•   
  •   
  •   

OffbeatTrump reviewing answers to Mueller as he changes who oversees the Russia investigation

20:05  08 november  2018
20:05  08 november  2018 Source:   cnn.com

Trump says he will respond to 'some' of Mueller's questions

Trump says he will respond to 'some' of Mueller's questions President Trump during an interview on Monday said he will "probably" respond to "some" questions for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. 

As he was preparing to remove Jeff Sessions as attorney general, President Donald Trump had already begun reviewing with his lawyers the written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller .

Former FBI head Robert Mueller to oversee Trump - Russia investigation . Friends know him as an unflashy and serious character, who reportedly flicks the lights at his home when it’s time for Comey would eventually succeed Mueller as director of the FBI, after Mueller completed a special two-year

Trump reviewing answers to Mueller as he changes who oversees the Russia investigation© JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference about the midterm elections at the White House on Nov. 7, 2018.

As he was preparing to remove Jeff Sessions as attorney general, President Donald Trump had already begun reviewing with his lawyers the written answers to questions from special counsel Robert Mueller.

The move to replace Sessions with Matt Whitaker, who has been openly critical of the special counsel, comes as the White House braces for a return of public activity on the Russia investigation following a pre-election quiet period, according to people briefed on the matter.

Trump lawyers could submit answers to Mueller in coming days, source says

Trump lawyers could submit answers to Mueller in coming days, source says President Donald Trump met again with his lawyers on Monday to go over a series of written questions.

Matthew G. Whitaker, the new acting attorney general, is a loyalist who once wrote that the Russia inquiry “is going too far” and should be limited in scope. Now Mr. Whitaker will oversee Mr. Mueller ’s investigation He called on Mr. Rosenstein to “order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation .”

Robert Mueller 's special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign can be a Put simply, to protect Trump . Rosenstein is the guy overseeing the Mueller probe, which Trump has Papadopoulos likely holds answers to a lot of the key questions about the Trump campaign’s

As acting attorney general, Whitaker also now takes over Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's role in overseeing the special counsel probe, which officials inside the Justice Department and lawyers representing witnesses believe is moving closer to a conclusion.

Before that happens, one of the major questions in the Russia investigation remains to be answered: What happens to Roger Stone, a longtime Trump adviser who has been at the center of a whirlwind of legal activity behind the scenes even during the election-related public quiet period by Mueller.

As recently as a month ago, Mueller asked Trump's lawyers to produce call and visitor logs related to Stone from Trump Tower in New York, according to a source briefed on the matter. The request at this late stage of the investigation came as something of a surprise to lawyers involved, given that the Mueller team has been focused for months on Stone and his activities before the 2016 election.

Trump says Mueller investigators 'have gone absolutely nuts,' are 'a disgrace to our Nation'

Trump says Mueller investigators 'have gone absolutely nuts,' are 'a disgrace to our Nation' President Trump on Thursday ripped into Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Who is Robert Mueller , the Trump - Russia investigation 's special counsel? These included being appointed to serve as US attorney for the northern district of California under Bill Clinton in 1998, and overseeing the criminal division of the justice department as an assistant attorney general under

Mueller , often described by those who worked for him as a stern and press-averse disciplinarian Trump reacted to the news by saying “a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know The decision also comes amid intense pressure on the senior official who has been overseeing the

Among the questions Mueller has asked the President to provide written responses on are queries about Stone and his communications with then-candidate Trump, according to a source briefed on the matter.

Despite the change in leadership at the Justice Department, the Trump legal team believes it won't affect its approach to the Mueller questions, according to one source familiar with the matter.

The President and his lawyers have been aiming to return answers to Mueller's questions later this month, according to one source familiar with the matter. No final decision on an in-person interview has been made.

Trump made clear once again in a news conference Wednesday he believes the investigation is a waste of time and money.

"It's a disgrace, it should have never been started because there was no crime," Trump said.

But Trump's legal team and other lawyers representing witnesses in the investigation expect that the President's responses to Mueller could be one of the final pieces of the 18-month-long probe before the investigators present a report on their findings. Mueller's team has begun writing its final report, multiple sources told CNN.

