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Is It Time For Mueller To Wrap It Up Or Step It Up?

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'Hey Donnie, you there?': Donald Trump Jr's phone line cuts out on conservative Laura Ingraham's radio show just as she asks him about his infamous Trump Tower meeting

  • Donald Trump Jr's phone line disconnected on Monday during an interview with conservative radio host Laura Ingraham
  • Line dropped out just as Ingraham asked him about his controversial 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Russians
  • Trump Jr eventually called back after several minutes saying he'd been 'cut off'
  • It comes after President Trump appeared to change his story about the 2016 meeting
  • Trump tweeted Sunday that his son met with a Kremlin-connected lawyer back in 2016 to collect information about Hillary Clinton
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...Jrs-phone-line-cuts-asked-Russia-meeting.html
 

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Mueller Secures 'Firewall' Counsel Over Evidence in Russia Case

Bloomberg
Erik Larson
9 hrs ago



(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. judge overseeing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s criminal case against Russians accused of interfering in the 2016 election agreed to appoint an independent lawyer to review pretrial evidence for possible national security issues before giving it to a Kremlin-linked defendant.

U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich in Washington on Monday approved a request to appoint a so-called firewall counsel envisioned as part of an earlier ruling on Mueller’s concern about providing evidence to Yevgeny Prigozhin, a longtime associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin’s firm, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, was also indicted.

Mueller’s team had argued that if Prigozhin gains access to “sensitive” evidence, he could use it to thwart U.S. efforts to “prevent his continuing criminal activity in Russia and elsewhere” outside the U.S. Prigozhin, who provides food services to the Kremlin, is known as Putin’s chef. He and his company are among three firms and 13 people accused of producing propaganda at a Russian troll factory to whip up political strife in the U.S.

The U.S. said last month that the sensitive material includes information describing the government’s investigative techniques, identities of people and companies that are cooperating, and personal identifying information on individuals in the U.S. who were victims of identity theft.

Katherine Seikaly, a lawyer with Reed Smith who represents Concord, didn’t immediately return a call for comment.

The case is U.S. v. Concord Management, 18-cr-00032, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Larson in New York at elarson4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Heather Smith at hsmith26@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Paul Cox

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...evidence-in-russia-case/ar-BBLzL0B?ocid=ientp
 

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Trump is trying to argue collusion isn’t illegal. But he’s admitted it is — on multiple occasions.

Washington Post
Aaron Blake
6 hrs ago


Last week, President Trump and his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani argued that collusion isn't a crime . But on Monday, Trump suggested that Hillary Clinton should be investigated for this supposed non-crime.

“Collusion is very real with Russia,” Trump quoted conservative commentator Dan Bongino as saying on Trump's favorite Fox News morning show, “but only with Hillary and the Democrats, and we should demand a full investigation.”

Investigations, it bears emphasizing, are generally launched to find illegal activity. Trump's call to investigate Clinton's alleged collusion with Russia — a complex and strained theory having to do with the Steele dossier — would seem to belie his true opinion about whether collusion is, in fact, a crime.

But it's hardly the first time he's admitted the obvious: that while the word “collusion” doesn't appear in the criminal code, it is synonymous with and related to very real crimes . Over and over, mostly through his allegations of Democratic collusion, he's acknowledged the criminal nature of collusion in ways that would seem to make it much more difficult for his lawyers to press the case that collusion by Donald Trump Jr. or anybody else wasn't criminal.

Here are five examples.

1. Another call for investigating Democrats

Back on June 8, Trump suggested that Democrats should be probed for collusion and obstruction of justice.

“Now, the Democrats have had massive collusion, massive obstruction, and they should be investigated,” Trump said.

2. Mueller should look into “all of the criminal activity & real Russian Collusion on the Democrats side”

In the same vein as above:

3. Collusion is part of what makes Clinton “CROOKED”

Here, Trump includes “collusion” while talking about Clinton being “CROOKED.” Corruption is generally understood as illegal activity.

4. Clinton colluded with the Justice and State departments

Late in the 2016 campaign, Trump accused Clinton of “collusion” with the Justice Department and State Department, which he labeled “possibly illegal.”

“And through WikiLeaks today, it's just been shown that this is, as I've been saying, a rigged system with more collusion — possibly illegal — between the Justice Department, the Clinton campaign and the State Department,” Trump said. “Right?”

At another point, Trump said this collusion amounted to corruption, which again connotes illegality.

“This shows corruption at the highest level, and we can't let it happen as American citizens,” Trump said.

5. Cruz and Kasich engaged in “illegal collusion”

Trump called Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Ohio Gov. John Kasich working together to prevent him from winning primaries “illegal collusion” and noted that collusion is illegal in business.

“It shows total weakness, it shows illegal collusion,” he said. “You know, in business, you get put in jail [for that].”

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...—-on-multiple-occasions/ar-BBLzYdW?ocid=ientp
 

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Donald Trump Jr.’s Potential Legal Troubles, Explained

NYT
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
10 hrs ago


WASHINGTON — President Trump’s fresh acknowledgment that his top campaign advisers met at Trump Tower in July 2016 with Kremlin-connected Russians to “get information on an opponent” has renewed questions about whether his son Donald Trump Jr., who arranged the encounter, is facing legal trouble.

The president blasted as “fake news” a Washington Post article that said he was fearful that Donald Trump Jr. “inadvertently may have wandered into legal jeopardy.” He also tweeted on Sunday that seeking opposition research was “totally legal” and “done all the time in politics.”

And Jay Sekulow, one of the president’s lawyers, said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that “the question is what law, statute or rule or regulation’s been violated?”

“Nobody’s pointed to one,” he said.

Here is a look at some ways Donald Trump Jr. may be in legal jeopardy.

Did he engage in ‘collusion’?

“I did not collude with any foreign government and did not know anyone who did,” Donald Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2017. But his participation in the Trump Tower meeting with the Russians, as well as another meeting, has put that claim under scrutiny.

Ahead of the meeting with Russians, an intermediary promised Donald Trump Jr. that a “Russian government attorney” would provide “very high level” dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” He wrote back, “If it’s what you say I love it.”

In a meeting three months before the election, Donald Trump Jr. met with another small group offering to help his father win the election. It included an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes who run Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. The younger Mr. Trump responded approvingly, a person with knowledge of the meeting told The New York Times.

Participants in the meeting with the Russians have testified that nothing came of it, and it is unclear whether any assistance came out of the second gathering, either.

Did he engage in a ‘conspiracy’?

In plain English, “collusion” means working together, usually in secret, to do something illicit. But the word has no defined legal meaning. This is apparently why the president has been declaring that “collusion is not a crime,” as he tweeted last Tuesday.

That is irrelevant, however, because lawyers instead talk about conspiracy: an agreement by two or more people to commit a crime — whether or not they end up doing so. A powerful tool for prosecutors, conspiracy charges allow them to hold each conspirator responsible for illegal acts committed by others in the circle as part of the arrangement. To convict someone of such a conspiracy, prosecutors would need to obtain evidence of an agreement to commit a specific crime.

Was the law broken?

