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Tag: Robert Mueller

Bannon Pushes Trump to Dump Mueller Before Probe Gets Hotter

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

Steve Bannon on 60 Minutes.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A special counsel investigation that President Trump has dismissed as a “witch hunt” fueled by “fake news” has suddenly become very real.

On Monday, Robert Mueller’s legal team dropped bombshells: Two Trump campaign aides have been charged with federal crimes and another has cooperated and admitted he tried to set up a clandestine meeting between the future president and Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

As the legal heat turns up on the Trump administration, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is urging Trump to dump Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Politico reports

Bannon, who now is the executive chairman of the right-wing Breitbart News, advised the president to defund Mueller’s office to avoid officially firing him. 

CNN’s Dana Bash reported Bannon even told Trump he should withhold documents requested by investigators.

“I’m told Bannon pushing trump to be more aggressive against Mueller: urge gop to cut funding, withhold document production and more,” Bash wrote on Twitter.

Rush Limbaugh on Indictments: ‘None of This is Real’

Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The conservative media, including radio host Rush Limbaugh, is pushing back, trying to discredit special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and the indictments announced on Monday.

“None of this is real,” Limbaugh told his radio on Monday, according to a report by NPR.

When a listener suggested Mueller had “gone rogue” and might be aiming to sink Trump, Limbaugh responded: “This is the coup. If Hillary had been elected, none of this would be happening, other than they still put Trump in jail as a message to the outsider: Don’t dare try this.”

Conservative media outlets have echoed Limbaugh’s sentiments and tried to focus on Hillary Clinton and the need to investigate her.

 

Convicted Trump Aide Admits Trying to Securing Clandestine Trump-Putin Meeting

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to President Trump, is the first campaign aide to plead guilty as part of the special counsel’s widening investigation into possible collusion between the president’s associates and the Russian government.

Papadopoulos, 30, who admitted to lying to FBI agents, is also the first aide reach a plea agreement in exchange for cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The young Greek-American, whom Trump called an “excellent guy” in a March 2016 interview with the Washington Post, was part of a plot to secure a meeting between the future president and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Guardian reports

In April 2016, Papadopoulos met with a mysterious London professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.”

The potentially game-changing development was announced on the same day Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and adviser Rick Gates surrendered to the FBI and were indicted on numerous charges, including conspiracy, money-laundering and foreign lobbying violations.

Special Counsel Probe of Trump, Russia Ties Nets First Criminal Charges

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel appointed to investigate possible collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia has produced its first charges in the early stages of what has become a wide-ranging inquiry, CNN reports.

A grand jury in Washington D.C. approved the charges Friday, and an arrest could come as early as Monday.

Details were still murky Friday because the charges are still sealed by judge’s order. It wasn’t immediately clear, for example, who is being charged and what crimes were allegedly committed.

As of late Friday evening, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office has declined to respond to questions about the charges, but top lawyers in the probe were seen entering the grand jury room earlier in the day. 

In May, was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the investigation into escalating questions about Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The appointment came shortly after Trump abruptly fired then-FBI Director James Comey, who testified before Congress that the president pressured him to end the investigation of his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. 

The special counsel probe has broadened in scope and includes inquiries into whether Trump obstructed justice or whether some of his campaign team violated foreign lobbying laws or had financial ties to Russia.  

Special Counsel Investigation Now Focusing on Left-Leaning Podesta Group

John Podesta

John Podesta

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential election now includes the Democratic-leaning Podesta Group.

The group is led by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager John Podesta.

Mueller is looking at the group’s dealings with a Ukrainian-linked firm, NBC reports

The focus on the Podesta Group stems from Mueller’s investigation of Paul Manafort, Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman.

NBC wrote:

Manafort had organized a public relations campaign for a non-profit called the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine (ECMU). Podesta’s company was one of many firms that worked on the campaign, which promoted Ukraine’s image in the West.

The sources said the investigation into Podesta and his company began as more of a fact-finding mission about the ECMU and Manafort’s role in the campaign, but has now morphed into a criminal inquiry into whether the firm violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act, known as FARA.

Under FARA, people who lobby on behalf of foreign governments, leaders or political parties must file detailed disclosures about their spending and activities with the Justice Department. Willful failure to file the forms is a felony and can result in up to five years in prison, though such prosecutions are rare.

The Podesta Group filed a FARA registration for its work with ECMU only after the payments were reported by the media. Manafort’s firm also filed a FARA registration after media reports in June disclosed its work in Ukraine from 2012 through 2014.

Trump Says He Has Not Been Asked to Be Interviewed by Mueller’s Team

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump said he has not been asked to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating alleged Russian interference during the presidential election.

“I don’t know. Nobody’s asked me to do that,” he told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on Friday. “There has — there is no collusion I can tell you that. Everybody’s seen that. You know, you have Senate meetings, you have Senate hearings and nobody has asked us to do interviews anywhere. They have found no collusion.”

Mueller’s team has interviewed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Mueller has reportedly expressed interest in interviewing a number of former and current White House staffers.

Trump Says He’s Not Considering Firing Special Councel Mueller

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Amid months of speculation that Donald Trump may fire the Justice Department’s special counsel, the president said Monday he is not considering terminating Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump made the pronouncement when asked about the investigation by reporters in the Rose Garden, CNN reports

“The whole Russian thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election,” Trump said before adding there’s been “absolutely no collusion.”

“It’s been stated that they have no collusion. They ought to get to the end of it because I think the American public is sick of it.”

Trump’s Lawyers: President Wants To Interview with Special Counsel Mueller

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s lawyers say the president is willing to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russia’s role in the presidential election.

Politico reports that Trump’s lawyers support the idea because it will speed up the investigation and create more confidence that the president has nothing to hide. 

Trump is so eager for an interview that he may volunteer for it if a request isn’t made by Thanksgiving.

But an interview carries risks for Trump, who may be questioned about obstruction of justice allegations for firing then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump also could be peppered with questions about his relationship with the Kremlin.

“Whatever happens with regard to whether or not, or how, the special counsel might want to interview the president, there’s no reason to expect that would be combative,” the senior White House official explained.