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As “metal bracelet day” for Donald Trump edges closer…


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Author Topic: As “metal bracelet day” for Donald Trump edges closer…  (Read 71 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« on: July 21, 2017, 03:14:03 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump set a red line for Robert Mueller.
And now Mueller has reportedly crossed it.


The Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is zeroing
in on President Trump's business transactions, according to Bloomberg.
It sounds like somebody is basically daring Trump to try to fire Mueller.


By AARON BLAKE | 11:32AM EDT - Thursday, July 20, 2017

Robert Mueller, FBI director at the time, testifies on Capitol Hill on June 13th, 2012. — Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press.
Robert Mueller, FBI director at the time, testifies on Capitol Hill on June 13th, 2012. — Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press.

BLOOMBERG NEWS is reporting that the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller is zeroing in on President Trump's business transactions.

The report quoted an anonymous source as saying that Trump's financial ties to Russia are the focus: “FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump's involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump's sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008.” The Washington Post has not independently confirmed Bloomberg's report.

Somebody is basically daring Trump to try to fire Mueller.

Just a day before the Bloomberg report, in an interview with The New York Times, Trump said this is precisely the thing that for him would cross a “red line” with Mueller. The Times reporters repeatedly asked what would constitute Mueller going too far, and eventually Trump agreed that probing his business and his family's financial dealings would be a “violation”.

It has previously been reported that the Russia investigation has focused on the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law and top adviser, Jared Kushner, but this appears to be the first indication that Trump's own finances are under scrutiny.

In The New York Times interview, Trump didn't quite say he would try to fire Mueller for such a thing, but he sure hinted at it. Here's the transcript:

MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT: Last thing, if Mueller was looking at your finances and your family finances, unrelated to Russia — is that a red line?

MAGGIE HABERMAN: Would that be a breach of what his actual charge is?

TRUMP: I would say yeah. I would say yes. By the way, I would say, I don't — I don’t — I mean, it's possible there's a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? I don't make money from Russia. In fact, I put out a letter saying that I don't make — from one of the most highly respected law firms, accounting firms. I don't have buildings in Russia. They said I own buildings in Russia. I don't. They said I made money from Russia. I don't. It's not my thing. I don't, I don't do that. Over the years, I've looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one. Other than I held the Miss Universe pageant there eight, nine years.

[CROSSTALK]

SCHMIDT: But if he was outside that lane, would that mean he'd have to go?

[crosstalk]

HABERMAN: Would you consider …

TRUMP: No, I think that's a violation. Look, this is about Russia. So I think if he wants to go, my finances are extremely good, my company is an unbelievably successful company. And actually, when I do my filings, peoples say, “Man”. People have no idea how successful this is. It's a great company. But I don't even think about the company anymore.

HABERMAN: Would you fire Mueller if he went outside of certain parameters of what his charge is? [crosstalk]

SCHMIDT: What would you do?

[crosstalk]

TRUMP: I can't, I can’t answer that question, because I don't think it’s going to happen.

And then it happened.

Trump has reportedly thought about trying to fire Mueller before. Trump ally and Newsmax chief executive Christopher Ruddy said last month that Trump was “considering perhaps terminating” Mueller — something the White House sought to play down and Ruddy tried publicly to talk Trump out of.

It's not clear that Trump can fire Mueller even if he wanted to, though. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and is overseeing the probe, has said that only he can fire Mueller and that he wouldn't do it simply at Trump's request, without “good cause”.

If Rosenstein were to resist Trump's demand and Trump fired him, too, it would fall to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand to oversee the probe and make that decision. If she resisted and Trump fired her, it would fall to Dana J. Boente, the acting assistant attorney general for national security.

The Fix's Philip Bump breaks down that whole process here.




It's also not clear that Mueller's probe is restricted in any way, legally speaking. Jeffrey Jacobovitz, a white-collar lawyer who represented officials in the Clinton White House, said there's pretty much no limit.

“Mueller's designation as special counsel is very broad, and he will be looking at both direct and indirect issues related to Russia and the campaign,” Jacobovitz said. “If you recall, Spiro Agnew was convicted of tax evasion, and the Clinton independent counsel evolved from Whitewater to an affair. So independent counsels have a lot of discretion in terms of what they investigate.”

But just because it would be difficult doesn't mean Trump wouldn't attempt it. He has shown before that he's willing to fire people who run afoul of him (see: Comey, James B.) even as it resulted in Mueller investigating him for potential obstruction of justice. And Trump also doesn't have much regard for the normal legal processes and the rule of law.

Firing Mueller, though, would be the equivalent of firing Comey times 10 on the controversy scale. Now the ball, it seems, is in Trump's court.


Amber Phillips contributed to this report.

• Aaron Blake is senior political reporter at The Washington Post for The Fix.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump accuses Mueller of bias in russia probe

 • Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

 • Michael Gerson: Trump's breathtaking surrender to Russia

 • Washington Post Editorial: What a president with nothing to hide would say to The New York Times


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/20/trump-set-a-red-line-for-robert-mueller-and-now-mueller-has-reportedly-crossed-it
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2017, 04:35:18 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump's lawyers seek to undercut Mueller's Russia investigation

President's legal team is looking to build a case against
what they say is the special counsel's conflicts of interest.


By CAROL D. LEONNIG, ASHLEY PARKER, ROSALIND S. HELDERMAN and TOME HAMBURGER | 9:58PM EDT - Thursday, July 20, 2017

President Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the Russia probe, according to a person familiar with the effort. — Photograph: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post.
President Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the Russia probe,
according to a person familiar with the effort. — Photograph: Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post.


SOME OF President Trump's lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president's authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump's lawyers have been discussing the president's pardoning powers among themselves.

Trump's legal team declined to comment on the issue. But one adviser said the president has simply expressed a curiosity in understanding the reach of his pardoning authority, as well as the limits of Mueller's investigation.

“This is not in the context of, ‘I can't wait to pardon myself’,” a close adviser said.

With the Russia investigation continuing to widen, Trump's lawyers are working to corral the probe and question the propriety of the special counsel's work. They are actively compiling a list of Mueller's alleged potential conflicts of interest, which they say could serve as a way to stymie his work, according to several of Trump's legal advisers.

A conflict of interest is one of the possible grounds that can be cited by an attorney general to remove a special counsel from office under Justice Department regulations that set rules for the job.

The president is also irritated by the notion that Mueller's probe could reach into his and his family's finances, advisers said.

Trump has been fuming about the probe in recent weeks as he has been informed about the legal questions that he and his family could face. His primary frustration centers on why allegations that his campaign co-ordinated with Russia should spread into scrutinizing many years of Trump dealmaking. He has told aides he was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.

Trump has repeatedly refused to make his tax returns public after first claiming he could not do so because he was under audit or after promising to release them after an IRS audit was completed. All presidents since Jimmy Carter have released their tax returns.

Further adding to the challenges facing Trump's outside lawyers, the team's spokesman, Mark Corallo, resigned on Thursday, according to two people familiar with his departure. Corallo did not respond to immediate requests for comment.

“If you're looking at Russian collusion, the president's tax returns would be outside that investigation,” said a close adviser to the president.

Jay Sekulow, one of the president's private lawyers, said in an interview on Thursday that the president and his legal team are intent on making sure Mueller stays within the boundaries of his assignment as special counsel. He said they will complain directly to Mueller if necessary.

“The fact is that the president is concerned about conflicts that exist within the special counsel's office and any changes in the scope of the investigation,” Sekulow said. “The scope is going to have to stay within his mandate. If there's drifting, we're going to object.”

Sekulow cited Bloomberg News reports that Mueller is scrutinizing some of Trump's business dealings, including with a Russian oligarch who purchased a Palm Beach mansion from Trump for $95 million in 2008.

They're talking about real estate transactions in Palm Beach several years ago,” Sekulow said. “In our view, this is far outside the scope of a legitimate investigation.”

 The president has long called the FBI investigation into his campaign's possible coordination with the Russians a “witch hunt”. But now, Trump is coming face-to-face with a powerful investigative team that is able to study evidence of any crime it encounters in the probe — including tax fraud, lying to federal agents and interference in the investigation.

“This is Ken Starr times 1,000,” said one lawyer involved in the case, referring to the independent counsel who oversaw an investigation that eventually led to House impeachment proceedings against President Bill Clinton. “Of course, it's going to go into his finances.”

Following Trump's decision to fire FBI Director James B. Comey — in part because of his displeasure with the FBI's Russia investigation — Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel in a written order. That order gave Mueller broad authority to investigate links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, as well as “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation” and any crimes committed in response to the investigation, such as perjury or obstruction of justice.

Mueller's probe has already expanded to include an examination of whether Trump obstructed justice in his dealings with Comey, as well as the business activities of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law.

Trump's team could potentially challenge whether a broad probe of Trump's finances prior to his candidacy could be considered a matter that arose “directly” from an inquiry into possible collusion with a foreign government.

The president's legal representatives have also identified what they allege are several conflicts of interest facing Mueller, such as donations to Democrats by some of his prosecutors.

Another potential conflict claim is an allegation that Mueller and Trump National Golf Club in Northern Virginia had a dispute over membership fees when Mueller resigned as a member in 2011, two White House advisers said. A spokesman for Mueller said there was no dispute when Mueller, who was FBI director at the time, left the club.

Trump also took public aim on Wednesday at Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein, whose actions led to Mueller's appointment. In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, the president said he never would have nominated Sessions if he knew he was going to recuse himself from the case.