A provision of the Federal Election Campaign Act, Section 30121 of Title 52, broadly outlaws donations or other contributions of a “thing of value” by any foreigner in connection with an American election — or even an express or implied promise to take such action, directly or indirectly.

Depending on how a grand jury interprets the facts the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has gathered about the two Trump Tower meetings, it could find that the foreigners violated that law — and that Donald Trump Jr. conspired in that offense.

Another provision of the same statute makes it illegal for an American to solicit a foreigner for such illicit campaign help — again, even indirectly. If a grand jury were to interpret the evidence about Donald Trump Jr.’s words and actions as a solicitation, he could also be vulnerable to direct charges under that law, experts said.

Notably, the statute can be violated even if the promised or requested help is never provided.

But does opposition research count?

Legal experts have struggled to identify a precedent for criminally charging somebody under this law. As a result, an attempt to prosecute Donald Trump Jr. under that statute would raise novel issues.

Americans may have a First Amendment right to ask foreigners for opposition research information, Eugene Volokh, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, has argued. Others disagree.

It is also not clear whether opposition research counts as a “thing of value.” Courts have held, in bribery and threat cases, that a “thing of value” can be something intangible, like information, noted Richard L. Hasen, an election-law professor at the University of California, Irvine.

And Robert Bauer, a New York University election-law professor who served as White House counsel in the Obama administration, argued that the statute against foreign campaign assistance is so broadly worded that its covers Russia paying spies and hackers to collect and disseminate negative information about Mrs. Clinton to help Mr. Trump win the election — even expenses like their travel for the meeting.

But applying that law to negative information about a political candidate is a stretch, said Orin S. Kerr, a University of Southern California professor and former federal prosecutor.

“The phrase ‘contribution or donation’ sounds like a gift to help fund the campaign or give them something they otherwise would buy,” Mr. Kerr said.

What about conspiracy to defraud the United States?

Legal experts analyzing the younger Mr. Trump’s actions have also pointed to another, less discussed part of the federal conspiracy statute. It prohibits conspiracies to defraud the United States by impeding the federal government’s lawful functions.

Notably, Mr. Mueller has already relied on that statute in a similar context. In February, when a grand jury indicted 13 Russians and three Russian organizations accused of undertaking a covert operation to manipulate American social media and help the Trump campaign, the charges included conspiracy to defraud the United States.

Specifically, they were accused of preventing the Federal Election Commission from fulfilling “its statutory duties of providing the American public with accurate data about the financial activities of individuals and entities supporting federal candidates, and enforcing limits and prohibitions, including the ban on foreign expenditures.”

What about making a false statement?

It is a felony to lie to Congress. In his September 2017 interview before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Donald Trump Jr. was asked whether any other foreign governments or nationals offered assistance to the Trump campaign, or whether he had directly or indirectly sought such foreign assistance for the campaign. He said he had not.

In May, after The Times reported about the meeting with the emissary for the Arab princes and the Israeli social media manipulation specialist, Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, raised concerns that Mr. Trump may have lied to the committee.

The Judiciary Committee chairman, Senator Charles E. Grassley, Republican of Iowa, pushed back, suggesting that “there are potentially innocuous explanations.”

Follow Charlie Savage on Twitter: @charlie_savage.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...egal-troubles-explained/ar-BBLAolB?ocid=ientp
 

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Keep the investigations going soon it will boomerang against the dims.
 

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Anderson Cooper exposes Trump team’s tower of lies
CNN


Published on Aug 6, 2018
CNN's Anderson Cooper exposes the lies and statements surrounding the 2016 Trump Tower meeting between several of Donald Trump's top advisers and several Russians.
 

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Lawrence: Why Would President Donald Trump Put His Son In More Legal Danger? | The Last Word | MSNBC
MSNBC


Published on Aug 6, 2018
Trump likely put his son into even more legal jeopardy by tweeting that the infamous Trump Tower meeting was to get dirt on Hillary Clinton. But why would he do that?
 

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But it's AOK for Clinton to hire foreign intelligence agent(s) to gather intel on Trump right?
It is not illegal to PAY a foreign entity to research your opponent.
It is illegal to receive a donation of 'dirt' from a foreign entity.
I would love to see Hillary in jail next to Trump, but the Clinton's know exactly how far they can push their quasi-legal corruption.
Don jr? Way in over his head.
 

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After being denied entry on several occasions, Veselnitskaya had a 1 day pass to represent her client but also in that time frame had enough time to meet with Team Trump? But State Department was surprised it happened. Right.
Then to top it all off, there was nothing of substance delivered. So, who were the parties that colluded with Russia?
Maybe Manafort is in protective custody.
 
Last edited:

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She was given a " fast pass "
As in,
Someone called someone who called someone who told them for her to show up at " x " booth at where place
to have her, and whoever was with her, docs stamped.
OR, ( what I really think )
Is that whoever initiated line 3 above skipped all of that and gave her a limo ride both ways ( State Department )
to the client meeting and then to Trump group meet up and back.
IOW,
All set up.
Just saying and YMMV.
 

Thecrensh

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She was given a " fast pass "
As in,
Someone called someone who called someone who told them for her to show up at " x " booth at where place
to have her, and whoever was with her, docs stamped.
OR, ( what I really think )
Is that whoever initiated line 3 above skipped all of that and gave her a limo ride both ways ( State Department )
to the client meeting and then to Trump group meet up and back.
IOW,
All set up.
Just saying and YMMV.
That's the most probable scenario in my mind...setup.
 

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'This case won't fizzle... it will blow up on THEM': Rudy Giuliani claims Robert Mueller will HIMSELF be investigated for 'collusion' over his 'corrupt' probe, and only wants to question Trump to catch him in a 'perjury trap'

  • Giuliani claimed Mueller had overseen a 'corrupt and illegitimate' investigation
  • Alleged Mueller guilty of collusion for using Russian intelligence in Steele report
  • Suggested investigation was staffed by Democrats and 'people who hate Trump'
  • Mueller wants to ask Trump about obstruction of justice but Giuliani is against it
  • Claims the special counsel is trying to trick the president into lying under oath
  • Giuliani also said Wednesday he believes the probe should end on September 1
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...a-probe-Sept-1-rejecting-interview-offer.html
 

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Rudy Giuliani now "more optimistic" on possible Trump-Mueller interview

CBS News
Major Garrett
52 mins ago



President Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani tells CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett that he's "more optimistic" than he has been for weeks that a potential interview between Mr. Trump and Special Counsel Robert Mueller might occur.

When asked what the odds were of an interview, Giuliani said: "I'd say 50-50." While the move may be seen as a PR stance to make the president appear more cooperative, Giuliani says that he expects a response from Mueller to their latest counter-proposal no later than Monday. Giuliani would not discuss exact details of the counter-proposal. Negotiations into a possible sit down have been ongoing for months.

During an appearance on fellow Trump attorney Jay Sekulow's radio show Wednesday, Giuliani said that the president's legal team has responded to Mueller with a counter-offer for proposed terms of a possible presidential interview. Mueller responded to a previous letter sent by the Trump legal team last week, according to Giuliani. He told Sekulow what happens next is the president's decision.

