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Tag: Robert Mueller

Special Counsel Turns Up Heat on Kushner Over Actions During Trump Transition

Jared Kushner

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Muller is investigating contacts between foreign leaders and Jared Kushner, who is President Trump’s son-in-law and a White House senior adviser.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s investigators are turning up the heat on Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition. 

The investigators have questioned witnesses about their involvement with Kushner.

Among the questions is what role Kushner played in the controversy surrounding a U.N. resolution in December 2016 that criticized Israeli settlement construction.

At the time, President-Elect Trump called for the U.S. to veto the resolution, calling it “extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

Several days later, the resolution passed, but the U.S. abstained from voting.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Israeli officials contacted Trump’s transition team, including Kushner and former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon.

Special Counsel investigators also are scrutinizing whether Kushner set up meetings and communications with foreign leaders during Trump’s transition.

Trump’s Lawyers Try to Keep President Calm to Prevent Self-Sabotage

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump is a nightmare client for lawyers.

Predisposed to self-sabotage, Trump is worrying his attorneys about his impulse to be combative in the face of federal investigations.

Vanity Fair reports that Trump’s lawyers are “taking pains to project calm, telling the president he has nothing to fear and that the investigation, which some posits is just getting started, will wind down soon.” 

“The people who have been interviewed generally feel they were treated fairly by the special counsel, and adequately prepared to assist them in understanding the relevant material,” White House lawyer Ty Cobb, who has urged the president to cooperate with Mueller and his team, told The Washington Post. “They came back feeling relieved that it was over, but nobody I know of was shaken or scared.” 

Vanity Fair wrote:

One of the goals of this effort, it appears, is to prevent Trump from flying into a rage and firing Mueller, as several of his allies have suggested he do if it appears Mueller is expanding the scope of his investigation into the president’s finances. “I’ve done my best, without overstepping, to share my view that the perception of the inquiry—that it involved a decade or more of financial transactions and other alleged issues that were mistakenly reported—just wasn’t true, and that the issues were narrower and wholly consistent with the mandate provided by the Justice Department to the Office of the Special Counsel,” he said, adding that he believes the investigation will be wrapped up by the end of the year, or shortly thereafter. As for further revelations regarding foreign contacts that are reportedly on the horizon, Cobb said he does not expect them to “unduly extend the inquiry.”

Mueller Requests Justice Department Documents Related to Comey’s Firing

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested documents from the Justice Department as part of his investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Among the documents are those related to Trump firing then-FBI Director James Comey and to Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the Russian probe, ABC News reports.

Mueller’s team is interested in the interactions between Justice Department officials and the White House.

Mueller is trying to determine whether Trump or any other administration official wielded improper influence over an ongoing investigation.

Sessions said last week that he is willing to cooperate with the investigation.

Judge: Charged Trump Aide Gates Barred from Leaving House for Kids, Holidays

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A judge agreed with Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Thursday that Donald Trump aide Richard Gates is a flight risk and therefore should remain under house arrest and should not leave his home for Christmas or to pick up his children from school.

Gates and his business partner, Paul Manafort, the former chairman of Trump’s campaign, were indicted last month and are both facing a dozen federal charges, from conspiracy to money laundering.

Gates was placed under houser arrest and given a $5 million bond.

The judge denied Gates’ request to be allowed to take his children to school every day and to birthday parties and other extracurricular activities, Newsweek reports. The judge also said Gates could not leave, as requested, for Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

Poll: Most Americans Don’t Believe Mueller Probe Is ‘Witch Hunt’

PrintBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Most Americans don’t buy President Trump’s repeated claims that the special counsel investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign team and Russia is a “witch hunt.”

Quinnipiac University poll released Wednesday found that 60% of those surveyed believe Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the issue fairly. By contrast, only 27% people think the investigation is unfair.

Some Congressional Republicans recently introduced a non-binding measure that claims Mueller’s investigation amounts to a “coup” attempt.

The poll found that 47% of Americans believe Trump should be impeached if he fires Mueller, a former FBI director who has announced charges and one conviction against several Trump aides.

Special Counsel Probe Focuses on How Much Trump Knew about Russia Contacts

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is trying to determine how much Donald Trump and his inner circle were aware of the campaign team’s contracts with Russia.

To get closer to the mystery, Mueller’s team questioned Sam Clovis, co-chairman of Trump’s election campaign, who testified before the grand jury in late October, two sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters

“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-electTrump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” said one source. “That is still just a question.”

The White House declined to comment.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in a deal that involve testimony against the president and his inner circle.

“The investigators now know what Papadopoulos was doing on the Russian front, which he initially tried to conceal, and who he told that to,” said the other source. “Now want to know whether Clovis and others reported these activities and others related to Russia, and if so, to whom,” this source said.

Mueller Investigating Flynn’s Role in Alleged Plot to Deliver Cleric to Turkey

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is accused of plotting to forcibly remove a Muslim cleric living in the U.S. and delivering him to Turkey in exchange for millions of dollars.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the allegations involving Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., who reportedly were paid as much as $15 million for delivering Fethullah Gulen to the Turkish government, according to several reports

Flynn is accused of meeting with senior Turkish officials in December, a few weeks before Trump’s inauguration, to discuss the return of Gulen, who is a rival of Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Flynn and others also are under investigation for allegedly plotting to free a Turkish-Iranian gold trader who is jailed in the U.S.

Authorities said the meeting allegedly occurred at an upscale restaurant just a few blocks from Trump Tower.

Other Stories of Interest

Republicans Warn of ‘Coup’ if Robert Mueller Continues Russia-Trump Probe

Special counsel Robert Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A conservative group of Republicans called for Robert Mueller to resign, saying the special counsel’s investigation amounts to an attempted overthrow of the government.

“We are at risk of a coup d’etat in this country if we allow an unaccountable person, with no oversight, to undermine the duly-elected President of the United States,” said Florida Congressman Rep. Matt Gaetz from the chamber floor, Newsweek reports

Gaetz and other members of the House Freedom Caucus proposed a non-binding motion last week to demand Mueller resign or be fired because of “obvious conflicts of interest.” They allege Mueller has a conflict because he was the FBI director when the Obama administration approved a deal allowing a Russian company to buy a Canadian energy company with uranium operations in 2010.

“We’ve got to clean this town up, and it will start with the resignation of Mr. Mueller and a proper investigation of all of this underlying case involving Comey, Lynch, the Clintons, and Russia,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert said Wednesday.