Some Republicans in frequent touch with the White House said they viewed the president's decision to publicly air his disappointment with Sessions as a warning sign that the attorney general's days were numbered. Several senior aides were described as “stunned” when Sessions announced on Thursday morning he would stay on at the Justice Department.

Another Republican in touch with the administration described the public steps as part of a broader effort aimed at “laying the groundwork to fire” Mueller.

“Who attacks their entire Justice Department?” this person said. “It's insane.”

Law enforcement officials described Sessions as increasingly distant from the White House and the FBI because of the strains of the Russia investigation.

Traditionally, Justice Department leaders have sought to maintain a certain degree of autonomy from the White House as a means of ensuring prosecutorial independence.

But Sessions's situation is more unusual, law enforcement officials said, because he has angered the president for apparently being too independent while also angering many at the FBI for his role in the president's firing of Comey.

As a result, there is far less communication among those three key parts of the government than in years past, several officials said.

Currently, the discussions of pardoning authority by Trump's legal team are purely theoretical, according to two people familiar with the ongoing conversations. But if Trump pardoned himself in the face of the ongoing Mueller investigation, it would set off a legal and political firestorm, first around the question of whether a president can use the constitutional pardon power in that way.

“This is a fiercely debated but unresolved legal question,” said Brian C. Kalt, a constitutional law expert at Michigan State University who has written extensively on the question.

The power to pardon is granted to the president in Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution, which gives the commander in chief the power to “grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.” That means pardon authority extends to federal criminal prosecution but not to state level or impeachment inquiries.

No president has sought to pardon himself, so no courts have reviewed it. Although Kalt says the weight of the law argues against a president pardoning himself, he says the question is open and predicts such an action would move through the courts all the way to the Supreme Court.

“There is no predicting what would happen,” said Kalt, author of the book, Constitutional Cliffhangers: A Legal Guide for Presidents and Their Enemies. It includes chapters on the ongoing debate over whether presidents can be prosecuted while in office and on whether a president can issue a pardon to himself.

Other White House advisers have tried to temper Trump, urging him to simply cooperate with the probe and stay silent on his feelings about the investigation.

On Monday, lawyer Ty Cobb, newly brought into the White House to handle responses to the Russian probe, convened a meeting with the president and his team of lawyers, according to two people briefed on the meeting. Cobb, who is not yet on the White House payroll, was described as attempting to instill some discipline in how the White House handles queries about the case. But Trump surprised many of his aides by speaking at length about the probe to The New York Times two days later. Cobb, who officially joins the White House team at the end of the month, declined to comment for this article.

Some note that the Constitution does not explicitly prohibit a president from pardoning himself. On the other side, experts say that by definition a pardon is something you can only give to someone else. There is also a common-law canon that prohibits individuals from serving as a judge in their own case. “For example, we would not allow a judge to preside over his or her own trial,” Kalt said.

A president can pardon an individual at any point, including before the person is charged with a crime, and the scope of a presidential pardon can be very broad. President Gerald Ford pardoned former president Richard M. Nixon preemptively for offenses he “committed or may have committed” while in office.


Devlin Barrett and Sari Horwitz contributed to this report.

• Carol Leonnig covers federal agencies for The Washington Post with a focus on government accountability.

• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.

• Tom Hamburger covers the intersection of money and politics for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Fact Check: Do the political preferences of Mueller's team risk its independence?

 • VIDEO: What's at stake for Mushner, Trump Jr. and Manafort in their upcoming Senate hearings


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trumps-lawyers-seek-to-undercut-muellers-russia-investigation/2017/07/20/232ebf2c-6d71-11e7-b9e2-2056e768a7e5_story.html
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2017, 11:27:42 am »

.....but this guy should.....or will the lefties just want to give him an eternal taxpayer funded benefit....with all the trimmings of course🤑

Kiwi with 'appalling' criminal history to be deported from Australia after 29 years away

Anthony Davis' criminal history was described as "appalling" by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia.

A violent criminal who has racked up more than 20 prison sentences will be deported back to New Zealand from Australia, despite not having lived here since he was 6.

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia has dismissed Anthony Davis' appeal against having his special category visa revoked.

Davis, 35, moved to Australia as a child. He attended school there and later worked as a labourer and carpet layer.

He has only visited New Zealand on five occasions, ranging from 11 days to six weeks, in the past 29 years.

READ MORE:
* Career criminal, 49, to be deported from Australia after leaving NZ as a baby
* Kiwi crims deported from Australia commit 737 crimes in past two years
* 30pc of Kiwis deported from Australia have reoffended - some of them sexually
* Kiwis in Australian detention centres tell of 'Darth Vader' arrests

Davis has an "extensive" criminal history in Australia and received his first conviction, for stealing, when he was 15, the tribunal's decision said.

He was later convicted of common assault, breaching a probation order and breaching a community service order.

The tribunal heard the Department of Immigration wrote to him in 2007, warning him about the consequences of further offending on his visa status.

However, he then went on to commit several more crimes, including possessing dangerous drugs, stealing and possessing tainted property, breaking and entering, fraud, and supplying drugs while in prison.

In a decision released on Wednesday, senior tribunal member Theodore Tavoularis said Davis' failure to change his behaviour following the warning was "almost as telling as the offending itself".


He described Davis' offending as "appalling" and noted that he had received more than 20 prison sentences over the years.

In total, he had been sentenced to about 20 years in prison, although some of those sentences had been suspended or served concurrently.

​Davis would pose a "grave risk" to Australians if he reoffended, Tavoularis said.

In response, Davis argued that he was remorseful, had changed his ways and taken positive steps to rehabilitate himself.

He claimed he could have a 6-year-old daughter in Bendigo and was awaiting DNA test results.

He added that he had a "strong support network" in Australia and was more likely to abuse alcohol and drugs, and to reoffend, if he was deported.

The tribunal was also referred to reports referring to past trauma in Davis' life, including the alleged murder of his baby daughter from a previous relationship, and abuse that he alleged to have suffered as a child.

Davis claimed the alleged murderer of his daughter lived in New Zealand and that he would be in danger from that person if he was to be deported.

In return, Tavoularis said the existence of a child in Bendigo was "a matter of speculation".

Even if Davis did have a biological daughter, the evidence did not suggest he could play a "positive parental role" towards her, he said.

The other matters "could only go so far" in explaining Davis' criminal behaviour, and in the absence of a psychiatric report, he was not convinced there was an underlying psychiatric reason for Davis' offending.

As to the matter of his baby daughter's alleged murder, Tavoularis said he understood no one had been convicted on that matter.

There were no significant obstacles to Davis re-settling in New Zealand, Tavoularis said.

Police figures showed as of February 2017, 445 people were in detention in Australia awaiting deportation on character grounds, 181 of them New Zealand citizens.

 - Stuff
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2017, 01:53:04 pm »


Hahaha....you'll be paying taxes to support him in maximum security jail in New Zealand when he inevitably offends.

Thousands of dollars a day, I believe.

Doesn't that prospect make you ecstatic?



However, he is small fry.

The criminal dealings of the Trump family are much more interesting.

If Donald Trump had nothing to hide, he wouldn't be pushing back against Robert Mueller investigating his business and Russia-collusion activities. After all, an innocent person would welcome investigators PROVING they are innocent. Trump is obviously hiding something and has been for a long time, starting with hiding his tax returns.
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2017, 05:00:08 pm »

Ktj...."
Hahaha....you'll be paying taxes to support him in maximum security jail in New Zealand when he inevitably offends.

Thousands of dollars a day, I believe.

Doesn't that prospect make you ecstatic?"

.........but I would be paying a lot less tax than you..(due to my company tax structure, I have a lower taxable income😜)....so you will be paying a lot more for him than me...so yes, that does make me ecstatic😜...and


Ahhhhh...last time I checked...as an NZ taxpayer..I only pay for prisoners held in NZ ..I DONT PAY FOR PRISONERS of the American justice system😉
« Last Edit: July 22, 2017, 05:09:32 pm by Donald » Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #5 on: July 23, 2017, 12:40:07 am »


from The Washington Post....

Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with
Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


The accounts from Sergey Kislyak to his superiors, intercepted by U.S. spy agencies,
contradict public assertions by the attorney general.


By ADAM ENTOUS, ELLEN NAKASHIMA and GREG MILLER | 6:51PM EDT - Friday, July 21, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a news conference at the Justice Department on  July 13th. — Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a news conference at the Justice Department on  July 13th. — Photograph: Alex Wong/Getty Images.

RUSSIA's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.

Ambassador Sergey Kislyak’s accounts of two conversations with Sessions — then a top foreign policy adviser to Republican candidate Donald Trump — were intercepted by U.S. spy agencies, which monitor the communications of senior Russian officials both in the United States and in Russia. Sessions initially failed to disclose his contacts with Kislyak and then said that the meetings were not about the Trump campaign.

One U.S. official said that Sessions — who testified that he has no recollection of an April encounter — has provided “misleading” statements that are “contradicted by other evidence.” A former official said that the intelligence indicates that Sessions and Kislyak had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump's positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Sessions has said repeatedly that he never discussed campaign-related issues with Russian officials and that it was only in his capacity as a U.S. senator that he met with Kislyak.

“I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign,” Sessions said in March when he announced that he would recuse himself from matters relating to the FBI probe of Russian interference in the election and any connections to the Trump campaign.

Current and former U.S. officials said that assertion is at odds with Kislyak's accounts of conversations during two encounters over the course of the campaign, one in April ahead of Trump's first major foreign policy speech and another in July on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

The apparent discrepancy could pose new problems for Sessions at a time when his position in the administration appears increasingly tenuous.

