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Mueller investigation news: Paul Manafort advised White House on how to attack investigation of Trump and Russia - Vox
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 Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, provided advice to the president and senior White House officials on the FBI’s Russia investigation during the earliest days of the Trump administration. He gave guidance on how to undermine and discredit the FBI’s inquiry 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 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.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
15 hours ago by rgl7194
Trump Russia affair: Key questions answered - BBC News
For nearly two years the Trump-Russia affair has dominated front pages and mired the president's administration in conflict and controversy. But what is it exactly? How did it begin? And where is it going?
The inquiry is being led by Robert Mueller, a widely respected former director of the FBI. Holed up in an unremarkable office in Washington DC, Mr Mueller's team is quietly going about one of the most high-profile political inquiries in US history.
Five people connected with Donald Trump's campaign and presidency have been charged with criminal offences.
One of them, his former lawyer Michael Cohen, could be jailed on Wednesday on several charges, making him the first member of the president's inner circle to be imprisoned in relation to the inquiry.
President Trump denies any wrongdoing and says the charges against his former staff are "peanuts".
We've put together a straightforward guide to what we know, what we don't know, and what Mr Mueller may know that we don't.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  bbc 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Trump inaugural committee under criminal investigation - CNNPolitics
Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump's 2017 inaugural committee is currently being investigated by federal prosecutors in New York for possible financial abuses related to the more than $100 million in donations raised for his inauguration, according to a source familiar with the matter.
The investigation was first reported by The Wall Street Journal Thursday afternoon.
Citing conversations with people familiar with the investigation, which is being handled by the US Attorney's office in Manhattan, the Journal reported that prosecutors are also looking into whether the committee accepted donations from individuals looking to gain influence in or access to the new administration.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller should try to indict Trump. It would guarantee his report goes public. - The Washington Post
The attorney general would have to tell Congress about denying a request to prosecute the president.
Now that Michael Cohen has placed President Trump squarely in criminal crosshairs, a constitutional crisis appears to be looming: If there is evidence that Trump committed a crime, can he be indicted while in office?
This isn’t settled law, though most legal analysts conclude that an indictment is unlikely — the Justice Department has had an internal policy since 1973 that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. But there is another policy that can use the 1973 Office of Legal Counsel opinion to its advantage and achieve the same effect as an indictment without having to issue one: the special counsel regulations under which Robert S. Mueller III is appointed.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump  op-ed 
2 days ago by rgl7194
Saudi Arabia Declares War on America’s Muslim Congresswomen – Foreign Policy
Gulf Arab monarchies are using racism, bigotry, and fake news to denounce Washington's newest history-making politicians.
Ever since the midterm election, conservative media in the United States have targeted with special zeal Ilhan Omar, an incoming Somali-American Democratic congresswoman and a devout Muslim who wears hijab. In response to Democrats’ push to remove a headwear ban on the House floor to accommodate Omar, conservative commentator and pastor E.W. Jackson complained on a radio show that Muslims were transforming Congress into an “Islamic republic.”
The Democratic Party has several rising political stars with Arab or Muslim backgrounds, all of whom have become objects of such conspiracy theories. But it’s not only American conservatives who have been indulging in this culture war. The organized attacks have also been coming from abroad—specifically, from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
religion  middle_east  gov2.0  politics  women  congress  propaganda  fake_news 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Does Australia's access and assistance law impact 1Password? | 1Password
Australia recently passed the so-called Assistance and Access Act. This law (correctly) has many digital security and privacy experts worried. We’d like to offer some preliminary remarks on how it may impact the privacy and security of 1Password customers and how it may affect the way we work.
Even at this early stage we can remind everyone that we do not currently, and will not introduce back doors into our products, and we will continue to operate in a way that would make it difficult for a back door to be inserted.
Our remarks on the Assistance and Access Act (discussed under the hashtag #aaBill) must be preliminary at this point. There is a great deal of vagueness in the law in its current form, and we do not know how it will be interpreted and used when it goes into effect in March. Nonetheless there are a number of things that we can clearly (re)state now.
privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  australia  technology  business  1password 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Does Australia's access and assistance law impact 1Password?
Does Australia's access and assistance law impact 1Password?
One of the most disturbing things about the Assistance and Access Act is that it apparently authorizes the Australian government to compel someone subject to its laws to surreptitiously take actions that harm our customers’ privacy and security without revealing that to us. Would an Australian employee of 1Password be forced to lie to us and do something that we would definitely object to?
There's a lot of desperation in world governments as encryption outstrips their previously secret capabilities. They've enjoyed feeding at the trough of private data for a decade. Now it's drying up and the result will be rushed and poorly devised legislation, like Australia's. Without a course correction, my guess is that Australia will become a country that has no employment in tech firms. The questions raised by Agile Bits highlight problems that I'm sure every major tech company is considering. Can they trust their own employees now that obligations as a citizen are directly contrary to obligations as an employee? I'm looking forward to the "Not made in Australia" badge showing up on webpages.
privacy  security  encryption  gov2.0  politics  australia  technology  business  1password 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Subpoenas Coming Soon In Trump Emoluments Lawsuit : NPR
The attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia are preparing to move forward with subpoenas for President Trump's businesses in their lawsuit alleging he is in violation of the U.S. Constitution's emoluments clauses.
