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The Mueller Investigation Page 8 Get the latest on the investigation mueller investigation. The Robert Mueller Russia Investigation in to how the Russians infiltrated the Trump campaign and the Republican Party and colluded with the Trump campaign to help get Donald J. Trump elected president. Trump maybe a Russian mole that Putin controls. The Trump Russia affair is worst that Watergate. Trump and Putin maybe working against American interest find out more. Find more about Robert Mueller, Donald J. Trump, Putin and Russia.
Deputy  Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning to leave the Justice  Department shortly after William Barr, the President's nominee for  attorney general, is confirmed, according to a source familiar with his  thinking. The source said Rosenstein is not being forced out, and he has conveyed his thinking to the White House. The  deputy attorney general has been managing special counsel Robert  Mueller's Russia investigation and has signaled to other officials that  he would leave when he was satisfied that Mueller's investigation was  either complete or close enough to completion that it was protected. When  exactly Rosenstein leaves could shift depending on the timing of Barr's  confirmation and the naming of a new deputy attorney general. An  official briefed on the discussions said Rosenstein wants to ensure a  smooth transition, which includes the Mueller investigation.

(CNN) The Supreme Court Monday turned away an effort by an unnamed foreign government-owned corporation to resist a subpoena related to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. The court's order restores a daily fine the company will face that had been put on hold by Chief Justice John Roberts while the full court considered the issue. It is an apparent loss for the company and marks the full court's first foray into the Mueller probe. The order will put pressure on the company to turn over information to the grand jury or otherwise cooperate with Mueller as contempt fines continue to accumulate. The company will have to pay $50,000 a day until it complies by turning over information, the DC Circuit said in an opinion published Tuesday. Those fees haven't yet piled up, but will begin now since the Supreme Court declined earlier Tuesday to freeze the fees. There were no noted dissents in the high court's two-sentence order.

The disclosure was made by Manafort's lawyers in a poorly-redacted section of court papers. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort lied to federal investigators about sharing campaign poll data with a Russian associate linked to Russian intelligence services, according to court papers filed Tuesday. The disclosure was made by Manafort's lawyers in a poorly redacted section of court papers that were filed to rebut the special counsel's allegations that he lied to federal investigators. The redacted section says that Manafort was not truthful about providing polling data related to the 2016 presidential campaign to Konstantin Kilimnik.

It's a document that became so famous — or infamous — in the two years since its existence was reported that it's now known by a simple two-word phrase: the dossier. The controversial 35 pages of intelligence memos compiled by retired British spy Christopher Steele paint a picture of widespread conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. To Democrats and President Donald Trump's critics, the documents tell a story that could amount to treason. To Trump and some of his loudest defenders, the dossier was flawed from its inception, abused by the FBI to pursue an investigation into Trump's team that preceded the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Trump has said the memos are "phony" and full of lies, and has pointed out that the project was funded by his political opponents, including Hillary Clinton's campaign. It was two years ago, January 6, 2017, that then-FBI Director James Comey briefed President-elect Trump about some details from the dossier. Days later, CNN broke the story of that briefing and reported that the FBI was investigating the accuracy of the allegations. CNN did not publish the dossier, because of its unverified status, but BuzzFeed soon posted all the memos online "so that Americans can make up their own minds." The most salacious claims in the dossier remain unproven two years after it first burst into the public conversation, but many of the allegations that form the bulk of the intelligence memos have held up over time, or have proven to be at least partially true.

Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, the Russian lawyer who in 2016 met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower, was charged on Tuesday in a separate case that showed her close ties to the Kremlin. Ms. Veselnitskaya, a pivotal figure in the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, was charged by federal prosecutors in New York with seeking to thwart an earlier Justice Department investigation into money laundering that involved an influential Russian businessman and his investment firm. The money-laundering case was not directly related to the Trump Tower meeting. But a federal indictment returned in Manhattan seemed to confirm that Ms. Veselnitskaya had deep ties to senior Russian government officials and rekindled questions about whether the Kremlin tried to use her as an intermediary to Donald J. Trump’s campaign. The charges stem from the Justice Department’s 2013 civil investigation into the role that some of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s clients — Prevezon Holdings Ltd. and its owner, Denis P. Katsyv — played in a scheme to launder ill-gotten money through New York real estate purchases.

