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STORY story857963 Latest (Special counsel has impaneled DC grand jury in Russia investigation) english STORY https://hypegram.com/story?q=857963 /storyImage/857963 Fri Aug 04 2017 10:48:53 GMT+0000 (UTC) {}

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ABC
76 d ago
Special counsel has impaneled DC grand jury in Russia investigation
The White House said it was unaware of the special counsel's action.
donald trump
west virginia
us news
us politics
russia
europe
The Guardian
76 d ago
Trump blasts Russia investigation as Mueller convenes grand jury
Rally for thousands of diehard supporters held on same day news emerged that special counsel has set up panel to examine evidence of alleged collusion
Donald Trump has sought to rally thousands of diehard supporters against the investigation into his campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia – on the same day news emerged that the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has convened a grand jury in the case.
“They’re trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story,” Trump told a rally in Huntington, West Virginia.
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The Wall Street Journal
76 d ago
Special Counsel Mueller Impanels Grand Jury in Russia Probe
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, a sign that his inquiry is growing in intensity and entering a new phase, according to people familiar with the matter.
video
politics
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CNN
76 d ago
Mueller impanels grand jury, subpoenas issued
Federal investigators are exploring whether Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation.
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foxnews.com
Fox News
76 d ago
Mueller reportedly impanels grand jury in Russia probe
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
usa
us world
USA Today
76 d ago
Special counsel Robert Mueller's grand jury raises stakes in Russia investigation
The move would give Mueller, a former FBI director, enormous power to subpoena documents and compel witnesses to testify under oath.
         
 
 
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usa
us world
USA Today
77 d ago
Special counsel Robert Mueller convenes grand jury in Russia probe
Special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.
         
 
 
video
politics
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CNN
77 d ago
WSJ: Special Counsel impanels grand jury
CNNi talks to CNN Legal Analyst Page Pate about the WSJ report that Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in the Russia probe.
video
politics
commerce
CNN
77 d ago
WSJ: Mueller impanels Russia probe grand jury
The Wall Street Journal reports special counsel Robert Mueller is impaneling a grand jury to investigate Russia's interference in the 2016 election.
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fox-news
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Fox News
77 d ago
Mueller impanels grand jury in Russia probe, WSJ reports
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s meddling in the 2016 elections, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
domesticnews
us world
Reuters
77 d ago
Mueller impanels Washington grand jury in Russia probe: Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in Washington to investigate allegations of Russia’s interference in the 2016 elections, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.

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Started 51 d ago until 48 d ago
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51 d ago USA TodayGOP lawmaker wants to give Robert Mueller's Russia investigation a six-month expiration date
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Florida Republican Ron DeSantis has filed legislation that would put a 180-day limit on the investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with Moscow.
         
 
 

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50 d ago Fox News :: Mueller's Russia investigation: What to know
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As the probe into Russia’s influence in the 2016 presidential election continues, the president apparently isn’t “discussing” firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
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49 d ago The Daily Beast :: Exclusive: Mueller Enlists the IRS for His Trump-Russia Investigation
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Special counsel Bob Mueller has teamed up with the IRS . According to sources familiar with his investigation into alleged Russian election interference , his probe has enlisted the help of agents from the IRS’ Criminal Investigations unit.
Read more at The Daily Beast.

