Tracking the Mueller investigation into how the Russians infiltrated the Trump campaign and the Republican Party and conspired with the Trump campaign to help get Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States of America. So far Mueller has indicted 32 people (26 are Russian nationals) and three Russian companies, it not a witch hunt it’s a mole hunt.
Tracking Interference into our ElectionsFormer Trump adviser angry that radio personality Randy Credico denies being WikiLeaks conduit. Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into whether former informal Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone attempted to intimidate a man whom Stone has claimed served as a back channel to WikiLeaks. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that prosecutors on Mueller’s team have been questioning witnesses about Stone’s interactions with and comments about former New York radio host Randy Credico. Stone has claimed that Credico, a former friend of his, was a conduit between him and WikiLeaks. Credico has repeatedly and publicly denied the allegations. David Lugo, a filmmaker who knows both Credico and Stone, told the Journal that he testified before Mueller’s grand jury about a blog post Stone helped him write that spoke harshly about Credico.A bipartisan effort to provide legal protections for special counsel Robert Mueller and his Russia investigation failed on the Senate floor Wednesday. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware attempted to force a vote on a bill that would prevent Mueller from being fired without “good cause.” Their efforts came in light of Jeff Sessions being forced out of his post as attorney general last week and the subsequent appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general. In his new role, Whitaker takes Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s place as the lead overseer of the Russia probe. Sessions had previously recused himself of all Justice Department activity related to the investigation into Russian meddling. Now, lawmakers are concerned that Whitaker’s objectivity is compromised because of his vocal criticism before joining the administration. Flake and Coons sought unanimous consent from their Senate colleagues for the measure late Wednesday but that failed after an objection from Republican Leader Mitch McConnell. - Mitch McConnell is doing his part to protect Donald J. Trump by not allowing protection to be put place for the Mueller probe.The Senate's top Republican expressed confidence Friday that the Russia investigation will be allowed to run its course, saying President Donald Trump has never signaled to him that special counsel Robert Mueller could be fired. Speaking to reporters in his home state, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also predicted that Matthew Whitaker's stint as acting attorney general will be short. McConnell said he thinks the president will "pretty quickly" send the Senate a nominee for a new attorney general. McConnell, a close Trump ally who said Friday that he talks frequently with the president, insisted that Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia in 2016 is not under threat. - Everyday Trump attacks the Mueller investigation everyday Trump talks about firing everyone involve in the Muller investigation. Now Trump has put a flunky in place to oversee the Mueller investigation to protect Trump. Mitch McConnell is full of shit and needs to pull his head out of his ass.A federal appellate court panel on Friday ordered Robert Mueller as well as attorneys trying to knock the special counsel out of his job to file new legal briefs that explain how this week’s shake-up atop the Justice Department could influence their case. In a one-paragraph order, the three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit told Mueller and lawyers for a former aide to Roger Stone that they have until Nov. 19 to turn in briefs that sift through Wednesday’s firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the legal reaction it may have created.Legal experts have serious doubts the case will shut down Mueller’s probe. A drive to derail special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into the Trump campaign was taken up by a powerful federal appeals court Thursday as a three-judge panel heard arguments that the special prosecutor’s appointment last year was legally flawed and unconstitutional. The judges heard an appeal from a former aide to Trump adviser Roger Stone, Andrew Miller, who resisted a grand jury subpoena in order to create a legal vehicle to challenge Mueller’s authority to continue his year-and-a-half long probe into alleged collusion between the Trump political operation and Russia during the 2016 presidential race.White House sources said the A.G. didn’t leave voluntarily. Meanwhile, the president has put a loyalist in charge of the special counsel investigation. Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the request of President Donald Trump on Wednesday, a move that potentially threatens the independence of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the president. In an op-ed last year, Whitaker called on Mueller “limit the scope of his investigation” into the president. He wrote that Mueller was “dangerously close to crossing” Trump’s self-declared “red line” of investigating Trump family finances.Special counsel Robert Mueller has copies of vitriolic and sometimes threatening messages that Roger Stone directed at Randy Credico, a witness in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the investigation. CNN's Sara Murray reports.Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman struggled to explain even basic details of their allegations—like the spelling of the accuser’s name. A press conference intended to publicize sexual assault claims against special counsel Robert Mueller collapsed in spectacular fashion on Thursday, after the pro-Trump operatives behind the event failed to demonstrate a grasp of even basic details about their accuser or explain why they had repeatedly lied about their project. Mueller has asked the FBI to investigate the effort from publicity-hungry Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman and pro-Trump Twitter personality Jacob Wohl, which has been dogged by accusations that they offered women money to accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct. But the prospect of an FBI investigation was the least of Wohl and Burkman’s problems on Thursday. Throughout their 45-minute press conference, the two men repeatedly contradicted themselves and each other, giving cryptic non-answers that convinced approximately zero people in attendance that their allegations were anywhere close to the truth.When the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, appeared on a video link from Europe a month before the 2016 presidential election and vaguely promised to release a flood of purloined documents related to the race, the head of Donald J. Trump’s campaign, Stephen K. Bannon, was interested. He emailed the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr., who had been trying to reach him for days about what Mr. Assange might have in store. “What was that this morning???” Mr. Bannon asked on Oct. 4. “A load every week going forward,” Mr. Stone replied, echoing Mr. Assange’s public vow to publish documents on a weekly basis until the Nov. 8 election. The email exchange, not previously reported, underscores how Mr. Stone presented himself to Trump campaign officials: as a conduit of inside information from WikiLeaks, Russia’s chosen repository for documents hacked from Democratic computers.Newly revealed messages show how the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr. sold himself to Trump campaign advisers as a potential conduit to WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails in 2016 damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Read the Emails: The Trump Campaign and Roger StoneNewly revealed messages show how the political operative Roger J. Stone Jr. sold himself to Trump campaign advisers as a potential conduit to WikiLeaks, which published thousands of emails in 2016 damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.A fake spy company, faked LinkedIn profiles, a conspiracy theorist and a pro-Trump blogger are all embroiled in the latest, and strangest, story in Washington DC. On Tuesday information came to light about what appears to be a plot to try and smear special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The details are still unclear, but centre around an apparent attempt to pay women to invent allegations of sexual misconduct against Mr Mueller in an alleged effort to discredit his probe.Special counsel Robert Mueller accuses opponents of offering women money to make 'false claims' about himSpecial counsel Robert Mueller has referred to the FBI allegations that women were "offered money" to make "false claims" about him, a spokesman said Tuesday. "When we learned last week of allegations that women were offered money to make false claims about the Special Counsel, we immediately referred the matter to the FBI for investigation." spokesman Peter Carr says. Mueller is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and possible coordination between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign.Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos said on Friday that he is considering withdrawing from a cooperation agreement he entered into with special counsel Robert Mueller, the investigator probing allegations of collusion between the 2016 Trump campaign and the Russian government. “I believe there was tremendous misconduct on the government's behalf regarding my case,” Papadopoulos told “Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade. “And given certain information I learned just yesterday that I can't publicly disclose right now, I'm actually even considering withdrawing my agreement I have come to with the government.” Papadopoulos, who prosecutors say revealed to the Australian ambassador to the United Kingdom in 2016 that he knew Russia had “dirt” on then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, said Friday that he did not recall such a conversation, which kicked off the FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the presidential election.Stone, Corsi, Smith reportedly fall under scrutiny. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is scrutinizing how a collection of activists and pundits intersected with WikiLeaks, the website that U.S. officials say was the primary conduit for publishing materials stolen by Russia, according to people familiar with the matter. Mueller’s team has recently questioned witnesses about the activities of longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone, including his contacts with WikiLeaks, and has obtained telephone records, according to the people familiar with the matter.Paul Manafort’s lawyer told the judge, "There are significant issues with Mr. Manafort’s health concerning confinement." Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was rolled into a Virginia federal court Friday in a wheelchair, wearing a green prison uniform instead of his signature tailored suit. The judge scheduled Manafort to be sentenced Feb. 8 for eight counts of tax evasion and bank fraud and dismissed the remaining charges against him. Manafort, appearing visibly grayer, was pushed into court in a wheelchair, missing his right shoe.Special counsel Robert Mueller's office has been busy interviewing witnesses, running a grand jury and moving along its cases during the pre-election quiet period that Justice Department rules specify, CNN reported Wednesday. Bloomberg reported, citing two US officials, that Mueller "is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections," including "two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry": whether Donald Trump's 2016 campaign colluded with Russia, and whether the President's actions constitute obstruction of justice.Ever since reaching a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, Paul Manafort has kept the Russia prosecutors busy. The former Trump campaign chairman and his lawyers have visited Mueller's office in Washington at least nine times in the last four weeks, a strong indication that the special counsel is moving at a steady clip. In addition to Manafort, Mueller's team has kept interviewing witnesses, gathered a grand jury weekly to meet in Washington on most Fridays, and kicked up other still-secret court action. Plus, the discussions between the President's legal team and the special counsel's office have intensified in recent weeks, including after the special counsel sent questions about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government. The President's attorneys are expected to reply to the questions in writing. People around Trump and other witnesses believe more criminal indictments will come from Mueller.Special Counsel Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings on core aspects of his Russia probe soon after the November midterm elections as he faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation, according to two U.S. officials. Specifically, Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation. That doesn't necessarily mean Mueller's findings would be made public if he doesn't secure unsealed indictments. The regulations governing Mueller's probe stipulate that he can present his findings only to his boss, who is currently Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. The regulations give a special counsel's supervisor some discretion in deciding what is relayed to Congress and what is publicly released.President Trump’s longtime personal lawyer Michael Cohen has spent at least 50 hours meeting with investigators, according to Vanity Fair. Cohen pleaded guilty in August to violating campaign finance laws in connection with payments to women who said they had affairs with Trump and said in court that he did so under Trump's direction. He is scheduled for sentencing in December. Cohen does not have a formal cooperation agreement but has willingly given his time to investigators. Vanity Fair reported that he is providing information to investigators regarding Trump’s ties to Russia, both in his business dealings and during the presidential campaign.We’ve gotten news on Alfa Bank, Psy-Group, and Peter W. Smith — three long-simmering subplots of the Russia investigation. New reports over the past two days have brought increased attention to three long-simmering subplots in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. First, the Wall Street Journal revealed new details about GOP operative Peter W. Smith’s quest to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers during the 2016 campaign — including that he raised at least $100,000 for the effort and then pitched in $50,000 of his own money. (Smith was found dead last year, and local authorities ruled his death a suicide.) Second, the New Yorker revisited the question of mysterious online communications between a Russian bank and a domain tied to the Trump Organization. This topic came up during the campaign and was received skeptically, but now the New Yorker quotes experts who’ve reviewed the data and still suspect there’s something there. Third, the New York Times revealed that an Israeli firm called Psy-Group pitched its “social media manipulation” services to Trump campaign aide Rick Gates in early 2016, but that Gates didn’t hire the firm. Mueller’s team has been investigating Psy-Group closely for months for reasons that are not entirely clear but seem to be about whether the firm did in fact do work on behalf of Trump’s campaign.Special counsel Robert Mueller is probing the activities and contacts of Peter W. Smith, a GOP operative who sought Hillary Clinton’s emails from hackers in 2016. WSJ’s Shelby Holliday explains. Photo: Getty Images.Was an American investment banker who had a 40-year career managing corporate acquisitions and venture investments. He was active in Republican politics. In 1998 he was identified as a major financial supporter of the 1993 Troopergate story, in which several Arkansas state troopers accused U.S. President Bill Clinton of having carried out sexual dalliances while he was Governor of Arkansas. In 2017 he confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that he had tried in 2016 to contact computer hackers, including Russian hackers, in an attempt to obtain opposition research material to use against Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. Ten days after speaking to the paper, he committed suicide in a hotel room, citing ill health.A team of computer scientists sifted through records of unusual Web traffic in search of answers. In June, 2016, after news broke that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked, a group of prominent computer scientists went on alert. Reports said that the infiltrators were probably Russian, which suggested to most members of the group that one of the country’s intelligence agencies had been involved. They speculated that if the Russians were hacking the Democrats they must be hacking the Republicans, too. “We thought there was no way in the world the Russians would just attack the Democrats,” one of the computer scientists, who asked to be identified only as Max, told me.Richard Pinedo, 28, received six months in prison and six months of home