Trump, in an interview this week, expressed frustration with Sessions's recusing himself from the Russia probe and indicated that he regretted his decision to make the lawmaker from Alabama the nation's top law enforcement officer. Trump also faulted Sessions as giving “bad answers” during his confirmation hearing about his Russian contacts during the campaign.

Officials emphasized that the information contradicting Sessions comes from U.S. intelligence on Kislyak's communications with the Kremlin, and acknowledged that the Russian ambassador could have mischaracterized or exaggerated the nature of his interactions.

“Obviously I cannot comment on the reliability of what anonymous sources describe in a wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept that The Washington Post has not seen and that has not been provided to me,” said Sarah Isgur Flores, a Justice Department spokeswoman in a statement. She reiterated that Sessions did not discuss interference in the election.

Russian and other foreign diplomats in Washington and elsewhere have been known, at times, to report false or misleading information to bolster their standing with their superiors or to confuse U.S. intelligence agencies.

But U.S. officials with regular access to Russian intelligence reports say Kislyak — whose tenure as ambassador to the United States ended recently — has a reputation for accurately relaying details about his interactions with officials in Washington.

Sessions removed himself from direct involvement in the Russia investigation after it was revealed in The Washington Post that he had met with Kislyak at least twice in 2016, contacts he failed to disclose during his confirmation hearing in January.

“I did not have communications with the Russians,” Sessions said when asked whether anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign had communicated with representatives of the Russian government.

He has since maintained that he misunderstood the scope of the question and that his meetings with Kislyak were strictly in his capacity as a U.S. senator. In a March appearance on Fox television, Sessions said, “I don't recall any discussion of the campaign in any significant way.”

Sessions appeared to narrow that assertion further in extensive testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in June, saying that he “never met with or had any conversation with any Russians or foreign officials concerning any type of interference with any campaign or election in the United States.”

But when pressed for details, Sessions qualified many of his answers during that hearing by saying that he could “not recall” or did not have “any recollection.”

A former U.S. official who read the Kislyak reports said that the Russian ambassador reported speaking with Sessions about issues that were central to the campaign, including Trump's positions on key policy matters of significance to Moscow.

Sessions had a third meeting with Kislyak in his Senate office in September. Officials declined to say whether U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted any Russian communications describing the third encounter.

As a result, the discrepancies center on two earlier Sessions-Kislyak conversations, including one that Sessions has acknowledged took place in July 2016 on the sidelines of the Republican National Convention.

By that point, Russian President Vladimir Putin had decided to embark on a secret campaign to help Trump win the White House by leaking damaging emails about his rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, according to U.S. intelligence agencies.

Although it remains unclear how involved Kislyak was in the covert Russian campaign to aid Trump, his superiors in Moscow were eager for updates about the candidate's positions, particularly regarding U.S. sanctions on Russia and long-standing disputes with the Obama administration over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Kislyak also reported having a conversation with Sessions in April at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, where then-candidate Trump delivered his first major foreign policy address, according to the officials familiar with intelligence on Kislyak.

Sessions has said he does not remember any encounter with Kislyak at that event. In his June testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sessions said, “I do not recall any conversations with any Russian official at the Mayflower Hotel.”

Later in that hearing, Sessions said that “it's conceivable that that occurred. I just don't remember it.”

Kislyak was also a key figure in the departure of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who was forced to leave that job after The Washington Post revealed that he had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak even while telling others in the Trump administration that he had not done so.

In that case, however, Flynn's phone conversations with Kislyak were intercepted by U.S. intelligence, providing irrefutable evidence. The intelligence on Sessions, by contrast, is based on Kislyak's accounts and not corroborated by other sources.

Former FBI director James B. Comey fueled speculation about the possibility of a Sessions-Kislyak meeting at the Mayflower when he told the same Senate committee on June 8th that the bureau had information about Sessions that would have made it “problematic” for him to be involved in the Russia probe.

Comey would not provide details of what information the FBI had, except to say that he could only discuss it privately with the senators. Current and former officials said he appeared to be alluding to intelligence on Kislyak's account of an encounter with Sessions at the Mayflower.

Senate Democrats later called on the FBI to investigate the event in April at the Mayflower hotel.

Sessions's role in removing Comey as FBI director angered many at the bureau and set in motion events that led to the appointment of former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel overseeing the Russia probe.

Trump's harsh words toward the attorney general fueled speculation this week that Sessions would be fired or would resign. So far, he has resisted resigning, saying that he intends to stay in the job “as long as that is appropriate.”


Matt Zapotosky and Julie Tate contributed to this report.

• Adam Entous writes about national security, foreign policy and intelligence for The Washington Post. He joined the newspaper in 2016 after more than 20 years with The Wall Street Journal and Reuters, where he covered the Pentagon, the CIA, the White House and Congress. He covered President George W. Bush for five years after the September 11th, 2001, attacks.

• Ellen Nakashima is a national security reporter for The Washington Post. She focuses on issues relating to intelligence, technology and civil liberties.

• Greg Miller is a national security correspondent for The Washington Post. He was among The Post reporters awarded the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for coverage of U.S. surveillance programs revealed by Edward Snowden and a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize. He previously worked for the Los Angeles Times.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • GRAPHIC: Team Trump's ties to Russian interests


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-discussed-trump-campaign-related-matters-with-russian-ambassador-us-intelligence-intercepts-show/2017/07/21/3e704692-6e44-11e7-9c15-177740635e83_story.html
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« Reply #6 on: July 23, 2017, 01:23:39 am »


from The Washington Post....

Jeff Sessions just got in more trouble
 — and now he's put Trump in a box, too


Earlier this week, Trump highlighted Sessions's mis-statement about meetings with Russians.
And now they're in question again.


By AARON BLAKE | 6:55PM EDT - Friday, July 21, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, left, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, right, at the Justice Department on July 20th in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, left, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, right, at the Justice Department
on July 20th in Washington D.C. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.


ATTORNEY GENERAL Jeff Sessions's bad week just got worse. And while his new problems would appear to threaten his job, they also put President Trump in a box when it comes to his apparent desire to be rid of Sessions.

The Washington Post is reporting that Russia's ambassador has said he and Sessions discussed the 2016 campaign during two meetings last year. That is contrary to multiple public comments made by Sessions in March, when he recused himself from oversight of the Russia investigation.

Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller report that Ambassador Sergey Kislyak's accounts of those meetings were intercepted by U.S. intelligence and that in them he suggested that the two men spoke substantively about campaign issues. Yet Sessions said on March 1st that he “never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign”, and the following day, while announcing his recusal, he said it again: “I never had meetings with Russian operatives or Russian intermediaries about the Trump campaign”.

This is now the second time that Sessions's accounts of his meetings with Russians have been seriously called into question. During his confirmation hearings this year, he denied having met with any Russians during the campaign. When the Kislyak meetings came to light, he clarified that he thought the exchange was in the context of the campaign only. He then quickly recused himself.

That flub was highlighted this week by none other than Trump. In a New York Times interview, Trump openly suggested that he wouldn't have nominated Sessions in the first place had he known he would recuse himself. Then Trump turned to Sessions's “bad answers” at his confirmation hearings:

TRUMP: So Jeff Sessions, Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers.

MAGGIE HABERMAN: You mean at the hearing?

TRUMP: Yeah, he gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren't.

If Trump does want to get rid of Sessions, it would seem that more of Sessions's “bad answers” about his meetings with Kislyak are on the table to justify it. The problem for Trump is that using that justification would also lend credence to the idea that there was something untoward about those meetings. Trump has repeatedly suggested that the entire Russia investigation is a “hoax” and a “witch hunt”, so the idea that he's suddenly that concerned about Sessions's Russia contacts would be difficult to reconcile.

It would also be difficult to square with other top Trump allies and family members who have failed to acknowledge or be transparent about their meetings with Russians. How could Trump take issue with Sessions's failures to correctly characterize his meetings with Russians but not with Donald Trump Jr., whose meeting seeking opposition research about Hillary Clinton allegedly from the Russian government came to light this month? And then what about Jared Kushner's meetings, which include that one, a meeting with Kislyak and a meeting with the head of a Russian state-owned bank. None of them were disclosed on his security clearance form when he joined the White House. Trump would need to explain why Sessions's failures were bad and his son's and son-in-law's weren't.

But Trump nonetheless seemed to get the ball rolling on that front in his New York Times interview. And given that more of Sessions's comments have come into question now, we'll see whether Trump keeps using that as justification for continuing to undermine one of his earliest supporters and top Cabinet officials.


• Aaron Blake is senior political reporter at The Washington Post for The Fix.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Sessions discussed Trump campaign matters with russian ambassador, according to U.S. intercepts

 • Why Trump gave the Jeff Sessions scoop to the ‘failing’ New York Times


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/07/21/jeff-sessions-just-got-in-more-trouble-and-now-hes-put-trump-in-a-box-too
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« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2017, 03:53:59 am »

........Yes, breaking the law is terrible, and should be punished, here is another bludger  we are paying for🙄
....and she wants to make laws for us😳


Benefit Fraudster Metiria Turei says she will now pay it back

Haha, suckers
Self confessed benefit fraudster Metiria Turei has now said she will pay the money she nicked back:

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei says she has decided to pay back any money owed to Work and Income but is waiting to hear from them to find out how much she needs to pay.

Turei said there was “no doubt” the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) would investigate her case and she expected a call any day now.

“I’ve left them no option,” she told the Herald. “Of course they need to have a look.”

