hands off the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling.

Adam Schiff, the Democrat who will lead the House Intelligence Committee in January, continued to call the appointment of Matthew Whitaker unconstitutional and pledged to expose any attempts to interfere with Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Republican senators appeared on Sunday news shows to say the Trump administration must not get impede the probe, which includes examining whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Schiff called Whitaker’s appointment “flawed” and said he was “chosen for the purpose of interfering with the Mueller investigation.”

Schiff told ABC’s This Week: “He should have absolutely nothing to do with the investigation,” adding: “We will expose any involvement he has in it. He needs to know that if he takes any action to curb what Mr Mueller does we are going to find out about it, we are going to expose it.”

Acting AG Tells Sen. Graham He Won’t Interfere with Mueller Probe

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said he’s been assured by Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker that he won’t interfere with the special counsel investigation.

In a private meeting in Graham’s office, Whitaker said he would “honor regular order” and allow the probe to continue.

Graham told reporters he doesn’t believe Whitaker will do “anything unsavory” with the 18-month investigation into Russia’s meddling in the presidential election, ABC News reports

“I’ve a lot of confidence that Mr. Mueller will be allowed to do his job and that the legal process that was in place before Mr. Whitaker arrived will be followed,” Graham said.

Graham added, “And I have every confidence he’ll make reasoned decisions when his time comes and that the investigation is not in jeopardy.”

Despite previous comments questioning the legality of the probe, Whitaker told Graham he has no qualms with the investigation.

“He’s seen nothing out of bounds,” Graham said. “No concerns at all about Mr. Mueller.”

A day after the midterm elections, President Trump forced AG Sessions to resign and replaced him with Whitaker, a loyalist and critic of the probe.

How Democrats Could Save the Mueller Probe if Trump’s Administration Tries to End It

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russian meddling is at risk of being sabotaged by President Trump’s administration.

A day after the midterm elections, Trump forced Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and replaced him with a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, who could try to end the investigation.

Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill to protect the special counsel probe on Wednesday, and this morning Trump unleashed a series of tweets calling the probe “A TOTAL WITCH HUNT LINK TO NO OTHER IN AMERICAN HISTORY.”

But Democrats, who now control the House of Representatives, still have recourse. Slate reports that Democrats could protect the investigation by creating a “Special Select Committee on Russian Election Interference” and appointing Mueller and his prosecutors as the lead investigators. 

Or Democrats could subpoena details of the investigation and hire him to complete the probe.

Mueller Expected to Issue New Indictments As New AG Weighs His Options

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue indictments as early this week as acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker weighs whether he should recuse himself from the Russia investigation.

It has been widely speculated that the next two months will be busy for Mueller after going silent during the midterm elections.

But the fate of Mueller’s investigation hangs in the balance after President Trump replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Whitaker, a loyalist who has contended that the special counsel probe is illegal.

Whitaker plans to meet with Justice Department ethics officials this week about whether he should take over the investigation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

The state of Maryland took legal action Tuesday, arguing that Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.” Maryland officials believe Rosenstein should have been appointed to replace Sessions as a matter of law. 

Meanwhile, it’s unclear who could be indicted by Mueller’s team after CBS reported that new inducements are expected soon. 

Among those facing potential indictments are GOP strategist and longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone and far-right commentator Jerome Corsi, who said earlier this week that Mueller’s team told him he would be indicted.

So far, Mueller’s team has indicted four people once connected to Trump’s campaign or administration, 12 Russian intelligence officers, 13 Russian nationals, three Russian companies and three other people.

State of Maryland Challenges Whitaker’s Appointment as AG

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s appointment of a loyalist, Matthew Whitaker, to replace ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions is facing a court challenge.

The state of Maryland plans to ask a federal judge Tuesday to declare that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should be the acting attorney general, not Whitaker, as a matter of law, the New York Times reports. 

In a draft filing, the state says Trump may not “bypass the constitutional and statutory requirements for appointing someone to that office.”

The request by Maryland is part of a lawsuit in which the state sued Sessions in his official capacity. Ellen L. Hollander, a 2010 Obama appointee to the Federal District Court for the District of Maryland, must identify Sessions’ successor as a defendant in the litigation.

A lot is at stake. The supervision of Robert Mueller as special counsel investigating Russia and Trump’s campaign and administration belongs to the head of the Justice Department, which is the acting attorney general.

Whitaker has long criticized Mueller’s position as illegal. Rosenstein, on the other hand, appointed Mueller in April 2017 to investigate Russia and the role Trump’s campaign played in election meddling.