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Tag: michael flynn

Trump Lawyer Reportedly Offered Pardons to Two Top Trump Campaign Aides

Trump’s former lead attorney John Dowd.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

One of Donald Trump’s lawyers floated the idea of pardoning two of the president’s former advisers who have been charged in the special counsel investigation of Russia and Trump’s campaign, The New York Times first reported Wednesday

According to three people with knowledge of the discussions, the lawyer, John Dowd, who resigned last week, broached the possibility of pardons while the special counsel was building cases against the top campaign aides, Michael T. Flynn and Paul Manafort.

The timing of the pardon discussions with the men’s attorneys raise questions about whether the White House was trying to influence Flynn and Manafort to plead not guilty. It’s unclear whether the president was aware of the discussions.

Down denied having the pardon discussions with the advisers’ lawyers.

“There were no discussions. Period,” Dowd said. “As far as I know, no discussions.”

Trump attorney Ty Cobb also denied the report.

“I have only been asked about pardons by the press and have routinely responded on the record that no pardons are under discussion or under consideration at the White House,” he said.

Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty and could face trial as early as this fall.

FBI’s McCabe Says His Firing Friday Was Designed to Undermine Special Counsel Probe of Trump

Fired FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Friday night, a little more than 24 hours before he was set to retire with full benefits.

McCabe, who spent more than 20 years with the bureau, quickly responded, saying he “was singled out” because he’s a key witness in the obstruction of justice case centered around President Trump’s termination of then-FBI Director James Comey in May 2017.

“Here is the reality: I am being singled out and treated this way because of the role I played, the actions I took, and the events I witnessed in the aftermath of the firing of James Comey,” McCabe said in a statement.

McCabe is among three FBI officials who have corroborated Comey’s claim that the president demanded his loyalty and pressured him to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

All three have since been forced out or reassigned.

In a statement Friday night, Sessions defended McCabe’s termination, saying it was based on findings by both the Justice Department’s internal watchdog and the FBI office that handles disciplines. According to their yet-to-be-released reports, “Mr. McCabe had made an unauthorized disclosure to the news media and lacked candor — including under oath — on multiple occasions.”

McCabe, whose pension is in jeopardy, denied misleading investigators and said in a statement that the accusations are “part of an unprecedented effort by the Administration, driven by the President himself, to remove me from my position, destroy my reputation, and possibly strip me of a pension that I worked 21 years to earn.”

Flynn Met with FBI Investigators without an Attorney or Trump’s Knowledge

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just two days after he was sworn in as President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn secretly met with FBI investigators to answer questions about his communications with Russians.

Flynn, who pleaded guilty late last year to lying to the FBI about ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, didn’t bother to bring an attorney and never mentioned the meeting to the president or his inner circle, NBC News reports. 

As part of an agreement with the FBI, Flynn has pledged to cooperate with the special counsel team investigating ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The FBI interview on Jan. 24, 2017, is considered a key moment in the special counsel investigation, setting in motion an ever-increasing probe with allegations ranging from collusion to money laundering. The investigation, led by Robert Mueller, so far has produced indictments against four of Trump’s closest associates, and the president said Wednesday that he is “looking forward” to clearing his name in an interview with the special counsel team.

Flynn was fired after less than a month on the job for lying the Vice President Mike Pence about contacts with Russians who wanted Hillary Clinton defeated.

Trump’s FBI Director Threatened to Quit After Sessions Pressured Him to Fire Deputy Direct

Christopher Wray is sworn in as the new FBI director. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director Christopher Wray was preparing to resign after he said he came under relentless pressure from the Trump administration to fire his deputy director, who triggered the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Wray, who took the helm at the FBI after the Senate confirmed him in August, responded that he would resign if his deputy, Andrew McCabe, was forced out, according three sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Axios reported

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was leading the charge to fire McCabe, urging Wray to make a “fresh start” and fire his deputy, who had come under repeated attacks by Trump.

McCabe recently announced he plans to retire by March.

Wray was appointed by Trump after the president fired then-FBI Director James Comey, allegedly for refusing to stop investigating Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security advisor who pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents in December 2016.

Some legal experts have said Trump committed obstruction of justice when he fired Comey.

Trump, Attorneys Are Optimistic Mueller Will Exonerate President

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just days before meeting with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office later this week, Trump’s attorneys are reportedly optimistic that the president is on the verge of being exonerated.

CNN reports that Trump has been boasting to friends and advisers that he expects to soon be cleared of any wrongdoing, according to people close to the president.

But legal analysts and media reports indicate the special counsel investigation into ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia is escalating.

The ever-evolving probe has so far netted charges against four of Trump’s close allies: former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former campaign adviser and Manafort associate Rick Gates, early foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

It’s unclear why the White House is so optimistic.

The Washington Post, citing people familiar with the investigation, reports that the investigation could take another year, pointing out that the team is still cooperating with witnesses and requested documents related to the probe. 

Did Trump Instruct Flynn to Lie about Contacts with Russia?

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel team investigating possible collusion between Donald Trump and Russia appears to be focusing on whether the president instructed National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to lie to the FBI.

The bombshell revelation, tucked in the middle of an NBC News report, could spell serious trouble for the president if, in fact, he encouraged Flynn to lie to the FBI. Flynn has been charged with lying to the FBI about meeting with a Russian ambassador in December and is cooperating with the special counsel’s team.

Since it’s illegal to lie to the FBI, Trump could find himself in serious legal trouble for directing Flynn to be untruthful to the bureau.

Whistleblower: Flynn Pledged to End Sanctions with Russia on Trump’s Inauguration Day

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump had just begun delivering his inauguration speech when his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, texted a former business associate to alert him that sections against Russia were ending and a plan was in the works to build nuclear reactors with Russian partners, a whistleblower has told Congress.

The new allegations surfaced in a letter from Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who said the whistleblower contacted him in June.

Flynn recently pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s U.S. ambassador and is said to be cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team.

Flynn’s text about new deals with Russia was sent to his business partner, Alex Copson, a managing partner of ACU Strategic Partners.

It’s just the latest revelation about links between Trump’s inner circle and Russia, which is accused of meddling in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump defeat Kremlin foe Hillary Clinton.

“During their conversation, Mr. Copson informed the whistleblower that he ‘just got this text message’ from General Flynn saying that the project was ‘good to go’ and directing Mr. Copson to contact their business colleagues to ‘let them know to put things in place’” the letter says.

Copson added, “Mike has been putting everything in place,” according to the letter. “I am going to celebrate today. This is going to make a lot of very wealthy people.”

Trump’s Controversial Tweet May Bolster Special Counsel’s Obstruction-of-Justice Case

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump and his personal lawyer may have stepped into serious legal trouble with controversial tweets and remarks this weekend about former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Trump, who continues to ignore his aides’ advice to stop tweeting about the special counsel investigation, acknowledged in a tweet on Saturday that he was aware of allegations that Flynn lied to the FBI. It’s a crime to lie to the FBI. If fact, Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition in December 2016.

By acknowledging that he knew about the alleged crime – lying to the FBI – Trump may have bolstered the special counsel’s investigation into whether he obstructed justice by urging then-FBI Director James Comey to drop the Flynn investigation, according to legal analysts.

 “It bolsters the intent for committing obstruction,” Barak Cohen, a former federal prosecutor who does white-collar defense work at Perkins Coie law firm, told the Washington Post

A source close to the White House and the case described the tweet as “a screw-up of historic proportions.”

Trump’s lawyer, John Dowd, signed off on the tweet and then repeated the admission on Sunday, baffling legal observers.

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