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Tag Archives: Russia investigation

Don’t Get the Wrong Idea About the Mueller Probe September “Wrap-up” Date

From the New York Times:

The special counsel hopes to finish by Sept. 1 the investigation into whether President Trump obstructed the Russia inquiry, according to the president’s lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, who said on Sunday that waiting any longer would risk improperly influencing voters in November’s midterm elections.

Mr. Giuliani said that the office of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, shared its timeline about two weeks ago amid negotiations over whether Mr. Trump will be questioned by investigators, adding that Mr. Mueller’s office said that the date was contingent on Mr. Trump’s sitting for an interview. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.

Wrapping up the obstruction case would not signal the end of Mr. Mueller’s work. That is one piece of his broader inquiry, a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s campaign to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump associates coordinated with it. Counterintelligence investigations are used to gather information quietly about the activities of foreign powers and their agents — sometimes for years — and can result in criminal charges.

First of all, it’s a hope, not a commitment. And it is contingent upon Mueller being able to interview Trump. So in fact, Mueller is using the wrap-up date as leverage to get Trump to talk.

And note we are just talking about the “obstruction” side of the inquirty, not the “collusion.

Also, this is Washington. Nothing gets done on time. Expect the probe to continue right through the election, as Democrats hope, and well into next year.

Justice Department Bows to Trump, Will Probe Spying on Trump Campaign

This could be a wild ride. There’s at least as much circumstantial evidence that the FBI targeted President Trump’s campaign for political purposes as there was evidence that the campaign colluded with Russians.

Gosh, we probably need a special prosecutor to look into this and whether a sitting president – the previous one, not this one – targeted the opposition party’s presidential campaign. I mean, that’ would be some Watergate-level corruption.

I know the Democrats love to investigation presidential corruption, so they should totally be into this . . .

According to the Washington Post:

Under pressure from President Donald Trump, the Justice Department on Sunday asked its inspector general to assess whether political motivation tainted the FBI investigation into ties between Russia and Trump’s campaign – a remarkable step officials hoped might avert a larger clash between the president and federal law enforcement officials.

Trump, who spent much of Sunday railing against the year-old special counsel probe, tweeted in the afternoon that “I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

Hours later, the Justice Department responded by saying it had asked its inspector general to expand an ongoing review of the applications to monitor a former Trump campaign adviser “to include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation in how the FBI conducted its counterintelligence investigation of persons suspected of involvement with the Russian agents who interfered in the 2016 presidential election.”

“If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.

FBI May Have Had a Spy Within the Trump Campaign

From a piece running in the Wall Street Journal today by Kimberly Strassel:

The Department of Justice lost its latest battle with Congress Thursday when it allowed House Intelligence Committee members to view classified documents about a top-secret intelligence source that was part of the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign. Even without official confirmation of that source’s name, the news so far holds some stunning implications.

Among them is that the Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation outright hid critical information from a congressional investigation . . . House investigators nonetheless sniffed out a name, and Mr. Nunes in recent weeks issued a letter and a subpoena demanding more details.

Thanks to the Washington Post’s unnamed law-enforcement leakers, we know Mr. Nunes’s request deals with a “top secret intelligence source” of the FBI and CIA, who is a U.S. citizen and who was involved in the Russia collusion probe. When government agencies refer to sources, they mean people who appear to be average citizens but use their profession or contacts to spy for the agency. Ergo, we might take this to mean that the FBI secretly had a person on the payroll who used his or her non-FBI credentials to interact in some capacity with the Trump campaign.

This would amount to spying, and it is hugely disconcerting. It would also be a major escalation from the electronic surveillance we already knew about, which was bad enough. Obama political appointees rampantly “unmasked” Trump campaign officials to monitor their conversations, while the FBI played dirty with its surveillance warrant against Carter Page, failing to tell the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that its supporting information came from the Hillary Clinton campaign. Now we find it may have also been rolling out human intelligence, John Le Carré style, to infiltrate the Trump campaign.

The name will eventually come out. It looks like members of the Intelligence Committee now know it. And it could be one of the biggest scandals of the Obama administration – that it in fact had a spy within the Trump campaign, delivering who-knows-what kinds of information. Did any of it get back to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Given the extraordiary politicization of Obama’s Justice Department, we of course can’t assume it didn’t.

All supposedly justified by an investigation into “collusion” that no one still has provided any evidence of.

Federal Judge Accuses Mueller of Pursuing Manafort to Get Trump

Yes, that’s right. A prosecutor with unlimited power, time and money to go after anyone to get Trump. That’s a problem. From the Washington Post: A federal judge in Virginia on Friday accused the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of pursuing a fraud case against President Trump’s former campaign manager to pressure… Continue Reading

In 1998, Trump Said Clinton Should Not Have Given Deposition that Got Him Impeached

President Trump may have a couple of people to learn from in mulling whether to testify before Robert Mueller’s grand jury: Himself and Bill Clinton. Back in August 1998, Trump told Chris Matthews that Bill Clinton’s lawyer Bob Bennett did a “terrible job” in allowing Clinton to testify on January 17 of that year in… Continue Reading

Trump Slams Mueller: “No Questions on Collusion”

President Trump Tuesday morning in a pair of tweets slammed special prosecutor Robert Mueller for questions he is preparing for Trump, saying that they had nothing to do with Mueller’s original mandate, which was to investigate possible collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia. The questions were leaked to the New York Times. So disgraceful that… Continue Reading

House Intel Committee Report: No Evidence of Collusion

But you knew that. From the Washington Examiner, which provides these excerpts: “The Committee found no evidence that President Trump’s pre-campaign business dealings formed the basis for collusion during the campaign,” the report said. “There is no evidence that Trump associates were involved in the theft or publication of Clinton campaign-related emails, although Trump associates… Continue Reading

Judge Raises Doubts About Whether Mueller Can Probe Whatever He Wants

There once was something called in “independent counsel.” The problem with that was that the independent counsel could just run amock and investigate anything and everything forever. So they let the law authorizing independent counsels expire and decided these probes would be done by a “special counsel” who reported to the Department of Justice. Presumably,… Continue Reading

Video || Grassley: Firing Mueller “Would Be Suicide”

“It looks like a dead end,” Grassley said of the Russia collusion investigation. “Maybe Mueller would appreciate being fired so he would have an excuse for getting out of it and the Democrats would have a good issue in this upcoming election.” A lot of Republicans would be unhappy if Trump fired Mueller. Remember, it… Continue Reading

That Sinking Feeling

The raid on Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s offices is a profound event. Cohen is Trump’s tough-talking, slightly shady-seeming attorney. He knows where Trump buries the bodies. And if he doesn’t cave and testify himself, lots of information about Trump may be on his electronic gadgets, all of which were seized. The entire Russia investigation was… Continue Reading

FBI Raids Trump Lawyer Cohen’s Office

Updated at 6:28 pm. President Trump’s attorney is being investigated for bank fraud and campaign finance violations, according to reports. From the New York Times: The F.B.I. on Monday raided the office of President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, seizing records related to several topics including payments to a pornographic-film actress. Federal prosecutors… Continue Reading

Mueller May Be Trying to Induce Trump to Testify With “Not a Target” Assurance

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has told the White House that President Trump is not a “target” of his investigation, a fairly meaningless assertion that seems designed to lull Trump into a false sense of comfort and get him to testify. The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that Trump is a “subject” of the probe but not a… Continue Reading