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Comey’s Friend Turns Over Ex-FBI Director’s Memos to Bureau

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director James Comey’s potentially explosive memos about his encounters with President Trump are now in the hands of the bureau.

Politico reports that Comey’s friend, Daniel Richman, a Columbia University law professor, turned over the records to the FBI, which is investigating alleged collusion between Trump’s inner circle and Russian officials to meddle in the presidential election. 

The FBI also is trying to determine whether Trump tried to obstruct justice by firing Comey after he refused to stop the Russia investigation.

Comey said he kept detailed memos of his murky conversations with Trump.

Those memos could become key evidence in the case against Trump. 

Trump Interviewed Mueller for FBI Director Job Before Special Counsel Appointment

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump met with former FBI Director Robert Mueller to ask if he’d want to become the bureau’s top boss again, just a day or two before Mueller was appointed special counsel over the investigation into Russia meddling with the presidential election.

The discussion between Trump and Mueller was revealed by Trump friend and Newsmax CEO Chris Ruddy in an interview on PBS’ “NewsHour” Monday evening. 

Ruddy said the president “was looking at (Mueller) potentially to become the next FBI director. That hasn’t been published but it’s true.”

Mueller haws served 12 years as FBI director.

Now Ruddy and other Trump allies are saying Mueller shouldn’t have accepted the special counsel job because of his recent discussion with Trump.

Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed Tuesday that Trump interviewed Mueller for the top FBI job.

In Ruddy’s interview with PBS, he suggested the president should fire Mueller as special counsel.

Deputy AG: No Plans to Fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The deputy U.S. attorney general assured Congress on Tuesday that special counsel Robert Mueller would have “the full degree of independence” to investigate allegations of Russia interfering in the presidential election.

“Director Mueller is going to have the full degree of independence that he needs to conduct that investigation appropriately,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee, the Business Insider reports

Rosenstein’s assurance comes after Donald Trump’s friend suggested the president may fire Mueller.

But that power belongs to Rosenstein, who said he sees no good reason to fire Mueller.

AG Sessions Dismisses Collusion Allegations with Russia as a ‘Detestable Lie’

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions dismissed allegations that he colluded with the Russian government as “an appalling and detestable lie” during testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

“These false attacks, the innuendo, and the leaks, you can be sure, will not intimidate me,” Sessions said in his opening remarks.

Sessions, however, had trouble recalling whether he had a third discussion with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, saying it’s “possible, but I don’t recall it.”

“If any brief interaction occurred in passing with the Russian ambassador during that reception, I do not remember it,” Sessions said.

Sessions admitted he met twice with Kislyak twice after failing to disclose the conversations during his confirmation hearing.

While Sessions was quick to defend himself against allegations of collusion, he declined to answer numerous questions, including whether he knew of any discussions in the White House about future pardons in connection with the Russia investigation.

Sessions also said it was “inappropriate” to disclose whether President Trump expressed disapproval of Sessions recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

The failure to answer questions drew criticism from Democrats.

“You’re impeding this investigation by refusing to answer questions,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-New Mexico, said. “I think your silence speaks volumes.”

Sessions’ Troubled Relationship with Trump to Be Put to Test Today

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was one of Donald Trump’s earliest supporters, defending the president’s populist agenda.

But his loyalty to the president will be tested during today’s Senate Intelligence Committee in which Sessions will be grilled about the investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and Trump’s campaign.

Sessions, who recused himself from the investigation for failing to initially reveal contacts with a Russian ambassador, could provide critical information about the probe. Or he could invoke executive privilege and decline to answer the most sensitive questions.

During fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony last week, he said it would be “problematic” to loop Sessions into details of Trump’s alleged request of Comey to drop the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Sessions also could come under fire for his involvement with Comey’s firing, especially since Trump later acknowledged the termination was the result of the federal investigation into Russia.

As it turns out, Sessions privately offered to resign after Trump criticized the attorney general for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

At this point, it’s anyone’s guess how Sessions will address the tough questions he’ll be asked during the hearing.

Other Stories of Interest

Trump Allies Try to Discredit Special Counsel Mueller After Initial Praise

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

And so begins the inevitable partisan attacks on Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who has earned near unanimous praise for his integrity and fairness as the bureau’s top boss.

As Mueller begins to build his team to investigate allegations of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump’s political team to undermine the 2016 election, the president’s conservative allies are digging in to discredit Mueller, who was appointed as special counsel by Trump’s own Justice Department.

And on Monday, a close friend of Trump’s said the president is considering firing Mueller, a move that echoes Richard Nixon ordering the termination of the special prosecutor during the Watergate scandal.

Rep. Adam Schiff, of California, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, warned Trump that dismissing Mueller would ultimately be futile, saying “Don’t waste your time.

Trump, who has called the appointment of Mueller “a witch hunt,” has yet to publicly attack the credibility of the special counsel. But his allies have.

On Twitter, Newt Gingrich, an informal adviser to Trump, called the appointment of a special counsel “nonsense,” suggesting it’s “delusional” to believe Mueller would be fair, less than a month after praising the appointment as “a superb choice.”

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter said there’s no reason to keep Mueller because Comey confirmed that Trump wasn’t under investigation, while radio host Mark Levin wrote on Facebook that “Mueller must step aside.”

When Mueller was appointed special counsel last month, Democrats and Republicans praised the decision.

LA Times: Truth Or Consequence Time for AG Jeff Sessions

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions during his confirmation hearing in January.

By Editorial Board
Los Angeles Times

On Tuesday, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee need to pin Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions down about his role in the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and other matters that remain murky.

On May 9, Sessions wrote a letter to President Trump urging Comey’s dismissal “based on my evaluation, and for the reasons expressed by the deputy attorney general in the attached memorandum.” The memo he referred to by Deputy Atty. Gen Rod Rosenstein faulted Comey for the way he handled the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Yet Trump later said that “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of [the Justice Department’s] recommendation” and that he had “this Russia thing” on his mind when he made the decision. Did Sessions, who has recused himself from any investigation connected to last year’s election campaigns, know this when he wrote his letter to Trump? Did he assign Rosenstein to write the memo used to justify Comey’s dismissal?

Secret Service Says No Recordings Exist of Trump Conversations with Comey

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s suggestion that there were “tapes” of conversations between himself and then-FBI Director James Comey appears to be yet another fabrication of the beleaguered president.

The Secret Service, responding to a Freedom of Information request by the Wall Street Journal, said there are no recordings or transcripts of conversations between Trump and Comey. 

“In response to your request, the Secret Service has conducted a reasonable search for responsive records,” the agency wrote in a statement responding to the FOIA request. “It appears, from a review of Secret Service’s main indices, that there are no records pertaining to your request that are referenced in these indices.”

Shortly after firing Comey, Trump tweeted that Comey “better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”

During Comey’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the former FBI boss responded, “Lordy, I hope there are tapes.”