confinement after pleading guilty to a felony identity fraud charge. A federal judge on Wednesday sentenced a California man to six months in prison and six months of home confinement after he pleaded guilty to a felony identity fraud charge tied to Russian troll activity that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign. The sentence for Richard Pinedo, 28, is the most severe penalty handed down yet in special counsel Robert Mueller’s high-profile investigation into Moscow’s meddling to help elect President Donald Trump. Pinedo’s case stemmed from his admission in February to unwittingly selling stolen bank accounts to Russian internet trolls who used the credentials to buy internet ads that sowed discord among Americans in the lead-up to Trump’s upset victory almost two years ago.A Russian deputy attorney general, who is thought to have directed Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya in her efforts abroad on behalf of Russia's government, reportedly died Wednesday night in a helicopter crash. The Daily Beast reported that Saak Albertovich Karapetyan was aboard an unauthorized helicopter flight, which crashed near the village of Vonyshevo, outside of Moscow. Karapetyan was reportedly behind Veselnitskaya's global efforts to lobby lawmakers to overturn anti-corruption acts such as the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which passed in 2012. The U.S. legislation is similar to others around the world which commemorate Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died while trying to expose a $230 million fraud scheme in Russia. The acts have reportedly incensed Russian President Vladimir Putin.Kyle Freeny and Brandon Van Grack, two prosecutors who worked on Paul Manafort's criminal cases, are ending their tenure working for special counsel Robert Mueller. Van Grack left recently to return to his job in the National Security Division of the Justice Department, and Freeny will leave the office in mid-October to return to the Criminal Division. Both were detailed to Mueller's office over the past year, said special counsel spokesman Peter Carr. Carr would not say whether this indicated that the office was winding down its efforts, as President Donald Trump's lawyers have suggested and several others who've been in contact with the office have speculated. He said the departures were not for any disciplinary reason. The two departures, which leave 13 prosecutors under Mueller (nine detailed from the other Justice Department offices and four that he hired directly), suggest that Mueller's efforts have turned a corner with Manafort's cooperation and that other parts of the department will play greater roles in open cases related to Russia's interference in the 2016 election.Cheri Jacobus says she was subjected to a campaign of online harassment and sabotage after a public fight with the president and one of his top advisers. Federal law enforcement officials have referred a 2-year-old email hacking investigation to special counsel Robert Mueller, according to the Republican operative who was the target of the hack. The referral adds yet another dimension to the special counsel’s sprawling probe, even as some of President Donald Trump’s allies portray Mueller’s work as nearing its conclusion. The operative and Trump critic, Cheri Jacobus, told POLITICO that FBI agents in the bureau’s cyber division informed her in September that they had forwarded their investigation to Mueller because the matter came to exceed the bounds of computer intrusion, the crime that had been the initial focus of the investigation. It is not clear what led the FBI to conclude that Mueller has jurisdiction over the matter. The special counsel has been investigating Russian election meddling, links between Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin, and other suspected wrongdoing, including undisclosed lobbying by foreign governments.A California man who admitted to unwittingly facilitating Russian interference in the 2016 election and later cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the subject now fears for his safety, the man's attorney said in a court filing Wednesday, Richard Pinedo, 28, is set to be sentenced next month for selling bank account numbers to Russian internet trolls who used the numbers to buy web ads aimed at advancing President Donald Trump's campaign and fomenting strife among Americans during the contentious election. In a bid for leniency, defense attorney Jeremy Lessem argued that Pinedo has experienced harassment and death threats over his walk-on role in the Mueller probe. Lessem also suggested that Pinedo has curtailed his activities because fears he could be the victim of attack by Russia, Russian sympathizers, or their opponents. "As a result of the cooperation provided in this case, Mr. Pinedo lives in a constant state of fear, for his own safety and that of his family,"Michael D. Cohen, President Trump’s former personal lawyer, has been interviewed repeatedly in the past month by prosecutors in the special counsel investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russian operatives, according to two people with knowledge of the sessions. The interviews, first reported by ABC News, are a further indication of the progress by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, in gathering firsthand accounts from some of the president’s closest advisers both before he ran for president and during the campaign. Last week, Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, agreed to cooperate with Mr. Mueller’s inquiry as part of a plea agreement to reduce criminal charges stemming from his political consulting work in Ukraine.Read the full text of Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort’s plea deal. Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chair, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the US and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice on Friday. As part of his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team, Manafort agreed to cooperate with their investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. According to his plea agreement Manafort will work with Mueller’s team in part by participating in interviews, turning over documents, and testifying in other proceedings. It’s potentially very bad news for Trump. Manafort took part in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised to hand over dirt on Hillary Clinton. And Manafort had close contact with two Russians during the campaign: Oleg Deripaska and Konstantin Kilimnik. Deripaska, a notorious Russian oligarch, was once Manafort’s client. Kilimnik, meanwhile, was formerly Manafort’s longtime business associate — and possibly has ties to Russian intelligence. The plea deal will surely help Mueller learn a lot more about those connections — and what, if anything, Trump knew about it all.Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort's cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller can't be a good thing for President Donald Trump, commentators said Sunday. "Manafort is a key person to help us unwind whether this is the most unlikely string of improbable coincidences or whether this is an active conspiracy," said California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Schiff, a former prosecutor, told "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd on Sunday that Manafort's convictions, and eventual decision to cooperate, send the message to those "in Bob Mueller's crosshairs right now: You better get to the special counsel and make your deal now." "Anyone who gets indicted by Bob Mueller goes down," he said, adding that the "longer you wait to come clean, the worse it's going to get."President Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort agreed Friday to provide testimony to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as part of a plea deal that could answer some of the most critical questions about whether any Americans conspired with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The decision to cooperate with Mueller in hopes of a lesser prison sentence is a stunning development, signaling Manafort’s surrender to criminal charges that he cheated the Internal Revenue Service, violated foreign lobbying laws and tried to obstruct justice while opening a new potential legal vulnerability for Trump. “I plead guilty,” Manafort told U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson at a hearing Friday morning in federal court in the District. As part of his plea, Manafort admitted to years of financial crimes to hide his money from the IRS and promised to tell the government about “his participation in and knowledge of all criminal activities.” Flipping Manafort gives Mueller a cooperating witness who was at key events relevant to the Russia investigation — a Trump Tower meeting attended by a Russian lawyer, the Republican National Convention and a host of other behind-the-scenes discussions in the spring and summer of 2016.The plea deal calls for a cap on prison time and dismisses deadlocked charges from an earlier trial pending cooperation with the Mueller probe. President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has agreed to cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller under a plea agreement revealed Friday. Manafort appeared in a Washington, D.C., courtroom Friday morning, looking relaxed in a suit and purple tie, to formally announce the deal. The deal dismisses deadlocked charges against Manafort from an earlier trial, but only after "successful cooperation” with Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference and whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Moscow on its efforts. Later, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Manafort is agreeing to "cooperate fully and truthfully" with the investigation. However, a source close to the defense told POLITICO, "the cooperation agreement does not involve the Trump campaign. ... There was no collusion with Russia."Federal prosecutors in New York are weighing criminal charges against former Obama White House counsel Greg Craig as part of an investigation into whether he failed to register as a foreign agent in a probe that is linked to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, according to sources familiar with the matter. In addition, these sources said, prosecutors in the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York are considering taking action against powerhouse law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where Craig was a partner during the activity under examination. Prosecutors are considering a civil settlement with the firm or a deferred prosecution agreement with Skadden, these sources said. An attorney for Craig, who left the Skadden firm in April and who was White House counsel under President Barack Obama during the first year of that administration, said his client "was not required to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act." A spokeswoman for Skadden didn't respond to a request for comment.The former Trump campaign adviser’s crime, his plea, and his falling out with Mueller’s team, explained.The two have a joint-defense agreement, which allows their legal teams to share information—and could help the president’s former campaign chairman angle for a pardon. President Donald Trump has tried to distance himself from his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, insisting that Manafort only worked for him for a very short time and that his recent convictions on tax- and bank-fraud charges have nothing to do with the campaign. But Trump’s and Manafort’s legal