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Tag: Russia

Trump Attorney Rudy Giuliani Flip-Flops on Question about Collusion with Russia

Rudy Giuliani previously on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, is now claiming he “never said” the Trump campaign didn’t collude with Russia.

In an extraordinary interview on CNN on Wednesday night, Giuliani acknowledged there may have been “collusion” between the campaign and Russia, but Trump was not involved.

“I never said there was no collusion between the campaign. Or between people in the campaign,” Giuliani told CNN host Chris Cuomo on live television. “I have no idea.”

Truth is, Giuliani and Trump have both denied collusion.

“I have not,” Giuliani insisted. “I said the president of the United States. There is not a single bit of evidence the president of the United States committed the only crime you could commit here, conspired with the Russians to hack the DNC.”

In previous interviews, Giuliani denied anyone in the campaign colluded with Russia. He told Fox News in July that there was “no collusion” and then maintained that “collusion is not a crime.”

Trump has repeatedly insisted no one in his campaign colluded with Russia.

“There was nobody to collude with,” Trump said at a press conference with Vladimir Putin at his side last summer. “There was no collusion with the campaign.”

In previous tweets, including one as recent as December, Trump exclaimed, “No collusion!”

Giuliani’s latest rhetoric comes as Robert Mueller begins collecting more evidence of links between Trump, his campaign and Russia.

Last week, a court filing error by Paul Manafort’s attorneys showed that Manafort, Trump’s former champaign boss, met with Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilmnik and shared polling data with him. At one point, Manafort urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, according to the court filing.

Not So Fast! Mueller Signals Investigation of Russian Meddling Is Far from Over

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

It appears special counsel Robert Mueller is not ready to close his 20-month investigation into Russia’s election interference.

A judge Tuesday agreed to delay the sentencing of former Trump campaign official Rick Gates because he “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations,” according to a joint statement by his defense attorneys and Mueller’s team.

Gates, whose attorneys asked for a two-month delay, is a key witness in investigations involving the Trump campaign and inauguration.

In another development reported by ABC News, Mueller’s team has subpoenaed three new witnesses connected to Jerome Corsi, a Roger Stone associate and the former Washington D.C. bureau chief for the far right-wing internet site Infowars. They will be required to testify before a grand jury about Russian election meddling.

Mueller was said to be preparing a final report to the Justice Department about his findings in the investigation. But the latest developments indicate Mueller’s team is far from done and is aggressively pursuing several different cases related to Russian interference.

Carl Bernstein: Mueller’s Report Will Allege Trump helped Kremlin ‘destabilize’ the U.S.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian election interference will allege that President Trump helped the Kremlin “destabilize the United States,” according to famed journalist Carl Bernstein.

Bernstein, known for his coverage of Watergate, told CNN on Sunday that Mueller will reveal that Trump played a significant role in Russia’s propaganda campaign during the presidential election.

“This is about the most serious counterintelligence people we have in the U.S. government saying, ‘Oh, my God, the president’s words and actions lead us to conclude that somehow he has become a witting, unwitting, or half-witting pawn, certainly in some regards, to Vladimir Putin,’” Bernstein said CNN’s Reliable Sources.

“From a point of view of strength… rather, he has done what appears to be Putin’s goals. He has helped Putin destabilize the United States and interfere in the election, no matter whether it was purposeful or not,” the journalist added. He then explained that he knew from his own high-level sources that Mueller’s report would discuss this assessment.

“And that is part of what the draft of Mueller’s report, I’m told, is to be about,” he said. “We know there has been collusion by [former national security adviser Michael] Flynn. We know there has been collusion of some sort by [Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul] Manafort. The question is, yes, what did the president know and when did he know it?”

Mueller is expected to soon wrap up his investigation that began in May 2017 following the president’s termination of then-FBI Director James Comey. Mueller will then reveal what he has found in a report to the Justice Department.

Trump denied the allegations and suggested he has been “maybe tougher (on Russia) than any other President,” a claim widely disputed by historians and political analysts.

“I have been FAR tougher on Russia than Obama, Bush or Clinton. Maybe tougher than any other President. At the same time, & as I have often said, getting along with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. I fully expect that someday we will have good relations with Russia again!” Trump tweeted.