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48 d ago Business Insider :: Robert Mueller is reportedly bringing an IRS financial crimes unit into the Russia investigation
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Jeff Chiu/AP
Robert Mueller, the FBI's special counsel in charge of the investigation of the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, is now teaming up with a specialized financial crimes unit within the IRS, The Daily Beast reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the development.
The IRS' Criminal Investigations unit is joining Mueller as the Russia probe focuses more closely on potential financial crimes possibly involving people within the Trump campaign. It was not immediately clear how many of the unit's 2,500 agents would take part in Mueller's investigation.
Martin Sheil, a retired former agent of the unit, told The Daily Beast's Betsy Woodruff that the unit's involvement is a sign Mueller is invested in beefing up a specific rank within his investigative team. Sheil told the publication that while the FBI has broad jurisdiction in counterintelligence and counterterror, "they simply don’t have the financial investigative expertise that the CI agents have."
"When CI brings a case to a U.S. Attorney, it is done. It’s wrapped up with a ribbon and a bow. It’s just comprehensive," Sheil told Woodruff.
The unit's agents have expertise in matters like tax evasion and money laundering and the partnership follows a developing trend within the broader Trump-Russia inquiry, which has also seen a closer focus on key players like former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who resigned from the campaign in August 2016 amid scrutiny over millions of dollars in undisclosed payments for work he performed on behalf of a pro-Russian Ukrainian political party.
FBI agents raided one of Manafort's homes in Alexandria, Virginia, last month.
Mueller also recently partnered with the New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman with a focus on Manafort's financial transactions .
The question of President Donald Trump's personal federal tax returns also comes back into focus with the IRS' reported cooperation with Mueller's team. Trump first delayed publishing his returns during the 2016 election, and later refused to reveal them at all, breaking a decades-long tradition in presidential politics and drawing closer scrutiny of his personal financial profile.
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64 d ago Business Insider :: A top FBI investigator has unexpectedly stepped away from special counsel Mueller's Russia probe
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AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite
A highly experienced FBI investigator and former army officer hired by special counsel Robert Mueller to examine Russia's interference in the 2016 election has unexpectedly stepped away from the probe, ABC News reported on Wednesday.
Peter Strzok, a veteran counterintelligence investigator, is now working for the FBI's human resources division, according to ABC. It is unclear why he stepped aside, or if he did so voluntarily.
Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counterintelligence agent and associate dean at Yale Law School, said that she had "never heard of an agent being moved to the human resources department."
"I have seen instances where if some issue comes up, the agent might be moved to another investigation or to the operations center, where you essentially field calls all day," Rangappa said. "But why he would be moved to HR is just bizarre."
Rangappa did not want to speculate on what may have happened in Strzok's case, but said there were many factors — ranging from small administrative violations to more significant incidents — that could raise questions about an agent's ability to stay on a case.
A former FBI agent who worked with Strzok on and off over several years in the bureau's counterintelligence division said that Strzok's move to HR means he has now been separated from counterintelligence work altogether. 
The FBI sometimes parks agents in the human resources department, the agent explained, when they need to be reassigned quickly away from substantive matters and there's no other place to put them. Christopher Wray, who was confirmed as the new FBI director two weeks ago, would have played a role in reassigning Strzok.
Strzok headed the FBI's counterespionage division last year and was one of the top officials overseeing the criminal investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information while she was secretary of state. He had previously worked on some of the "most secretive investigations in recent years involving Russian and Chinese espionage," according to the New York Times.
Rangappa noted that the DOJ's Office of the Inspector General (OIG) opened an investigation in January into the FBI's handling of the email probe, including former FBI Director James Comey's decision to announce a new inquiry into her email server 11 days before the election. It is not clear whether Strzok, who supervised elements of the email probe, was caught up in the OIG investigation.
The OIG declined to comment. But their website lists the probe as ongoing.
Strzok's departure also came one week after The Washington Post reported that Mueller had obtained a search warrant to raid the home of President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. The Post report cited "people familiar with the search," prompting questions about whether anyone on Mueller's team had leaked the existence of the search warrant to the Post.
Mueller has assembled two-dozen investigators and lawyers to help him examine Russia's election interference and whether Trump's campaign colluded with Moscow to undermine Clinton. The former FBI director impaneled a grand jury in late July that quickly issued subpoenas related to the June 2016 meeting between Trump's eldest son and a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin.
Manafort and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, also attended the meeting.
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50 d ago Fox NewsTrump and the Russia investigation: What to know