interests may be more aligned than either of them have let on. According to Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, Manafort and Trump are part of a joint-defense agreement that allows them to share confidential information about the Russia investigation under the protection of attorney-client privilege. “All during the investigation we have an open communication with them,” Giuliani recently told Politico. “Defense lawyers talk to each other all the time, where, as long as our clients authorize it, therefore we have a better idea of what’s going to happen. That’s very common.”Mueller has now indicted or secured guilty pleas from 32 people and three Russian companies. Vox's tally: "four former Trump advisers, 26 Russian nationals, three Russian companies, one California man, and one London-based lawyer. Five of these people (including three former Trump aides) have already pleaded guilty."A Justice Department lawyer whose ties to the infamous dossier about President Donald Trump and Russia has drawn the ire of Republicans told House lawmakers that he was told Russian intelligence thought they had the then-candidate "over a barrel" during the 2016 campaign, a source with knowledge of the testimony told CNN.The lawyers for former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos say in a new court filing that their client lied to the FBI about his contacts with Russians because he was seeking to get a job in the administration at the time and wanted to preserve his loyalty to “his master” — an apparent reference to President Trump. The new explanation for Papadopoulos’s lies to the FBI came in a 16-page court filing by his lawyers Friday night that also revealed new details about what the former Trump adviser has told special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, including his claim that Trump himself specifically approved his efforts to set up a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign.Convicted former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos has publicly contradicted Attorney General Jeff Sessions' sworn testimony to Congress, saying both Sessions and Donald Trump apparently supported his proposal that Trump meet with Vladimir Putin during the 2016 campaign, according to a court filing late Friday night. "While some in the room rebuffed George's offer, Mr. Trump nodded with approval and deferred to Mr. Sessions who appeared to like the idea and stated that the campaign should look into it. George's giddiness over Mr. Trump's recognition was prominent during the days that followed," Papadopoulos' lawyers wrote in a court filing Friday. Papadopoulos' legal team said that he has shared with special counsel Robert Mueller his recollections of the March 31, 2016, meeting.Robert Mueller got another cooperator - Sam Patten, an associate of Paul Manafort and Cambridge Analytica, struck a plea deal.The Mueller investigation has resulted in yet another plea deal. Sam Patten, a Republican lobbyist, pleaded guilty Friday to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act in his unregistered work for a Ukrainian politician and a Ukrainian oligarch — and agreed to cooperate with the government. Patten was charged by the US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia. But Mueller’s team referred the investigation there and Patten’s plea agreement specifically says he must cooperate with the special counsel’s office. Andrew Weissmann, an attorney on Mueller’s team, attended Patten’s hearing Friday.Donald Trump had decried the special counsel’s work as a ‘witch-hunt’ but the convictions of his ex-campaign chair and former fixer suggest otherwise. A lone protester holds up a sign and American flag outside the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, after the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of fraud. A lone protester holds up a sign and American flag outside the courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, after Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of fraud. For Trump, the implications of the Manafort conviction and Cohen plea are ominous. In convicting Manafort, Mueller has won new impetus to prosecute figures even closer to Trump, should the evidence warrant. For Mueller’s team, the guilty verdict represents a substantial victory, a significant hurdle cleared. The case was Mueller’s first outing at trial, and a failure to convict might have called into question Mueller’s broader enterprise.The special counsel has collected a mountain of evidence in the Trump-Russia investigation, but so far only a tiny amount of it has been revealed in official indictments. Here are nine areas where we should expect answers as the inquiry unfolds. When the history books are written, Rod Rosenstein might just be the most interesting figure of the Russia investigation—the beleaguered deputy attorney general whose memo in his first days on the job was used to justify the firing of James Comey.The president was already in jeopardy before Michael Cohen’s guilty plea. President Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen says the president ordered him to violate federal campaign finance laws during the 2016 election. As bad as that news is for Trump, the president faces an even more immediate legal peril: Even from the publicly available information, it’s now clear that Trump obstructed justice. Robert Mueller’s team is surely reaching the same conclusion, which means it is highly likely that Mueller will refer an obstruction case to Congress for further action. He could also seek to indict co-conspirators, and he could name the president himself in an indictment. No wonder Trump has resisted an interview with the special counsel.The Mueller investigation is heating up and nearly everyone close to the president is running for the exits.It might even