A  federal judge on Monday sharply criticized the U.S.-based attorney for a  Russian company indicted in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s  investigation, and the attorney fired back that the judge showed “bias”  against him. The fiery exchange threatens to  complicate the already complex prosecution of Concord Management and  Consulting, which was indicted in February along with its owner, Russian  businessman Yevgeniy Prigozhin,  and other Russian individuals and companies. They are accused of  financing and overseeing a social media operation to disrupt the 2016  U.S. election.

Court document by Concord Management asks how details about a “nude selfie” would threaten national security. In a court filing Thursday, a Russian company indicted early this year referred to a “nude selfie” obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller. No other details were provided, including the identity of the individual or individuals in the selfie. “Could the manner in which he [Mueller] collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States?” asked attorneys for Concord Management and Consulting LLC in the memorandum filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The startling reference was part of Concord’s argument in support of the company’s motion earlier this month to compel access to evidence concerning how confidential information was obtained by Mueller’s team in its case against Concord. Concord was one of three Russian organizations and 13 Russians indicted in February as part of an alleged plot to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election to promote the candidacy of Republican Donald Trump.

A federal judge on Thursday denied a request by special counsel Robert Mueller and several other federal agencies to delay an upcoming hearing in a lawsuit brought by Roger Stone-linked conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi. Mueller and the FBI, CIA, NSA and DOJ cited the ongoing government shutdown in their request for a delay. A lawyer for Corsi says that the request for a delay was being “proffered tactically,” and asserted “it is highly doubtful” that DOJ attorneys “are actually prohibited from working.”

Matthew G. Whitaker, who was installed last month as acting attorney general by President Trump, has cleared himself to supervise the special counsel’s investigation, rejecting the recommendation of career Justice Department ethics specialists that he recuse himself, according to a letter the department sent to Senate leaders on Thursday night.

"They clearly are tying up loose ends," said a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team. Special counsel Robert Mueller is nearing the end of his historic investigation into Russian election interference and is expected to submit a confidential report to the attorney general as early as mid-February, government officials and others familiar with the situation tell NBC News. "They clearly are tying up loose ends," said a lawyer who has been in contact with the Mueller team. The sources either did not know or would not say whether Mueller has answered the fundamental question he was hired to investigate: Whether Trump or anyone around him conspired with the Russian intelligence operations to help his campaign. Mueller has not made public any evidence proving such a conspiracy, though he has rebutted in court filings the president's assertion that neither he nor any of his top aides had met or talked with Russians during the 2016 race. They did, according to Mueller; and, in the case of his lawyer's negotiations over a Trump Tower in Moscow, Trump knew about it, court filings say.

William P. Barr, who has been nominated to become the next attorney general, wrote a memo to Justice Department leaders earlier this year criticizing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III for a “fatally misconceived” legal theory of how President Trump may have obstructed justice. The memo, written in June and addressed to Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, is likely to raise alarms among Democrats who have sought to protect the Mueller investigation. And it could intensify the partisan fights surrounding Barr when he comes before the Senate Judiciary Committee for confirmation next year. Even before the memo, Barr was expected to be grilled about his past statements regarding special counsel investigations, controversial decisions President Trump has made and whether he would publicly pledge to protect the Mueller investigation from political interference.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker has consulted with ethics officials at the Justice Department and they have advised him he does not need to recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, a source familiar with the process told CNN Thursday. The source added Whitaker has been in ongoing discussions with ethics officials since taking the job in early November following the ouster of Jeff Sessions, who had stepped aside from overseeing the investigation due to his role as a Trump campaign surrogate during the 2016 election.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversaw the investigation following Sessions' recusal and his office is still managing the investigation on a day-to-day basis, as CNN has previously reported. When, exactly, ethics officials signed off on Whitaker's role was not immediately clear, but as of last month, he had not stepped aside from participating in significant developments in the Russia investigation. He was informed ahead of time that Trump's former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen would plead guilty to lying to Congress about the proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow. Whitaker is expected to inform senators, many of whom have raised ethics concerns given his past criticism of Mueller's investigation, about this development later Thursday, the source said.

