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Tag: Russia

Trump’s Company Offered Putin a $50M Penthouse in Planned Tower in Russia

Russian leader Vladimir Putin

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Trump Organization offered Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse as the company negotiated the luxury real estate development during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to several media outlets.

“If we have Putin in the penthouse every oligarch in Russia would want to live in that building,” Felix Sater, a businessman who worked on the project and suggested the idea, told the Washington Post.

The revelations came as Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime attorney and confidant, pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia. 

According to BuzzFeed News, Cohen discussed the plan with a representative of Putin’s press secretary.

The Trump Tower in Russia has become a target of Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Trump was aware of the Penthouse plan.

Trump’s Former Lawyer Cohen Pleads Guilty to Lying to Congress about Russia

Trump Tower in New York City.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former lawyer and longtime confidant Michael Cohen pleaded guilty Thursday to lying to Congress about plans to build a Trump Tower in Russia, according to multiple news reports.

Cohen has agreed to cooperate with federal prosecutors in what could be a big break for Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

The guilty plea came just a few hours after Trump slammed Mueller in another tweetstorm.

“When will this illegal Joseph McCarthy style Witch Hunt, one that has shattered so many innocent lives, ever end-or will it just go on forever?” Trump tweeted.

The timing of the plea coincides with Trump’s plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Group of 20 nations summit in Argentina.

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.

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.

President Trump Submits Written Answers to Stave off Sit-Down with Mueller’s Team

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump has finally submitted his written answers to Robert Mueller’s questions about the president’s knowledge of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

The written response avoids – for now – a sit-down interview with special counsel prosecutors.

For nearly a year, the president’s attorneys have negotiated with prosecutors over Trump’s testimony in the 19-month investigation.

Mueller’s team provided dozens of questions to Trump’s attorneys to determine how much the president knew about Russia’s involvement in the election.

Trump to Submit Written Answers to Mueller’s Questions about Russian Interference

President Trump at Indiana rally.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s legal team may submit written answers to special counsel Robert Mueller as early as this week.

The answers are limited to Russian meddling in the 2016 election and do not involve obstruction of justice allegations, a source familiar with the investigation told NBC News

Trump’s legal team has insisted the obstruction of justice questions are off limits because they involve the firing of then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump’s lawyers argue the president has the authority to hire and fire under Article 2 of the Constitution.

Trump has met at least once this week with his legal team to discuss Mueller’s request for written answers.

WikiLeaks Faces Extradition to U.S. in What Could Become Major Break in Mueller Case

Julian Assange on Fox News

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange may be extradited to the U.S. from an Ecuadoran embassy in London in what could become a major victory for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Assange said Monday that Ecuador could soon end his six-year asylum, Reuters reports

Assange, known for releasing sensitive documents through WikiLeaks, could be a big witness in Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia’s interference during the 2016 presidential election.

Mueller has struck plea deals with others tied to Trump in exchange for cooperating with prosecutors.

Assange likely knows more than anyone whether the Trump campaign was involved with leaking hacked emails that hurt Hillary Clinton during the election.

Longtime Trump supporter Roger Stone originally claimed he was in contact with Assange, but he has since walked back those statements.

Mueller’s Team Questioning Manafort, Others about Longtime Trump Supporter Roger Stone

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been questioning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others about Roger Stone.

Stone, who also worked on Trump’s campaign and previously was a partner at Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, has been the subject of Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.   

“I am highly confident Mr. Manafort is aware of no wrongdoing on my part during the 2016 campaign, or at any other time, and therefore there is no wrongdoing to know about,” Stone told ABC News. “Narratives to the contrary by some in the media are false and defamatory.” 

Mueller’s team wants to know whether Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Russian hackers had stolen. At the time, Stone publicly suggested he had been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the emails, which were released to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

Nearly a dozen people close to Stone – many of whom have appeared before a federal grand jury – have been questioned by Mueller’s team.