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Tag: special counsel

Ty Cobb, Who Is Leaving Trump’s Legal Team, Says Interview Between President, Mueller ‘Not Off the Table’

White House attorney Ty Cobb, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

White House Attorney Ty Cobb, who announced he’s resigning at the end of the month, said the legal team has not ruled out an interview between President Trump and special counsel Robert Mueller.

“It’s certainly not off the table and people are working hard to make decisions and work towards an interview,” Cobb told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl and Political Director Rick Kleinon ABC’s “Powerhouse Politics” podcast.

“And assuming that can be concluded favorably, there’ll be an interview,” he said. “Assuming it can’t be… assuming an agreement can’t be reached, you know then it’ll go a different route.”

Cobb, who joined the legal team in July, said he plans to leave at the end of the month.

Trump plans to replace Cobb with Emmet Flood, who advised then-President Bill Clinton during his impeachment.

“For several weeks Ty Cobb has been discussing his retirement and last week he let Chief of Staff Kelly know he would retire at the end of this month,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

Trump Lashes Out Over Leak of Questions in Mueller’s Russia Probe

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump called it “disgraceful” that someone leaked to the media more than four dozen questions that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask him as part Russia investigation.

The New York Times reported Monday night that it received a copy of the questions after they were turned over to Trump’s lawyers. The questions range from what Trump knew about contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential election to why he fired FBI Director James Comey.

“So disgraceful that the questions concerning the Russian Witch Hunt were ‘leaked’ to the media,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “No questions on Collusion. Oh, I see…you have a made up, phony crime, Collusion, that never existed, and an investigation begun with illegally leaked classified information. Nice!”

In another tweet, Trump wrote, “It would seem very hard to obstruct justice for a crime that never happened. Witch hunt!”

It’s unclear how the New York Times acquired the questions, but the newspaper said they did not come from Trump’s current legal team.

 

 

Mueller Wants to Ask Trump 49 Questions on Collusion, Russian Ties

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russia’s meddling during the election, has more than four dozens questions that he wants President Trump to answer to determine whether he interfered with the probe or colluded with Moscow to undermine the democratic process.

The New York Times received a copy of the questions, which provide the best insight yet into Mueller’s expanding investigation.

The special counsel team handed over the questions to Trump’s lawyers as Mueller tries to convince the president to sit down for an interview under oath. 

While many of the questions touch on topics that have already been reported, some have never been made public, such as whether Trump was aware of anyone outreach by his presidential campaign, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, to Russia for help during the election.

The questions range from the president’s motivation for firing FBI Director James Comey to any discussions Trump had with his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen, about a real estate deal in Moscow. Mueller also wants to ask Trump if he was aware if his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, tried to create a back channel to Russia.

One question focuses on whether Trump had any contacts with Roger Stone, a political adviser who suggested he had inside information about the hacking of Democratic emails.

Whether Mueller gets to ask those questions to Trump remains unknown. While the president said he wanted to sit down for an interview, his attorneys have advised him not to and privately expressed concern that he will commit perjury.

Comey Slams House Intel Report on Collusion, Says Trump Has No Credibility

Former FBI Director James Comey

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey slammed a House intelligence Committee report by Republicans that concluded President Trump’s campaign didn’t collude with Russia to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, also said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that the president should avoid an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller.

“I have serious doubts about his credibility,” Comey said.

Comey, who is doing a round of interviews to publicize his new memoir, added: “Sometimes people who have serious credibility problems can tell the truth when they realise that the consequences of not telling the truth in an interview or in the grand jury would be dire, But you’d have to go in with a healthy sense that he might lie to you.”

Comey called the GOP-authored report on its Russia investigation “a political document,” saying the probe “wrecked the committee.”

Trump hailed the 253-page report Friday as vindication that the special counsel investigation is a “total Witch Hunt.”

Comey accused the president of “an effort to undermine the credibility of the investigation that the special counsel’s conducting.”

House Panel Says ‘No Evidence’ of Trump-Russia Collusion, Drawing Scathing Rebuttal from Dems

Members of the House Intelligence Committee. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Republican-led House Intelligence Committee on Friday released a highly redacted, final report on its one-year Russia investigation, saying it found no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to undermine the 2016 presidential election.