She still thinks it is all shits and giggles.

Announcing her party’s welfare policy at the party’s AGM on Sunday, Turei revealed that she lied to Winz about her living situation while on the domestic purposes benefit in the 1990s.

She admitted that she had extra flatmates living with her to help pay the rent, but did not tell the authorities because her benefit would be cut. A solo mother at the time, she feared she would not be able to care for daughter Piu if she lost her welfare payments.

Turei initially said she would pay it back if MSD got in touch, but later said she planned to refund Winz regardless.

“It was always the decision to pay it back, I just wasn’t clear enough in the speech on Sunday.

“But I need to wait for WINZ to do the calculation and the investigation, because I can’t do that myself.”

It was difficult to know how much she owed, she said. She had extra flatmates in three of the five flats she lived in, over three years.

Paying it back is fine, but she should be prosecuted and convicted for such a deliberate fraud.

She has realised her stunt has backfired and their internal polls must be clearly showing that. She has been forced into this position not out of guilt or remorse, but the stark political reality that it has cost the Greens votes.

What the silly cow had also failed to realise is that she has now exposed the baby daddy to recovery of liable parent contributions from IRD…for 18years of missing payments from the dead beat dad.

On top of that her changing stories have revealed she also received money from her family, the baby daddy’s family, as well as the boarders. I’d say she has bigger problems than just her benefit fraud.

 NZ Herald
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« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2017, 11:47:10 pm »


from The Washington Post....

In tweet storm, Trump decries ‘illegal leaks’ and asserts
‘all agree’ he has complete power to pardon


If the president pardoned himself in the face of the ongoing special counsel investigation into
Russian meddling in the election, it would set off a legal and political firestorm — first around
the question of whether a commander in chief can use the constitutional power in that way.


By ASHLEY PARKER and DAVID NAKAMURA | 10:15AM EDT - Saturday, July 22, 2017

Donald Trump implies he has the power to pardon himself as well as members of his family. — Photograph: Alex Brandon/Associated Press.
Donald Trump implies he has the power to pardon himself as well as members of his family. — Photograph: Alex Brandon/Associated Press.

NORFOLK — A defiant President Trump unleashed a flurry of nearly a dozen tweets on Saturday morning, asserting that he has the “complete power to pardon” aides, family members and possibly even himself — an apparent response to the special counsel's widening Russia probe — and decrying “illegal leaks” in the “FAKE NEWS”.

The president also lashed out at a new Washington Post report of previously undisclosed alleged contacts between Attorney General Jeff Sessions — at the time a U.S. senator and senior adviser to Trump's 2016 presidential campaign — and a Russian official. In a tweet, Trump called the disclosures an illegal new “intelligence leak”, part of his continuing effort to try to shift the public focus to what he claims is a partisan attempt to undermine his presidency.

The president's defense of his pardoning authority came days after The Washington Post reported that he and his legal team have discussed his power to pardon those close to him, including himself.

Shortly after his tweet storm, which started just after 6:30 a.m. and lasted nearly two hours, Trump flew to Norfolk, where he injected a small dose of partisan politics into the ceremonial commissioning of a new naval warship.

Speaking aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford, Trump extolled the virtues of the “wonderful, beautiful but very, very powerful” nuclear-powered warship — “We will win, win, win,” he said, “we will never lose” — but also decried the budget compromise known as sequestration, which requires mandatory and corresponding military and domestic cuts.

Trump promised to try to restore higher levels of military funding but also urged the crowd of about 6,500 — many in uniform — to help him push this year's budget, in which he said he will seek an additional $54 billion in defense spending, through Congress.

“I don't mind getting a little hand, so call that congressman and call that senator and make sure you get it,” he said, to applause. “And by the way, you can also call those senators to make sure you get health care.”

But Trump's brief appeal created a potentially awkward tableau at a commissioning event intended to be ceremonial — a commander in chief offering political remarks, and what could even be construed as an order, to the naval officers he commands.

The president's 17-minute speech aboard the naval vessel here, as well as his frenzied social media assertions early on Saturday — which veered between proclamations of innocence and frustration — came as Trump is struggling to stabilize his presidency, just six months in. He and several family members, including his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, are facing mounting legal questions about their involvement in possible collusion between the president's 2016 campaign and Russia.

On Friday, Trump implemented the most dramatic, if potentially unintended, overhaul of his White House so far, installing wealthy financier Anthony Scaramucci as his new communications director — a move that set off an unexpected chain reaction of resignations (White House press secretary Sean Spicer) and promotions (deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, into Spicer's spot at the podium).

Trump's morning tweets began with an assertion that the president has “complete power to pardon” in an apparent allusion to the ongoing probe into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials.

The president's defense of his pardon powers came days after The Washington Post reported that he and his legal team have discussed his power to pardon aides, family members and, possibly, even himself. Trump aides said the president is merely curious about his powers and the limits of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russia's attempt to tamper with the 2016 presidential election.

Currently, the discussions of pardoning authority by Trump's legal team are purely theoretical, according to two people familiar with the ongoing conversations. But if Trump pardoned himself in the face of the ongoing Mueller investigation, it would set off a legal and political firestorm, first around the question of whether a president can use the constitutional pardon power in that way.

In another tweet, Trump continued his campaign to discredit the investigation as based on leaks of information from political enemies aimed at undermining him. The Washington Post reported late on Friday that U.S. intelligence officials had collected information that Russia's ambassador to the United States had told superiors that he had discussed campaign-related matters and policies important to Moscow last year with Jeff Sessions, then a senator who had endorsed Trump.

As he has before, Trump also reiterated on Twitter his view that Hillary Clinton's campaign should be under greater scrutiny, and he contended that his son Donald Trump Jr. “openly” disclosed emails concerning a meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign — even though Trump Jr. did so after The New York Times obtained the emails and was preparing to publish a report on them.

Sessions, who is now attorney general, had initially failed to disclose his meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during his confirmation process. When they were made public in news reports, he insisted he had met with Kislyak only in his capacity as a senator and had not discussed campaign issues. But The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted communications that showed Kislyak indicated he had “substantive” discussions on matters including Trump's positions on Russia-related issues and prospects for U.S.-Russia relations in a Trump administration.

Trump has denounced what he has called illegal leaks in the ongoing FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian officials. U.S. intelligence agencies have said Moscow meddled in the campaign, stealing thousands of emails and other documents from Democratic Party officials and releasing them publicly to embarrass the Democratic presidential nominee, Clinton, and to assist Trump. Trump has said repeatedly that he did not collude with Russian officials and called accounts of the meetings between his campaign and Russian operatives a partisan attack by Democrats to avenge their loss in the election. But he and some of his top aides have hired private criminal defense lawyers to deal with the probe.

In his tweet, Trump was referring to former FBI director James B. Comey, whom the president fired over his handling of the Russia probe. Comey later testified to Congress that he had felt pressure from Trump over the investigation and, after he was dismissed, released memos of his encounters with Trump to the media. The public disclosures helped lead to Mueller taking over the investigation. (Trump's tweet also refers to Amazon.com, the online retailer led by Jeffrey P. Bezos, who also owns The Washington Post.)

A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on what she called a “wholly uncorroborated intelligence intercept” and reiterated that Sessions had not discussed interference in the election. Trump has been angered by Sessions recusing himself from the Russia probe. The president told The New York Times this week that he would not have named Sessions as attorney general if he had known he would do so.

In yet another tweet, Trump attacked The New York Times for reports that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, whose death in a Russian airstrike had been speculated last month, is still alive, according to Pentagon officials. General Tony Thomas told reporters that a New York Times story in 2015 about using certain data to track Islamic State fighters that was gleaned in the Abu Sayyaf raid resulted in U.S. forces losing the trail to Baghdadi. Thomas mentioned the issue again at the Aspen security forum Friday, and his remarks were featured in a Fox News report, according to The New York Times.

The Pentagon raised no objections with The New York Times before the story was published, and no senior American official ever complained publicly about it until now.

His tweets came a day after Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary in the wake of Trump's hiring of New York financier Anthony Scaramucci as his communications director. Sarah Huckabee Sanders was promoted to the press secretary role.


• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• David Nakamura covers the White House for The Washington Post. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Can the president pardon himself?

 • Trump is considering presidential pardons. Ford never recovered from the one he gave Nixon.

 • Yes, Trump can pardon himself or his family. No, he shouldn't.

 • Analysis: Can Trump pardon anyone? Himself? Can he fire Mueller? Your questions, answered.

 • Retropolis: Like Trump, Nixon was obsessed with leaks. It led to Watergate — and ruin.

 • No matter what he does, history says Trump will never be popular


https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/07/22/trump-denounces-illegal-leaks-in-new-accounts-of-his-campaigns-contact-with-russia
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« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2017, 11:52:33 pm »


Only the GUILTY need lawyers when they are being investigated for criminal corruption and attempting to pervert the course of justice.



from The Washington Post....

Lawyers upon lawyers upon lawyers:
In Trump World, everyone has an attorney.


The president’s love-hate relationship with the legal profession flourishes amid the Russia probe.

By BEN TERRIS | 3:37PM EDT - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Just some of the merry band of lawyers now employed by the president or his associates. Clockwise from top left: Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow, Marc Kasowitz and Michael Cohen. — Photographs: Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post/Associated Press; Steve Helber/Associated Press; Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press; Richard Drew/Associated Press.
Just some of the merry band of lawyers now employed by the president or his associates. Clockwise from top left: Ty Cobb, Jay Sekulow,
Marc Kasowitz and Michael Cohen. — Photographs: Jerry Cleveland/The Denver Post/Associated Press; Steve Helber/Associated Press;
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press; Richard Drew/Associated Press.