Giuliani's says his optimism is grounded in a sense that Mueller may agree that questions surrounding obstruction of justice while Mr. Trump was president can be shelved because Mr. Trump had executive authority to fire Former FBI Director James Comey and did nothing obstructive in the Gen. Michael Flynn case.

Giuliani also told Garrett that he doesn't believe Mueller could win a subpoena fight over Mr. Trump's testimony - at least not about actions taken as president. Giuliani's calculus was Mueller does not want this issue to drag into the midterm election season. The attorney also imagines Mueller has seen in the exchange of proposals an outline of what is doable and achievable to finish his report to Congress on Trump-related parts of his investigation.

Giuliani has previously said he wants this decision completed by Sept. 1.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...trump-mueller-interview/ar-BBLHbmg?ocid=ientp
 

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Lawrence: Republicans Betray Oath, Put President Donald Trump Over Country | The Last Word | MSNBC
MSNBC



Published on Aug 9, 2018
In the MSNBC exclusive secret audio recording, Rep. Devin Nunes says Republicans need to keep the House in November to protect the President from investigations into any unlawful activity. Lawrence says members of Congress have not always been willing to betray their oath of office.
» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc
 

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Cooper: Here's evidence Nunes protecting Trump
CNN


Published on Aug 9, 2018
CNN's Anderson Cooper lays out House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes' pattern of protecting President Trump and his administration.
 

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President Donald Trump-Appointed Judge Rejects Bid To Quash Robert Mueller | Morning Joe | MSNBC
MSNBC



Published on Aug 14, 2018
A federal judge appointed by President Trump ruled Monday that special counsel Robert Mueller's probe is constitutional and legitimate. This comes as Trump on Twitter asks if the 'Witch Hunt' will be dropped. The panel discusses.
» Subscribe to MSNBC: http://on.msnbc.com/SubscribeTomsnbc
 

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White House Counsel Has Cooperated Extensively With Mueller’s Obstruction Inquiry

NYT
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and MAGGIE HABERMAN
1 hr ago



WASHINGTON — The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual. Lawyers are rarely so open with investigators, not only because they are advocating on behalf of their clients but also because their conversations with clients are potentially shielded by attorney-client privilege, and in the case of presidents, executive privilege.

“A prosecutor would kill for that,” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a deputy independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation, which did not have the same level of cooperation from President Bill Clinton’s lawyers. “Oh my God, it would have been phenomenally helpful to us. It would have been like having the keys to the kingdom.”

Mr. McGahn’s cooperation began in part as a result of a decision by Mr. Trump’s first team of criminal lawyers to collaborate fully with Mr. Mueller. The president’s lawyers have explained that they believed their client had nothing to hide and that they could bring the investigation to an end quickly.

Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.

In fact, Mr. McGahn laid out how Mr. Trump tried to ensure control of the investigation, giving investigators a mix of information both potentially damaging and favorable to the president. Mr. McGahn cautioned to investigators that he never saw Mr. Trump go beyond his legal authorities, though the limits of executive power are murky.

Mr. McGahn’s role as a cooperating witness further strains his already complicated relationship with the president. Though Mr. Trump has fought with Mr. McGahn as much as with any of his top aides, White House advisers have said, both men have benefited significantly from their partnership.

Mr. McGahn has overseen two of Mr. Trump’s signature accomplishments — stocking the federal courts and cutting government regulations — and become a champion of conservatives in the process.

But the two rarely speak one on one — the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and other advisers are usually present for their meetings — and Mr. Trump has questioned Mr. McGahn’s loyalty. In turn, Mr. Trump’s behavior has so exasperated Mr. McGahn that he has called the president “King Kong” behind his back, to connote his volcanic anger, people close to Mr. McGahn said.

This account is based on interviews with current and former White House officials and others who have spoken to both men, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation.

Through Mr. Burck, Mr. McGahn declined to comment. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office also declined to comment for this article.

Asked for comment, the White House sought to quell the sense of tension.

“The president and Don have a great relationship,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “He appreciates all the hard work he’s done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges, and the Supreme Court” nominees.

Mr. McGahn’s route from top White House lawyer to a central witness in the obstruction investigation of the president began around the time that Mr. Mueller took over the investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

When Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, the lawyers surrounding the president realigned themselves. Mr. McGahn and other White House lawyers stopped dealing on a day-to-day basis with the investigation, as they realized they were potential witnesses in an obstruction case.

In the following weeks, Mr. Trump assembled a personal legal team to defend him. He wanted to take on Mr. Mueller directly, attacking his credibility and impeding investigators. But two of his newly hired lawyers, John M. Dowd and Ty Cobb, have said they took Mr. Trump at his word that he did nothing wrong and sold him on an open-book strategy. As long as Mr. Trump and the White House cooperated with Mr. Mueller, they told him, they could bring an end to the investigation within months.

Mr. McGahn, who had objected to Mr. Cobb’s hiring, was dubious, according to people he spoke to around that time. As White House counsel, not a personal lawyer, he viewed his role as protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump. Allowing a special counsel to root around the West Wing could set a precedent harmful to future administrations.

But he had little ability to intervene. His relationship with the president had soured as Mr. Trump blamed him for a number of fraught moments in his first months in office, including the chaotic, failed early attempts at a ban on travelers from some majority-Muslim countries and, in particular, the existence of Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

The son of a Treasury Department investigator, Mr. McGahn, 50, briefly attended the Naval Academy before transferring to Notre Dame, graduating in 1991. He attended Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School in Pennsylvania, then came to Washington and climbed the ranks of the Republican establishment, alternating between private firms and a stint on the Federal Election Commission.

Mr. McGahn joined the Trump team as an early hire said to like the candidate’s outsider position. His lack of a degree from a top law school bothered Mr. Trump, but the candidate saw that Mr. McGahn was respected by most of his peers, according to veteran party strategists.

Though he was a senior campaign aide, it is not clear whether Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Mr. McGahn about whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia’s effort to influence the election.

Mr. McGahn’s decision to cooperate with the special counsel grew out of Mr. Dowd’s and Mr. Cobb’s game plan, now seen as misguided by some close to the president.

Last fall, Mr. Mueller’s office asked to interview Mr. McGahn. To the surprise of the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Trump and his lawyers signaled that they had no objection, without knowing the extent of what Mr. McGahn was going to tell investigators.

Mr. McGahn was stunned, as was Mr. Burck, whom he had recently hired out of concern that he needed help to stay out of legal jeopardy, according to people close to Mr. McGahn. Mr. Burck has explained to others that he told White House advisers that they did not appreciate the president’s legal exposure and that it was “insane” that Mr. Trump did not fight a McGahn interview in court.

Even if the president did nothing wrong, Mr. Burck told White House lawyers, the White House has to understand that a client like Mr. Trump probably made politically damaging statements to Mr. McGahn as he weighed whether to intervene in the Russia investigation.

Inside the counsel’s office, lawyers feared that on the recommendation of Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb, the White House was handing Mr. Mueller detailed instructions to take down the president and setting a troubling precedent for future administrations by giving up executive privilege.

At the same time, Mr. Trump was blaming Mr. McGahn for his legal woes, yet encouraging him to speak to investigators. Mr. McGahn and his lawyer grew suspicious. They began telling associates that they had concluded that the president had decided to let Mr. McGahn take the fall for decisions that could be construed as obstruction of justice, like the Comey firing, by telling the special counsel that he was only following shoddy legal advice from Mr. McGahn.

Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry, Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John W. Dean, who was imprisoned in the Watergate scandal.

Mr. McGahn decided to fully cooperate with Mr. Mueller. It was, he believed, the only choice he had to protect himself.

“This sure has echoes of Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, John Dean, who in 1973 feared that Nixon was setting him up as a fall guy for Watergate and secretly gave investigators crucial help while still in his job,” said the historian Michael Beschloss.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers still had a chance to keep Mr. McGahn’s insider knowledge from the special counsel. By exerting attorney-client privilege, which allows the president to legally withhold information, they would have gained the right to learn what Mr. McGahn planned to tell investigators and what he might reveal that could damage the president. But the president’s lawyers never went through that process, although they told people that they believed they still had the ability to stop Mr. Mueller from handing over to Congress the accounts of witnesses like Mr. McGahn and others.

Mr. Mueller has told the president’s lawyers that he will follow Justice Department guidance that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Rather than charge Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of wrongdoing, he is more likely to write a report that can be sent to Congress for lawmakers to consider impeachment proceedings.

Unencumbered, Mr. Burck and Mr. McGahn met the special counsel team in November for the first time and shared all that Mr. McGahn knew.

To investigators, Mr. McGahn was a fruitful witness, people familiar with the investigation said. He had been directly involved in nearly every episode they are scrutinizing to determine whether the president obstructed justice. To make an obstruction case, prosecutors who lack a piece of slam-dunk evidence generally point to a range of actions that prove that the suspect tried to interfere with the inquiry.

Mr. McGahn gave to Mr. Mueller’s investigators, the people said, a sense of the president’s mind-set in the days leading to the firing of Mr. Comey; how the White House handled the firing of the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn; and how Mr. Trump repeatedly berated Mr. Sessions, tried to get him to assert control over the investigation and threatened to fire him.

Despite the Trump lawyers’ insistence that cooperation would help end the inquiry, the investigation only intensified as last year came to a close. Mr. Mueller had charged Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman and his deputy and won guilty pleas and cooperation agreements from his first national security adviser and a campaign adviser.

Mr. Dowd said that cooperation was the right approach but that Mr. Mueller had “snookered” Mr. Trump’s legal team. The White House has handed over more than one million documents and allowed more than two dozen administration officials to meet with Mr. Mueller in the belief that he would be forced to conclude there was no obstruction case.

“It was an extraordinary cooperation — more cooperation than in any major case — no president has ever been more cooperative than this,” Mr. Dowd said, adding that Mr. Mueller knew as far back as October, when he received many White House documents, that the president did not break the law.

As the months passed on, it became apparent that Mr. McGahn and Mr. Burck overestimated the amount of thought that they believed the president put into his legal strategy. Rather than placing the blame on Mr. McGahn for possible acts of obstruction, Mr. Trump has yet to even meet with the special counsel, his lawyers resisting an invitation for an interview. Mr. McGahn is still the White House counsel, shepherding the president’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh, through the confirmation process.

Mr. Mueller, armed with Mr. McGahn’s account, is still trying to interview witnesses close to the president. But the White House has a new lawyer for the investigation, Emmet T. Flood, who has strong views on privilege issues. When the special counsel asked to interview Mr. Kelly, Mr. Flood contested the request, rather than fully cooperate.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...r’s-obstruction-inquiry/ar-BBM62vR?ocid=ientp
 

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White House lawyer Donald McGahn has spent 30 HOURS 'cooperating extensively' with Robert Mueller's obstruction of justice probe into Trump 'setting him up to take the fall'

  • McGahn has met with Mueller's team at least three times over the last nine months, The New York Times reported on Saturday
  • White House counsel has talked to Mueller about President Trump's actions related to the Russia investigation
  • Last year, McGahn threatened to resign after he refused a directive by Trump to fire the Special Counsel
  • Relations between McGahn and Trump are tense - the president thinks McGahn is disloyal, while the White House counsel calls Trump 'King Kong'
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...-obstruction-justice-investigation-Trump.html
 

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Truth-Testing Trump’s 250-Plus Attacks on the Russia Inquiry

NYT
By LINDA QIU
13 hrs ago




The federal investigation into whether Russia actively sought to help Donald J. Trump win the White House in 2016 has been hanging over his head since even before the election. As president, he has repeatedly criticized the special counsel inquiry and has questioned whether it is the best use of time and taxpayer funds.

Some of the criticism has amounted to presidential opinion — like in calling James B. Comey “the worst F.B.I. director in history.” On Twitter alone, he has used the words “witch hunt” in over 100 posts.

“That whole situation is a rigged witch hunt,” Mr. Trump told reporters on Friday at the White House. “It’s a totally rigged deal. They should be looking at the other side.”

But hundreds of other statements, since Mr. Trump’s inauguration, included bold assertions about the Russia investigation that have demanded being fact checked.

He hasn’t always been wrong. Mr. Trump’s estimates of the inquiry’s price tag, and his accusations of political bias as demonstrated in texts between F.B.I. officials, are among presidential claims that have passed the truth test.

An analysis by The New York Times found more than 250 examples of exaggerated, misleading or flat-out false claims by Mr. Trump about the Russia investigation.

Here is a look at how those statements have evolved since the start of his presidency — and how they stand up against the facts.

______

Doubting Russian interference

Mr. Trump has consistently questioned the basic facts of the American intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to aid his campaign.

“The Democrats made up and pushed the Russian story as an excuse for running a terrible campaign.”

Twitter post, March 20, 2017

Mr. Trump has suggested at least 19 other times that Democrats fabricated concerns about Russian interference as an excuse for losing the election.

False.

Democrats sounded the alarm about Russian campaign interference months before the November 2016 election. So didRepublicans.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 16 | June 23 | May 26 | Feb. 20 | Repetitions in 2017: Dec. 28 | Dec. 15| Nov. 26 | Oct. 25 | Oct. 16 | Oct. 11 | Sept. 22 | Aug. 3| May 30 | May 11 | May 11| April 12 | Feb. 26 | Feb. 17 | Feb. 16)

“Why did the DNC REFUSE to turn over its Server to the FBI, and still hasn’t? It’s all a big Dem scam and excuse for losing the election!”

Twitter post, June 22, 2017

Based on the findings of the private security firm CrowdStrike, the Democratic National Committee said in the summer of 2016 that it was hacked by Russian operatives. A month later, nearly 20,000 of the Democratic Party’s internal emails were released. The American intelligence community, in an October 2016 report, said Russians were behind the attack — a finding that was backed up by indictments issued in July against 12 Russian intelligence officers.

Mr. Trump has pointed out at least 32 other times that the F.B.I. did not directly examine the D.N.C.’s servers. In doing so, he has suggested that the D.N.C. was not hacked during the 2016 campaign.

This requires context.

Mr. Trump is right that the F.B.I. never physically seized the servers from the D.N.C. headquarters. However, CrowdStrike provided forensics to federal investigators — which James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, has called an “appropriate substitute.”

