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Tag: Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Probe Explores Possible Link Between Trump, RNC, Russia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is scrutinizing the Republican National Committee’s joint data operation with Donald Trump’s campaign to determine whether it shared connections with the Russian effort to undermine Hillary Clinton in the presidential election.

Two sources told Yahoo News that Mueller’s team began questioning RNC staffers about the joint operation to target voters in critical swing states. https://finance.yahoo.com/news/mueller-probe-outgrows-witch-hunt-phase-100045988.html

Mueller’s team is investigating whether the operation, which was managed by the president’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, “was related to the activities of Russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the American electorate.”

The widening investigation is exploring whether the Trump campaign received voter information stolen by Russian hackers from election databases in several states. Investigators also are trying to determine whether the Trump campaign assisted Russia’s propaganda campaign targeting specific demographics and voting precincts.

Republican Congressman Calls for ‘Purge’ of Biased Agents in FBI, DOJ

U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The conservative Republican attack on the FBI’s credibility  continued Tuesday when Rep. Francis Rooney called for the “purge” of the bureau’s “deep state” personnel.

The Florida congressman told MSNBC that the Trump-Russia “investigation is totally off the rails” and that the Justice Department must also clean house. 

“I’m very concerned that the DOJ and FBI, whether you want to call it ‘deep state’ or what, are kind of off the rails,” the Republican said. 

The verbal attacks on the FBI have picked up steam following the discovery that one of the FBI’s top investigators had sent anti-Trump text messages.

In less than a week, Trump slammed former FBI Director James Comey, FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and outgoing FBI general counsel James Baker, raising questions about whether his criticism amounts to witness intimidation

Trump’s Ex-Campaign Manager Manafort May Face Another Indictment

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates may face another indictment in the Trump-Russia probe headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The Daily Beast reports that Washington D.C. lawyers anticipate Mueller will file a superseding indictment of Manafort and Gates to replace the current indictment. 

“I would expect a superseding indictment to come down relatively soon,” said Jonathan Turley, a George Washington University law school professor.

“There was much in the narrative of the indictment that referenced crimes not charged,” he added. “Prosecutors will often issue a superseding indictment as the grand jury continues its work. There’s also a tactical reason for this, that superseding indictments tend to grind defendants a bit more over time.”

Both men pleaded not guilty to an Oct. 30 indictment that alleges conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, being an unregistered agent of foreign principal, false and misleading statements under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, and false statements.

Manafort’s foreign financial transactions may draw potential new tax charges, the indictment hinted.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Tweets FBI Is ‘TAINTED’ Because Salacious Dossier Is Unsubstantiated

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The salacious dossier that claims Donald Trump and Russia may have colluded to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign remain unsubstantiated, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified before Congress last week.

Trump and conservative lawmakers are pouncing on McCabe’s testimony to suggest the FBI’s top ranks are biased against the president and are bent on bringing him down.

The dossier was funded by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign.

In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump said the dossier is “bogus” and the FBI is “TAINTED.”

But what Trump didn’t mention is that special counsel is still investigating the report and may determine it has credibility. Furthermore, the special counsel investigation has already charged four people connected to Trump without relying on the dossier. 

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. 

Trump Suggests Misconduct in Russia Probe, But Says He Won’t Fire Mueller

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump echoed his lawyers’ claims Sunday that the special counsel team investigating his campaign’s ties to Russia had engaged in improper conduct, but said he has no plans to fire Robert Mueller, the leader of the quickly evolving probe.

Fielding a few questions from reporters at the White House after returning from Camp David, Trump was asked by ABC News whether he was considering canning Mueller.

“No, I’m not,” said Trump, who has repeatedly portrayed the investigation as politically motivated. “What, are you surprised?”

A lawyer for Trump’s transition team claimed this weekend that Mueller’s team obtained a large batch of e-mails from the period between the 2016 election and the Jan. 20 inauguration without the required consent from the transition team.

A spokesman for Mueller’s team rejected any wrongdoing. 

“When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner’s consent or appropriate criminal process,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller’s office, told the Washington Post

Trump said he’s not worried about the contents of the emails.

“I can’t imagine there’s anything on them, because as we said there’s no collusion,” Trump said. “There was no collusion whatsoever.”

Special Counsel Requests Data from Data Firm Used by Trump in Presidential Campaign

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team is requesting information from a data firm used by Donald Trump’s campaign during the 2016 presidential election.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s office has requested all emails from employees who worked with the campaign for data firm Cambridge Analytica. 

The company has complied with the request, which is part of the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The House Intelligence Committee interviewed Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix via video call earlier this week.

WikiLeaks chief Julian Assange tweeted that he was contacted by Nix before the November election.

New Poll: Majority of Voters Believe Mueller Has ‘Conflict of Interest’

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A majority of voters polled by a new survey believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller has a “conflict of interest” in the investigation into Russia and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign

The Harvard CAPS-Harris survey found that 54% of polled voters believe that Mueller’s relationship with fired FBI Director James Comey represents a conflict of interest.

Of those who believed there was a conflict of interest, 70% were Republicans, 53% were Independents and 40% were Democrats.

When Mueller retired, he was replaced with Comey. Although the extent of their relationship is unclear, the pair worked together and both threatened to resign over domestic surveillance issues under President George W. Bush.