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Tag: Robert Mueller

Trump Says He Has Not Been Asked to Be Interviewed by Mueller’s Team

President Trump

President Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump said he has not been asked to be interviewed by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which is investigating alleged Russian interference during the presidential election.

“I don’t know. Nobody’s asked me to do that,” he told Fox Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo on Friday. “There has — there is no collusion I can tell you that. Everybody’s seen that. You know, you have Senate meetings, you have Senate hearings and nobody has asked us to do interviews anywhere. They have found no collusion.”

Mueller’s team has interviewed former White House press secretary Sean Spicer and former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Mueller has reportedly expressed interest in interviewing a number of former and current White House staffers.

Trump Says He’s Not Considering Firing Special Councel Mueller

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Amid months of speculation that Donald Trump may fire the Justice Department’s special counsel, the president said Monday he is not considering terminating Robert Mueller, who is leading the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Trump made the pronouncement when asked about the investigation by reporters in the Rose Garden, CNN reports

“The whole Russian thing was an excuse for the Democrats losing the election,” Trump said before adding there’s been “absolutely no collusion.”

“It’s been stated that they have no collusion. They ought to get to the end of it because I think the American public is sick of it.”

Trump’s Lawyers: President Wants To Interview with Special Counsel Mueller

President Trump, via White House

President Trump, via White House

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s lawyers say the president is willing to sit down for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation into Russia’s role in the presidential election.

Politico reports that Trump’s lawyers support the idea because it will speed up the investigation and create more confidence that the president has nothing to hide. 

Trump is so eager for an interview that he may volunteer for it if a request isn’t made by Thanksgiving.

But an interview carries risks for Trump, who may be questioned about obstruction of justice allegations for firing then-FBI Director James Comey. Trump also could be peppered with questions about his relationship with the Kremlin.

“Whatever happens with regard to whether or not, or how, the special counsel might want to interview the president, there’s no reason to expect that would be combative,” the senior White House official explained.

British Spy Who Wrote Trump Dossier Interviewed by Mueller’s Team

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The former British spy who wrote the salacious dossier on Russia’s role in the presidential election met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators over the summer, CNN reports

The dossier by Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 officer, helped spawn the investigation into Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.

While investigators have said in the past that they cannot confirm the validity of the dossier’s contents, they took it more seriously than they let on publicly.

CNN reported:

The intelligence agencies, particularly the CIA, and the FBI took Steele’s research seriously enough that they kept it out of a publicly-released January report on Russian meddling in the election in order to not divulge which parts of the dossier they had corroborated and how.

This contrasts with attempts by President Donald Trump and some lawmakers to discredit Steele and the memos he produced.

Ever since the dossier came to light in January, Trump and his allies have repeatedly insisted that it is a complete work of fiction. He told The New York Times this summer that the dossier “was totally made-up stuff.” In a series of tweets earlier this year, Trump said the memos were written by a “failed spy” who had relied on “totally made-up facts by sleazebag political operatives.”

Special Counsel Investigating Extent of Trump’s Pardon Powers

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who is now special counsel for the Russia investigation.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The special counsel team investigating possible collusion between Russia and President Trump’s campaign team is investigating the extent of Trump’s authority to pardon family members and close associates.

In July 2017, Trump bragged on Twitter that “the U.S. President has complete power to pardon.”

Bloomberg reports that Mueller’s top legal counsel, Michel Dreeben, is researching past pardons to determine the extent of Trump’s power to issue pardons. 

“He’s seen every criminal case of any consequence in the last 20 years,” said Kathryn Ruemmler of Latham & Watkins LLP, who served as White House counsel under President Barack Obama. “If you wanted to do a no-knock warrant, he’d be a great guy to consult with to determine if you were exposing yourself.”

Bloomberg wrote:

Pre-emptive pardons are a distinct possibility now that current and former Trump advisers are under Mueller’s scrutiny. Trump himself has tweeted that everyone agrees the U.S. president has “complete power to pardon.” Some of those kinds of executive moves have been well studied, including Gerald Ford’s swift pardon of Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton’s exoneration of fugitive financier Marc Rich. But the legal territory is largely uncharted over pardons of a president’s own campaign workers, family members or even himself — and how prosecutors’ work would then be affected.

