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Tag: Robert Mueller

FBI Contradicts Trump’s Claims about Photos of Him Kissing, Hugging Comey And Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump claims that he could provide 100 images of him “hugging and kissing” special counsel Robert Mueller and former FBI Director James Comey.

But the FBI was unable to locate a single photo as described by Trump.

BuzzFeed News reporter Jason Leopold filed a Freedom of Information Act request for photos of Trump and Comey “hugging and kissing each other.” The bureau responded that no such photos existed within the FBI.

On Tuesday, Comey joked that his wife was “so relieved” to learn that the photos don’t exist.

 

Mueller’s Investigation Appears to Be Winding Down, But Experts Say Maybe Not

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Is special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation nearing an end?

After six guilty pleas, a jury conviction and the indictment of 26 individuals and three Russians, Mueller has reduced the size of his staff from 17 prosecutors to 13.

After the midterms, Mueller’s team plans to issue a report on the main findings of an investigation that began in April 2017.

But does that mean the end is near?

“Who the heck knows? My guess is he is getting close to done, but that is only a guess,” Peter Zeidenberg, a former Justice Department prosecutor, told the Washington Examiner

“I think anyone who tells you the answer to this question [of winding down] with a high degree of confidence is mistaken,” Zeidenberg explained.

Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel on the Whitewater investigation, said it’s reasonable to believe the investigation will pick up steam after the midterm elections.

“A seasoned investigator urged caution. “Anyone who is sure he is wrapping up is projecting their own thinking,” Rosenzweig said. “Anyone who is sure he is just laying low is, likewise, projecting. Mueller has been quiet of late because of the midterm elections. Expect a resumption after the new year.”

President Trump’s legal team has been claiming the investigation is wrapping up for more than a year. But so far, Mueller has been unable to get Trump to sit down for an interview.

Only time will tell when the investigation is over.

Mueller’s Team Questioning Manafort, Others about Longtime Trump Supporter Roger Stone

Roger Stone

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has been questioning former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and others about Roger Stone.

Stone, who also worked on Trump’s campaign and previously was a partner at Manafort’s lobbying firm, Black, Manafort, Stone and Kelly, has been the subject of Mueller’s investigation.

Manafort has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia.   

“I am highly confident Mr. Manafort is aware of no wrongdoing on my part during the 2016 campaign, or at any other time, and therefore there is no wrongdoing to know about,” Stone told ABC News. “Narratives to the contrary by some in the media are false and defamatory.” 

Mueller’s team wants to know whether Stone had advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Hillary Clinton’s emails, which Russian hackers had stolen. At the time, Stone publicly suggested he had been in touch with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange over the emails, which were released to hurt Clinton’s chances of winning the 2016 presidential election.

Nearly a dozen people close to Stone – many of whom have appeared before a federal grand jury – have been questioned by Mueller’s team.

Special Counsel Expected to Reveal Findings of Investigation After Midterm Elections

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings related to his investigation into Russian election interference after the midterm elections.

Mueller is finishing up his report, which will include findings about whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and whether the president obstructed justice during the probe, Bloomberg News reports.

The findings will be presented to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. It’s not yet clear whether the report will become public.

Regulations give some discretion to Rosenstein in deciding what to reveal to Congress and the public.

Trump’s Legal Team Drawing Up Answers to Mueller’s Questions about Collusion

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s lawyers are preparing to answer questions from special counsel Robert Mueller about whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential race.

A source familiar with the matter told several news outlets that Trump’s legal team was preparing answers to the written questions. 

Mueller was appointed in May 2017 to investigate Russia’s interference in the presidential election, leading to numerous indictments. But what remains unclear is whether Trump’s campaign played a direct role in the election meddling.

The written questions are not part of the bigger question over whether Trump will agree to a sit-down interview with Mueller’s team.

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia and repeatedly dismisses the investigation as a which hunt, despite the numerous indictments and guilty pleas since the probe began.

Once-Defiant Manafort Meets with Mueller’s Team As Part of Cooperation Agreement

Ex-Trump campaign leader Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The once-defiant Paul Manafort met Monday with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team less than a month after he reached a cooperation agreement with prosecutors.

As part of a plea deal reached last month, Manafort agreed to cooperate with the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Manafort and his lawyers sat down with Mueller’s prosecutors, but neither side would comment on the substance of the meeting.

Under the plea deal, Manafort must cooperate “fully, truthfully, completely, and forthrightly…in any and all matters as to which the government deems the cooperation relevant.”

Manafort is expected to be sentenced after the November midterm elections. 

Manafort served as the Trump campaign chairman in the 2016 presidential election.

Other Stories of Interest

Man Who Helped Special Counsel Prosecute Russians Fears for Life

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

A cooperating witness whose testimony led to the indictment of Russian nationals during the special counsel investigation of the Kremlin meddling in the presidential election says he fears for his life.

Richard Pinedo, of California, told a court that he “lives in a constant state of fear” that Russians will seek retribution, ABC News reports

Pinedo, whose sentencing guidelines call for 12 to 19 months in prison, pleaded guilty to identify fraud for his involvement in selling bank accounts to Russians.

His attorney, Jeremy Lessem, is asking the judge for a non-custodial sentence, saying he “has suffered, and will continue to suffer, in ways far beyond what anyone else convicted of a similar offense would expect.”

Republicans Balk at Bill to Protect Russia Investigation As Trump Meets with Rosenstein

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The fate of the special counsel’s Russia investigation hangs in the balance as President Trump decides today whether to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who supervises the federal probe.

The removal of Rosenstein would cause a shake-up at the top of the Justice Department, leaving open the possibility that the new deputy attorney general could end the investigation by firing social counsel Robert Mueller.

This scenario is why Democrats and some Republicans are backing a bill that would make it more difficult for Trump’s administration to end an investigation that has resulted in numerous indictments.

But Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refuses to bring the bill to the floor, leaving no protections in place to prevent Mueller’s removal.

The bill, the Special Counsel Independence and Integrity Act, would allow Mueller to appeal and provide for a judicial review of any attempts to fire him.