(Repetitions in 2018: July 17 | July 16 | July 14 | July 7 | July 1 | June 28 | June 7 | May 27 | May 20 | April 26 | April 21 | April 20 | April 18 | April 15 | Jan. 11 | Repetitions in 2017: Nov. 10 | Nov. 7 | Aug. 11 | Aug. 10 | July 25 | July 9 | July 7 | June 22 | June 22 | May 13 | May 7 | April 30 | April 28 | April 26 | April 21 | March 30 | March 3)

“And I heard that they were trying, or people were trying, to hack into the R.N.C., too. The Republican National Committee. But we had much better defenses.”

Interview with CBS News, June 14, 2018

Mr. Trump has also blamed the D.N.C. for inadequately protecting itself from cyberattacks. He told “Face the Nation” that “the D.N.C. should be ashamed of themselves for allowing themselves to be hacked” and compared it to the Republican National Committee.

Largely true.

The Times reported in December 2016 that Russian operatives did hack the R.N.C.’s systems. In January 2017, Mr. Comey said in congressional testimony that the hackers had penetrated old computer systems that were no longer used by the committee. But Mr. Comey said there was no evidence that the R.N.C.’s newer computer systems — or ones used by the Trump campaign — were hacked successfully.

(Repetitions in 2017: April 28 | April 21 | Feb. 16)

“What happened to the servers of the Pakistani gentleman that worked on the D.N.C.? Where are those servers?”

News conference in Helsinki, Finland, with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia, July 16, 2018

Mr. Trump has referred five other times to Imran Awan, a Pakistani-American and former I.T. specialist who had worked part-time for several Democratic staffs in the House, including Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the D.N.C.’s former chairwoman. Mr. Awan was arrested last summer on unrelated charges of obtaining a fraudulent bank loan and pleaded guilty in July. Conservative media commentators have suggested that Mr. Awan may have stolen and leaked the Democratic National Committee’s emails, again implying that the Russian hacking never happened.

This is misleading.

Mr. Trump’s own Justice Department has rejected this as a conspiracy theory.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 17 | July 7 | June 7 | April 20 | Repetitions in 2017: Dec. 28)

“If you don't catch a hacker, O.K., in the act, it's very hard to say who did the hacking. With that being said, I'll go along with Russia. Could've been China, could've been a lot of different groups.”

Interview on “Face the Nation,” April 30, 2017

On at least eight other occasions in his presidency, Mr. Trump suggested that Russia might not be the culprit. He has cited Moscow’s denial — or explicitly denied it himself — and offered other explanations for the hacking.

False.

The American intelligence community, the investigators with the Senate and House intelligence committees and technology companies have all concluded that Russia interfered in the election.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 17 | July 16 | June 28 | March 6 | Repetitions in 2017: Nov. 11 | July 12 | July 6 | May 11)

“Russia was against Trump in the 2016 Election”

Twitter post, July 29, 2017

Mr. Trump has repeatedly asserted that Mr. Putin’s government did not want him to win the American presidential election. He once claimed that Russia “spent a lot of money on fighting me” and another time asserted that Mr. Putin “wants Hillary.”

False.

Not only does this contradict various American intelligence reports, Mr. Putin himself said both before and after the November 2016 vote that he wanted Mr. Trump to win because of Mr. Trump’s desire to restore Russian-American relations.

(Repetitions in 2018: Aug. 2 | July 24 | July 13 | Repetitions in 2017: Nov. 15 | Aug. 10 | July 12)

______

Playing down contact with Russians

The president has confronted reports of contacts between his campaign and influential Russian by playing down his ties to political aides or by shifting the blame to Democrats.

“There’s nobody on the campaign that saw anybody from Russia.”

Interview with The Wall Street Journal, July 25, 2017

Mr. Trump has flat out denied, at least three times, that several people in the Trump campaign met with or spoke to people associated with Russia.

False.

Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, discussed lifting sanctions with the Russian ambassador in December 2016, and resigned for misleading White House officials about those conversations. Mr. Trump’s son, son-in-law and former campaign chairman — Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort — met with a Russian lawyer who had connections to the Kremlin during the 2016 campaign. And two foreign policy advisers to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, met with people linked to the Kremlin before the 2016 vote. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump and advised him during the campaign, met with the Russian ambassador at least twice in 2016.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 16 | Repetitions in 2017: May 13)

“They weren’t even a part, really — I mean, they were such a minor part — I hadn’t spoken to them.”

News conference at the White House, Feb. 16, 2017

Mr. Trump has also played down the roles of campaign aides who had met with people linked to the Kremlin.

This is misleading.

It is not clear how high Mr. Papadopoulos or Mr. Page ranked in the Trump campaign hierarchy. But it is implausible to suggest that Mr. Flynn, Mr. Manafort, Mr. Kushner and the junior Mr. Trump played “minor” parts in the campaign.

(Repetitions: Oct. 31, 2017)

“Manafort has nothing to do with our campaign.”

News conference at the White House, June 15, 2018.

False.

Mr. Manafort was the Trump campaign chairman during the last stretch of the Republican primary campaign. He worked for the campaign for 144 days — not 49 days or three and a half months, as Mr. Trump alternately has claimed.

(Repetitions in 2018: June 3 | Dec. 28 | Repetitions in 2017: Nov. 5 | Oct. 30).

“Now there has been collusion between Hillary Clinton, the D.N.C., and the Russians.”

Remarks to reporters at Camp David, Jan. 6, 2018

The Washington Post first reported in October that the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign paid for opposition research that led to a dossier about Mr. Trump compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy. Mr. Trump has repeatedly accused Democrats of “colluding” with Russia. But it was a conservative website, The Washington Free Beacon, that first paid a research firm for the opposition research. It stopped when Mr. Trump won the nomination. The firm, Fusion GPS, was then paid by the Democrats for the research that became the dossier.

This is misleading.

Collusion, which is generally understood as secretive and often illicit collaboration, has no defined legal meaning. Mr. Steele did use Russian sources to compile his dossier, and reported his findings to the F.B.I. But there is no evidence anyone from the Clinton campaign met with Russian officials directly and conspired to manipulate the American election.

(Repetitions in 2018: Aug. 14 | Aug. 9 | Aug. 6 | Aug. 6 | Aug. 3 | Aug. 1 | July 31 | July 29 | July 27 | July 7 | June 8 | June 2 | May 17 | April 28 | April 26 | March 25 | March 11 | Feb. 17 | Jan. 11 | Jan. 5 | Repetitions in 2017: Oct. 25)

“Nobody asks John Podesta about the company that he has with his brother in Russia.”

Interview with The Washington Examiner, April 26, 2017

As evidence of Democratic collusion, Mr. Trump has said John D. Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, owned a company in Russia.

False.

Mr. Podesta does not own a company in Russia. The consulting firm that he and his brother, Tony Podesta, co-founded is based in Washington, not Russia. (The firm did, however, lobby on behalf of a Russian bank.)

(Repetitions in 2018: April 28 | Feb. 17 | Repetitions in 2017: Aug. 3 | July 25 | July 22 | May 13 | April 30 | April 28 | April 26 | March 27)

“We had Hillary Clinton give Russia 20 percent of the uranium in our country.”