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Questions about Russia's involvement in the U.S. election has plagued the Trump administration.
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76 d ago The New Yorker :: Trump’s Russia Defense Strategy: Bravado, Denial, and Mockery
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John Cassidy writes about President Trump’s criticisms of the Russia investigation during a speech in West Virginia.
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Started 77 d ago until 76 d ago
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77 d ago ABCBipartisan Senate bill aims to protect special counsel's job
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Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are moving to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller's job, putting forth new legislation that aims to ensure the integrity of current and future independent investigations
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77 d ago Business Insider :: Senators introduce bipartisan bill to keep Trump from firing special counsel Mueller
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Alex Wong/Getty Images
WASHINGTON (AP) — Two members of the Senate Judiciary Committee moved Thursday to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller from being fired by President Donald Trump, putting forth new legislation that aims to ensure the integrity of current and future independent investigations.
Republican Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware said they introduced legislation letting any special counsel for the Department of Justice challenge his or her removal in court. A three-judge panel would review the dismissal within 14 days of the challenge.
The bill would apply retroactively to May 17, 2017 — the day Mueller was appointed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible ties between Russia and Trump's presidential campaign.
"This is something that lives long beyond this" situation involving Mueller, Tillis told reporters. "And I think it's also something that begins to re-establish the reputation for independence in the Department of Justice."
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Tillis was among many GOP senators who defended Attorney General Jeff Sessions after Trump criticized him for recusing himself from the Justice Department's investigation into suspected Russian interference in the election. Trump has threatened to fire Sessions, a former Alabama senator.
"So this is really woven into a series of things that I think we should do to help re-establish the solid reputation of DOJ," he said.
Tillis said introducing the measure Thursday would prompt discussions among Republican senators about the move over the Senate's summer recess, which was expected to begin at the end of the week.
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I'm proud to partner w/ @SenThomTillis on this bill to safeguard our democracy: https://t.co/JUhP9QzUTW Tweet Embed:
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This legislation creates a judicial review process to prevent the removal of special counsels without good cause. https://t.co/fTBJONYgX7 pic.twitter.com/6zY8FSBg3A
Mueller was appointed as special counsel following Trump's abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey. Mueller, who was Comey's predecessor as FBI director, has assembled a team of prosecutors and lawyers with experience in financial fraud, national security and organized crime to investigate contacts between Moscow and the Trump campaign.
Trump has been critical of Mueller since his appointment, and the president's legal team is looking into potential conflicts surrounding the team Mueller has hired, including the backgrounds of members and political contributions by some members of his team to Hillary Clinton. He has also publicly warned Mueller that he would be out of bounds if he dug into the Trump family's finances.
Mueller has strong support on Capitol Hill. Senators in both parties have expressed concerns that Trump may try to fire Mueller and have warned him not to do so.
"Ensuring that the special counsel cannot be removed improperly is critical to the integrity of his investigation," Coons said.
APRepublican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another member of the judiciary panel, said last week that he was working on a similar bill that would prevent the firing of a special counsel without judicial review. Graham said then that firing Mueller "would precipitate a firestorm that would be unprecedented in proportions."
Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey is also working on Graham's legislation, according to Booker's office. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has yet to signal support for either measure.
The Tillis and Coons bill would allow review after the special counsel had been dismissed. If the panel found there was no good cause for the counsel's removal, the person would be immediately reinstated. The legislation would also codify existing Justice Department regulations that a special counsel can only be removed for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest or other good cause, such as a violation of departmental policies.
In addition, only the attorney general or the most senior Justice Department official in charge of the matter could fire the special counsel.
In the case of the current investigation, Rosenstein is charged with Mueller's fate because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all matters having to do with the Trump-Russia investigation.
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77 d ago Fox News :: Senators introduce bill to protect Special Counsel from firing
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A bipartisan group of senators introduced a bill Thursday that would ensure a judicial check on the executive branch’s ability to remove a special counsel.
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77 d ago USA Today :: Senators seek to block Trump from removing special counsel Robert Mueller
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Two bills introduced Thursday are designed to protect special counsels from political interference.
         
