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Tag: Robert Mueller

Here’s How Trump Responded to 2 Questions from Mueller

President Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump responded in writing to the special counsel team that he was not notified of a meeting at the Trump Tower between campaign officials and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The president also denied that his former political adviser Roger Stone told him about Wikileaks’ plan to release hacked emails from the Democratic Party that were damaging to Clinton.

That’s according to CNN, which obtained two of the president’s written responses to Robert Mueller’s team investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

Trump has refused an in-person interview with Mueller’s team and only agreed to answer questions about collision with Russia.

Manafort Reportedly Met Secretly with Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, met secretly with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Sources told the Guardian that Manafort met Assange in 2013, 2015 and in the spring of 2016, which is when Manafort joined the Trump campaign.

Manafort denied the meetings took place.

“I have never met Julian Assange or anyone connected to him,” Manafort said in a statement. “I have never been contacted by anyone connected to WikiLeaks, either directly or indirectly. I have never reached out to Assange or WikiLeaks on any matter.”

Special counsel prosecutors are likely to be interested in the 2016 meeting because several months later Wikileaks dumped a trove of damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

What’s unclear is what the meetings involved.

Manafort, who is in solitary confinement at a prison in Virginia, could receive more time behind bars after Robert Mueller’s special counsel team said he repeatedly lied to the FBI, even after striking a deal to cooperate with prosecutors.

Manafort’s Attorney Leaked Information to Trump’s Legal Team

Ex-Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Paul Manafort’s attorney provided the president’s legal team with updates and details about interviews with federal prosecutors, even after the former Trump campaign boss pledged to cooperate with authorities.

Special prosecutors for Robert Mueller were enraged to discover the discussions were taking place, and some authorities are speculating the secret briefings were Manafort’s way of gaining a presidential pardon, the New York Times reports

Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani confirmed the discussions with the Times.

Manafort’s attorney, Kevin Downing, told Giuliani that Manafort was questioned in-depth about the Trump Tower meeting in which a Russian lawyer secretly gathered with Manafort, Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Manafort also was asked whether the president was aware of the meeting.

“He wants Manafort to incriminate Trump,” Giuliani said.

On Wednesday morning, Trump tweeted that “at least 3 major players are intimating that the Angry Mueller Gang of Dems is viciously telling witnesses to lie about facts & they will get relief.”

“This is our Joseph McCarthy Era!”

As is usual with Trump’s Twitter tirades, Trump provided no names or any more detail to back up his claims.

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.

Behind the Scenes: Trump Nearly Sat Down with Mueller for an Interview

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump came close to a sit-down interview under oath with special counsel Robert Mueller at Camp David on a Saturday in January 2018.

But as the interview approached and Mueller revealed the topics he wanted to discuss, the president’s lawyers hesitated. Trump attorney John Dowd questioned Mueller’s authority to interview the president in a letter, and just like that, the president’s administration canceled the Jan. 27 interview, according to a new report by the Associated Press

It has been nearly a year, and Trump has refused an in-person interview since.

Last week, the president turned over written answers to Mueller’s team, but the questions were limited to how much Trump’s campaign knew about Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

After Trump replaced Attorney General Jeff Sessions with loyalist Matthew Whitaker a day after the midterm elections, the fate of Mueller’s 19-month investigation hangs in the balance.

Mueller’s Team Defends Its Authority to Investigate Russian Meddling

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team argued that the appointment of Matthew Whitaker to acting attorney general won’t affect the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.

Mueller’s top attorney made the assertion in response to a case filed Andrew Miller, an associate of Roger Stone, who is under investigation for his role in the leaks of Hillary Clinton emails, the Washington Post reports

Miller is challenging the constitutionality of Mueller’s authority to investigate Russia.

“The designation has no effect on the case,” Mueller’s team said of Whitaker’s new position. “The validity of the Special Counsel’s appointment” in May 2017 “cannot be retroactively affected by a change in the official who is serving as the Acting Attorney General.”

Miller’s lawsuit is aimed at blocking a grand jury subpoena from Mueller.

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.