EARLY LAST YEAR, in the midst of his primary campaign, Donald Trump hopped on a stage in Reno, Nevada, to brag about his vast legal knowledge.

“Does anyone know more about litigation than Trump?” he bellowed. “Okay? I know a lot. I'm like a PhD in litigation.”

At the very least, in his long life of lawsuits and bankruptcies, deals and developments, Trump certainly has known a lot of lawyers. Now that he's president and embroiled in scandal, he's getting the opportunity to meet a bunch more.

The White House has its own counsel, of course, and now Trump has his own personal attorneys. So does the Trump Organization. There are lawyers for each member of the Trump family. And that's not counting the layers of lawyers for everyone working in the administration. There are lawyers all the way down.

Follow the money, the adage says. But with so much of that money going to lawyers these days, it might just be easier to follow the lawyers. (Legal disclaimer: Don't actually follow the lawyers.)

Trump promised to drain the unsavory elements out of politics, but long before the public ever loathed entrenched politicians, corrupt lobbyists or biased news media, they hated lawyers. Trump hated them, too, early on.

“I don't like lawyers,” the young developer told the Machiavellian super-attorney Roy Cohn in 1973, according to his own account in his book Trump: The Art of the Deal. He elaborated: “I think all they do is delay deals…. Every answer they give you is no, and they are always looking to settle instead of fight.”


Roy Cohn, left, and Donald Trump, right, in the 1980s, with journalist Ed Kosner. — Photograph: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images.
Roy Cohn, left, and Donald Trump, right, in the 1980s, with journalist Ed Kosner. — Photograph: Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images.

At the time, Trump was in the thick of his first real scandal, as the Justice Department sued him and his father over alleged racial bias in the way they operated their housing developments. When Cohn proposed a countersuit, arguing that the best defense was a good offense, Trump gave him the job. Cohn, who once served as red-baiting Senator Joseph McCarthy's lawyer, was a cutthroat operator, once described by Esquire as “the toughest, meanest, loyalest, vilest, and one of the most brilliant lawyers in America.”

Trump had finally found a lawyer he liked.

Over the years, attorneys would play a bigger and bigger role in Trump's life, and Cohn's never-back-down strategy would become his mantra. There were the divorce negotiations (the first of which Cohn reportedly brokered wearing nothing but a bathrobe), the six bankruptcies of Trump companies, and the many, many lawsuits. (An investigation last year by USA Today found that over the past three decades Trump has been a party to more than 4,000 of them.) Sometimes it could feel as if Trump was as much a litigation maestro as a real estate mogul.

“When we first started doing deals, he'd read everything,” Jonathan A. Bernstein, a former attorney for one of the Trump Organization's top law firms, Dreyer and Traub, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “When he got busy and trusted more, he read less and less and let the lawyers be the lawyers.”

Thomas M. Wells, a lawyer brought on to help Trump try to build the largest building in northern New Jersey (the deal collapsed), said that watching the president operate today has given him flashbacks to working with him in the 1980s.

“None of this should be surprising,” he said. “He used lawyers a great deal, but I don't think he had a high regard for them. He's a man who uses the law to his own ends in any way that makes sense for him.”


Don McGahn in New York last year. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.
Don McGahn in New York last year. — Photograph: Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

Like a plot out of the movie Multiplicity, many of Trump’s lawyers seem like less effective clones of Cohn.

“All in all, a cozy bunch of backstabbing cutthroats,” Barbara Res, a former Trump Organization executive, said about the lawyers that made up the company. “Nothing less than you would expect.”

In time came Michael Cohen, once known as “Trump's pit bull,” who worked for the Trump Organization and who once warned a reporter at the Daily Beast to “tread very f---ing lightly, because what I'm going to do to you is going to be f---ing disgusting.” (Cohen recently hired his own lawyer to help him navigate the Russia investigation.) There was Marc Kasowitz, who until recently was heading up the outside legal response to the Russia investigation, and who recently responded via email to a critic by telling him to “watch [his] back, bitch.”

Now, Trump has hired a mustachioed prosecutor named Ty Cobb to come to the White House, and while Cobb may lack his namesake's hitting ability, he's equally colorful.

“If the president asks you, you don't say no,” Cobb told the National Law Journal about his recent decision to come on board.” I have rocks in my head and steel balls.”

It's hard to keep track of all the lawyers and what they do. There's Jay Sekulow, the former lead attorney for Jews for Jesus and a radio talk-show personality, who represents Trump personally. There's Don McGahn, the former Federal Election Commission member and bar band guitarist, who represents the office of the presidency.

After it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr. took a meeting with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin, the president's son hired two of his own lawyers, Alan Futerfas and Karina Lynch, to help him through the mess.


Jared Kushner, center, with his attorney Abbe Lowell, at right, after Kushner’s closed-door interview with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators on Monday. — Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press.
Jared Kushner, center, with his attorney Abbe Lowell, at right, after Kushner’s closed-door interview with Senate Intelligence
Committee investigators on Monday. — Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press.


Normally, a D.C. scandal is a gold mine for white-shoe law firms, for people who don't blush when they're referred to as “the smartest man in Washington.” In this case, several top law firms turned down the opportunity to represent Trump as the Russia investigation plays out. One exception: Abbe Lowell, the famed fixer and one of the “smartest men in Washington,” joined Jared Kushner's legal team last month and this week expanded his portfolio to include Kushner's wife, Ivanka Trump.

“I think this is the most lawyered administration, at least within the first few months, I've ever seen in my lifetime,” said David Lat, a lawyer who maintains the Above the Law blog. “It's astounding.”

That really is saying something, considering Lat's lifetime included the era of Kenneth W. Starr, Lanny Davis and William H. Ginsburg. Back when Ginsburg, then Monica Lewinsky's attorney, went on all five Sunday news-punditry shows, his feat was of such note that to this day it's still called “the Full Ginsburg”. If it happened today with Sekulow, a near-constant television presence, it's possible that no one would notice.

The lawyers are everywhere, but it's not entirely clear that Trump or his family are interested at all in taking advice. What lawyer worth his double malt would let the president tweet about why he fired FBI Director James B. Comey, or allow Don Jr. to release his emails regarding his desire to get some Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton?

“It's utter chaos,” a lawyer who has worked with many of Trump's lawyers said. “Sometimes it can be like no one knows who is in charge.”

Really, it's clear that there is just one person in charge: Donald Trump. And Trump is many things, but he's no lawyer.


Drew Harwell contributed to this report.

• Ben Terris is a writer in The Washington Post's Style section with a focus on national politics.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • As president, Trump's legacy of lawsuits and minimal briefings isn't helping

 • Trump attorney Jay Sekulow's family has been paid millions from charities they control


https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/lawyers-upon-lawyers-upon-lawyers-in-trump-world-everyone-has-an-attorney/2017/07/26/259e2c0c-70a0-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html
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« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2017, 01:50:52 am »

Yes, I agree ...it's time for Metiria Tubenefits to get a good lawyer😉
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« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 10:52:13 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Trump dictated son's misleading statement on meeting
with Russian lawyer


Some advisers are worried that the president's direct involvement leaves him
needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup.


By ASHLEY PARKER, CAROL D. LEONNIG, PHILIP RUCKER and TOM HAMBURGER | 7:46PM EDT - Monday, July 31, 2017

President-elect Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York on January 11th. — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.
President-elect Donald Trump and his son Donald Trump Jr. at a news conference at Trump Tower in New York on January 11th.
 — Photograph: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post.


ON the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Germany last month, President Trump's advisers discussed how to respond to a new revelation that Trump's oldest son had met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign — a disclosure the advisers knew carried political and potentially legal peril.

The strategy, the advisers agreed, should be for Donald Trump Jr. to release a statement to get ahead of the story. They wanted to be truthful, so their account couldn't be repudiated later if the full details emerged.

But within hours, at the president's direction, the plan changed.

Flying home from Germany on July 8th aboard Air Force One, Trump personally dictated a statement in which Trump Jr. said that he and the Russian lawyer had “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children” when they met in June 2016, according to multiple people with knowledge of the deliberations. The statement, issued to The New York Times as it prepared an article, emphasized that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.”

The claims were later shown to be misleading.

Over the next three days, multiple accounts of the meeting were provided to the news media as public pressure mounted, with Trump Jr. ultimately acknowledging that he had accepted the meeting after receiving an email promising damaging information about Hillary Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to help his father's campaign.

The extent of the president's personal intervention in his son's response, the details of which have not previously been reported, adds to a series of actions that Trump has taken that some advisers fear could place him and some members of his inner circle in legal jeopardy.

As special counsel Robert S. Mueller III looks into potential obstruction of justice as part of his broader investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, these advisers worry that the president's direct involvement leaves him needlessly vulnerable to allegations of a coverup.

“This was … unnecessary,” said one of the president's advisers, who like most other people interviewed for this article spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations. “Now someone can claim he's the one who attempted to mislead. Somebody can argue the president is saying he doesn't want you to say the whole truth.”

Trump has already come under criticism for steps he has taken to challenge and undercut the Russia investigation.

He fired FBI Director James B. Comey on May 9th after a private meeting in which Comey said the president asked him if he could end the investigation of ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats told associates that Trump asked him in March if he could intervene with Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on Flynn. In addition, Trump has repeatedly criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the FBI's Russian investigation — a decision that was one factor leading to the appointment of Mueller. And he has privately discussed his power to issue pardons, including for himself, and explored potential avenues for undercutting Mueller's work.