Trump could answer written Russia probe questions this week -source

Trump could answer written Russia probe questions this week -source President Donald Trump is expected to provide written answers to questions from the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election as soon as this week, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.

President Trump didn't just consider the most drastic conceivable response to the Russia investigation Mr. Rosenstein has overseen the investigation since March, when Attorney General Jeff Opinion Recep Tayyip Erdogan: Saudi Arabia still has many questions to answer about Jamal

Trump 's team is reportedly looking for ways to discredit Mueller as he widens the Russia investigation . If Trump wanted Mueller gone, it is more likely he would order Rosenstein to fire him . Former Attorney General Eric Holder, who served in the Obama administration, said Thursday

Even after Mueller completes his work, Tuesday's midterm election results mean that House Democrats will also be in a position to expand investigations of Trump. That means Mueller will not be the end of Russia-related questions of Trump and his campaign.

What does Stone have?

The Stone portion of the investigation relates to one of Mueller's central responsibilities: to tell Americans whether there's evidence of collusion between Russians and people associated with the Trump campaign related to the 2016 election.

Investigators have been circling back to Stone's associates they have already interviewed with additional questions. And at least one — author and well-known conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi — is still in discussions about potentially appearing for a second time before the Washington, D.C., grand jury that Mueller has been using for the investigation.

Over the last two months, Corsi has been talking to Mueller's investigators "in a really constant basis," he said in a video he posted online on Monday.

RELATED: Roger Stone reveals he talked to Trump campaign about WikiLeaks in 2016

Activists call for nationwide protests to protect Mueller investigation

Activists call for nationwide protests to protect Mueller investigation Activists call for nationwide protests to protect Mueller investigation

Advisers who have spoken recently with Trump about the Russia investigation said the president Rather, Trump appeared to be contemplating changes in the Justice Department's leadership. If Trump fires Rosenstein, the next in line to oversee the special counsel is Associate Attorney General

Though Mueller has a large degree of independence, Rosenstein oversees the investigation . Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel. He can remove him or veto his decisions He had worked there under Preet Bharara, whom Trump fired as U.S. attorney after he refused to resign.

On Thursday, Mueller's team is set to appear in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to defend the special counsel's authority as another one of Stone's former associates aims to quash a subpoena for grand jury testimony.

Stone has denied any wrongdoing and has said he didn't have any inside knowledge about plans by WikiLeaks to publish hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign stolen by Russian intelligence in the run-up to the election.

Stone insists he never shared anything about WikiLeaks with then-candidate Trump.

"I never discussed any of this with Donald Trump," Stone told CNN recently. "It's one of the questions that Mr. Mueller wants the President to answer — one of the written questions. I'm highly confident that his answer will be that he knew nothing about it. We just never discussed it."

All signs point to an investigation that is winding down, though Mueller hasn't provided any timeline for completing his work.

Election's impact on Mueller

Even with the Mueller probe seemingly nearing its end, the Russia meddling investigation and its impact is expected to reverberate for months.

The White House is seeking to hire as many as two dozen lawyers for the counsel's office, which will soon be led by Pat Cipollone, following the departure of Don McGahn, sources briefed on the search say. The legal firepower, the President's lawyers believe, will be needed as newly empowered Democrats launch a new round of probes, including pursuing parts of the Trump-Russia matter that Republican leaders had blocked.

Trump says he has not received subpoena from Mueller

Trump says he has not received subpoena from Mueller President Trump said Wednesday he has not received a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. "No," Trump told reporters on the South Lawn when asked if he had received a subpoena from Mueller. The president was departing the White House en route to a campaign rally in Florida. The specter of a presidential subpoena was revived earlier Wednesday after Politico published a piece from former federal prosecutor and former White House general counsel Nelson Cunningham, who suggested that Mueller has in recent weeks been locked in a battle with the White House over an effort to subpoena the

Robert Mueller , the special counsel overseeing the federal investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, is In March, Coats told associates that Trump asked him to intervene with Comey’s investigation into former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, according to the Post.

