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Tag: Robert Mueller

House Republicans Pledge Contempt Charges Against FBI, DOJ

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

U.S. House Republicans are preparing to wage war against FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the special investigation into Trump’s campaign increases in intensity.

Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes and other committee Republicans are drafting a contempt of Congress resolution against the two leaders, claiming lawmakers are being stonewalled as they seek material related to probe, Bloomberg reports

The action follows media reports about FBI Agent Peter Strzok’s  removal from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team for writing text messages criticizing Trump and supporting Hillary Clinton.

Nunes said the FBI and Justice Department are refusing to fully comply with an Aug. 24 committee subpoena.

“In light of today’s press reports, we now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make Deputy Director McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said.

“By hiding from Congress, and from the American people, documented political bias by a key FBI head investigator for both the Russia collusion probe and the Clinton email investigation, the FBI and DOJ engaged in a willful attempt to thwart Congress’ constitutional oversight responsibility,” he said.

Other Stories of Interest

Paranoia Grips White House As Trump’s Inner Circle Worries about Secret Recordings

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Tension and paranoia have gripped the White House as the special counsel’s investigation gets closer to Donald Trump’s inner circle.

Already on edge, White House officials are questioning whether witnesses for Special Counsel Robert Mueller were wired to covertly record conversations, sources close to the president told Politico

“They’re probably shitting bricks,” said an attorney who represents a senior Trump aide caught up in the Russia investigation. “How can you not?”

The latest bad news for Trump was the revelation that his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, has agreed to cooperate with investigators after pleading guilty Friday to lying to the FBI.

Trump’s inner circle has already been worried following the discovery that former campaign aide George Papadopoulos reached a secret deal earlier this summer.

White House attorneys and private counsel for current and former Trump aides acknowledged they have asked their clients whether they’ve had discussions with any potential witnesses who could have been wired. 

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia has heated up in recent weeks.

Michael Flynn Scheduled to Plead Guilty to Lying to FBI

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, has reached a plea deal over lying to the FBI about his back channel conversations with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, ABC News reports.

He’s set to enter a plea in U.S. District Court on Friday at 10:30 a.m.

A brief statement released by Mueller’s team Friday morning does not say what information Flynn has provided the government as part of this deal, but sources familiar with the agreement told ABC News Friday he has made a decision to assist investigators.

The Washington Post reports:

The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his meeting with Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to Obama administration sanctions after the conversation.

Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions.

 

Paul Manafort Reaches $11M Bond Deal with Mueller’s Team

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has reached a deal with prosecutors that would free him from house arrest until his trial on federal money laundering and other charges. 

For $11 million worth of real estate, Manafort could shed his GPS tracking device following four weeks of house arrest that required him to stay inside his Virginia residence, with religious and medical exceptions. He could lose the property if he violates bond, Politico reports

“The Defendant will execute an agreement to forfeit four (4) separate real properties if there is a bail violation with a total estimated net value (i.e., fair market value less encumbrances) of approximately $11.65 million. The OSC has agreed that the properties posted provide the reasonable assurance required under the Bail Reform Act,” Manafort lawyers Kevin Downing and Tom Zehnle wrote.

The deal would allow Manafort to travel throughout New York, Florida and Washington D.C.

But if Manafort flees, his wife would be required to turn over $10 million.

Conservative Group Sues to Get Robert Mueller Fired

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A conservative watchdog group filed suit in an effort to remove Robert Mueller as special counsel appointed to investigate possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign team and Russia.

Freedom Watch alleges Mueller should be removed for “gross prosecutorial misconduct” because of leaks of grand jury information and because of “obvious conflicts of interest among staff,” The Hill reports.

“Robert Mueller is not a ‘man of integrity’ as the Washington, D.C., Democrat and Republican political establishment like to spin,” Klayman said in a statement. “He is just another pol who is representing his establishment benefactors in both political parties who want to see the presidency of Donald Trump destroyed.”

In addition, the complaint alleges Mueller has politicized the investigation by relying on Democrats to assist in the probe.

New Signs That Flynn Is Turning into State Witness in Trump-Russia Probe

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An attorney for Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn has met with special counsel investigators in a move that could spell serious trouble for the president and his campaign.

The meeting between Flynn’s lawyer and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team raises an obvious question: Has Flynn turned into a state’s witness as part of a future plea deal?

Monday’s meeting, which was first reported by ABC News, comes after Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, alerted Trump’s legal team that he is no longer communicating with them.

Flynn has been the subject of Mueller’s investigation and an FBI probe, in part because of undisclosed conversations he had with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

‘Big Trouble’ for Trump? Flynn’s Legal Team Stops Talking with President’s Lawyers

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Revelations that lawyers for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn have stopped communicating with President Trump’s legal team over the special counsel investigation is a good indication that he’s cooperating or negotiating a deal, legal experts said.

The New York Times first reported Thursday that Flynn’s lawyers have stopped sharing information with Trump’s attorneys about the investigation led by special counsel, Robert Mueller, whose legal team is trying to determine whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

Flynn has been a top target of the investigation and resigned as national security adviser after acknowledging he had secretly discussed sanction with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

“I negotiated a cooperation deal for a target with Mueller’s office when he was U.S. Atty and lemme tell ya, he’s not gonna give one to Flynn unless he implicates someone up the ladder. That means Kushner, Don Jr., or Big Daddy,” Norm Eisner, a former White House Special Counsel for Ethics, tweeted.

The Washington Post wrote, “If Flynn is indeed cooperating, Trump is in big trouble.”

The Post continued:

That’s because if Flynn is cooperating, it can only be because he has information to offer Mueller on someone more important than himself. That’s how it works. And who is more important than Flynn? Only a very small number of people. Among those implicated in this whole affair, that group may consist of Jared Kushner and Trump, and that’s about it.

Which means we may be getting closer to answering a question I’ve been asking for a long time: Why was President Trump so intensely focused on protecting Michael Flynn?

You’ll recall that Flynn was supposedly fired because he lied to Vice President Pence about his contacts with Russian officials during the campaign and the transition, claiming he had only exchanged pleasantries with them when in fact they had discussed substantive policy matters, something Pence then repeated to the media. This was always an odd explanation for the firing. Even more odd was the fact that immediately, President Trump began telling anyone who would listen what a great guy Michael Flynn is and how unfair the whole mess was to him.

Witnesses: Kushner Urged Trump to Fire FBI Director Comey

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner was behind the firing of former FBI Director James Comey.

According to four people familiar with the discussions, The Wall Street Journal reports that Kushner urged the president to fire Comey during meetings with other top officials.

Kushner believed Comey was too unpredictable, and the White House adviser wrongly believed Democrats would applaud the FBI director’s firing because of his handling of the Clinton investigation. Kushner also believed FBI agents were cheer the firing because of their unhappiness with Comey’s performance.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigative team is looking into the allegations.

“When the president made the decision to fire FBI Director Comey, Mr. Kushner supported it,” Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, told the the Wall Street Journal.

“There’s no apparent evidence of Jared’s involvement in any decision-making process having to do with Mr. Comey’s firing,” a White House attorney said.