Although misleading the public or the news media is not a crime, advisers to Trump and his family told The Washington Post that they fear any indication that Trump was seeking to hide information about contacts between his campaign and Russians almost inevitably would draw additional scrutiny from Mueller.

Trump, they say, is increasingly acting as his own lawyer, strategist and publicist, often disregarding the recommendations of the professionals he has hired.

“He refuses to sit still,” the presidential adviser said. “He doesn't think he’s in any legal jeopardy, so he really views this as a political problem he is going to solve by himself.”

Trump has said that the Russia investigation is “the greatest witch hunt in political history,” calling it an elaborate hoax created by Democrats to explain why Clinton lost an election she should have won.

Because Trump believes he is innocent, some advisers explained, he therefore does not think he is at any legal risk for a coverup. In his mind, they said, there is nothing to conceal.

The White House directed all questions for this article to the president's legal team.

One of Trump's attorneys, Jay Sekulow, declined to discuss the specifics of the president's actions and his role in crafting his son's statement about the Russian contact. Sekulow issued a one-sentence statement in response to a list of detailed questions from The Post.

“Apart from being of no consequence, the characterizations are misinformed, inaccurate, and not pertinent,” Sekulow's statement read.

Trump Jr. did not respond to requests for comment. His attorney, Alan Futerfas, told The Post that he and his client “were fully prepared and absolutely prepared to make a fulsome statement” about the meeting, what led up to it and what was discussed.

Asked about Trump intervening, Futerfas said, “I have no evidence to support that theory.” He described the process of drafting a statement as “a communal situation that involved communications people and various lawyers.”

Peter Zeidenberg, the deputy special prosecutor who investigated the George W. Bush administration's leak of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity, said Mueller will have to dig into the crafting of Trump Jr.'s statement aboard Air Force One.

Prosecutors typically assume that any misleading statement is an effort to throw investigators off the track, Zeidenberg said.

“The thing that really strikes me about this is the stupidity of involving the president,” Zeidenberg said. “They are still treating this like a family-run business and they have a PR problem…. What they don't seem to understand is this is a criminal investigation involving all of them.”


President Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One in Hamburg after the Group of 20 summit on July 8th. — Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters.
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump board Air Force One in Hamburg after the Group of 20 summit on July 8th.
 — Photograph: Carlos Barria/Reuters.


Advocating for transparency

The debate about how to deal with the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting began weeks before any news organizations began to ask questions about it.

Kushner's legal team first learned about the meeting when doing research to respond to congressional requests for information. Congressional investigators wanted to know about any contacts the president's son-in-law and senior adviser had with Russian officials or business people.

Kushner's lawyers came across what they immediately recognized would eventually become a problematic story. A string of emails showed Kushner attended a meeting with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower in the midst of the campaign — one he had failed to disclose. Trump Jr. had arranged it, and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort had also attended.

To compound what was, at best, a public relations fiasco, the emails, which had not yet surfaced publicly, showed Trump Jr. responding to the prospect of negative information on Clinton from Russia: “I love it.”

Lawyers and advisers for Trump, his son and son-in-law gamed out strategies for disclosing the information to try to minimize the fallout of these new links between the Trump family and Russia, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

Hope Hicks, the White House director of strategic communications and one of the president's most trusted and loyal aides, and Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman who works closely with Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, huddled with Kushner's lawyers, and they advocated for a more transparent approach, according to people with knowledge of the conversations.

In one scenario, these people said, Kushner's team talked about sharing everything, including the contents of the emails, with a mainstream news organization.

Hicks and Raffel declined to comment. Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell also declined to comment.

The president's outside legal team, led by Marc Kasowitz, had suggested that the details be given to Circa, an online news organization that the Kasowitz team thought would be friendly to Trump. Circa had inquired in previous days about the meeting, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The president's legal team planned to cast the June 2016 meeting as a potential setup by Democratic operatives hoping to entrap Trump Jr. and, by extension, the presumptive Republican nominee, according to people familiar with discussions.

Kasowitz declined to comment for this article, as did a Circa spokesman.


Consensus over-ruled

Circumstances changed when The New York Times began asking about the Trump Tower meeting, though advisers believed that the newspaper knew few of the details. While the president, Kushner and Ivanka Trump were attending the G-20 summit in Germany, The Times asked for White House comment on the impetus and reason for the meeting.

During breaks away from the summit, Kushner and Ivanka Trump gathered with Hicks and Raffel to discuss Kushner's response to the inquiry, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. Kushner's legal team joined at times by phone.

Hicks also spoke by phone with Trump Jr. Again, say people familiar with the conversations, Kushner's team concluded that the best strategy would be to err on the side of transparency, because they believed the complete story would eventually emerge.

The discussions among the president's advisers consumed much of the day, and they continued as they prepared to board Air Force One that evening for the flight home.

But before everyone boarded the plane, Trump had over-ruled the consensus, according to people with knowledge of the events.

It remains unclear exactly how much the president knew at the time of the flight about Trump Jr.'s meeting.

The president directed that Trump Jr.'s statement to The Times describe the meeting as unimportant. He wanted the statement to say that the meeting had been initiated by the Russian lawyer and primarily was about her pet issue — the adoption of Russian children.

Air Force One took off from Germany shortly after 6 p.m. — about noon in Washington. In a forward cabin, Trump was busy working on his son's statement, according to people with knowledge of events. The president dictated the statement to Hicks, who served as a go-between with Trump Jr., who was not on the plane, sharing edits between the two men, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.

In the early afternoon, Eastern time, Trump Jr.'s team put out the statement to The Times. It was four sentences long, describing the encounter as a “short, introductory meeting.”

“We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up,” the statement read.

Trump Jr. went on to say: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Over the next hour, word spread through emails and calls to other Trump family advisers and lawyers about the statement that Trump Jr. had sent to The Times.

Some lawyers for the president and for Kushner were surprised and frustrated, advisers later learned. According to people briefed on the dispute, some lawyers tried to reach Futerfas and their clients and began asking why the president had been involved.

Also on the flight, Kushner worked with his team — including one of his lawyers, who called in to the plane.

His lawyers have said that Kushner's initial omission of the meeting was an error, but that in an effort to be fully transparent, he had updated his government filing to include “this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr.” Kushner's legal team referred all questions about the meeting itself to Trump Jr.

The New York Times' story revealing the existence of the June 2016 meeting was posted online about 4 p.m. Eastern time. Roughly four hours later, Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews. Trump's family members and advisers departed the plane, and they knew the problem they had once hoped to contain would soon grow bigger.


Alice Crites contributed to this report.

• Ashley Parker is a White House reporter for The Washington Post. She joined The Post in 2017, after 11 years at The New York Times, where she covered the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns and Congress, among other things.

• Carol Leonnig covers federal agencies for The Washington Post with a focus on government accountability.

• Philip Rucker is the White House Bureau Chief for The Washington Post. He previously has covered Congress, the Obama White House, and the 2012 and 2016 presidential campaigns. He joined The Post in 2005 as a local news reporter.

• Tom Hamburger covers the intersection of money and politics for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: President Trump personally intervened to write Donald Trump Jr. statement

 • The Fix: Trump's personal lawyer has some explaining to do

 • Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting: What we know and when we learned it

 • Ivanka Trump is part of the problem

 • Trump's legal team faces tensions — and a client who often takes his own counsel

 • Top intelligence official told associates Trump asked him if he could intervene with Comey on FBI Russia probe


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-dictated-sons-misleading-statement-on-meeting-with-russian-lawyer/2017/07/31/04c94f96-73ae-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html
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« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2017, 02:25:28 am »

Yeah...more fake news....trying to make something from nothing....let's wait for the charges😉
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« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2017, 03:12:08 pm »

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MONIQUE FORD / STUFFMetiria Turei meets with MSD
MONIQUE FORD / STUFF
Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says she can see how the meeting with investigators can be traumatic for some.

Investigators looking into Green co-leader Metiria Turei's admission of benefit fraud have asked her for the full details of her living situation, as they try to decide whether she should face charges.

Turei had her first meeting with the Ministry of Social Development on Thursday morning, and afterwards said it was a good meeting, and she would cooperate fully.

"I'm very clear that I will certainly be repaying any overpayment.

Turei said she would not be publicly releasing the details of her situation.
MONIQUE FORD/STUFF
Turei said she would not be publicly releasing the details of her situation.

.....lock her up....🙄


Metiria Turei faces investigators looking into her admission of historical benefit fraud  video

"It was a good meeting, but I can certainly see how people don't have the resources that I do would find that quite traumatic," she said.

READ MORE:
* Metiria Turei: Children shouldn't be punished for their parents' choices
* Labour bleeds while Greens profit from Metiria Turei's 'fraud bombshell'
* Tracy Watkins: Mad, bad or bold? Metiria Turei's big gamble

Turei walked into the meeting, "nervous" but said MSD "had a job to do" and she respected that.

 
"They have set out clearly the information they need from me and the process that they're going to undertake,  so I'll provide that information and the process will roll out.

"They need the details about where I was living and what I was paying. They're going to be sending me that information - the list of the questions that they have. And then I can give them very accurate information in response."

But she would not be publicly releasing the details of her situation.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei talks to media following a meeting with MSD fraud investigators.
MONIQUE FORD/STUFF
Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei talks to media following a meeting with MSD fraud investigators.

