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Tag: Russia

Jared Kushner Failed to Disclose Emails about Wikileaks, Russia from 2016

Jared Kushner

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser, received emails last year about Wikileaks and a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” without disclosing the information to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Politico reports

Kushner is accused of receiving the emails last September and forwarding them to another campaign official.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, saying that other witnesses have disclosed emails from Kushner that he didn’t turn over, sent a letter to Kushner about the missing documents.

“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

In a statement, Lowell said Kushner has been responsive to requests for records.

“We provided the Judiciary Committee with all relevant documents that had to do with Mr. Kushner’s calls, contacts or meetings with Russians during the campaign and transition, which was the request,” Lowell said, adding that he and Kushner had also told the committee they would be open to additional requests for information.

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Believe Mueller Probe Is ‘Witch Hunt’

PrintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most Americans don’t buy President Trump’s repeated claims that the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia is a “witch hunt.”

Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 60% of those surveyed believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the issue fairly. By contrast, only 27% people think the investigation is unfair.

Some Congressional Republicans recently introduced a non-binding measure that claims Mueller’s investigation amounts to a “coup” attempt.

The poll found that 47% of Americans believe Trump should be impeached if he fires Mueller, a former FBI director who has announced charges and one conviction against several Trump aides.

3 Takeaways from Sessions’ Testimony about Trump-Russia Contacts

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress about contacts between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified before Congress about contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, said his hazy memory is to blame for any inconsistent responses he has given to Congress about contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russians.

Here are highlights of his testimony:

1. Sessions now remembers attending a March 2016 meeting with George Papadopoulos.

Under Oath in October, Sessions told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no recollection of contacts between the Trump campaign and Kremlin-tied Russians.

But when he heard about the arrest of Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos this month, Sessions said he suddenly remembered the aide proposing a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“Frankly, I had no recollection of this meeting until I saw these news reports,” Sessions told the committee, adding that he believes he advised Papadopuolos to scrap a Trump-Putin meeting. 

2. Sessions dismissed accusations that he committed perjury.

“In all of my testimony, I can only do my best to answer all of your questions as I understand them and to the best of my memory,” Sessions testified. “But I will not accept, and reject, accusations that I have ever lied. That is a lie.”

Sessions’ failure to recall key facts about ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials drew heavy criticism.

Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., listed numerous times Sessions said insisted “I do not recall” while testifying before Congress in the past.

Sessions said the “chaos” of running a presidential campaign makes it easy to forget details about certain events.

“All of you have been in a campaign, but most of you have not participated in a presidential campaign,” Sessions said.

3. Sessions shocked many Republicans when he refused to promise the appointment of a new special counsel to investigation Hillary Clinton and her foundation.

Sessions said there was “not enough basis” to appoint a special counsel, prompting a heated exchange with Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who asked what it would take to make the appointment.

“You can have your idea, but sometimes we have to study what the facts are, and to evaluate whether it meets the standards it requires.”

Jordan said it “looks like” there was enough evidence for a special counsel, pointing to allegations that Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Convention funded the salacious dossier that outlines Trump’s ties with Russia.

Sessions responded: “I would say ‘looks like’ is not enough basis to appoint a special counsel.”

Sessions to Face Tough Questions Today about Russia Communicating with Trump Team

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

How much did Attorney General Jeff Sessions know about Donald Trump’s campaign aides communicating with Russia?

Sessions, who has provided shifting, sometimes contradictory answers to questions about Russia’s connection to the Trump Campaign, will testify Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee amid discoveries that suggest he knew more than he let on.

The committee plans to ask the former Alabama senator about his involvement and conversations about Trump aides traveling to Russia or trying to set up a meeting with Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

According to testify from former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos, it appears Sessions did know about contacts between Russia and Trump campaign officials.

The committee’s 17 Democrats wrote in a letter that Sessions’ statements include “inconsistencies” that need to be hashed out during today’s testimony.

Special Counsel Probe Focuses on How Much Trump Knew about Russia Contacts

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is trying to determine how much Donald Trump and his inner circle were aware of the campaign team’s contracts with Russia.

To get closer to the mystery, Mueller’s team questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of Trump’s election campaign, who testified before the grand jury in late October, two sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters

“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-electTrump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” said one source. “That is still just a question.”

The White House declined to comment.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in a deal that involve testimony against the president and his inner circle.

“The investigators now know what Papadopoulos was doing on the Russian front, which he initially tried to conceal, and who he told that to,” said the other source. “Now want to know whether Clovis and others reported these activities and others related to Russia, and if so, to whom,” this source said.

Republicans Warn of ‘Coup’ if Robert Mueller Continues Russia-Trump Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A conservative group of Republicans called for Robert Mueller to resign, saying the special counsel’s investigation amounts to an attempted overthrow of the government.

“We are at risk of a coup d’etat in this country if we allow an unaccountable person, with no oversight, to undermine the duly-elected President of the United States,” said Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz from the chamber floor, Newsweek reports

Gaetz and other members of the House Freedom Caucus proposed a non-binding motion last week to demand Mueller resign or be fired because of “obvious conflicts of interest.” They allege Mueller has a conflict because he was the FBI director when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to buy a Canadian energy company with uranium operations in 2010.

“We’ve got to clean this town up, and it will start with the resignation of Mr. Mueller and a proper investigation of all of this underlying case involving Comey, Lynch, the Clintons, and Russia,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said Wednesday.

Russian Lawyer: Trump Jr. Offered to Review Sanctions in Exchange for Dirt on Clinton

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump Jr. and his dad, President Trump, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Russian lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the presidential election campaign last year said the president’s son offered to re-examine sanctions and travel bans imposed on Russian officials in exchange for dirt on Hillary Clinton.

The attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya offered new details in an interview with Bloomberg about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower involving Trump Jr., Jared Kushner’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Paul Manafort, who then was Trump’s senior campaign manager. 

The meeting has become a target of the special counsel investigation of possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia to meddle in the election.

Veselnitskaya said she was lobbying against the so-called 2012 Magnitsky law that imposed travel bans and sanctions on Russian officials accused of plotting to murder an accountant, Sergey Magnitsky.

In the Bloomberg interview, Veselnitskaya quoted what Trump Jr. allegedly said during the meeting: “Looking ahead, if we come to power, we can return to this issue and think what to do about it.”

It’s unclear whether Russia ever passed on information about Clinton.

Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Charge Former Trump Official Michael Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just one week after Special Counsel Robert Mueller announced charges against three former Donald Trump aides in connection with an investigation into alleged collusion with Russia, the investigative team has enough evidence for criminal charges against the president’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Former FBI Director James Comey has claimed he was fired after being pressured by Trump to drop the investigation against Flynn, who is now under fire for his lobbying work for foreign governments, the Independent reports.

In February, Flynn resigned from the administration after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about his communications with Russian government officials.

Last week, Mueller announced money laundering charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates. The former FBI director, who was appointed by the Justice Department, also announced he secured a guilty plea from George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser for Trump, for lying to the FBI about trying to arrange a meeting between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

If charged, Flynn would become the first member of Trump’s administration to face prosecution in the growing, wide-ranging investigation into whether the president’s campaign team colluded with Russia to damage the reputation of Hillary Clinton.