Politics: Russia investigation could spark battle to learn Robert Mueller's findings - PressFrom - US
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PoliticsRussia investigation could spark battle to learn Robert Mueller's findings

00:20  12 january  2019
00:20  12 january  2019 Source:   latimes.com

Robert Mueller grand jury gets 6 month extension

Robert Mueller grand jury gets 6 month extension The grand jury, based in Washington, DC, was seated for an 18-month term that began in July 2017 and was set to expire in the coming days. Under federal rules, the court is able to extend a grand jury's term for another six months if it is "in the public interest." Grand jury activity is secret, except following the 23-person group's approval of criminal indictments. Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the DC District Court, who oversees the Mueller grand jury, granted the extension. She does not sit in on its sessions. This story is breaking and will be updated.

In February 2018, Mueller indicted 13 Russian citizens and three Russian entities, most notably the Internet Research Agency,[10] and in June Once recused, oversight of any Russia investigation into the 2016 election fell to the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a Trump appointee.

Robert S . Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, was chosen to oversee the As a special counsel, Mr. Mueller can choose whether to consult with or inform the Justice Department about his investigation . He is authorized to investigate “any links

WASHINGTON - Only a few blocks from the National Mall, amid a cluster of nondescript buildings, more than a dozen prosecutors working for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III have followed an unusual routine as they toil away on the Russia investigation.

Trump's lawyers told Mueller he will not respond to any more questions: Giuliani

Trump's lawyers told Mueller he will not respond to any more questions: Giuliani Trump's lawyers told Mueller he will not respond to any more questions: Giuliani

Robert Swan Mueller III (/ˈmʌlər/; born August 7, 1944) is an American attorney who served as the sixth Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from 2001 to 2013.

Robert Mueller ' s special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign can be a Mueller ’ s team could write a report about the president’ s conduct and send it to Congress to Whatever happens, the best bet now is an ugly battle ahead for the future of Mueller ’ s investigation .

When they leave the office at night, they often wonder if it could be their last day on the job, according to an attorney familiar with their work. Fearful that President Donald Trump will try to shut down the sprawling criminal investigation, they've been compiling and writing their conclusions as they go, the attorney said.

Even if Trump doesn't try to fire Mueller and disband his team - something he's threatened several times - the president's lawyers have indicated they'll try to keep the public from learning whatever the special counsel's office has discovered. They've repeatedly said some information may be covered by executive privilege, the legal claim that safeguards the confidentiality of a president's private conversations.

Trump's AG nominee: 'Vitally important' Mueller finish work

Trump's AG nominee: 'Vitally important' Mueller finish work President Donald Trump's nominee for attorney general will tell senators at his confirmation hearing "it is vitally important" that special counsel Robert Mueller be allowed to complete his Russia investigation, according to prepared remarks obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

That scenario could spark a legal battle ahead of this year' s midterm elections in November. Asked for comment, one of Trump' s lawyers, Ty Cobb — whom the Times describes as one of the few advisors urging Trump to cooperate — said discussions are ongoing between the office of the special counsel

Whenever Mueller concludes his investigation , he will likely issue a report to Rosenstein, who will be the one to ultimately decide what the world learns of it. He' s going to continue to have a lot of power over what the public learns about what Mueller is doing until Mueller ' s work is done.

If Mueller tries to include in a final report details gleaned from White House documents or interviews with administration officials, "we specifically reserved our right to object," said Rudolph W. Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who represents Trump.

The president pointedly refused on Thursday to say whether any report from Mueller should be made public, telling reporters, "We'll have to see."

It's unclear exactly when Mueller's investigation will end, and the special counsel still has not secured the presidential interview he's been seeking for more than a year. Trump submitted some written answers shortly before Thanksgiving; Giuliani said prosecutors' subsequent request to ask more questions in writing and in person was refused before Christmas.

Since then, he said, there has been no communication with the special counsel's office.

"There's nothing much to talk to them about," Giuliani said.

Barr: It's "vitally important" that Mueller finish Russia probe

Barr: It's President Trump's nominee to be attorney general, William Barr, offered strong assurances about the special counsel's Russia investigation to the Senate panel that will be questioning him during his two days of confirmation hearings this week. Barr said in his prepared testimony, obtained by CBS News' Paula Reid, that he plans to allow special counsel Robert Mueller to complete the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

Robert Mueller . News, Analysis and Opinion from POLITICO. Mueller investigation . Pelosi: 'Open discussion' on whether Trump could be indicted in office. By CAITLIN OPRYSKO. Mueller appears to respond early in subpoena fight at Supreme Court. By JOSH GERSTEIN.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller , who' s leading the Russia probe, has assembled a high-powered team of investigators and lawyers. Robert Mueller has made no public comments since he was named to lead the investigation into Russian interference in last year' s election.