News conference at the White House, Feb. 16, 2017

Mr. Trump has accused Mrs. Clinton of selling American uranium to Russia at least 16 other times, sometimes briefly referring to the issue simply as “Uranium One.”

This is misleading.

Uranium One is a uranium production company with holdings in the United States. Mrs. Clinton was secretary of state when the Obama administration allowed Russia’s nuclear agency to purchase the company. The State Department was one of nine agencies — as well as federal nuclear regulator and a state regulator — that had to sign off on the sale. There is no evidence that Mrs. Clinton was personally involved.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 7 | July 1 | June 7 | Feb. 17 | Repetitions in 2017: Nov. 1 | Oct. 29 | Oct. 25 | Oct. 19 | Aug. 3 | July 25 | July 22 | July 19 | April 30 | March 28 | March 27 | Feb. 16)

“Collusion is not a crime”

Twitter post, July 31, 2017

This is Mr. Trump’s latest defense.

This is misleading.

Mr. Trump is playing a semantics game. “Collusion” is not a crime in the federal code of criminal procedure, but a potential conspiracy between a campaign and a foreign government that violates American election laws is indeed illegal.

______

Claiming a political setup

Mr. Trump has asserted that he and his campaign are the victims in the Russia investigation.

“The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”

Twitter post, June 23, 2017

Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that President Barack Obama did not act — sometimes by adding: “because he thought Crooked Hillary Clinton would win” — to sow doubts about the independence of those who accuse Russia of election interference.

False.

The Obama administration warned Russian officials against interfering before the election in August, September and October, and imposed sanctions in December 2016.

(Repetitions in 2018: July 17 | July 17 | July 15 | July 14 | June 15 | May 27 | March 5 | Feb. 24 | Feb. 21 | Feb. 19 | Repetitions in 2017: July 19 | July 6 | June 26 | June 26 | June 25 | June 22)

“Just found out that Obama had my “wires tapped” in Trump Tower just before the victory.”

Twitter post, March 4, 2017

False.

Infoursubsequentinterviews between March and April 2017, Mr. Trump corrected himself to say he had been under surveillance, generally, by the Obama administration — but not by a telephone wiretap.

He also claimed to have learned of the surveillance from The New York Times and accused The Times of removing the word “wiretap” from the article’s headline.

False.

The Times did not report that Mr. Obama ordered surveillance of Mr. Trump’s phone conversations, nor did the headline ever change.

(Repetitions in 2018: June 25 | Repetitions in 2017: April 17 | April 12 | April 2 | March 23 | March 17 | March 15 | March 4 | March 4 | March 4)

“Wow, @FoxNews just reporting big news. Source: ‘Official behind unmasking is high up. Known Intel official is responsible. Some unmasked ... not associated with Russia. Trump team spied on before he was nominated.’”

Twitter posts,April 1, 2017

Mr. Trump repeatedly claimed that the Obama administration “spied on” the Trump campaign in referring to the process of “unmasking.” When Americans’ communications are swept up in surveillance of foreigners, their names are normally obscured to protect their privacy. Only authorized national security officials can ask to have the identities of Americans “unmasked.”

This requires context.

Mr. Trump is correct that Trump campaign officials were caught up in surveillance of foreign targets and their identities were unmasked — a request made by Susan E. Rice, Mr. Obama’s national security adviser. Mr. Trump then accused Ms. Rice of committing a crime.

But that was not unlawful or unusual. The National Security Agency revealed almost 2,000 American identities in 2016, and more than 2,200 in 2015, according to a statistical report. Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the agency’s former director, said in congressional testimony last June that the N.S.A. approves requests only if revealing the names of Americans will help the official understand intelligence better, “not so you can use that knowledge indiscriminately.”

(Repetitions in 2017: Sept. 14 | June 23 | June 22 | June 1 | May 11 | May 4 | April 5 | April 3)

“Disproven and paid for by Democrats ‘Dossier used to spy on Trump Campaign. Did FBI use Intel tool to influence the Election?’ ”

Twitter post, Jan. 11, 2018

Mr. Trump first made this claim in January and has repeated it at least 11 other times. It refers to accusations that the Justice Department used unverified information from Mr. Steele’s dossier in its court application to put Mr. Page under surveillance.

This is misleading.

The F.B.I. cited information from Mr. Steele’s dossier, but also other information in its application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The initial application was filed in October 2016, after Mr. Page had left the Trump campaign.

(Repetitions: Aug. 14 | Aug. 12 | Aug. 9 | Aug. 1 | July 23 | July 22 | May 20 | March 26 | Feb. 3 | Feb. 2 | Jan. 11)

The Mueller investigation “was based on fraudulent activities and a Fake Dossier paid for by Crooked Hillary and the DNC.”

Twitter post, March 17, 2018

Mr. Trump has claimed repeatedly that the special counsel investigation led by Robert S. Mueller III was opened because of the information in Mr. Steele’s dossier.

False.

Republicans who hold the majority vote on the House Intelligence Committee have confirmed that the investigation was the result of Mr. Papadopoulos telling an Australian ambassador in May 2016 that the Russians had political dirt on Mrs. Clinton.

(Repetitions: Aug. 9 | Aug. 1 | July 29 | July 29 | July 23 | May 21 | May 1 | April 28)

“So you have all these investigators; they’re Democrats. In all fairness, Bob Mueller worked for Obama for eight years.”

Remarks to reporters at the White House, May 4, 2018

Mr. Trump has described the special counsel investigation as “rigged,” given the political affiliations of the people on the team. He’s referred to them as “13 Angry Democrats” since May, and increased the count to 17 in late July.

This needs context.

A spokesman for the special counsel’s office confirmed the names of 17 investigators on Mr. Mueller’s legal team in May. An additional prosecutor, Uzo Asonye, was later brought on to help in the case against Mr. Manafort, raising the number on the team to 18.

Fourteen of the 18 have donated to Democratic candidates in the past or self-identify as Democrats — including Mr. Asonye, who donated to Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

But Mr. Trump ignores the fact that the political affiliations of the other four are unknown. Mr. Mueller himself is a registered Republican, and he was appointed as F.B.I. director by President George W. Bush in 2001.

It is worth noting that fourother prosecutors have been named in notices of appearances in certain cases initially brought by the special counsel. The Washington Post has reported that they have not joined Mr. Mueller’s team, but may take on those cases after the special counsel investigation ends.

(Repetitions: Aug. 14 | Aug. 9 | Aug. 5 | Aug 1 | Jul 29 | July 27 | July 21 | July 21 | July 16 | July 10 | July 7 | June 28 | June 28 | June 25 | June 20 | June 17 | June 15 | June 15 | June 7 | June 7| June 7 | June 4 | May 29 | May 29 | May 27 | May 26 | May 26 | May 20 | May 7 | May 5 | April 26 | April 11 | April 9 | March 18)

“Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!”

Twitter post, July 25, 2017

As evidence of the “scam” against his campaign, Mr. Trump has cited the links between Andrew G. McCabe, the former F.B.I. deputy director, and Mrs. Clinton at least seven other times.

This needs context.