Turei revealed she was living with undeclared flatmates, while collecting the Domestic Purposes Benefit as a solo mother, and studying for a law degree in the 90s.

The admission came at the Green Party's annual conference, where she also unveiled a major new policy to overhaul the welfare system, and strip all sanctions to beneficiaries if they don't meet their obligations in receiving a benefit.

It's sparked a divisive public row, which has solidified Green support on the far left but has angered many voters in middle New Zealand and is argued to be a factor in Labour's own poor polling results.

Following an hour-long meeting at the Ministry of Social Development's Wellington headquarters, Turei said it was mostly to lay out the investigation process that would follow.

She was given no indication of the likelihood of charges, and no timeframe was set.

"They said that they will be assessing my entitlements over the period and using the information I provide to make that clear."

There was a danger Turei had opened herself up to prosecution.

"That is a potential consequence - I knew that when I first talked about my case in attempting to open up the discussion about what welfare is really like.

"But I said I will work with them on their investigation of the overpayment, and they will send me the questions that they have and I'll answer them as best that I can."

MSD investigators were "good" to Turei, but it was daunting process that would be "traumatic" for many, she said. Despite that, Turei said she did not think she was treated any differently at that level, to most members of the public.

"I think with any investigation like this, for people that don't have the kind of resources and the experience I have, I think it could be quite overwhelming.

"That's part of what we're trying to show people, that actually it's very hard for people to deal with the agency. They were very good to me, but I don't think that's the experience of most people who've had to deal with MSD."

Turei was equipped with a law degree and years of experience as an advocate, which few beneficiaries would have.

 - Stuff
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« Reply #14 on: August 04, 2017, 06:45:53 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Senators unveil two proposals to protect Mueller's Russia probe

Each measure would ultimately make the firing of a special counsel subject to
the approval of a panel of three federal judges.


By KAROUN DEMIRJIAN | 6:44PM EDT - Thursday, August 03, 2017

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. — Photograph: Saul Loeb/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images.

TWO bipartisan pairs of senators unveiled legislation on Thursday to prevent President Trump from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III without cause — or at least a reason good enough to convince a panel of federal judges.

Senators have raised concerns that the president might try to rearrange his administration to get rid of Mueller, who is spearheading a probe of Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election and any possible collusion between the Kremlin and members of the Trump campaign and transition teams.

Mueller's probe has been advancing, despite the president's attempts to discredit the probe as an illegitimate “witch hunt”. He impaneled a grand jury in D.C. a few weeks ago, according to areport out on Thursday. The case has already produced subpoenas, from a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia that issued them in relation to former national security adviser Michael Flynn's business and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

While Trump cannot fire Mueller directly, many have raised concerns in recent weeks that he might seek to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself from all campaign-related matters, including the Russia probe. Sessions's deputy, Rod J. Rosenstein, said he would not fire Mueller without cause — but a new attorney general could supersede his authority.

The blowback from Congress to Trump's public criticism of Sessions was sharp and substantial, and his allies in the GOP told the president to back off. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles E. Grassley (Republican-Iowa) even indicated that he would not make time in the Senate schedule to consider a new attorney general nominee.

This week, there have been reports that new White House chief of staff John F. Kelly told Sessions he would not have to worry about losing his job.

But that has not quieted the concerns of the Democrats and Republicans behind the latest efforts to safeguard Mueller — and, by extension, his Russia probe — from presidential interference.

“The Mueller situation really gave rise to our thinking about how we can address this, address the current situation,” said Senator Thom Tillis (Republican-North Carolina), the co-author of one of the proposals. He called the effort “a great opportunity, in perpetuity, for us to be able to communicate to the American people that actions were appropriate — or if not, then not,” if an administration ever attempts to terminate a special counsel’s term.

The two proposals — one from Tillis and Senator Christopher A. Coons (Democrat-Delaware) and the other from Senators Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina) and Cory Booker (Democrat-New Jersey) — each seek to check the executive branch's ability to fire a special counsel, by putting the question to a three-judge panel from the federal courts. They differ in when that panel gets to weigh in on the decision.

Graham's and Booker's proposal, which also has backing from Judiciary Committee Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse (Rhode Island) and Richard Blumenthal (Connecticuit), would require the judges panel to review any attorney general's decision to fire a special counsel before that firing could take effect. Tillis and Coons' proposal would let the firing proceed according to current regulations, which they codify in the bill — but the fired special counsel would have the right to contest the administration's decision in court. In that scenario, the judges panel would have two weeks from the day the special counsel's case is filed to complete their review and determine whether the termination was acceptable.

Tillis and Coons, who pulled their bill together over the past two days, explained the difference as one to ensure that the legislation does not run afoul of constitutional separation of powers. Both senators, as well as Graham, said they expect they may merge their efforts after lawmakers return to Washington in September.

“I think we maybe can have a meeting of the minds. I really appreciate them doing it,” Graham said during Thursday of Tillis' and Coons's bill. “I just have a different way of doing it.”

In either guise, the bill effectively would limit the president's authority to hire and fire special counsels — a privilege that fell more squarely under the executive's purview after Congress let an independent-counsel law, established in the wake of the Watergate scandal, expire in 1999, following Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton.

The lawmakers are not expecting that the president will like or support either proposal to protect the special counsel from being fired without cause. But they say they are convinced that there is enough support to pass such a law, even over Trump's objections, because of the number of Republicans and Democrats speaking out in defense of Mueller and his probe.

Coons identified “a broader bipartisan concern that the president may take inappropriate action to interfere with the ongoing, important work of Bob Mueller,” he said, and guessed that “if the president were to fire the special counsel, the Senate might promptly take action to reappoint him.”

“This is the first step to put a speed bump in place against his improvident firing,” he said of his bill with Tillis.

Coons also pointed to his partnership with Tillis as an example of a trend “of public statements and actions by an increasingly wider range of bipartisan senators to push back on decisions by this White House.”

As far as Mueller is concerned, that may be smart politics.

According to a Quinnipiac University poll released this week, 64 percent of registered voters believe Mueller will conduct a fair investigation — far more than the 33 percent of registered voters who approve of the job Trump is doing as president. Sixty-nine percent of registered voters also believe it would be an abuse of power for Trump to order the Justice Department to fire the special counsel.

But the numbers are not so clear-cut when considering only registered Republicans. While more than half of registered GOP voters believe Mueller's investigation will be fair, over three-quarters of registered Republicans approve of Trump's tenure in the Oval Office. And only 37 percent of registered GOP voters believe that Trump would be abusing his power if he ordered Mueller's firing.


Scott Clement contributed to this report.

• Karoun Demirjian covers defense and foreign policy for The Washington Post and was previously a correspondent based in The Post's bureau in Moscow, Russia.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Graham slams Trump on Sessions, Mueller

 • Republicans are starting to draw red lines on Trump firing Sessions and Mueller


https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/senators-unveil-two-proposals-to-protect-muellers-russia-probe/2017/08/03/b980d082-787a-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html
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« Reply #15 on: August 04, 2017, 06:46:06 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Special Counsel Mueller using grand jury in federal court
in Washington as part of Russia investigation


The development is a sign that special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigators
are continuing to aggressively gather evidence in the probe into possible
co-ordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.


By CAROL D. LEONNIG, SARI HORWITZ and MATT ZAPOTOSKY | 7:11PM EDT - Thursday, August 03, 2017

Special counsel Robert Mueller, right, leaves after briefing senators on June 21st about his investigation of potential co-ordination between Russia and the Trump campaign. — Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, right, leaves after briefing senators on June 21st about his investigation of potential co-ordination
between Russia and the Trump campaign. — Photograph: Joshua Roberts/Reuters.


SPECIAL COUNSEL Robert S. Mueller III began using a grand jury in federal court in Washington several weeks ago as part of his investigation of possible co-ordination between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign, according to two people familiar with the inquiry.

The development is a sign that investigators continue to aggressively gather evidence in the case, and that Mueller is taking full control of a probe that predated him.

In recent weeks and months, Mueller has been expanding the legal team working on the matter, and recently added Greg Andres, a longtime white-collar lawyer specializing in foreign bribery who previously worked in the Justice Department's criminal division.

Mueller's investigation now includes a look at whether President Trump obstructed justice by firing FBI Director James B. Comey, as well as deep dives into financial and other dealings of former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Federal prosecutors had previously been using a grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia, and even before Mueller was appointed, had increased their activity, issuing subpoenas and taking other investigative steps.

The Wall Street Journal on Thursday first reported the existence of the Washington grand jury.

A White House adviser said the president and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had not received subpoenas, nor had the White House. Members of the president's legal team met with Mueller three weeks ago to express their desire to work with his investigators.

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment for this article.

Ty Cobb, whom Trump appointed as White House special counsel, said of the grand jury: “This is news to me, but it's welcome news to the extent it suggests that it may accelerate the resolution of Mr. Mueller's work. The White House has every interest in bringing this to a prompt and fair conclusion. As we've said in the past, we're committed to cooperating fully with Mr. Mueller.”

Mueller has largely removed the original prosecutors from the case, replacing them with a formidable collection of legal talent and expertise in prosecuting national security, fraud and public corruption cases, arguing matters before the Supreme Court and assessing complicated legal questions.

In federal cases, a grand jury is not necessarily an indication that an indictment is imminent or even likely. Instead, it is a powerful investigative tool that prosecutors use to compel witnesses to testify or force people or companies to turn over documents.

It's unclear why Mueller chose to use a panel in the District, although there are practical reasons to do so. The special counsel's office is located in Southwest D.C. — much closer to the federal courthouse in the city than the one in Alexandria, Virginia. Mueller also had previously worked in the U.S. attorney's office in D.C., giving him some familiarity with the courthouse and the judges.