keep the special counsel from sending a report to Congress, shaking Democrats’ hopes that such a document could provide the impetus for impeachment proceedings.Before his trial in Washington, DC, federal court next month, but talks stalled over issues raised by special counsel Robert Mueller, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. Manafort was found guilty last Tuesday in a separate trial in Virginia federal court on eight counts of financial crimes, including tax fraud, bank fraud and hiding foreign bank accounts. He faces a second set of criminal charges next month in Washington of failure to register his foreign lobbying and money laundering conspiracy.A single juror prevented President Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort from being convicted this week on all 18 counts of tax evasion and bank fraud, according to fellow juror Paula Duncan, who offered insight into the four days of their deliberations.The trial was the first public test of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Russian meddling and obstruction of justice by Trump.White House counsel Donald McGahn has cooperated extensively with special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia's meddling with the 2016 presidential election, sources with knowledge of his interviews tell ABC News. McGahn has met with Mueller’s team at least three times and has been questioned by the special counsel’s team more extensively than any other member of the White House staff who has gone for an interview, the sources said.Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.The Russia investigation (or Special Counsel Investigation) began as a probe into Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election. As of July 2018 U.S. law enforcement agencies, the FBI and the CIA as well as Congress are investigating any links between the presidential campaign of Donald Trump and Russia. This investigation is being perceived differently from the right and left.Elie Honig, a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York, who suggested Trump’s revocation of security clearances could be construed as retaliation against witnesses. “It’s a federal crime -- §1513 if anyone wants to look it up -- to retaliate against someone for providing truthful information to law enforcement,” he said. “So he’s getting closer and closer to really dangerous ground here.”The jury in the Paul Manafort trial sent a note to the judge with a list of questions, including wanting to know the definition of "reasonable doubt." CNN's Kara Scannell reports.Closing statement have concluded in the financial crimes trial of Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump, and prosecutors took the opportunity to paint Manafort as a liar and a schemer. "When you follow the trail of Mr. Manafort's money, it's littered with lies,” special counsel prosecutor Greg Andres said in federal court on Wednesday, telling jurors that Manafort is “not above the law.”After his defense of Rick Gates’ testimony, prosecutor Greg Andres moved into the details of Paul Manafort’s alleged bank fraud. “Time and time again, Mr. Manafort provided false information” to banks, Andres said, adding that “any number of bank documents that Mr. Manafort signed” explicitly say that doing so is a crime. The fraud was necessary, Andres explained, because Manafort’s Ukrainian patron Viktor Yanukovych “was out of power,” and “Mr. Manafort couldn’t pay his bills.”The special counsel is ramping up interviews with Stone associates, and paging through potentially damning e-mails. As Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference churns on, the list of individuals the special counsel hasn’t interviewed is arguably as interesting as those he has. And given his communications with WikiLeaks and Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0, professional ratfucker and longtime Donald Trump confidant Roger Stone ranks near the top. Stone has yet to be called in for questioning himself, but reports suggest Mueller has taken an interest in Stone, probing said WikiLeaks links, as well as his relationship with Rick Gates, the former deputy chairman of the Trump campaign who’s cooperating with the government.Defense rests in Paul Manafort trial; closing arguments WednesdayThe defense rested its case Tuesday morning in the trial against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort without calling any witnesses, setting the stage for closing arguments Wednesday morning. Manafort spoke for the first time in court during the trial, saying he will not testify.Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner is now officially part of the trove of evidence in Paul Manafort's criminal trial, as part of an email exchange with the former campaign chairman about potential senior administration jobs. Manafort sent Kushner a recommendation to appoint Federal Savings Bank chair Stephen Calk as secretary of the Army in a November 30, 2016, email released Monday by the Justice Department. At the same time, Manafort had received the first part of what would be $16 million in loans from Calk's bank, according to testimony Monday from James Brennan, the bank's vice president. Manafort also suggested two other possible Trump appointees, Pat Sink and Vernon Parker, according to the email released Monday.Paul Manafort or his agents neglected to mention mortgages on two New York properties when he sought $16 million in loans. A vice president of Federal Savings Bank said he wouldn’t have approved the $16 million loans, but the bank CEO pushed them through. The prosecution rested its case in chief, and the defense will argue its motion to acquit on Tuesday.The chief executive officer of a small Chicago bank that approved $16 million in loans to former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort