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How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Tag: Robert Mueller

Book: Indicted Ex-Campaign Aide Told Feds Trump Encouraged Meeting with Putin

Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, via LinkedIn.

By Steve Neavling

George Papadopoulos, former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign and cooperating witness in the special counsel probe, told federal investigators that Donald Trump encouraged him to try and secure a secret meeting with Russian President Donald Trump, according to the book “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on Ametrica and the Election of Donald Trump,” by Yahoo News’ Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones’ David Corn.

Papadopoulos, a 28-year-old political newcomer at the time, told Trump during a meeting on March 31, 2016, that he believed he could establish a meeting between Trump and the Russian leader.

According to the book, Trump considered the prospect “interesting” and encouraged Papadopoulos to arrange the meeting.

Papadopoulos, who agreed to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation after pleading guilty in October 2017 to making false statements to the FBI, shared the information with federal prosecutors, according to the book.

The information could prove to be helpful to Mueller’s team as investigators try to determine whether Trump or anyone else from his campaign colluded with Russia to interfere it the 2016 presidential election.

Trump continues to denounce the investigation as a fruitless “witch hunt” by top intelligence officials who want him out of the White House.

House Republicans Abruptly Conclude There Was No Collusion with Russia

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling

Even as special counsel Robert Mueller delves deeper into secret meetings between Trump and Russian associates, Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee abruptly concluded they found no evidence of collusion between the president’s campaign and the Kremlin.

The GOP-dominated committee, with no input from Democrats, drafted a 150-page report that concedes Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election but disputes the intelligence community’s findings that the meddling was intended to help Trump win. One committee Republican, Rep. Tom Rooney of Florida, didn’t agree, telling CNN “there is evidence” that Russia’s goal was to help shift the election in favor of Trump.

Rep. Mike Conaway, who headed the committee’s investigation, told reporters Monday that the report was based on the testimony of more than 70 witnesses and 300,000 documents. 

“We found no evidence of collusion. We found perhaps some bad judgment, inappropriate meetings,” the Texas Republican said. “But only Tom Clancy or Vince Flynn or someone else like that could take this series of inadvertent contacts with each other, or meetings, whatever, and weave that into a some sort of fictional page-turner spy thriller.”


Trump didn’t mention that Democrats, who are expected to issue their own conclusions, were quick to dismiss the committee’s report as partisan-driven and premature.

“By ending its oversight role in the only authorized investigation in the House, the majority has placed the interests of protecting the president over protecting the country,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff, of Calif., the top Democrat on the committee. “And history will judge its actions harshly.”

Schiff, who suggested last month there was “ample evidence” of collusion, said the committee’s investigation was closed before key witnesses have been interviewed and important documents have been procured.

Just last week, sources revealed Mueller is investigating whether an early 2017 meeting in Seychelles was an effort to establish a back channel between Russia and the Trump administration.

Trump Mulls Hiring Clinton Impeachment Attorney As Mueller Probe Intensifies

President Trump at the White House, via the White House.

By Steve Neavling

As the special counsel investigation continues to expand into uncomfortable territory, Donald Trump has met with veteran attorney Emmet T. Flood, who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment trial, to join the president’s legal team.

Trump met with Flood in the Oval Office to discuss duties that would include “a day-to-day role helping the president navigate his dealings with the Justice Department,” The New York Times reports. 

While the sources said the meetings don’t necessarily reflect developments in the investigation, it does underscore Robert Mueller’s probe is far from over.

If hired, Flood would not replace Ty Cobb, who has been Trump’s lawyer throughout the investigation, the sources said.

On Sunday, Trump slammed New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman for writing the story, saying he is happy with his current legal team.

“The Failing New York Times purposely wrote a false story stating that I am unhappy with my legal team on the Russia case and am going to add another lawyer to help out. Wrong,” Trump tweeted. “I am VERY happy with my lawyers, John Dowd, Ty Cobb and Jay Sekulow. They are doing a great job.”

According to the Times, Cobb has told friends he doesn’t expect to remain in his job much longer.

In addition to representing Clinton during the impeachment process, Flood represented Vice President Dick Cheney in his civil suit against CIA officer Valerie Plame.

Ex-Trump Aide Nunberg Says Special Counsel Probe Not a ‘Witch Hunt’

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg.

By Steve Neavling

Former Donald Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg, following a string of bizarre media appearances, said the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the president’s campaign is not a “witch hunt.”

“No, I don’t think it’s a witch hunt,” Nunberg told ABC. “It’s warranted because there’s a lot there and that’s the sad truth.”

But, he added, “I don’t believe it leads to the president.”

Nunberg said he believes may in Trump’s inner circle could be implicated, including his mentor and former Trump campaign aide Roger Stone.

“I’m very worried about him,” Nunberg said. “He’s certainly at least the subject of this investigation, in the very least he’s a subject.”

After defiantly daring Mueller to arrest him last week, Nunberg backed down from his pledge to ignore the investigation, including a subpoena to turn over records involving contacts with Trump’s inner circle.