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III asked the House Intelligence Committee on Friday for an official transcript of Trump adviser Roger Stone’s testimony, according to people familiar with the request, a sign that prosecutors could be moving to charge him with a crime. It is the first time Mueller has formally asked the committee to turn over material the panel has gathered in its investigation of Russian interference of the 2016 campaign, according to the people. The move suggests that the special counsel is moving to finalize his months-long investigation of Stone — a key part of Mueller’s inquiry into whether anyone in President Trump’s orbit coordinated with the Russians.

Special counsel Robert Mueller had a busy year. His investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election ramped up on multiple fronts, with subpoenas, indictments and guilty pleas. And he referred some of his cases to federal prosecutors in New York, who also brought charges. This year saw the first charges against Russians for hacking Democratic targets and spreading propaganda on social media. Mueller also raised the stakes for several associates of President Donald Trump, bringing one to trial and securing guilty pleas and cooperation deals from others. There’s no telling what 2019 might bring. Perhaps Mueller will drop his final report or bring new criminal charges. But in the meantime, here’s a look back at the key developments from 2018.

While popular memory today remembers Watergate as five DNC burglars leading inexorably to Richard Nixon’s resignation two years later, history recalls that the case and special prosecutor’s investigation at the time were much broader; ultimately 69 people were charged as part of the investigation, 48 of whom pleaded guilty or were found guilty at trial. After three weeks of back-to-back-to-back-to-back bombshells by federal prosecutors and special counsel Robert Mueller, it’s increasingly clear that, as 2018 winds down, Donald Trump faces a legal assault unlike anything previously seen by any president—at least 17 distinct court cases stemming from at least seven different sets of prosecutors and investigators. (That total does not count any congressional inquiries, nor does it include any other inquiries into other administration officials unrelated to Russia.) While the media has long short-handed Mueller’s probe as the “Russia investigation,” a comprehensive review of the cases unfolding around the president and the question of Russian influence in the 2016 campaign harkens back to another lesson of Watergate: Deep Throat’s dictum, “Follow the money.”

Former FBI Director James Comey defended the FBI's interview of Michael Flynn that later prompted the former national security adviser's guilty plea, sparring with Republicans in closed-door House testimony Monday over the circumstances surrounding the January 2017 interview. The FBI interview with Flynn at the White House has come under renewed scrutiny and criticism from Republicans after Flynn's attorneys questioned the setting last week, although Flynn told a federal judge Tuesday that he was responsible for his false statements about his contacts with then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. A transcript of Comey's testimony was released publicly Tuesday. The five-hour interview Monday was the second that the House Oversight and Judiciary committees conducted with Comey this month as part of the Republican-led congressional investigation into the FBI's handling of the Hillary Clinton and Russia investigations.

The appellate court that heard a sealed grand jury case believed to be linked to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe handed down a decision Tuesday, available publicly, upholding a lower court’s decision denying a request from an unknown company that it quash a subpoena. While it is still mystery who exactly challenged the subpoena, the public judgment revealed that it was a company in a foreign country that had sought to fight it. It has not been officially confirmed that the subpoena was related to Mueller’s investigation. However there have been sightings and comments overheard at the courthouse that suggest it’s Mueller related, and at an early stage in a proceeding, an appellate judge who previously worked in President Trump’s White House recused himself. When the appellate court heard the case on Friday, court staff kicked reporters off the floor of the courtroom so they couldn’t stakeout lawyers entering and exiting the hearing. However, two Mueller attorneys were spotted arriving at his office about 10 minutes after the hearing was believed to have wrapped up. The decision doesn’t reveal much about the legal dispute, nor does it confirm that it was a Mueller issued subpoena that was being challenged. According to the judgment, an unnamed corporation owned by a country dubbed “Country A” had claimed that it was immune from the subpoena under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Judge Beryl Howell, the chief of the U.S. District Court for D.C., apparently held that, regardless whether the company in general was immune, the matter in question fell within an exception in the law for commercial activities. She then held the company in contempt when it continued to resist the subpoena, prompting the appeal, where the appellate court upheld her judgment.

