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Tag: Subpoena

Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Broadens to Influence-Peddling by Foreign Governments

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

George Nader, an adviser to the United Arab Emirates with close ties to various associates of President Trump, is cooperating with prosecutors and testified before a grand jury last week as part of the evolving special counsel investigation of Russia’s role in the  2016 presidential election.

Nadar’s cooperation comes at a critical time for special counsel Robert Mueller, who has expanded his investigation beyond Russia’s election interference and now appears to be examining whether foreign governments funneled money to the Trump campaign to influence the president’s policies, the New York Times reports. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/06/us/politics/george-nader-special-counsel-mueller-cooperating-seychelles.html

Nader, a frequent White House visitor and a Lebanese-American businessman who served as an adviser to the UAE’s ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, was stopped and questioned by FBI investigators after landing at Washington Dulles International Airport in January. Nader was in the U.S. to meet with Trump and his associates as part of a celebration of the president’s first year in office at Mars-a-Lago, the president’s Florida getaway estate.

Mueller’s team has questioned potential witnesses about allegations that Nader helped funnel money from the UAE to Trump’s presidential campaign to buy political influence. Foreign entities are barred from making donations to political candidates in the U.S.

Former Trump Aide Changes Mind After Defiantly Daring Mueller to Jail Him

Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Sam Nunberg, who helped launch Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2015, embarked on a surreal, daylong media blitz in which he defiantly dared special counsel Robert Mueller to arrest him, called the president “stupid” and suggested Trump colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 election.

But after a string of interviews in which he denigrated Trump, called the Russia investigation “a witch hunt” and pledged to ignore a subpoena to appear before a grand jury Friday, Nunberg told the Associated Press that he likely would comply.

Nunberg’s tirade shocked lawmakers and even prompted a CNN reporter to ask if was drunk.

At times erratic, angry and confrontational, Nunberg disclosed he was interviewed by Mueller’s team, which is investigating whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to wage a propaganda campaign against his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton. Nunberg, who was fired from the campaign in August 2015 over racially insensitive Facebook posts, said that it was unfair he was ordered to turn over emails he exchanged with a host of former top campaign officials, saying it would take dozens of hours.

“I think it would be really, really funny if they wanted to arrest me because I don’t want to spend 80 hours going over emails,” he told MSNBC.

His demeanor and message dramatically changed later in the day, telling an AP reporter that he’s willing to comply but believes the scope of the investigation is too wide-ranging.

A failure to cooperate with a subpoena can result in charges of contempt of court and obstruction of justice.

It’s unclear why Nunberg so quickly changed his mind.

Bannon Met Several Times This Week with Special Counsel Investigating Trump, Russia

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon met several times this week with the special counsel team investigating President Trump and his campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

The former Breitbart news chief, who continued today to defy a subpoena to testify before a House committee about the Russia and Trump probe, was interviewed for about 20 hours by the team led by Robert Mueller, NBC News reports

Details of the interview are unclear, but Bannon is considered a key witness in the investigation because he was a close confident of Trump and played key roles in both the campaign and the presidential administration.

In an explosive book published last month, Bannon blasted the campaign’s handling of Russia and suggested the Mueller investigation will focus on money laundering. He also said it was “treasonous” for some in the Trump campaign, including the president’s son, to meet with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Bannon, who resigned in August, is facing contempt charges for continuing to refuse to answer questions by the House Intelligence Committee.

CNN reports that Bannon met briefly with the committee today and told the panel he had been instructed by the Trump administration to invoke executive privilege. 

Bannon Agrees to Mueller Interview, But May Face Contempt for Defying Congressional Subpoena

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, who is facing threats of contempt charges for defying a subpoena ordering him to testify before a House committee’s investigation of President Trump and Russia, plans to meet with special counsel Robert Mueller next week and answer all of his questions.

The former Breitbart News chief agreed last week to meet with Robert Mueller’s team and fully cooperate as part of a deal to avoid testifying before a grand jury.

But Bannon continues to defy a subpoena compelling him to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, prompting U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff on Tuesday to pledge to “enforce the subpoena on Bannon” by beginning contempt proceedings, The Hill reports

“Testifying before the special counsel does not obviate Mr. Bannon’s obligations under the subpoena issued by the committee. Should Bannon maintain his refusal to return and testify fully to all questions, the committee should begin contempt proceedings to compel his testimony,” Schiff said in a statement.

Schiff said Bannon’s attorney informed the committee that his client does not plan to testify during a committee hearing next week.

Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski also plans to skip out on the hearing.