On Friday, Nunberg met with Mueller and testified before a grand jury for more than five hours in Washington D.C.

Nunberg was fired from Trump’s campaign in August 2015 following the discovery of racially charged comments he made on Facebook.

Protester Hurls Russian Flag at Manafort After He Pleads Not Guilty in Special Counsel Case

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling

A protester threw a Russian flag at former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Thursday as he was leaving a courthouse after pleading not guilty to tax and fraud charges in the second case brought against him by the special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

The protester, standing outside of a federal court building in Alexandria, Va., held a sign that read “blood money” and shouted “Traitor!” as Manafort left the courthouse, NBC News reports

U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III placed Manafort on home confinement and required him to wear a GPS bracelet pending his trial date of July 10.

In a related case, Manafort last week pleaded not guilty and is set for a Sept. 17 trial.

Because of his age, Manafort faces the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison on numerous charges related to his business dealing in eastern Europe.

Unless Manafort strikes a deal with prosecutors, the former high-paid political consultant is on track to become the first person to be tried in connection with Robert Mueller’s investigation

Manafort’s longtime business partner, Rick Gates, is among three former Trump aides who have pleaded guilty to assortment of charges and have agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s team of prosecutors. Gates, who also served on Trump’s campaign, is expected to provide information about crimes he said he and Manafort committed as business partners.

Gates and Manafort were both charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, tax fraud and money laundering stemming from lobbying and consulting work related to Ukrainian politicians who are strong allies of Russia.

Two weeks ago, the men’s Russian-connected attorney Alex Van der Zwaan was charged with misleading the FBI about work he did for Manafort and Gates. 

Last month, 13 Russians were charged in a sweeping indictment alleging they waged a propaganda campaign to help Trump get elected. 

The other former Trump associates who have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors are Trump’s former national security adviser Mike Flynn and ex-campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

In May 2017, Mueller was appointed to investigate Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election. So far, more than 100 charges have been filed against a 19 people and three companies.

Mueller Probes Growing Evidence of Back-Channel Between Trump, Russia

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling

Special counsel Robert Mueller is honing in on a secret meeting between a Trump associate and a Russian official shortly before the president’s inauguration in what increasingly looks like an effort to create a back-channel between the Kremlin and the incoming White House administration, according to a new report.

The meeting on a small island off the eastern coast of Africa was between Erik Prince, the founder of the private military contractor Blackwater USA, and an official with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Washington Post reports.

The information came from a witness who told Mueller’s team that the meeting was intended to establish future relations between Washington and Moscow.

In testimony before Congress, Prince, who’s the younger brother of Trump’s Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, denied attending the meeting as a representative of the Trump administration, insisting the meet-up was part of his role as a businessman.

George Nader, a Lebanese American businessman, helped organize the meeting and shared that information during testimony before a grand jury gathering evidence as part of Mueller’s probe of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump continues to deny ties to the Kremlin, suggesting that allegations of collisions are a “hoax” and “witch hunt” perpetuated by Democrats and others who want to bring the president down.

Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Broadens to Influence-Peddling by Foreign Governments

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling

George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates with close ties to various associates of President Trump, is cooperating with prosecutors and testified before a grand jury last week as part of the evolving special counsel investigation of Russia’s role in the  2016 presidential election.

Nadar’s cooperation comes at a critical time for special counsel Robert Mueller, who has expanded his investigation beyond Russia’s election interference and now appears to be examining whether foreign governments funneled money to the Trump campaign to influence the president’s policies, the New York Times reports.

Nader, a frequent White House visitor and a Lebanese-American businessman who served as an adviser to the UAE’s ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, was stopped and questioned by FBI investigators after landing at Washington Dulles International Airport in January. Nader was in the U.S. to meet with Trump and his associates as part of a celebration of the president’s first year in office at Mars-a-Lago, the president’s Florida getaway estate.

Mueller’s team has questioned potential witnesses about allegations that Nader helped funnel money from the UAE to Trump’s presidential campaign to buy political influence. Foreign entities are barred from making donations to political candidates in the U.S.

Fired FBI Director Comey to Break Silence in Televised Interview

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling

Former FBI Director James Comey, whom President Trump fired over “this Russian thing,” plans to break his silence in his first televised interview since his termination last year.

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos will interview Comey for a special “20/20” segment on April 15.

The former FBI boss wrote a book, “A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies & Leadership,” that will be published earlier than planned – April 17 – because of the relevance of the topics, the publisher said.

Trump initially said he fired Comey on May 9 because of the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton investigation in the lead-up to the election. But the president later admitted he terminated Comey because of “this Russian thing,” referring to conclusions by numerous U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the election.

Just eight days later, the Justice Department appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, to investigate Russia’s election meddling.

In testimony before lawmakers, Comey suggested he was fired after refusing Trump’s request to drop an investigation into a former campaign aide.

Comey served as the FBI director from 2013 to 2017.