Recently, however, there have been indications the end game could be drawing near. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, for example, has told associates he expects to step down shortly after the Senate confirms William P. Barr as the new attorney general. That could come within weeks; Barr's confirmation hearings are scheduled to begin Tuesday. Rosenstein has been supervising Mueller's work and does not want to leave his post until the special counsel is wrapping up.

Whenever Mueller does finish his work, it will kick off a new phase in the legal and political fights over the Russia investigation. The president's legal team is preparing its own report rebutting whatever Mueller concludes; Trump tweeted last month that they'd already finished 87 pages. Giuliani said how much was released depended on what the special counsel concluded.

"If they exonerate him," he said, "we'll just say congratulations."

Meanwhile, emboldened Democrats who took control of the House of Representatives in the last election are laying the groundwork for their own investigations and potentially explosive public hearings.

William Barr says in prepared testimony that Mueller should be allowed to 'complete his work' on the Russia probe

William Barr says in prepared testimony that Mueller should be allowed to 'complete his work' on the Russia probe Barr's assurances come amid a firestorm surrounding an unsolicited memo he sent the White House and Justice Department criticizing Mueller.

Mueller will also investigate questions of Russian intervention in the election generally. “My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” Rosenstein wrote in a Robert Mueller : who is the Trump- Russia investigation ' s special counsel?

Mueller is a Republican, a marine awarded a Purple Heart for wounds sustained in Vietnam when his unit was ambushed by the Viet Cong in 1969. Those on both sides hoping for a swift resolution to the investigation may be disappointed: special counsel investigations can take years before coming to

Michael Cohen, Trump's longtime lawyer and fixer, is scheduled to testify before the House Oversight Committee on Feb. 7, a month before he begins a three-year prison sentence for a variety of crimes that include lying to Congress about a Moscow real estate deal that Trump sought while running for president.

Cohen also has pleaded guilty to campaign finance violations involving hush money payments to women who said they had affairs with Trump, payments prosecutors said were directed by Trump himself.

The first battle could be over how much becomes public from Mueller's investigation, which focuses on ties between Trump's campaign and Russia and whether the president obstructed justice.

The last time a special prosecutor's report was so hotly anticipated, independent counsel Kenneth W. Starr provided a lengthy and salacious recounting of President Bill Clinton's affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

Starr, however, was operating under a different set of rules that no longer exist, and he was required to submit his conclusions directly to Congress. Under the rules governing Mueller's investigation, the special counsel only needs to provide the attorney general with a confidential report explaining his decisions at the conclusion of the investigation. The attorney general by then will likely be Barr, a longtime friend of Mueller's, but also a Trump nominee who has expressed skepticism about some aspects of the investigation.

Trump's AG pick to steer through Dem, GOP queries at hearing

Trump's AG pick to steer through Dem, GOP queries at hearing William Barr will face questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee about his relationship with President Trump and his views on executive powers. Barr plans to tell legislators that Trump never sought any promises, assurances or commitments — and that he didn't offer Trump any — before he was nominated for the post. Trump has repeatedly complained that his first attorney general, Jeff Sessions, was insufficiently loyal because he recused himself from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign. Trump ultimately forced Sessions from office.

Mueller closes in: what will the Trump- Russia inquiry deliver in 2019? The special counsel investigation into Russian meddling and possible collusion is notoriously leak-proof but it could soon touch Trump directly or members of his family.

If Nothing Else, Robert Mueller Could Bring Clarity to Trump' s Russia Ties. Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate committee in Washington, DC But while both sides welcome Mueller ' s appointment, they may not get the closure they're looking for. The investigatory process can drag on, and even at

That doesn't mean Mueller's findings won't be released in some form. Prosecutors could explain more of their case in additional indictments - 33 people have already faced charges or pleaded guilty, and court filings have often included extensive details. They could also ask the grand jury to issue its own report.

In addition, the attorney general is required to notify Congress if he overrules any decisions by the special counsel, such as a request to issue particular subpoenas and indictments. And the attorney general can "determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest."

Democratic congressional leaders have already made clear they will demand that the report be turned over to them.

"Bottom line: the President can try to hide the Mueller Report. He will lose to the public's right to know," tweeted Neal Katyal, who served as solicitor general under President Barack Obama and wrote the current special counsel regulations.

If a report is destined to become public, there will also be fights over what is included. Intelligence agencies may want to redact sensitive information involving communications intercepts or overseas sources.

Trump's lawyers are prepared to argue that executive privilege will require additional redactions. The potential clash is rooted in the early days of the special counsel investigation, when the White House voluntarily agreed to turn over thousands of pages of documents and make officials available for voluntary interviews.