 
 

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77 d ago Reuters :: Senators propose legislation to protect special counsel from Trump
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican and Democratic senators introduced two pieces of legislation on Thursday seeking to block President Donald Trump from firing the special counsel probing his ties to Russia, as Congress increasingly seeks to assert its authority on policy.


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77 d ago CNNReuters: Subpoenas issued in connection with Trump Jr., Russia meeting
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Reuters reports that grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the Donald Trump Jr.-Russia meeting.


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76 d ago CNN :: Grand jury subpoenas issued over Trump Jr.'s 2016 meeting
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Justice Department Special Counsel Robert Mueller has launched a grand jury in his investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
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76 d ago Reuters :: Grand jury issues subpoenas in connection with Trump Jr., Russian lawyer meeting: sources
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A grand jury has issued subpoenas in connection with a June 2016 meeting that included President Donald Trump's son, his son-in-law and a Russian lawyer, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, signaling an investigation is gathering pace into suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.


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77 d ago Reuters :: Exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in relation to Trump Jr., Russian lawyer meeting - sources
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with a June 2016 meeting that included President Donald Trump's son, his son-in-law and a Russian lawyer, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a sign that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation is gathering pace.


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77 d ago Reuters :: Exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in relation to Russian lawyer, Trump Jr. meeting - sources
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., a Russian lawyer and others, two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Thursday.