Just over a week ago, on Friday December 7, the Special Counsel’s Office headed by Robert Mueller for the first time outlined in a court filing the grand narrative of the Russia Probe. The court filing revealed what many had long suspected, that Trump and his family had used, or tried to use, his presidential candidacy, and then his presidency, to enhance their own wealth. We also learned finally what hold Russian President Vladimir Putin has over Trump. It’s not as some suspected, a money laundering episode from more than a decade ago. It was something that happened in real time during the presidential election itself. Thus, Trump himself repeatedly stated since entering the presidential race in June 2015 that he had no business in Russia and no interactions with representatives of Russia. It now turns out that Putin knew what the American people didn’t, namely that Donald Trump was throughout the 2016 presidential primary campaign secretly negotiating to build a huge and lucrative hotel in Moscow, which required the personal support of Vladimir Putin. The fact that Putin knew about Trump’s secret dealings, while the American people didn’t, meant that if Trump didn’t do what Russia wanted, Russia could expose Trump’s lies and so bring him down.

A federal judge on Tuesday postponed the sentencing of Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s first national security adviser, after warning Mr. Flynn that he could face prison for lying to federal investigators about his conversations with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition and hiding his role lobbying for Turkey. At Mr. Flynn’s sentencing hearing in Federal District Court in Washington, Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called Mr. Flynn’s crimes “a very serious offense” and said he was not hiding his “disgust” at what Mr. Flynn had done. “All along you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser,” the judge told Mr. Flynn. “Arguably that undermines everything that this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out.” But Judge Sullivan gave Mr. Flynn the option of delaying the sentencing until he had completed his cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors. “I cannot assure that if you proceed today you will not receive a sentence of incarceration,” Judge Sullivan told Mr. Flynn.After a short recess, Mr. Flynn returned to the courtroom to take the judge up on his offer.

The sentencing for President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn was postponed until 2019 after a dramatic federal court hearing Tuesday. Flynn, who pleaded guilty last year, said "I was aware" that lying to the FBI was a crime, but prosecutors from special counsel Robert Mueller's office had called for him to get little to no jail time because he has cooperated extensively. They also said Flynn may continue to cooperate in a future trial. Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia had very strong words for Flynn and suggested he could face prison. "I want to be frank with you, this crime is very serious," Sullivan said. "Not only did you lie to the FBI, you lied to senior officials in the incoming administration." "All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the President of the United States," Sullivan said. "That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out." Sullivan later corrected himself, noting Flynn's foreign lobbying ended prior to the beginning of the Trump administration.

President Donald Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn said Tuesday in a federal court that "I was aware" that lying to the FBI is a crime. Flynn pleaded guilty a year ago to lying to federal investigators and is being sentenced by Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, who has had very strong words for the defendant. "I want to be frank with you, this crime is very serious," Sullivan said. "Not only did you lie to the FBI, you lied to senior officials in the incoming administration." "All along, you were an unregistered agent of a foreign country while serving as the national security adviser to the President of the United States," Sullivan said. "That undermines everything this flag over here stands for. Arguably you sold your country out."

Months after President Trump took office, Russia’s disinformation teams trained their sites on a new target: special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Having worked to help get Trump into the White House, they now worked to neutralize the biggest threat to his staying there. The Russian operatives unloaded on Mueller through fake accounts on Facebook, Twitter and beyond, falsely claiming that the former FBI director was corrupt and that the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election were crackpot conspiracies. One post on Instagram — which emerged as an especially potent weapon in the Russian social media arsenal — claimed that Mueller had worked in the past with “radical Islamic groups.” Such tactics exemplified how Russian teams ranged nimbly across social media platforms in a shrewd online influence operation aimed squarely at American voters. The effort started earlier than commonly understood and lasted longer while relying on the strengths of different sites to manipulate distinct slices of the electorate, according to a pair of comprehensive new reports prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee and released Monday. - The Russians and the GOP are both trying to protect Trump.