William Barr said he would not carry out an order from Trump to fire Mueller without cause

William Barr said he would not carry out an order from Trump to fire Mueller without cause Barr said he would seek counsel of DOJ ethics officials but didn't commit to following their advice when asked if he would recuse himself from overseeing Mueller.

Mueller ' s Russia investigation Wednesday, in what analysts believe is a concerted political strategy designed to discredit any potential Mueller findings Mueller ' s investigation , Republicans used an oversight hearing of the House Judiciary Committee to accuse Mueller , a Republican, of conducting a

There' s no doubt Mueller ' s investigation is far reaching, but at its core, prosecutors have remained focused on two central questions: Did the Trump campaign collude with the Kremlin to tip the 2016 presidential election in the Republican candidate' s favor? And has President Donald Trump tried to

By doing that, Mueller received faster access to the facts he was seeking, while the president's lawyers said they maintained their right to claim executive privilege down the road. They argue that, since Mueller is technically part of the executive branch, they can still fight the release of information to Congress or the public.

"Just because a document goes from the White House to the Justice Department does not mean privilege doesn't stay attached," said Jim Schultz, former deputy counsel in Trump's White House who now works at the Cozen O'Connor law firm in Philadelphia and Washington.

A claim of executive privilege could have the biggest impact on the public's ability to learn about Mueller's investigation into possible obstruction, since many events under scrutiny happened after Trump took office.

Blocking the release of a report, however, could cause a political uproar that would be counterproductive for Trump.

"It's very complicated for the president to fight the release of the report," said Anne Milgram, a former federal prosecutor and New Jersey attorney general who is now a New York University law professor. "If it vindicated him, why wouldn't he let it out?"

"If the report doesn't go public," she added, "the president can't put this behind him."

Mueller has not said anything publicly about how he plans to conclude his investigation or when that could happen. His silence has created a guessing game about the probe's timeline; many of the rumored due dates have come and gone without any end in sight.

"I thought they would finish by the end of the summer," Giuliani said. "And then I thought they would finish before the election. I can't imagine what's taking them so long."

Ending the investigation might mean Mueller has to accept that he won't get to interview Trump himself. The president has not received a subpoena to force his testimony before a grand jury, Giuliani said.

Donald Trump thanks Robert Mueller for disputing BuzzFeed report that claims president directed Cohen to lie

Donald Trump thanks Robert Mueller for disputing BuzzFeed report that claims president directed Cohen to lie President Donald Trump took an unusual step Saturday: He thanked Robert Mueller. Normally a critic over the Russia investigation, Trump said he is gratified that Mueller and the special counsel's office disputed a highly publicized news report that had accused the president of ordering former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "I very much appreciate that," Trump told reporters at the White House.

Mr Mueller ’ s most significant work could involve a counter-intelligence probe built around closely-held secret evidence of National Security Agency intercepts of Russians talking to Russians , they say. One plausible scenario is that Mr Mueller finds that Russia ’ s government did indeed attack America

So far, Trump has only answered written questions about events that took place before the election, meaning Mueller hasn't had an opportunity to ask him about topics that could be relevant to an obstruction case.

"I'm really at a loss to determine why he hasn't" subpoenaed Trump already, said Harry Litman, a former federal prosecutor. "It just doesn't make sense to me."

Although the president's lawyers would undoubtedly fight a subpoena in court, "I think it's really pretty clear (Mueller) would win," Litman said.

But Robert S. Bennett, a former federal prosecutor who represented Clinton during a sexual harassment lawsuit by Paula Jones, an Arkansas state government employee, said Mueller likely didn't need Trump's testimony to finish his work.

"What is he going to get out of the president's testimony that would really add to his analysis of the case?" Bennett said. "I don't think there's anything the president could tell him that would change his mind on whatever he's finding."

Proving that the president obstructed justice would require establishing his thinking behind certain decisions and whether they were intended to influence the investigation. But legal experts say other ways exist to do that besides speaking to him, such as digging up memos or interviewing his associates.

Paul Rosenzweig, who worked on the Starr investigation and is now a senior fellow at the R Street Institute in Washington, said that if Mueller already had everything he needed, "an interview with the president is probably unnecessary."

Visit the Los Angeles Times at www.latimes.com

Donald Trump thanks Robert Mueller for disputing BuzzFeed report that claims president directed Cohen to lie.
President Donald Trump took an unusual step Saturday: He thanked Robert Mueller. Normally a critic over the Russia investigation, Trump said he is gratified that Mueller and the special counsel's office disputed a highly publicized news report that had accused the president of ordering former attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); "I very much appreciate that," Trump told reporters at the White House.

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