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89 d ago Business InsiderTrump rages against 'leaks' and 'Special Council' Mueller's investigation in tweetstorm
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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
President Donald Trump unleashed a series of tweets Saturday morning. Trump took aim at intelligence leaks, the media, ongoing investigations into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, and the GOP's floundering healthcare effort. Trump's tweets come on the heels of multiple reports indicating that special counsel Mueller's investigation has widened in scope. 
President Donald Trump kicked off Saturday morning with a series of tweets attacking leaks, the media, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia, Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer last June, and the GOP's stalled healthcare effort.
"A new INTELLIGENCE LEAK from the Amazon Washington Post,this time against A.G. Jeff Sessions," Trump tweeted . "These illegal leaks, like Comey's, must stop!"
He was likely referencing a Friday Washington Post report which said Attorney General Jeff Sessions had spoken to Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak about matters related to the Trump campaign during the 2016 election. The report cited communications between Kislyak and Moscow that had been intercepted by US spy agencies and relayed to The Post. 
Trump later tweeted , "The Failing New York Times foiled U.S. attempt to kill the single most wanted terrorist, Al-Baghdadi. Their sick agenda over National Security." It's unclear what Trump was referring to, but CBS News noted that he sent the tweet shortly after Fox & Friends, a show Trump frequently praises, aired a chyron that said, "NYT FOILS U.S. ATTEMPT TO TAKE OUT AL-BAGHDADI."
Trump also touched on his power to pardon as president, but wondered why that would need to be addressed "when only crime so far is LEAKS against us." He followed up with, "FAKE NEWS." 
The tweet came on the heels of another Washington Post report that said Trump's legal team was exploring the limits of his pardoning power, and that Trump had reportedly raised the question of whether he could pardon himself. There is no constitutional precedent addressing whether a president can pardon himself, but legal experts said that if Trump did use his pardoning power in that way, it would prompt a legal and political firestorm. 
REUTERS/Mike Blake
"This is a fiercely debated but unresolved legal question," Brian C. Kalt, a constitutional law expert at Michigan State University who has written extensively on the question, told The Post. "There is no predicting what would happen," Kalt said, adding that if Trump did seek to pardon himself, the issue would likely go all the way up to the Supreme Court. 
Trump also took aim  at the attorney general and special counsel for not investigating former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. "So many people are asking why isn't the A.G. or Special Council [sic] looking at the many Hillary Clinton or Comey crimes," he tweeted. "33,000 e-mails deleted?"
He followed up : "What about all of the Clinton ties to Russia, including Podesta Company, Uranium deal, Russian Reset, big dollar speeches etc."
"My son Donald openly gave his e-mails to the media & authorities whereas Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted (& acid washed) her 33,000 e-mails!" Trump tweeted . 
Trump said in November , just after he won the election, that he did not "feel very strongly" about pursuing criminal charges against Clinton. 
Sessions recused himself from any current and future investigations into the Trump campaign in March, when it first emerged that he'd had undisclosed contacts with Kislyak. Trump told The New York Times that if he'd known Sessions would recuse himself, he would have nominated someone else for the position.
Trump's tweet attacking the special counsel's investigation also came after reports indicated that Mueller's probe into the Trump campaign's ties to Russia had expanded to include the president's past business dealings, and potentially his tax returns as well. The Post reported that Trump was especially incensed after finding out that Mueller could access his tax returns, which he has repeatedly refused to make public. The report added that Trump's team was looking for ways to discredit Mueller's investigation or narrow the scope of his inquiry.
Trump also urged Republican senators to ramp up their efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, former president Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. "The Republican Senators must step up to the plate and, after 7 years, vote to Repeal and Replace," Trump tweeted . "Next, Tax Reform and Infrastructure. WIN!"
"ObamaCare is dead and the Democrats are obstructionists, no ideas or votes, only obstruction," he added . "It is solely up to the 52 Republican Senators!"
Senate Republicans' efforts to repeal Obamacare floundered earlier this week, and current attempts to repeal the law and replace it later also appear to be in peril . 
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87 d ago Business Insider :: Here are all the ways Mueller's investigation into Trump could get derailed
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It’s been clear at least since the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller that President Donald Trump feels himself to be in potential legal jeopardy.
The ballooning size —and cost—of the president’s legal team is eloquent testimony to how seriously the administration is taking Mueller’s probe.
But for all the questions about what, if any, crimes may have been committed by Trump or members of his campaign team, most people remain unclear what might happen if the day arrives when Mueller looks around at his staff and says, “Yep, we’ve got a criminal case.”
What follows is an informed citizen’s guide to the obstacles that stand between Mueller deciding that a crime was committed and either impeachment of President Trump or prosecution of any Trump-linked suspects.
The hurdles for Mueller are many, the obstructive powers of the presidency are great, and the ultimate verdict on Mueller’s work will likely rest with congressional Republicans who have so far shown little appetite for confronting the unsavory side of their party’s leader.
1. Robert Mueller’s authority: “special counsel,” not “independent counsel.”
Robert Mueller was appointed “special counsel” to head the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Mueller, however, does not hold the same office or wield the same powers as Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, President Clinton’s nemesis in the Lewinsky affair.
The office of “independent counsel” was created by the post-Watergate Ethics in Government Act of 1978 . An independent counsel was selected by a special panel of federal judges. He wielded all of the investigative and prosecutorial authority of the Department of Justice and was specifically charged with making recommendations to Congress about possible impeachable offenses .