“The reality is everybody knows Trump can’t talk without lying,” says Van Jones on CNN. Just weeks after President Donald Trump wrote out the answers to a series of questions from Robert Mueller, the special counsel is pressing to interview the president face to face, sources have told CNN. “Nothing has changed in that sense from the first day,” one source said. And the Trump camp is resisting. In one area of interest, Mueller wants to get to Trump’s “state of mind” regarding possible obstruction of justice in the investigation into any Russian collusion with the Trump campaign to manipulate the U.S. presidential election, a source told CNN

Special counsel Robert Mueller released the January 2017 FBI memo that described the interview where former national security adviser Michael Flynn described his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn is scheduled to be sentenced Tuesday for lying to the FBI about a conversation with Kislyak during the transition. After reviewing the filing, Judge Emmet Sullivan has ruled that the material is "relevant" to Flynn's sentencing and has ordered the government to publish the interview, known as a "302," to be publicly available. According to the memo, the interviewing agents asked Flynn if he remembered any conversations with Kislyak about the United Nations vote surrounding Israeli settlements. Flynn quickly responded "yes, good reminder" and told the interviewers a number of countries he met with, including "maybe Russia/KISLYAK."

Special counsel Robert Mueller urges a federal judge to reject an attempt by President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn “to minimize the seriousness” of his crime days before his sentencing date. In pre-sentencing documents, Flynn’s lawyers and the special counsel had both recommended a light sentence for the highly decorated U.S. Army veteran. Mueller said Flynn has cooperated extensively with the government in 19 interviews with law enforcement officials, which began even before he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

A clerk at the courthouse took the extraordinary measure of shutting down the entire fifth floor, where the hearing was taking place. Special counsel Robert Mueller appeared to be locked in a subpoena battle with a recalcitrant witness Friday in a sealed federal appeals courtroom, the latest development in a mystery case that has piqued the curiosity of Mueller-obsessives and scoop-hungry journalists. Oral arguments in the highly secretive fight played out behind closed doors under tight security. Officials at the U.S. Courthouse in Washington, D.C. even took the extraordinary measure of shutting down to the public the entire fifth floor, where the hearing was taking place. More than a dozen reporters who had been staked out in the hallway adjacent to the courtroom — in the hopes of eyeballing attorneys for Mueller or the mystery appellant’s lawyers — were kicked off the floor and lost their best chance to spot anyone involved in the months-long legal dispute as they were entering or exiting the chambers.

We now have details as to how the indicted former campaign manager worked with the president to undermine federal law enforcement. Paul Manafort, who served as the manager for President Trump’s presidential campaign, provided advice to the president and senior White House officials during the earliest days of the Trump administration on how to undermine and discredit the FBI’s investigation into whether the president, his campaign aides, and family members conspired with the Russian Federation and its intelligence services to covertly defeat Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign, according to government records and interviews with individuals familiar with the matter. Manafort himself was under criminal investigation by the FBI during this same time, a fact then known to the White House. Last Friday, special counsel Robert Mueller alleged in court filings that Manafort told “multiple discernible lies” to FBI agents and prosecutors, in violation of the cooperation agreement between Manafort and the special counsel’s office. Among those, Mueller charged, were lies by Manafort to investigators that he had not been in contact with anyone in the White House. Manafort urged the president to attack the FBI. First, Manafort advised the president and his political surrogates to more aggressively and directly attack the FBI and other elements of the federal law enforcement apparatus investigating his administration. The goal of Manafort’s advice was to “delegitimize” the investigation itself, one person familiar with the advice explained to me. Manafort wanted nothing less than to “declare a public relations war on the FBI,” this same person said. Another goal was to discredit then-FBI Director James Comey and other senior FBI officials — as it had become increasingly likely they would be witnesses against the president. Trump later did just that, but it’s unclear what role, if any, Manafort’s advice played in the president deciding to go on the attack.

Even as the president continues to rail about the “Witch Hunt” on Twitter, Mueller’s strategy looks like anything but. Nearly every defendant he’s targeted has pleaded guilty, meaning he’s moving against people with overwhelming evidence. Those targets have mostly, in turn, cooperated—naming more alleged crimes and suspects. Similarly, in the one instance he has been forced to go to trial, Mueller prevailed handedly, winning convictions against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort in every category of charges he brought. Mueller has also assiduously handed off certain crimes to other prosecutors, be it identity theft stemming from Russia’s Internet Research Agency, foreign lobbying questions, and even referring the original Cohen case to the Southern District in New York. Together, those facts paint the picture of a conservative prosecutor, focused on demonstrable crimes and clear cases of criminal behavior. Mueller famously sees the world in black and white, right versus wrong, and all of his investigations have Russia and Russian influence as their core focus. Thus far he’s stayed clear of anything that might appear gray. CNN’s John Berman has described it as the “12 days of Mueller.” The filings thus far, taken together, have clarified where Mueller is heading, and appear to help delineate who is likely on the special counsel’s “naughty list” this holiday season. The past two weeks of rapid-fire filings, court appearances, and news reports show several people and entities potentially in Mueller’s sights.