U.S. District Court Judge Peter J. Messitte gave the order for discovery in the case to proceed to D.C. Attorney General Karl A. Racine and Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, who have accused Trump of illegally profiting off the presidency. The list of subpoena targets will be released on Tuesday.
"We will now serve subpoenas to third-party organizations and federal agencies to gather the necessary evidence to prove that President Trump is violating the Constitution's emoluments clauses — our nation's original anti-corruption laws," Racine said in a statement.
fraud  trump  corruption  legal  gov2.0  politics  scam 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Trump's countless scams are finally catching up to him | Rebecca Solnit | Opinion | The Guardian
The daily news drip can make it difficult to recognize the immense scale of the president’s legal troubles
The news is generally reported piecemeal, with a focus on what just happened or the specifics of one story. The result is that the cumulative effect often escapes detection. Journalism tends to describe the fragments and not the pattern they make up, which for readers can be like watching a movie shot entirely in closeups. So it is with the travails of Donald J Trump. He is in so many kinds of legal hot water, and the explosive new stories tend to erase the earlier ones from view, just as his own transgressions tend to overshadow his earlier misconduct.
Who talks of how grotesquely he groveled before Vladimir Putin and denied his own intelligence agencies’ conclusions in the long-ago, far-away world of July 2018 when so much has happened since? Who remembers the abrupt firing of the FBI director James Comey in the ancient days of May 2017, when the abrupt firing of Attorney General Jeff Sessions on 7 November is so fresh? The Washington Post’s running list of lies (up to 5,000 in September) and the New York Times catalogue of people, places, and things he’s insulted on Twitter (548 as of Monday) are helpful.
fraud  trump  corruption  legal  gov2.0  politics  scam 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Flynn Memo: Mueller’s Not Just Chasing Process Crime - The Atlantic
The word lie has lost its power in the Trump era. Try replacing it with fraud.
The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Starting with the president himself, the past two years have brought to the national stage a phenomenal array of promiscuous fabricators. It therefore stands to reason that so many of the offenses ferreted out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are crimes of dishonesty. Prosecutors take their crimes where they find them, particularly as they work their way up the ladder to the most important targets.
Defenders of the president lately have taken to disparaging Mueller’s charges as mere “process crimes.” Senator Lindsey Graham called Michael Cohen’s Friday plea a “process crime,” and Rush Limbaugh chimed in that “every one of Mueller’s indictments is a process crime.” Presumably, Graham and Limbaugh would also apply that term to the case against Michael Flynn, who in December 2017 pleaded guilty to one charge of making materially false statements to the FBI. That case moved toward its conclusion Tuesday night with Mueller’s sentencing memorandum recommending no time in prison.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Michael Flynn has given 'substantial assistance' to the special counsel - CNNPolitics
Washington (CNN)Special counsel Robert Mueller told a federal court Tuesday that former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn has given "substantial assistance" to the Russia investigation and should not get jail time.
Flynn has sat for 19 interviews with the special counsel and other Justice Department offices, and his early cooperation gave prosecutors a road map for their Russia investigation and may have helped to encourage others to cooperate, the filing states.
The new details explaining how Flynn has helped the special counsel investigation will ratchet up the pressure on President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly attacked the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt."
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
3 days ago by rgl7194
No Single News Event Will Take Down Trump - The Atlantic
It won’t be a single news event that takes down the president.
“Today is the first day I actually thought Donald Trump might not finish his term in office,” said the legal commentator Jeffrey Toobin on CNN last Thursday.
“This is the beginning of the end for Trump,” declared Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general, on MSNBC.
“The deal may be among the biggest news in the nearly 18-month investigation,” wrote Barry Berke, Noah Bookbinder, and Norman Eisen in The New York Times.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
3 days ago by rgl7194
The Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump | Jill Abramson | Opinion | The Guardian
What a catalogue of rogues – and what a tantalizing pile of clues. Surely we will soon know where all this leads
The rogues’ gallery exposed in Robert Mueller’s court filings last week make the Watergate burglars look positively classy.
Even veteran lawyers who were involved in the investigations of Richard Nixon say they’ve never seen this level of chicanery. Most importantly, last week’s events showed that Special Counsel Mueller is getting closer to exposing the scope and depth of it all. His most recent filings make clear that considerable evidence touches the president himself.
The disclosures from Michael Cohen, the former Trump fixer who is now a cooperating witness, drew the connection tighter. In his guilty plea to an additional charge of lying to Congress, Cohen revealed, and Trump confirmed, that the Trump Organization was pursuing a luxury skyscraper deal in Moscow while Donald Trump, identified as “Individual 1” in the latest court filings, was sewing up the Republican party presidential nomination.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Newly Disclosed Clinton-era Memo Says Presidents Can Be Indicted - The New York Times
Although nothing in the Constitution or federal law explicitly says presidents are immune from indictment while they remain in office, the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel has asserted that they are. A newly disclosed legal memo from the office of Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel who investigated President Clinton, challenges that analysis. The National Archives made the memo public in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by The New York Times.
gov2.0  politics  legal  POTUS  nytimes 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Constitution rules out immunity for sitting presidents - The Boston Globe
Only President Trump seems not to have noticed — or at least refuses to acknowledge — that the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in his Dec. 7 memo regarding Michael Cohen’s sentencing, has laid the predicate for indicting the president for feloniously “directing” a scheme to defraud the public into voting for him under false pretenses.