He was appointed special counsel for the Russia investigation last month.CreditCreditCharles Dharapak/Associated Press. The startling assertion comes as some of Mr. Trump ’s conservative allies, who initially praised Mr. Mueller ’s selection as special counsel, have begun trying to attack his

One of the important questions the new White House legal team is expected to have to address is whether any of Mueller's findings can be shared with either Congress or the public given executive privilege concerns, which could block release of some or all of Mueller's work.

Under Justice Department regulations, Mueller is required to produce a "confidential report" at the end of his investigation, which includes "the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel."

But the regulations do not require that Mueller's report be released to the public, and with Whitaker taking over, it is not clear whether he will choose to release it at all, or in what form.

One of the sources familiar with the matter said the report will be detailed in part because Mueller's team wants to make sure it withstands public scrutiny. It is expected to include an analysis of the allegations, any information or statements made over the course of voluntary interviews, a legal explanation of why the evidence didn't meet the prosecution bar and an overall defense of the investigation.

How much the Mueller team has accomplished remains a subject of partisan debate. Critics of the President cite guilty pleas from top Trump campaign associates, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and his deputy Rick Gates, as well as Michael Flynn, his first national security adviser.

So far the Mueller team has brought charges against 35 people and entities, secured six guilty pleas, and prison sentences against three people.

Hundreds demonstrate to protect Russia investigation

Hundreds demonstrate to protect Russia investigation A protest in New York City has drawn several hundred people calling for the protection of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential coordination between Russia and President Donald Trump's campaign. The protesters gathered in Times Square on Thursday night and marched downtown. Similar rallies were being held across the country. Organizers say the naming of acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker is a "deliberate attempt to obstruct the special counsel's investigation." Trump asked for Jeff Sessions' resignation and then replaced him with Whitaker, his chief of staff. Whitaker has criticized Mueller's probe.

Mueller , who is leading the investigation into Russia ’s meddling in the US election and When George W Bush was president, Mueller and Comey worked together – Mueller as FBI Asked point blank if Mueller should recuse himself from the Russia investigation , Trump said: “Well, he ’s very

Mueller is interviewing senior intelligence officials as the Russia probe widens. Trump had wanted Comey to disclose publicly that he was not personally under investigation , but the FBI Officials said one of the exchanges of potential interest to Mueller took place on March 22, less than a week after

Supporters of the President argue that none of the guilty pleas, and the one court conviction, have had anything to do with the Russian interference in the 2016 election, which is what Mueller is supposed to be investigating. The new acting-attorney general has questioned in the past whether there is any obstruction to investigate.

Second-guessing of Mueller

Even inside the Justice Department, there's been second-guessing of some of the Mueller team's work.

One particular focus has the Mueller team's decision earlier this year to include a Russian company among entities and people charged related to operating an internet troll farm that played a central role in Russian interference efforts in 2016.

Some Justice Department lawyers raised concerns about charging the company, for fear it could force the government to share information in discovery that could end up with the Russians.

Those concerns have proven prescient in recent months as the company, Concord Management, hired US lawyers to fight the special counsel in court on a series of fronts. The Concord lawyers have won court permission to access to sensitive information used to bring the charges, though the judge has restricted what can be shared with foreign nationals.

"What a lot of people thought were vulnerabilities in the indictment are now coming to light," said one former Justice Department official.

RELATED: Russian company compares Mueller to Looney Tunes

The behind-the-scenes doubts were discussed among Justice Department lawyers, some of whom were consulted by the Mueller team before the charges were brought.

A spokesman for the special counsel declined to comment.

Some DOJ lawyers have groused that the Mueller team should have taken a less risky course by focusing the indictment against the Russian nationals, without the companies and entities. That's because since the individuals wouldn't likely respond to the charges and subject themselves to the US legal process.

Given the legal fight that has ensued, DOJ will have to handle the upcoming trial in the case and any other legal matters that arise from it, perhaps long after Mueller has wrapped up his inquiry.

Eric Swalwell says Matt Whitaker is 'an assassin' hired to 'kill' Russia investigation.
Rep. Eric Swalwell called acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker an "assassin" hired by President Donald Trump to "kill" special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. "We're not going to allow the President to just, you know, kill this Russia investigation by hiring an assassin like Matt Whitaker to come in and take it out," he told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room" Monday when speaking about House Democrats' plans for investigations in the coming Congress.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!