Despite a sharply critical assessment of Michael Cohen's cooperation with New York federal prosecutors in a campaign-finance investigation, President Donald Trump's former fixer and personal attorney has given Russia special counsel Robert Mueller a potential bounty of information about the Trump campaign's contacts with the Kremlin. In seven separate meetings with Mueller's team, according to new court documents filed Friday, Cohen described contacts with Russian sources that appeared to go far beyond his previously acknowledged efforts to conceal a proposed – and later abandoned –Trump Tower project in Moscow. "Cohen provided the (special counsel's office) with useful information concerning certain discrete Russia-related matters core to its investigation that he obtained by virtue of his regular contacts with (Trump Organization) executives during the campaign," Mueller's team said in a seven-page sentencing memorandum.

n author and conspiracy theorist who says he’s being threatened with indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the Trump-Russia probe filed a federal lawsuit Sunday night accusing Mueller of constitutional violations and leaking grand jury secrets. Jerome Corsi’s new suit against Mueller also accuses the special prosecutor of trying to badger Corsi into giving false testimony that he served as a conduit between Wikileaks found Julian Assange and Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to then-candidate Donald Trump. “Defendant Mueller and his prosecutorial staff have demanded that Plaintiff Corsi falsely testify that he acted as a liaison between Roger Stone and WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange concerning the public release of emails downloaded from the DNC’s servers,” the complaint says. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington, is just the latest maneuver in a public campaign against Mueller by Corsi and his attorneys. Last month, they gave reporters copies of draft court documents showing that Mueller wanted Corsi to plead guilty to a false statements charge. - Donald J. Trump tried the same thing when he was caught for race discrimination he lost.

The Russian ambassador. A deputy prime minister. A pop star, a weightlifter, a lawyer, a Soviet army veteran with alleged intelligence ties. Again and again and again, over the course of Donald Trump’s 18-month campaign for the presidency, Russian citizens made contact with his closest family and friends, as well as figures on the periphery of his orbit. Some offered to help his campaign and his real estate business. Some offered dirt on his Democratic opponent. Repeatedly, Russian nationals suggested Trump should hold a peacemaking sit-down with Vladi­mir Putin — and offered to broker such a summit. In all, Russians interacted with at least 14 Trump associates during the campaign and presidential transition, public records and interviews show. “It is extremely unusual,” said Michael McFaul, who served as ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama. “Both the number of contacts and the nature of the contacts are extraordinary.”

These documents appear loaded with intention. Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) and from the Office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller filed significant documents Friday in the criminal cases of President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney and fixer Michael Cohen and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. In D.C, the court released a redacted submission outlining the grounds for Mueller’s determination that Manafort had breached his plea agreement. In New York, both the SDNY and special counsel filed documents related to Cohen’s sentencing. SDNY prosecutors named the president of the United States as a direct participant, if not the principal, in felonies. Other Trump campaign and Trump Organization officials may face criminal charges for the hush-money scheme. The special counsel ties Trump directly to possible Russia collusion. Russian contacts began during the GOP primary. Some potential hints of obstruction and suborning perjury

Yet Trump tweets: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” In court documents filed Friday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller for the first time cites President Trump’s time in the White House as relevant in the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. It’s the same time frame in which Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, says he prepared and circulated a statement to congressional investigators that was false. The revelations were two of four areas in which the special counsel says Cohen provided “useful” assistance in the Russia investigation over the course of seven meetings with investigators. The Mueller filing and a separate one also filed Friday by federal prosecutors in New York essentially place the president as a key figure in multiple federal investigations. Yet Trump wrote on Twitter about an hour after the filings became public: “Totally clears the President. Thank you!”

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