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Tag: Robert Mueller

Former U.S. Attorney: Good Reason to Believe Mueller Has Obtained Trump’s Tax Returns

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said there’s good reason to believe special counsel Robert Mueller already has President Trump’s tax returns as part of his investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 general election.

“Based on my years of experience conducting complex white-collar investigations as a federal prosecutor, it suggests to me that Mueller has already obtained tax returns as part of his investigation,” Renato Mariotti,  a former federal prosecutor in the Securities and Commodities Fraud Section of the United States Attorney’s Office in Chicago, wrote in a column for The Hill

Mariotti notes that Mueller’s ability to obtain a search warrant to raid the home of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort indicates the special counsel has a good reason to believe a federal crime was committed.

Mariotti wrote:

One typical step that federal prosecutors take near the beginning of white-collar investigations is obtaining tax returns. I worked with federal prosecutors who obtained tax returns in every single white-collar investigation they worked on. I didn’t do that, but I obtained tax returns in most white-collar cases I investigated, particularly cases involving financial transactions.

Obtaining a subject’s tax returns can be a useful tool in almost any investigation. They tell you where the person invests their money, where their bank accounts are, where they have debts and who they’ve given money to. Often the information found in a tax return can tell a prosecutor which financial institutions and corporate entities to subpoena for records.

At times, obtaining tax returns can lead to evidence of tax offenses. If an individual receives money that is not reported in the tax return or is misrepresented, that can be charged as a separate federal crime. Hiding financial transactions also can be used as evidence that the subject knew that the underlying source of the money was illegal. 

Other Stories of Interest

Special Counsel Mueller’s Investigation Reaches White House

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the presidential election has reached the White House.

Mueller and his team are negotiating interviews with current and former senior administration officials, including recently ousted White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, the New York Times reports. 

Mueller is inquiring about specific meeting and any documents or material related to them. Mueller also plans to ask officials about the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey.

Ty Cobb, a special counsel to the president, declined to comment on details of the investigation but said there White House will “continue to fully cooperate.”

Trump on Special Counsel Mueller, Russia Probe: ‘I’m Not Dismissing Anybody’

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump has complained that the federal investigation into Russia’s interference with the election is a “witch hunt” or a “hoax” by Democrats who want to destroy his presidency.

But on Thursday, the president told reporters that he has no intention of trying to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, who is overseeing the investigation.

“I haven’t given it any thought,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in New Jersey, where he’s been on a working vacation, USA Today reports. “I’ve been reading about it from you people. You say, ‘Oh, I’m going to dismiss him.’ No, I’m not dismissing anybody.”

Trump even said he supports the investigation and the probe by federal lawmakers.

“I want them to get on with the task,” Trump said. “But I also want the Senate and the House to come out with their findings.”

Trump’s comments are curious since he and his allies have tried to discredit Mueller and his team as the leaders of a “witch hunt.”

Trump Publicly Slams Special Counsel Mueller, Privately Expresses ‘Appreciation’

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

While President Trump slams the federal investigation into alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia, his lawyer is sending entirely different messages to special counsel Robert Mueller.

Trump’s chief counsel John Dowd sent a message of appreciation to the special counsel, suggesting the president was happy about the investigation.

“He appreciates what Bob Mueller is doing,” Dowd told USA TODAY in an interview Tuesday. “He asked me to share that with him and that’s what I’ve done.” 

Down said Trump’s legal team has been in touch with Mueller’s office, and he admits he sent a message expressing “appreciation and greetings” to Mueller, who Trump has criticized numerous times publicly.

“The president has sent messages back and forth,’’ Dowd said, declining to elaborate further.

Special Counsel Mueller Gave Up Lucrative Job to Investigate Trump, Russia

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller gave up millions of dollars to investigate allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the presidential election.

That’s according to a financial disclosure released Tuesday by the Justice Department, which appointed Mueller.

Mueller made nearly $3.5 million since the beginning of 2016 as a partner of WilmerHale, a Washington D.C.-based law firm. Mueller represented some of the nation’s most prominent businesses, including Apple, Facebook, Sony Pictures and the NFL, Politico reports. 

Mueller, a former FBI director, also made about $241,000 on speaking engagements since the beginning of 2016.

He was appointed in May to investigate Russia’s meddling in the presidential election.

What a Grand Jury Means for Special Counsel’s Investigation of Russia, Trump Team

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as he and his team of 16 prosecutors dig deeper into allegations that Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

The grand jurors, who are responsible for examining subpoenaed documents and listening to witness testimony, will ultimately decide whether charges are warranted.

That’s significant because it means Mueller is exploring the possibility of pursuing criminal charges. 

The grand jury gives Mueller the power to issue subpoenas and compel witnesses to testify.

The scope could easily grow as subpoenas and testimony comes in. 

Mueller Taps 16th Lawyer to Join Special Counsel Probe of Russia

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former Justice Department official who specialized in white-collar crime is the 16th lawyer to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s meddling in the presidential campaign. 

Greg Andres, who most recently was a white-collar criminal defense lawyer for the New York law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell, started working with Mueller’s team Tuesday, Reuters reports

From 2010-12, the 50-year-old attorney served as deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division. He focused on fraud and foreign bribery.

Mueller’s decision to continue expanding his team likely means the investigation is going to be extensive, said Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration.

“It’s an indication that the investigation is going to extend well into 2018,” said Ray. “Whether it extends beyond 2018 is an open question.”

Key Republican Senator: Firing Mueller ‘Could Be the Beginning of the End’ for Trump

Sen. Lindsey Graham

Sen. Lindsey Graham

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Sen. Lindsey Graham delivered a strong warning Thursday to Donald Trump that if he fires special counsel Robert Mueller, it “could be the beginning of the end” of Trump’s presidency.

The South Carolina Republican said any attempt to remove Mueller would cross a serious “red line,” Politico reports. 

“Any effort to go after Mueller could be the beginning of the end of the Trump presidency unless Mueller did something wrong,” Graham told reporters on Capitol Hill.

Graham, as reported today by Tickle the Wire, introduced a bi-partisan bill to prevent the termination of special counsel without judiciary review.

“We need a check and balance here,” Graham said.