Mr. McCabe’s wife ran for a seat in the Virginia State Senate in 2015, and accepted nearly $500,000 in contributions from Common Good VA. That political action committee is run by Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a longtime fund-raiser and friend of Mrs. Clinton. Mrs. Clinton did not donate to the campaign.

Mr. McCabe became the F.B.I.’s deputy director in February 2016 — and began overseeing the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s email server — nearly three months after his wife lost her race.

(Repetitions in 2018: May 20 | April 28 | April 15 | Jan. 24 | Repetitions in 2017: Dec. 25 | July 25)

Mr. Trump also has notedseveraltimes, accurately, that it was a Clinton ally — not Mrs. Clinton herself — who donated to Ms. McCabe’s campaign.

“SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!”

Twitter post, May 23, 2018

The claim that the Obama administration planted a spy inside the Trump campaign first emerged in Mr. Trump’s Twitter posts in mid-May; he repeated it at least 13 times by early June. It refers to reports that an F.B.I. informant had contacted Trump campaign aides.

This requires context.

As The Times has reported:

In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign.

Mr. Trump also falsely claimed that James R. Clapper Jr., the Obama administration’s director of national intelligence, “admitted” to spying on his campaign. Mr. Clapper said the exact opposite.

(Repetitions: June 5 | June 5 | May 28 | May 26 | May 24 | May 23 | May 23 | May 23 | May 23 | May 22 | May 20 | May 17)

“Take a look at the horrible statements that Peter Strzok, the chief investigator, said.”

Remarks to reporters at the White House, June 15, 2018

True.

In August 2016, Peter Strzok, a senior F.B.I. counterintelligence agent, made disparaging remarks about Mr. Trump in texts sent to Lisa Page, a former F.B.I. lawyer. The Justice Department’s inspector general said in a June report that the texts “cast a cloud” over the F.B.I.’s handling of the investigation and its credibility. But the report did not find political bias that directly affected the investigation.

Mr. Strzok was fired on Aug. 13 for violating bureau policies.

(Repetitions: Aug. 14 | Aug. 1 | July 18 | July 11 | June 17 | June 16 | June 15 | June 15 | April 28 | April 26 |

“The Russian Hoax Investigation has now cost our government over $17 million, and going up fast.”

Twitter post, June 1, 2018

True, but ...

The special counsel’s investigation reported expenditures of about $16.7 million from May 17, 2017, to March 31, 2018 — so Mr. Trump’s estimate is reasonable. But there is an important caveat: About $9 million was in indirect costs that the Justice Department would have spent regardless of the investigation.

(Repetitions: June 28 | June 2 | May 20)

______

Declaring vindication

According to Mr. Trump, officials and even certain developments in the Russia investigation have absolved his campaign of wrongdoing.

“James Clapper and others stated that there is no evidence Potus colluded with Russia. This story is FAKE NEWS and everyone knows it!”

Twitter post, March 20, 2017

Mr. Trump has repeatedly said the following people have cleared his campaign of wrongdoing: Mr. Clapper, Mr. Comey, Jeh Johnson, the former Department of Homeland Security secretary, and Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, a leading Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee.

This is misleading.

Theseofficialshave said they personally had not seen evidence or proof of collusion, but did not rule it out.

(Repetitions in 2018: Jan. 10 | Repetitions in 2017: Dec. 28 | Nov. 11 | June 22 | May 8 | March 20)

“This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe.”

Twitter post, Feb. 3, 2018

Republicans on House Intelligence Committee released a memo accusing the Justice Department of monitoring Mr. Page without disclosing who paid for Mr. Steele’s dossier. Mr. Trump claimed that the memo proved his campaign did not collude with Russia. He also later said his innocence was verified by a Democratic memo that responded to some of the Republican claims.

False.

Neither memo explicitly clears Mr. Trump of collusion.

“We’re very happy with the decision by the House Intelligence Committee, saying there’s absolutely no collusion with respect to Russia.”

Remarks to reporters at the White House, March 13, 2018

True, but ...

Republicans on the committee said in March that they had found no evidence of collusion between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia; a report they released in April concluded the same. But in their own report, Democrats disputed the Republicans’ findings, saying that Republicans absolved the Trump campaign without doing due diligence.

(Repetitions: July 5 | April 28 | April 27 | April 27 | April 26 | April 18 | April 9)

“James Comey Memos just out and show clearly that there was NO COLLUSION and NO OBSTRUCTION.”

Twitter post, April 19, 2018

False.

Memos written by Mr. Comey, and released in April, do not mention collusion. That is not the same as clearing anyone of collusion, nor obstruction of justice, which is one of the issues being examined by the special counsel investigation.

“It is a very unfair situation, but the I.G. report totally exonerates me.”

Interview with Fox & Friends, June 15, 2018

False.

The Justice Department’s inspector general released an internal report in June that criticized Mr. Comey and other F.B.I. agents for their handling of the investigation into Mrs. Clinton’s emails. But the report did not examine or issue conclusions about the investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/factc...s-on-the-russia-inquiry/ar-BBM4Sk5?ocid=ientp
 

searcher

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NYT: White House counsel McGahn cooperated 'extensively' with Mueller probe
CNN


Published on Aug 18, 2018
White House counsel Donald McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months, The New York Times reported.
 

mayhem

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I find it hard to have sympathy for DJT when he doesn't have enough self control to keep hi yapper shut.

I know it's all in "The Plan". <snicker>
 

hammerhead

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NYT: White House counsel McGahn cooperated 'extensively' with Mueller probe
CNN


Published on Aug 18, 2018
White House counsel Donald McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe, participating in several interviews spanning 30 hours over the last nine months, The New York Times reported.
Oooooh. A counsel cooperated. Extensively at that. My cousin Vinnie.
 

the_shootist

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I find it hard to have sympathy for DJT when he doesn't have enough self control to keep hi yapper shut.

I know it's all in "The Plan". <snicker>
Yeah but how do we know what's taking place under the covers. He's looked like a buffoon many times and each time comes out smelling like Melania's vagina after her morning bath. I have no problem with Trump playing Mindball with his pathetically outmatched enemies. What I'm looking for from The Plan is to start arresting some significant fish. Only then will the Dominoes begin to fall. Until then we're still circling the field waiting to land.
 

searcher

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Trump: Bob Mueller is 'looking for trouble'

Washington Examiner
Pete Kasperowicz
14 mins ago



President Trump on Monday accused special counsel Robert Mueller of "ruining people's lives" by looking for evidence of Trump's collusion with Russia where there is none.

In a few tweets, Trump said Mueller spent more than 30 hours with White House counsel Don McGahn and got nothing, which shows Mueller is only interested in hindering the Trump administration.

"Anybody needed that much time when they know there is no Russian Collusion is just someone looking for trouble," Trump said over two tweets.

"They are enjoying ruining people's lives and REFUSE to look at the real corruption on the Democrat side - the lies, the firings, the deleted Emails and soooo much more!" Trump wrote. "Mueller's Angry Dems are looking to impact the election. They are a National Disgrace!"

Trump has continued to put pressure on Mueller to end his investigation by next month, and has argued that continuing it beyond that would be an attempt to influence the 2018 midterm elections.