He could only be removed by Congress through impeachment or “by the personal action of the Attorney General and only for good cause, physical or mental disability.” “Good cause” did not include the attorney general’s disagreement with the counsel’s professional judgments. And, if removed by the attorney general, the independent counsel could appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
But the independent counsel statute lapsed in 1999, and the office of special counsel is a different , far less independent, animal. A special counsel is appointed by the attorney general, or in this case the deputy attorney general. He is difficult to remove—“good cause” is required—but removal authority rests with the attorney general, and there is no appeal. More importantly, a special counsel wields not the full powers of the Department of Justice but only the powers of a U.S. attorney .
Thus, while the special counsel can authorize criminal indictments, his authority is subordinate to the attorney general—or in this case, the deputy attorney general—who is empowered to overrule him on any “investigative or prosecutorial step .” Moreover, a special counsel has no express authority to draw any conclusions or make any recommendations about impeachment.
Getty Images/AlgorithmiaIf Mueller were to conclude that the president committed an impeachable offense, he could, in theory, present that conclusion in his final report to his DOJ superiors.
There are powerful reasons to doubt that he would. Mueller is a careful, meticulous lawyer who has surrounded himself with other lawyers of the same stripe . He and his staff will be quite conscious of the fact that the DOJ regulations governing his office differ from the lapsed independent counsel statute in omitting any power or responsibility to draw conclusions or make recommendations about impeachment.
They might, as Special Counsel Leon Jaworski famously and controversially did during Watergate , recommend naming the president as an unindicted co-conspirator in a criminal case against someone else. But that is likely as far as they would—or should—go. It’s worth noting that, as in the case of Nixon, doing so would send a clear signal to Congress about impeachment.
2. Jeff Sessions’ recusal does not give Mueller free rein.
Mueller was selected by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from decisions in the Russia investigation. Some have assumed that this effectively gives Mueller full authority to use his own judgment. It doesn’t. First, Sessions’ recusal has already proven remarkably elastic. Despite it, he was actively involved in the decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, a decision Trump admitted was directly related to the Russian investigation.
Reuters/Kevin LamarqueSecond, even if Sessions stays away, Mueller remains subordinate to Rosenstein. The deputy attorney general seems like a straight shooter and has promised that Mueller will have “full independence … to conduct the investigation.” Nonetheless, under DOJ regulations, Rosenstein, not Mueller, gets the final call on what to do with the results of that investigation. That matters. A fair assessment of Rosenstein is that is that he will be neither a toady for Trump nor a rubber stamp for Mueller. But there is likely to be plenty of room for honest disagreement in this affair, and Rosenstein may well give some benefit of the doubt to the president he serves.
Third, Rosenstein wrote the letter providing justification for Comey’s firing and has admitted that Comey’s dismissal may come within Mueller’s writ. Thus, he may have to recuse himself , ceding authority over Mueller to Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand , a capable person, but a Republican political functionary rather than a career prosecutor. So, in the end, it may be Brand, not Mueller, who decides whether criminal charges are filed against anyone.
3. The president himself is effectively immune from criminal indictment.
Regardless of whether President Trump has committed a crime, he surely will not be indicted while in office. There is serious debate about whether a sitting president can constitutionally be indicted. Many scholars say no . Others say yes . But what the eggheads think is beside the point, because the official Justice Department position has long been no . It is implausible in the highest degree that either Rosenstein or Brand would reverse that position to authorize indictment of their boss.
There is no path to criminal charges against Trump himself outside of DOJ. The Fifth Amendment requires that federal felonies be commenced by grand jury indictment, and Rule 7 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure provides that no indictment, even one approved by a grand jury, is valid unless signed by “an attorney for the government.” Thus, no federal felony prosecution of Trump, or anyone else, can occur without Department of Justice consent.
Moreover, if indicted, the president could probably pardon himself (though his pardon power doesn’t extend to impeachment ).
4. Mueller’s decisions about criminal charges still matter on the impeachment question.
Even though Mueller can’t indict the president and isn’t authorized to make an official recommendation about impeachable conduct, his decisions could endanger the president. If Trump has committed impeachable offenses, he will not have done so alone, but in concert with his family, aides, or political supporters. Building an impeachment case against Trump is just like building a criminal case against a corporate executive or organized crime boss. You start with subordinates and work your way up.
If Trump’s subordinates have committed crimes in which their boss is implicated, the public exposure of the evidence against them that would flow from an indictment would allow Congress and the public to draw conclusions about impeachment Mueller probably won’t. And if the prediction above that Mueller won’t exceed his official brief proves wrong and Mueller does offer an opinion on impeachable offenses, the danger to Trump would be immeasurably higher.
5. DOJ cannot hide a Mueller recommendation of indictment.
Suppose Mueller decides that a Trump associate should be indicted but is overruled by his Justice Department superior. Would the matter then die in silence? No. DOJ special prosecutor regulations require that the attorney general—or here his designate—report disagreements of this kind to Congress. That’s a big deal. Congressional Republicans wouldn’t be able to bury a veto of Mueller’s decision in the bowels of DOJ by not requesting disclosure or refusing to authorize a subpoena for the information.
6. If Mueller decides against criminal charges, things get tricky.