Washington Times: Is Robert Mueller on a Fishing Expedition

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Editorial Board
Washington Times

Robert Mueller is nothing if not relentless. Impatient with a fishing expedition that relies on slippery prey to swim into his net, the special counsel now dreams of besieging anyone at the White House who has so much as watched an episode of a television drama about Soviet spies in Washington. Scalps have to be taken because that’s what special counsels, i.e., special prosecutors, do.

Mr. Mueller was commissioned to investigate the Trump campaign’s ties, if any, to Russians. That investigation seems to be what drillers looking for oil call “a dry hole.” Mr. Mueller has so far spent millions, giving employment to every lawyer in town without a client, and he has to come up with something, and soon. That’s why his investigation is ranging so far afield.

Foreign meddling in American elections, by the Russians or anyone else, is seriously grave business. Mr. Mueller has focused his guns on one of Donald Trump’s early campaign managers, Paul Manafort. No one, despite several investigations, has yet demonstrated that there is anything on Mr. Trump himself. Mr. Mueller sent his agents to raid Mr. Manafort’s home in Alexandria, in suburban Virginia, before dawn, reminiscent of an episode of “Cops.” A forensic team spent 10 hours extracting every shred of evidence of wrongdoing, collecting everything from grocery receipts to tax records, looking for something, anything, to prove the president was in cahoots with Vladimir Putin to save the world from Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Mueller could have collected the “evidence,” such as it might be, by subpoenaing any and all documents. This might have deprived a grand jury of a dramatic search for the big ham sandwich which prosecutors traditionally use to get an indictment when the prosecution doesn’t have anything else. Mr. Mueller, according to several press accounts, has told Mr. Manafort that he will be indicted. He’s apparently still looking for a crime.

To read more click here.

Mueller Hides from Spotlight to Avoid Leaks in Russia-Trump Probe

Robert Mueller, via FBI

Robert Mueller, via FBI

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller has slinked into the shadows to avoid the media and others as he embarks on one of the most high-profile investigations in decades.

Politico reports that Mueller has stayed out of the public spotlight, often interviewing people in a conference room in his Washington D.C. office, a location that is a closely guarded secret. 

Mueller was appointed to investigate suspected collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives.

Politico wrote:

Militant about leaks, the former FBI director swears participants to a secrecy that they have honored to a remarkable degree. Reporters have long considered him among Washington’s toughest nuts to crack: “You’d be embarrassed to ask Bob Mueller for a leak,” said the veteran journalist Steven Brill, who has written extensively about media coverage of special counsels. “It’d be like asking him to watch a porn movie with you.”

Occasionally a savvy Washingtonian scores a chance sighting. When public relations professional Eddie Gonzalez saw the Russia investigator walking alone near Capitol Hill on a mid-September weekday afternoon, he suppressed an instinct to chase Mueller down for a selfie, he said. But a hotel restaurant worker did score a picture with him this spring, which her son posted on Twitter. Mueller grinned for that photo, slightly. But when a CNN crew chased him down a Senate hallway in June — “The president thinks it’s a ‘witch hunt.’ Is there any way you can respond to that?” — the poker-faced G-man just stared ahead and kept walking.

The moment illustrated the strange dynamic of Mueller’s mission. He is leading a highly secretive investigation into a president who publicly criticizes the probe on a regular basis. It also underscored what former colleagues, fellow prosecutors and people close to the investigation call Mueller’s calculated effort, in the face of a president who has contemplated his firing, to make himself as small a part of the story as possible.

Special Counsel Mueller Loses Another FBI Official in Russia Probe

Robert Mueller

Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of lawyers and investigators who are investing Russia’s meddling in the presidential election has lost a second FBI official.

ABC News reports that FBI veteran Lisa Page has returned to the office of the FBI’s general counsel. 

One source said Page had been expected to work for Mueller only temporarily and  return to the general counsel.

Several weeks ago, “the investigator dream team,” as Wired magazine called it, lost one of the top FBI officials on the team, Peter Strzok. It was unclear why he stepped down. He has joined the FBI’s human resources division.