was seeking a post in the new administration, a witness testified on Friday in Manafort’s fraud trial.Paul Manafort trial Day 9: Prosecutors again ask Judge Ellis to correct one of his quips before juryPaul Manafort, President Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, is on trial in federal court in Alexandria on bank and tax fraud charges. Prosecutors allege he failed to pay taxes on millions he made from his work for a Russia-friendly Ukrainian political party, then lied to get loans when the cash stopped coming in.The ongoing Special Counsel investigation is a United States law enforcement and counterintelligence investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including an investigation of any possible links and/or coordination between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and the Russian government, "and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation."Prosecutors say a back and forth over an expert witness in front of the jury could have left a negative impression in their minds. The federal judge overseeing the Paul Manafort trial conceded Thursday morning that he made a mistake in chastising special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors a day earlier in front of the jury.The indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking Democrats’ and Hillary Clinton’s emails said they began going after the former first lady’s personal emails “on or about July 27, 2016” — the same day Donald Trump called on Russia to find her missing emails. “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said, looking directly into TV cameras, at a press conference in Florida that day in which he also cast doubt that Russia was behind the hacking.Paul Manafort collected more than $65 million in foreign accounts for his Ukrainian political work from 2010-2014 and spent more than $15 million in the same period on real estate, landscaping, home improvement and luxury items like his ostrich and python jackets, an FBI witness told jurorsTrial lawyers know that judicial grumbling is not a reliable predictor of results. Ellis is plain-spoken and forceful and doesn’t hesitate to criticize the prosecutors. The news has been filled with stories of his rebukes, including interrupting the prosecutors’ opening statements to remind them that Manafort's being wealthy isn’t a crime, berating them for introducing exhibits too slowly, demanding that they move faster, narrowing the evidence they’re allowed to present and accusing a prosecutor of “tearing up” during a tense exchange. He even takes shots at the prosecution’s witnesses, as when he told Rick Gates that Manafort couldn’t have kept too close an eye on his money if Gates was able to steal some of it.Paul Manafort trial Day 7: Manafort took in $60 million over five years, including $31 million from Ukraine in 2012Prosecutors are using IRS agent Michael Welch to state clearly what they argued in opening statements and have had witnesses testify on for several days now — Paul Manafort did not pay taxes on all of the income he earned in Ukraine between 2010 and 2014. Welch said Manafort received about $15.5 million from Ukraine which he then paid directly to vendors, and which he did not report or pay taxes on.Mr. Manafort’s case is separate from the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and any ties to the Trump campaign, though this is the first trial stemming from the investigation of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel.Paul Manafort trial Day 5: Rick Gates testifies he committed bank, tax fraud at Manafort’s directionRick Gates, Paul Manafort’s longtime business partner, testifies they committed bank and tax fraud. Gates admits he embezzled hundreds of thousands from ManafortFormer Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is on trial in Alexandria, Virginia, for tax evasion and money laundering. The trial is the first to arise from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into election interference.Mueller Passes 3 Cases Focused on Illicit Foreign Lobbying to Prosecutors in New York - Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, has referred three investigations into possible illicit foreign lobbying by Washington insiders to federal prosecutors in New York who are already handling the case against President Trump’s former lawyer, according to multiple people familiar with the cases.The biggest test of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election begins Tuesday with the trial of Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign can be a lot to keep up with.The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, is scrutinizing tweets and negative statements from the president about Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to three people briefed on the matter.A federal judge in Alexandria, Virginia, has granted the request for five witnesses to testify with immunity in the criminal trial of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.The documents appear to discount claims made by some Republicans that the FBI failed to properly disclose sources of information used to seek it.Robert Mueller's special counsel office on Wednesday released an itemized list of evidence prosecutors are considering for use against Paul Manafort as the former Trump aide's Washington D.C. trial approaches.The Justice Department announced indictments against 12 Russian nationals as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, accusing them of engaging in a "sustained effort" to hack Democrats' emails and computer networks. All 12 defendants are members of the GRU, a Russian federation intelligence agency within the main intelligence directorate of the Russian military, who were acting in "their official capacities."
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