Trump’s lawyers may well have advised him not to worry about that minor matter because the Justice Department policy of not indicting a sitting president will presumably be followed by all Justice Department prosecutors, including both special counsel Robert Mueller and the prosecutors of the Southern District.
gov2.0  politics  trump  legal 
3 days ago by rgl7194
Tragically Funny Quotes on Democracy - WhoWhatWhy
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said something in 1938 that — in 2018 — may no longer be true, or so it seems on bad days:
Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a president and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
No “alien power over us?” Because Russia has influenced US elections, some Americans feel that indeed an alien power is over them. Others consider the US president himself to be an alien. A more realistic fear is that voters are not the “ultimate rulers” of the country because of the virulent spread of voter suppression, and something related that is just as dangerous: Apathy.
Below are some observations that are both horrible and wonderful — and they may cure your apathy, at least for a while.
gov2.0  politics  democracy  quotes 
4 days ago by rgl7194
Mueller Briefs: Bad News for Trump, Manafort, and Cohen - The Atlantic
Robert Mueller is closing in on the president and all his men.
Federal prosecutors filed three briefs late on Friday portending grave danger for three men: the former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, the former Trump fixer Michael Cohen, and President Donald Trump. In an age when Americans usually get mere squibs of breaking news from Twitter, Facebook, and red-faced cable shouters, many started their weekend poring over complex legal filings and peering suspiciously at blacked-out paragraphs. The documents were stunning, even for 2018.
In brief No. 1, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office argues that Paul Manafort breached his cooperation agreement with the government by lying to the FBI and the Special Counsel’s Office in the course of 12 meetings. The brief oozes a level of confidence notable even among professionally hubristic prosecutors: Mueller says he’s ready to present witnesses and documents, and that he gave Manafort’s lawyers an opportunity to refute the evidence but they could not. Mueller is sure he has the receipts.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
6 days ago by rgl7194
What If We Already Have The Mueller Report? | FiveThirtyEight
When he completes his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including possible coordination with Russia by the Trump campaign, special counsel Robert Mueller is required by federal regulations to submit a confidential report to the attorney general. Depending on how Mueller decides to approach his task, that could be an expansive report outlining all of the details of his findings.
But it’s also possible that the American public will never get to read Mueller’s report — at least not the full version. That’s because Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker (assuming that he’s still in the job when the report comes in) and other Justice Department officials will give key members of Congress a brief overview of what’s in the report and then determine whether and how to make Mueller’s findings public. It’s not at all obvious that Whitaker, who has been critical of Mueller’s investigation in the past, will want to share the full report more broadly, and President Trump’s attorneys might even try to block its release.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
6 days ago by rgl7194
Robert Mueller sentencing memo for former Trump advisor Michael Flynn
Mueller, in a court filing, says Flynn's "substantial assistance" to the special counsel's probe over the past year warrants a light criminal sentence, which could include no jail time.
The memo relates to lies Flynn told FBI agents about his conversations with Russia's then-ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, during the presidential transition.
Former national security advisor Michael Flynn has given special counsel Robert Mueller "first-hand" details of contacts between President Donald Trump's transition team and Russian government officials, a bombshell court document filed Tuesday says.
Mueller in a sentencing memo said Flynn's "substantial assistance" to his probe warrants a light criminal sentence — which could include no jail time for the retired Army lieutenant general.
That assistance, which includes 19 interviews with Mueller's team and Justice Department attorneys, related to a previously unknown "criminal investigation," as well as to Mueller's long-running probe of the Trump campaign's and transition team's links or coordination with the Russian government.
"The defendant provided firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials," the memo says.
Mueller's memo almost completely blacks out details of what Flynn might have said.
conspiracy  crime  DOJ  gov2.0  legal  mueller  politics  russia  special_counsel  trump 
6 days ago by rgl7194
Why It Might Be Impossible To Overturn A Presidential Pardon | FiveThirtyEight
If the American president has a superpower, it might be the ability to grant pardons. With the stroke of a pen, the president can wipe away the consequences of a federal criminal conviction, without having to ask permission from Congress or prepare for a battle in the courts. In the past, presidents have used this power in a variety of sweeping and controversial ways, perhaps most famously when Gerald Ford pardoned his predecessor, Richard Nixon, for any crimes he might have committed while in office.
But President Trump has an undeniably expansive and unusual view of the pardon power. He has declared that he has the ability to pardon himself, but that question is far from settled, in part because no other president has tried to do it. And his recent refusal to rule out a pardon for his former campaign chair, Paul Manafort, who tanked a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller, has prompted speculation about whether Trump is considering pardoning Manafort or other subjects of the Russia investigation.
gov2.0  politics  trump  legal  538 
6 days ago by rgl7194

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