Trump said over the weekend that he allowed McGahn to meet with Mueller's team in the interest of transparency, amid speculation that McGahn may have provided information to Mueller that might hurt Trump.

"They made up a phony crime called Collusion, and when there was no Collusion they say there was Obstruction (of a phony crime that never existed)," Trump added. "If you FIGHT BACK or say anything bad about the Rigged Witch Hunt, they scream Obstruction!"

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...-is-looking-for-trouble/ar-BBMan4q?ocid=ientp
 

searcher

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Trump calls Russia probe "McCarthyism at its 'WORST'"

AP
1 hr ago

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — President Donald Trump insists that his White House counsel isn't a "RAT" like the Watergate-era White House attorney who turned on Richard Nixon, and he is blasting the ongoing Russia investigation as "McCarthyism."

Trump, in a series of angry tweets, denounced a New York Times story that his White House counsel, Don McGahn, has been cooperating extensively with the special counsel team investigating Russian election meddling and potential collusion with Trump's Republican campaign.

"The failing @nytimes wrote a Fake piece today implying that because White House Councel Don McGahn was giving hours of testimony to the Special Councel, he must be a John Dean type 'RAT,'" Trump wrote, misspelling the word "counsel. "But I allowed him and all others to testify - I didn't have to. I have nothing to hide ..."

The New York Times said it stands by its story.

Dean, a frequent critic of the president, was the White House counsel for Nixon during the Watergate scandal. He ultimately cooperated with prosecutors and helped bring down the Nixon presidency in 1974, though he served a prison term for obstruction of justice.

Dean tweeted Saturday night in response to the Times story: "Trump, a total incompetent, is bungling and botching his handling of Russiagate. Fate is never kind to bunglers and/or botchers! Unlike Nixon, however, Trump won't leave willingly or graciously."

He added Sunday in response to Trump's tweets that he doubts the president has "ANY IDEA what McGahn has told Mueller. Also, Nixon knew I was meeting with prosecutors, b/c I told him. However, he didn't think I would tell them the truth!"

Trump's original legal team had encouraged McGahn and other White House officials to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller, and McGahn spent hours in interviews.

Trump's personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, said in an appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" that Trump didn't raise executive privilege or attorney-client privilege during those interviews because his team believed — he says now, wrongly — that fully participating would be the fastest way to bring the investigation to a close.

"The president encouraged him to testify, is happy that he did, is quite secure that there is nothing in the testimony that will hurt the president," Giuliani said.

McGahn's attorney William Burck added in a statement: "President Trump, through counsel, declined to assert any privilege over Mr. McGahn's testimony, so Mr. McGahn answered the Special Counsel team's questions fulsomely and honestly, as any person interviewed by federal investigators must."

Trump on Sunday continued to rail against the Mueller investigation, which he has labeled a "witch hunt."

"So many lives have been ruined over nothing - McCarthyism at its WORST!" Trump tweeted, referencing the indiscriminate and damaging allegations made by Sen. Joseph McCarthy in the 1950s to expose communists.

"Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby! Rigged Witch Hunt!" he later wrote.

Giuliani, in his interview, also acknowledged that the reason for the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign aides and a Russian lawyer, arranged by Trump's son Donald Trump Jr., was that they had been promised dirt on Trump's 2016 Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton.

"The meeting was originally for the purpose of getting information about Clinton," he said, adding that the Trump team didn't know that Natalia Veselnitskaya was Russian — even though emails later released by Trump Jr. show that she had been described as a "Russian government attorney."

Giuliani also tried to make the case that having Trump sit down for an interview with Mueller's team wouldn't accomplish much because of the he-said-she-said nature of witnesses' recollections.

"It's somebody's version of the truth, not the truth," he said, telling NBC's Chuck Todd: "Truth isn't truth."

Todd appeared flummoxed by the comment, responding: "This is going to become a bad meme."

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/polit...ccarthyism-at-its-worst/ar-BBM9yv5?ocid=ientp
 

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Trump charges special counsel with 'looking for trouble' and making up collusion as a 'phony crime' as his lawyers realize they don't know what top White House attorney Don McGahn told the Russia investigation

  • President Trump is railing against reports top White House lawyer Don McGahn has spoken to the special counsel investigation
  • He has gone a repeated twitter rant since Saturday, making Monday the third day in a row he tweeted repeatedly about the subject
  • He told lawyer Rudy Giuliani to say the New York Times report was wrong but Giuliani did not do so
  • Meanwhile his legal team has realized they don't know what McGahn told special counsel Robert Mueller in his 30 hours of testimony
  • Trump says members of the press complained and apologized for a story in the New York Times on top White House lawyer talking to special counsel
  • Trump slammed the tone of the New York Times story and said White House counsel Don McGahn is not 'a John Dean type 'RAT''
  • Trump claims the testimony shows 'I have nothing to hide'
  • The Times is standing by their story
  • White House counsel Don McGahn has met with Mueller's team at least three times over the last nine months, The New York Times reported on Saturday
  • White House counsel has talked to Mueller about President Trump's actions related to the Russia investigation
  • Last year, McGahn threatened to resign after he refused a directive by Trump to fire the Special Counsel
  • Relations between McGahn and Trump are tense - the president thinks McGahn is disloyal, while the White House counsel calls Trump 'King Kong'
  • Trump says he voluntarily allowed McGahn to cooperate with the Mueller probe
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6078727/Trump-charges-special-counsel-looking-trouble.html
 

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This whole Russia Collusion Probe has been an OUTSTANDING example of keeping the MSM toddlers occupied while adults get stuff done. It's worth the $25+ million. Mueller clearly looks anxious and tired. Fortunately it won't be too much longer before the balloon goes up on the crooked getting fed into the chipper.
 

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Trump expresses fears that interviewing with Mueller could set him up for perjury charges and declares that he could 'run' the probe himself 'if I wanted to'

  • Trump revealed his concerns in a Reuters interview in the Oval Office on Monday
  • He did not comment on whether he will agree to an interview with Mueller
  • The president also said he was 'totally allowed' to intervene in the Russia investigation, but that he has 'decided to stay out'
  • Trump has repeatedly slammed the veteran prosecutor's probe as a 'witch hunt'
  • He has called Mueller 'totally conflicted' and would not say whether he might revoke his security clearance
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6080553/Trump-says-run-Mueller-probe-wanted-to.html
 

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Trump says he could ‘run’ Mueller probe, Reuters reports
CNN


Published on Aug 20, 2018
In an interview with Reuters, President Trump said that he has stayed out of the Mueller probe but says he could “run it if I want.”
 

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Cuomo: This is what Trump's team is afraid of
CNN


Published on Aug 20, 2018
CNN's Chris Cuomo breaks down the difference between "perjury trap" and "perjury" and why the President's lawyer Rudy Giuliani may be using the first phrase.
 

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Mark Thompson: We Should Brace For A Constitutional Crisis | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC
MSNBC


Published on Aug 21, 2018
President Trump has gotten very involved in discussions about revoking more security clearances and his ability to “run” the Mueller investigation. Chris Jansing discusses the president’s input. Weighing in: MSNBC National Security Analyst Ned Price, Republican Strategist Susan Del Percio, and Sirius XM Progress Radio Host Mark Thompson.
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