Experts said that Washington would be the appropriate place to convene a grand jury to examine actions taken by Trump since he became president and took up residence at the White House. Many of the potential crimes Mueller's team is investigating would have occurred in the District, such as allegations that Trump aides or advisers made false statements in disclosure records or lied to federal agents. The Washington Post has previously reported that Mueller is investigating whether the president tried to obstruct justice leading up to his firing of Comey.

Others said the choice could reflect Mueller's reputation for planning ahead and gaming out a possible trial. He could have better chances convicting aides to Trump in a city in which 90 percent of voters supported Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The special counsel team took over the investigation when Mueller was appointed in May, and prosecutors from the Eastern District of Virginia were largely taken off the case.

The only prosecutor known to have stayed was Brandon Van Grack, a national security division prosecutor whose name was on the subpoena connected to Flynn. Mueller's team also absorbed an investigation of Manafort that was attempting to trace his sources of income and possible connections to the Russia case.

The grand jury in Virginia had issued a subpoena related to Flynn's business, the Flynn Intel Group, which was paid more than $500,000 by a company owned by a Turkish American businessman close to top Turkish officials, said people familiar with the matter. A subpoena related to Manafort also was issued from Alexandria.


Rosalind S. Helderman, Spencer S. Hsu, Devlin Barrett and Tom Hamburger contributed to this report.

• Carol Leonnig covers federal agencies for The Washington Post with a focus on government accountability.

• Sari Horwitz covers the Justice Department and criminal justice issues nationwide for The Washington Post, where she has been a reporter for 30 years.

• Matt Zapotosky covers the Justice Department for the Washington Post's National Security team.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Mueller asks White House to preserve records of Trump Tower meeting

 • VIDEO: Fact Check: Do the political preferences of Mueller's team risk its independence?

 • Why Mueller's use of a grand jury confirms what we already knew

 • As Mueller builds his Russia special-counsel team, every hire is under scrutiny


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/special-counsel-mueller-using-grand-jury-in-federal-court-in-washington-as-part-of-russia-investigation/2017/08/03/1585da56-7887-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html
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« Reply #16 on: August 04, 2017, 08:58:06 pm »

...excellellent news....let's wish him every success😜


Another clown joins the circus: Convicted blackmailer, fraudster and serial litigant Graham McCready reported as going to sue Metiria Turei
by Cameron Slater on August 4, 2017 at 4:15pm
The NZ Herald reports




 
 
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« Reply #17 on: August 05, 2017, 01:38:57 pm »


Yes.....we KNOW you are too STUPID and THICK-AS-PIG-SHIT to be capable of differentiating between American politics and New Zealand politics.

Please carry on displaying your RETARDEDNESS as a comedy act for us intelligent folks to laugh at.
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« Reply #18 on: August 05, 2017, 02:13:46 pm »

....can you remember who said this?......🙄


"And why should this concern you as to what goes on in Australia?

What Australians do is none of your business."


......this from the moron who posts leftie American propaganda ad infinitum 😒
.....guess I will be having to make use of that quote quite often🙄
..hypocrit 😳
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« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2017, 09:24:50 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Rosenstein: Special counsel Mueller can investigate
any crimes he uncovers in Russia probe


The deputy attorney general said the Russia investigation is continuing apace,
even as Trump dismissed the probe as “a total fabrication”.


By KELSEY SNELL and JOHN WAGNER | 11:57AM EDT - Sunday, August 06, 2017

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, left, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, right, attend a briefing Friday at the Justice Department in Washington on leaks of classified material. — Photograph: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, left, and Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, right, attend a briefing Friday
at the Justice Department in Washington on leaks of classified material. — Andrew Harnik/Associated Press.


DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL Rod J. Rosenstein said on Sunday that the expanding investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election is continuing apace, even as President Trump dismissed the probe as “a total fabrication.”

Rosenstein said special counsel Robert S. Mueller III can investigate any crimes that he might discover within the scope of his probe, but the deputy attorney general would not discuss which individuals are the subject of their inquiry. The interview comes days after Trump said he believes it would be inappropriate for Mueller to dig into Trump family finances.

“The special counsel is subject to the rules and regulations of the Department of Justice, and we don't engage in fishing expeditions,” Rosenstein said when asked about the probe in an interview on “Fox News Sunday”.

Rosenstein declined to comment on reports that Mueller is using a grand jury in a court in Washington to aid in his investigation but he said that such a step is a routine part of “many investigations.”

“It's an appropriate way to gather documents, sometimes to bring witnesses in, to make sure that you get their full testimony,” Rosenstein said. “It's just a tool that we use like any other tool in the course of our investigations.”

Trump and his inner circle have repeatedly dismissed the investigation amid frequent reports that Mueller and his team are digging into broader details on the financial dealings of members of Trump's campaign team. Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called the probe a “fabrication” in an interview on ABC's “This Week”. Trump called it “the totally made-up Russia story” in a campaign-style speech he delivered on Thursday in West Virginia.

The attacks have raised concerns among Democrats and some Republicans that Trump may be looking for ways to undermine the investigation. Those fears led Senators Thom Tillis (Republican-North Carolina) and Christopher A. Coons (Democrat-Delaware) to propose legislation that would give a judge the ability to review any decision by the president to fire Muller.

Tillis said on Sunday that he does not agree that the investigation is a witch hunt and said the bill is intended to bolster the independence of the Justice Department.

“We'll let the facts lead us to whether or not it was a hoax or a distraction,” Tillis said during a “This Week” interview. “But we are where we are, and I want to see this investigation concluded so that we can get on to doing the good work the president has already started with regulatory reform, health care and tax reform.”

Representative Adam B. Schiff (California), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, called Mueller's impaneling of a D.C. grand jury “a significant development,” noting that it has been more than a year since former FBI director James B. Comey launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election.

“That means one year later, rather than turning that investigation off, rather than concluding ‘We've looked at this for a year; there's really nothing to see here,’ as the president would claim, instead … it's moving into a new phase,” Schiff said during an appearance on CNN's “State of the Union”. “That wouldn't be taking place if there was really no evidence, no evidentiary basis to move forward.”

He said an additional reason to continue investigating was the disclosure of the June 2016 meeting of Donald Trump Jr., campaign officials and a Russian lawyer, which was set up with the advertised purpose of sharing damaging information on Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“And now you add on the layer of the president, if these allegations are true, helping to fabricate a false statement about what that meeting was about,” Schiff said, referring to the White House's acknowledgment that Trump weighed in on an initial statement issued by Trump Jr. about the meeting that did not mention its pretext.

Schiff also said the House Intelligence Committee and Mueller are looking at some of the same issues related to former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including payments Flynn allegedly received from Turkey during the final months of the presidential campaign and from RT, a Russian government-backed television network.

“If General Flynn was shown to have violated the law in other ways, it would be an incentive for him to cooperate more broadly with the Mueller investigation,” Schiff said.

During an appearance on the same CNN program, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (Republican), an ally of the Trump administration, downplayed the significance of a D.C. grand jury being impaneled by Mueller.

“That's a typical thing to be done in any investigation,” said Christie, a former federal prosecutor.

Asked about Trump's concerns that Mueller's probe could expand into financial dealings of Trump unrelated to Russia, Christie said that some sometimes special counsels feel “the need to produce something in return for their appointment.”

But he called Mueller “a good man” and said he trusts he will not go on a “fishing expedition.”

Christie also called Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer “ill-advised.” The meeting was also attended by Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and now senior adviser, and Paul Manafort, then Trump's campaign chairman.

“This is not something that should have happened,” Christie said. “Everybody in retrospect knows that this is a bad idea.”

But Christie said it remains unclear whether Trump was aware of the email to Trump Jr. ahead of the meeting that said it would be related to Russian information on Clinton.

“We don't know that the president knew about those emails or about the content of those emails,” Christie said. “And so we don't know what his own son told him about that meeting.”

On ABC, Conway said Trump “had no knowledge of that meeting.”

“I was never informed of that meeting,” she said. “I found out about it when you found out about it, when the rest of the public did.”

Conway also referenced Kushner's contention that he left the meeting a few minutes in when it became clear the Russian lawyer wanted to talk about adoption policy. Kushner has said he had an aide pull him out.

“If you're getting dirt on your political opponent, if you're getting the silver bullet and the secret sauce on how to win the election, you don't ask your aide to pull you out of the meeting,” Conway said. “You say please order lunch. Let's just stay.”


• Kelsey Snell covers Congress with a focus on budget and fiscal issues for The Washington Post. She previously covered tax, trade and budget policy.

• John Wagner is a national political reporter covering the White House for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Senators consider moves to limit Trump's ability to fire Mueller

 • VIDEO: How the Trump team is attempting to deflect the Mueller investigation


https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/rosenstein-special-counsel-mueller-can-investigate-any-crimes-he-uncovers-in-russia-probe/2017/08/06/2209365a-7aae-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html
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« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2017, 09:56:36 pm »

...mmmm...

On the beautiful island of Koh Phagnan, Thailand.......going to the infamous "full moon party" tonight...really "living life on the edge"...

....wish me luck😜
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« Reply #21 on: August 08, 2017, 09:46:51 pm »

...went to the "full moon party" last night....awesome....walked up and down the beach a couple of times watching the 10 or 20 thousand people getting drunk and making fools of themselves....😀

.....then drank 3 vodka buckets, got drunk and made a fool of myself😳

...great night😜
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