Accidental Reveal of Manafort’s Interactions with Russians Raises Prospect of Collusion

Paul Manafort’s mugshot

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

One of the most revealing details of Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russia was made public this week by accident.

In a court filing, lawyers for Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign boss, made a redaction error that revealed their client’s relationship with a Russian-linked operative named Konstantin Kilimnik.

During the campaign, Manafort met with Kilimnik and discussed “a Ukraine peace plan” and shared inside polling data.   

So what’s the big deal?

It’s the first strong indication that Mueller’s team has evidence of possible collision between Russia and Trump’s campaign. As the head of Trump’s campaign, Manafort was communicating with Kilimnik, a suspected Russian intelligence agent who was indicted by Mueller’s team on obstruction of justice charges.

Manafort also urged Kilimnik to pass the data to Russian oligarch Oleg V. Deripaska, who has claimed Manafort was in debt to him over a failed business, The New York Times reported

Just this month, the Department of Treasury lifted sanctions against Deripaska’s aluminum company.

The poorly redacted documents also contradict Trump’s repeated claims that Mueller has no proof of possible collusion.

Only time will tell whether Mueller has enough evidence of collusion.

Russian in Trump Tower Meeting Charged in Case That Reveals Close Ties to Kremlin

Trump Tower

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Russian lawyer who met with top Trump campaign aides at Trump Tower in 2016 was charged Tuesday in a money-laundering case that reveals her close ties to the Kremlin.

Federal prosecutors in New York charged Natalia V. Veselnitskaya with obstruction of justice in a U.S. money-laundering case involving Yury Chaika, a wealthy Russian businessman connected to the Trump Tower meeting, The New York Times and Guardian report.

The June 2016 meeting was prompted by a representative close to the Kremlin who told Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., that Chaika could provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

The meeting has become a focus of Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. Attending the meeting were top campaign aides, Trump Jr., Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, who has been convicted of crimes in unrelated cases.

Although the case against Veselnitskaya is unrelated to the Trump Tower meeting, the indictment reveals how closely she is connected to the Russian government.

Judge Blasts Plea Deal with Michael Flynn, Setting Sentencing in Limbo

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, went to court thinking he’d receive leniency for cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors Tuesday.

After all, Flynn struck a deal with prosecutors, who argued this month that he should not get prison time for his help with the Russia investigation.

But U.S. District judge Emmet Sullivan disagreed, causing a delay in sentencing on a charge of lying to the FBI.

“I’m not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offense,  Sullivan said, adding he is deviating from Mueller’s recommendation, The Washington Post reports.

The judge also was unhappy when Flynn’s attorneys suggested he was duped into lying to the FBI.

“All along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States!” he said. “Arguably, that undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably, you sold your country out!”

This means Flynn could serve substantial time in prison. ‘The judge requested a status report in 90 days before sentencing is scheduled.

Alleged Russian Agent Reaches Plea Deal with Federal Prosecutors

Maria Butina

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A gun rights activist and alleged Russian agent has reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors, according to several news outlets.

Defense attorneys and federal prosecutors indicated the case against Maria Butina is headed to a plea hearing.

“The parties have resolved this matter, and the Defendant Maria Butina remains in custody,” they wrote.

Butane was charged in July with conspiracy and acting as the agent of a federal government.

Both parties requested a plea hearing this week.

More details are expected to emerge from the hearing.

Ex-FBI Chief Comey Tries to Block Subpoena to Appear Before House Committee

James Comey testifies about President Trump before a Senate committee.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey is trying to block a subpoena to appear before the Republican-led House of Representatives on Monday, saying the motive behind the private interview was political.

The House Judiciary Committee subpoenaed Comey, who was fired by Trump in April 2017, earlier this month to answer questions about the FBI in 2016, including why the bureau did not recommend an investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private computer, Time reports.   

Last week, Comey said he would testify in a public hearing, but not a closed-door meeting.

Corey’s attorneys are asking a judge to dismiss the subpoena and delay his appearance before the House committee, which has been repeatedly accused of derailing an objective investigation.