“Neither Bannon nor Lewandowski have articulated legitimate grounds for refusing to appear and answer questions before Congress, and we fully expect them to return,” Schiff said.

Bannon, who resigned in August, is considered a key witness in the investigation because he was a close confident of Trump and played key roles in both the campaign and the presidential administration.

In an explosive book published last month, Bannon blasted the campaign’s handling of Russia and suggested the Mueller investigation will focus on money laundering. He also said it was “treasonous” for some in the Trump campaign, including the president’s son, to meet with a group of Russians at Trump Tower in June 2016.

Bannon Issued Subpoena to Testify Before Grand Jury in Trump-Russia Probe

Steve Bannon

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Steve Bannon, the former White House chief adviser to President Trump, has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury as part of the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between Russia and Trump associates.

The issuance of a subpoena, which compels testimony from Bannon, was a rare move by special counsel Robert Mueller, who has been interviewing dozens of former and current Trump officials in more informal settings that don’t require a subpoena, the New York Times reports

A notable exception was Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafot, who was subpoenaed and later indicted on various federal charges, including money laundering.

Why Mueller opted to subpoena Bannon, who joined the Trump campaign team in August 2016, is open to speculation.

On Tuesday, Bannon testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 

Bannon was subpoenaed last week, just days after the release of “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” an explosive book in which Bannon raised serious legal questions about a June 2016 meeting at the Trump Tower between the president’s son Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and a Russian lawyer who reportedly offered to release compromising information about presidential rival Hillary Clinton.

Bannon, who was in the campaign’s inner circle when most of the alleged collusion with Russia took place, also predicted the special counsel probe is far from over and will focus on money laundering. 

“By forcing someone to testify through a subpoena, you are providing the witness with cover because they can say, ‘I had no choice — I had to go in and testify about everything I knew,’” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a prosecutor for the independent counsel that investigated Bill Clinton when he was president.

House Intelligence Committee Subpoenas FBI, DOJ for Dossier Documents

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The House Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed the Justice Department and FBI for records related to the salacious, unverified dossier on President Trump.

Neither agency turned over the records by the Sept. 1 deadline, prompting the committee to issue two more subpoenas to FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to explain why the records weren’t disclosed, the Washington Examiner reports

“We got nothing,” said committee member Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., who is taking a leading role in the Russia investigation. “The witnesses have not been produced and the documents have not been produced.”

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, D-Calif., said during an appearance on MSNBC that Republicans are trying to “discredit” the author of the dossier “rather than looking into how many of the allegations he wrote were true.”

“What we should be most concerned about is whether those sources of the information in the report are true, not in discrediting the author of that report,” Schiff said.

The FBI said it needs more time to determine whether disclosing the documents will interfere with the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller.

House Oversight Chairman Subpoenas FBI for Full Case File of Clinton Probe

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.

Saying he’s not messing around, House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz subpoenaed the FBI Monday for the full case file of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

During the contentious meeting in which Democrats accused Republicans of trying to derail Clinton’s presidential campaign, Chaffetz said his committee is entitled to the information, Politico reports. 

“It’s ‘trust, but verify’ is how it works,” Chaffetz told FBI acting legislative affairs chief Jason Herring. “You don’t get to decide what I get to see. I get to see it all.”

When Herring said he was unsure whether he could deliver unedited investigative summaries – known as 302s – Chaffetz delivered the subpoena to the witness table where Herring was sitting.

“I’ve signed this subpoena. We want all the 302s….and you are hereby served,” Chaffetz said.

Chaffetz said the FBI doesn’t get to decide what’s relevant for the committee’s investigation.

“That’s the way a banana republic acts, not the way the United States of America acts,” he said. “I don’t expect to have to issue a subpoena to see unclassified information.”

Rep. Issa Issues Subpoena for Atty. Gen. Holder in Fast and Furious

file photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethwire.com

The battle inside the Beltway over ATF’s Fast and Furious operation continued Wednesday.

Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, announced Wednesday that he has sent a subpoena to Attorney General Eric Holder as part of his investigation into the program, Fox News reported.

“Top Justice Department officials, including Attorney General Holder, know more about Operation Fast and Furious than they have publicly acknowledged,” Isssa said in a statement, according to Fox. “The documents this subpoena demands will provide answers to questions that Justice officials have tried to avoid since this investigation began eight months ago. It’s time we know the whole truth.”

Fox reported that the subpoena seeks communications regarding the operation from 16 top Justice officials, including Holder, his chief of staff, Gary Grindler, and the head of the department’s criminal division, Lanny Breuer, as well as correspondence on specific dates to and from the former head of the ATF’s Phoenix field division, William Newell.