But Democrats, in a scathing rebuttal, accused Republicans of drawing a premature conclusion in a “a systematic effort to muddy the waters and to deflect attention away from the President.”

Trump seized on the report to amplify his assertion that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should end.

“Just Out: House Intelligence Committee Report released. ‘No evidence’ that the Trump Campaign ‘colluded, coordinated or conspired with Russia,’” Trump wrote. “Clinton Campaign paid for Opposition Research obtained from Russia- Wow! A total Witch Hunt! MUST END NOW!”

The final report closes what has been a politically contentious investigation with little agreement between Republicans and Democrats.

Republicans did conclude Russia sought to sow discord ahead of the election by launching cyber attacks and propaganda campaigns on  social media.

The Senate judiciary and intelligence committees are conducting their own investigations, as is Mueller, who so far has landed indictments against more than 20 people and entities.

Senate Committee Approves Bill to Protect Mueller’s Firing

U.S. Capitol

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday to protect special counsel Robert Mueller from being fire by President Trump.

The committee advanced the measure with a 14-7 vote, putting pressure on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to allow the full Senate to vote.

Four Republicans joined Democrats to pass the legislation: Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Jeff Flake of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and Thom Tillis of North Carolina.

McConnell pledged last week to prevent the bill from reaching the Senate floor for a vote, saying there was “no indication” that Trump would fire Mueller and it was unlikely he would approve the measure.    

Grassley said Thursday “this bill should be considered by the full Senate,” despite the objections of McConnell, The USA Today reports.

“Because special counsel investigations only occur where there is a conflict of interest within the executive branch, special counsel investigations are usually matters of great national concern,” Grassley said. “And Congress, by exercising its oversight powers, can help the American people to have confidence that these investigations are conducted efficiently and independently.”

Trump Lashes Out at FBI and Justice Department on Fox & Friends

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump lashed out at the FBI and Justice Department and even threatened to intervene in the Russia investigation in a rambling, half-hour interview on “Fox & Friends.”

Trump angrily castigated the Justice Department, saying it should be investigating his enemies, not him.

“I am very disappointed in my Justice Department,” Trump said, adding that it’s an “absolute disgrace” that the FBI is investigating his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and his longtime personal attorney, Michael Cohen.

Trump cited the FBI searches as proof that he is being set.

“That’s not the FBI; that’s a fix,” Trump said.

Trump also said he may back out of his pledge to stay out of the Justice Department investigation.

“I have decided that I won’t be involved. I may change my mind at some point, because what’s going on is a disgrace,” he said.

Raising concerns that he may fire special counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump called the Russia investigation a “witch hunt with people in the Justice Department who shouldn’t be there.”

Trump once again congratulated himself on firing then-FBI Director James Comey.

“I did a great thing for the American people by firing him,” Trump said. “Look, Comey is a leaker and he’s a liar and not only on this stuff — he’s been leaking for years.”

Mueller Confirms Manafort Raid Targeted Records on Trump Tower Meeting, Russian Oligarch

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

When FBI agents raided the home of Paul Manafort, the former head of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, last summer, a judge signed off on seizing records related to a previously undisclosed meeting between the campaign and Russian lobbyists at the Trump Tower in June 2016.

Agents walked out with tens of thousands of records, including documents related to a civil lawsuit over a drawn-out dispute with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, Bloomberg reports.

The scope of the search was revealed Monday in a court filing by Robert Mueller’s special counsel team that is investigating possible ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The disclosure is significant because it means Mueller is focusing on a potential collusion case against members of Trump’s campaign.

Deripaska, who is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, hired Manafort as a political consultant and invested $18.9 million with Manafort’s cable-television venture. Deripaska, the billionaire founder and majority shareholder of En+ Group, also paid Manafort $7.35 million in management fees.

When the deal went sour, Deripaska sued.

Deripaska was among the Russians penalized with sanctions last month by the Trump administration.

Manafort, who faces trial on numerous charges related to conspiracy and fraud in connection with his business relationship with pro-Russia, Ukrainian officials. Manafort has pleaded not guilty, while his longtime business partner has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation as part of a leniency deal in exchange for pleading guilty to some charges.

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