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Tag: special counsel

Democrats to Special Counsel Mueller: We Have Evidence Michael Flynn Broke Law

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Democrats say they have evidence that President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn broke the law by failing to disclose a trip that involved a potential business deal between the Saudi government and a Russian nuclear power agency.

House Democrats provided details in a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating wether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia to win the White House.

Rep. Elijah Commungs, D-Md., and Eliot Engel, D-New York, sent the letter, which was not signed by any Republicans.

CNN reported:

Democrats sought information from three American companies in June after Newsweek reported that Flynn traveled to the Middle East in the summer of 2015 to broker a $100 billion deal between the companies, Saudi Arabia and Russia’s nuclear power agency. In response, officials from the US companies provided statements to the Democrats, confirming Flynn’s trip in 2015.

When Flynn returned to the US several months later and reapplied for his security clearance, he never disclosed the trip or the contacts he had with foreign nationals as part of the trip, the Democrats say.

Post-Dispatch: Mueller May Find Smoking Gun in Cast of Bad Characters

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Editorial Board
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and agents of the Russian government has been remarkably discreet, as it should be. But other sources have leaked three names — Michael D. CohenFelix Sater and Eric Schneiderman — that indicate that Mueller’s team is probing very deeply. If there’s a smoking gun to be found, Mueller is getting closer to it.

Cohen is Trump’s longtime lawyer and executive vice president of the Trump Organization. Sater is a childhood friend of Cohen, a former business associate of Trump, and a onetime government informant with ties to all manner of unsavory people, including Russian oligarchs. Schneiderman, at the opposite end of the probity scale, is New York state’s attorney general.

Cohen and Sater are making big blips on Mueller’s radar screen, as well as those of congressional committees looking into possible election collusion. Last week, The New York Times reported that Cohen had written an eight-page letter to the House Intelligence Committee vehemently denying allegations that he was a central figure in contacts between the Trump campaign and agents of the Russian government.

The allegations were made in a controversial dossier compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele. That dossier identified Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the man in charge of a Kremlin operation to damage Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and promote Trump’s.

To read more click here. 

Trump’s Lawyers Told Mueller the President Didn’t Commit Obstruction of Justice

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s legal team met with special counsel Robert Mueller and argued the president didn’t obstruct justice by firing then-FBI Director James Comey.   

Trump’s lawyers insisted the president has the constitutional right to fire the FBI director for any reason and that Mueller was an admitted leaker, the Wall Street Journal reports

Comey said he was fired after he refused to back off an investigation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Mueller is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere with the presidential election.

Mueller, New York AG Team up to Investigate Paul Manafort

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on the investigation into President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Politico reports

The news means the investigation is intensifying and that Trump won’t have the authority to pardon Manafort on any future state charges. As a result, Mueller will have more leverage to convince Manafort to cooperate with authorities on the larger investigation into Trump’s campaign.

In the past few weeks, the state and federal teams have shared information and discussed the case frequently.

Much of the focus is on potential financial crimes, including money laundering.

It’s too early to say whether charges will be filed.

 “Nothing is imminent,” said one of the people familiar with the case.

Special Counsel Mueller Subpoenas Manafort’s Spokesman, Former Attorney

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Paul Manafort’s spokesman and one of his former attorneys.

Manafort, who is Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, is under investigation for possible tax and financial crimes in connection with his work for the former ruling party in Ukraine, which had espoused pro-Russian policies.

The subpoena seeks documents and testimony from attorney Melissa Laurenza and Jason Maloni, who is Manafort’s spokesman.

Business Insider wrote:

Manafort is one of a handful of Trump campaign associates who have been a central focus of the Russia ongoing probe. The Trump campaign brought him on in March 2016 to help wrangle delegates ahead of the Republican National Convention, and he was promoted to campaign chairman in May that year.

Manafort resigned three months later amid scrutiny over millions of dollars in undisclosed payments for work he performed on behalf of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Since then, Manafort’s work as a foreign agent has remained under the microscope in the US’ Russia investigation, which led to an FBI raid at one of his homes in Alexandria, Virginia, last month.

Mueller Investigating Whether Trump Hid Knowledge of Russia Meeting

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether Donald Trump tried to hide the purpose of a 2016 meeting between his son Donald Trump Jr. and a Kremlin-linked lawyers at Trump Tower.

The president initially denied knowledge of the meeting until it was revealed by the New York Times. The president helped his son draft a statement to address the meeting to the media.

“Even if Trump is not charged with a crime as a result of the statement, it could be useful to Mueller’s team to show Trump’s conduct to a jury that may be considering other charges,” an unidentified source told NBC.

Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer after she pledged to provide incriminating information about Hillary Clinton.

In early August, Mueller issued grand jury subpoenas related to the meeting.

White House Counsel Predicts ‘Narrow’ Probe of Russia Will Be Quick

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

White House special counsel Ty Cobb has a positive forecast for the investigation into Russians interfering with the presidential election.

Cobb told Reuters that he believes the probe led by former FBI Director Robert Mueller will wrap up quickly and exonerate Trump. 

Cobb, who said he’s in contact with Mueller’s investigative team, contends the probe appears to be “narrow” and should be over by the end of the year.

“I’d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it’s still haunting him by year end,” Cobb told Reuters, adding: “I think the relevant areas of inquiry by the special counsel are narrow.”

Cobb provided no evidence to back up his claims.

FBI Veteran Leaves Special Counsel Mueller’s Investigation of Russia

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election has lost one of its top FBI investigators.

Sources told ABC News that FBI veteran Peter Strzok stepped down for unknown reasons, marking the first known hitch in the investigation. 

Strzok, who is a counterintelligence expert, is now working for the FBI’s human resources division.

ABC wrote:

He is no stranger to complex and controversial investigations.

As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section last year, he helped oversee the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, and he took part in the FBI interview of the Democratic presidential candidate.

Within weeks of the Clinton probe ending, Strzok found his office facing a new challenge: investigating Russia’s alleged efforts to influence last year’s presidential election, including a cyberattack on the Democratic National Committee.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.