Mueller’s work endangers Trump even if no indictment results. The official scope of Mueller’s investigation seems narrow. The only subject mentioned in Rosenstein’s appointment letter is collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. But the letter also authorizes inquiry into matters “arising from” the investigation and any efforts to obstruct justice. Mueller is famously painstaking. His investigation of Trump-Russia connections will involve not only low-hanging fruit like Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian figures promising electoral help to his father but meticulous review of the communications and finances of everyone connected with Trump’s campaign. It is entirely plausible that Mueller will unearth crimes or dodgy behavior by Trump and associates not directly linked to Russia. The big question is how much of what Mueller uncovers will become public.
On any matter where Mueller decides not to indict, either because he thinks there is insufficient evidence or he lacks jurisdiction, the path to disclosure is rocky. Unlike the old post-Watergate independent counsel, a special counsel like Mueller is just another DOJ official who has no independent authority to make general reports to Congress.
Drew Angerer/Getty ImagesThe longstanding DOJ norm is not to go public with the details of closed investigations. Jim Comey was widely—and properly—condemned for violating that norm by volunteering information about the decision not to prosecute Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server during her time at the State Department.
Rosenstein relied on that violation in recommending Comey’s dismissal. This Justice Department will not easily disclose information not directly connected to an actual indictment.
This does not mean that Congress would be barred from seeing whatever Mueller finds.
But it would have to press hard to get it by invoking some combination of its oversight, investigative, and impeachment authority. So long as Republicans control both houses, it is fair to wonder how hard they would press. In any case, if the White House directed DOJ to resist disclosure—and it surely would—the resulting fight would be long and rancorous. A sufficiently determined Congress would probably prevail, but even that is uncertain.
7. Trump could stop or frustrate the Mueller probe.
Given the grave risks Mueller presents to the Trump presidency, could Trump stop the investigation right now? Yes.
First, the president has the undoubted power to order Mueller’s DOJ superior—whether Rosenstein or Brand—to fire him and shut down the investigation. If that person refused, the president could fire that person, give the same order to the next in line of DOJ seniority, and keep firing people until he found someone willing to follow orders. It would essentially be a replay of Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre firing of Archibald Cox.
Alternatively, the president could protect subordinates targeted by Mueller and frustrate efforts to turn them against him by issuing preemptive pardons. Article II, Section 2 , of the Constitution gives him unquestioned power to pardon any “offense against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” And there is precedent for preemptive pardons in President Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon.
Either a massacre or a pardon would carry obvious political costs, but whether those costs would be high enough to deter a man of Trump’s temperament is an open question. More importantly, if a president misuses his legitimate powers for illegitimate ends, that misuse can itself be an impeachable offense. Either a Saturday Night Massacre replay or pardons employed to protect Trump or his associates from legal jeopardy might constitute impeachable conduct.
This last, most desperate, Trumpian move would test the mettle of Republicans, and our collective dedication to the rule of law itself, more than any other. I wish I were more confident we would pass the test.
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Started 91 d ago until 90 d ago
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91 d ago Fox NewsMueller tests Trump: Probe reportedly eyes business transactions, despite warning
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The morning after President Trump publicly warned Special Counsel Robert Mueller to stick to Russia and avoid probing his family finances outside that scope, a new report quoting a single, anonymous source has struck the White House like a bomb.
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90 d ago ABC :: Even with Trump warning, Mueller likely to probe finances
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President Donald Trump is revealing a growing anxiety about the scope of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election
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91 d ago CNBC :: Mueller reportedly looking into Trump's family business as part of probe
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Trump had earlier said it would be "a violation" if Mueller expanded the probe to look at Trump family finances beyond ties to Russia.
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91 d ago Fox News :: Trump sets red line for Mueller on Russia probe, warns he'll expose 'conflicts'
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President Trump’s frustration with the Russia probe boiled over in a fiery new interview where he set a red line for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, warning against digging into his family finances beyond the Russia scope and suggesting he’ll soon start talking about the ex-FBI director’s “conflicts.”
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91 d ago Business Insider :: Mueller has expanded the Russia probe to include Trump's business dealings — here's what he's looking at
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Special counsel Robert Mueller is expanding his investigation to look at President Donald Trump's business dealings. Those dealings reportedly include Russian purchases of apartments in a Trump building and the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow. Trump had warned that Mueller looking into dealings could be a "red line." Special counsel Robert Mueller has expanded his investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow to include an examination of President Donald Trump's business dealings, Bloomberg reported Thursday.
"FBI investigators and others are looking at Russian purchases of apartments in Trump buildings, Trump's involvement in a controversial SoHo development with Russian associates, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow and Trump's sale of a Florida mansion to a Russian oligarch in 2008," Bloomberg said, citing a person familiar with the matter.
Trump told The New York Times on Wednesday that Mueller would cross a line if he began digging into his finances. But in early June, Mueller began hiring lawyers with extensive experience in dealing with fraud, racketeering, and other financial crimes to help him investigate whether Trump or his associates worked with Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton during the election.
The follow-the-money approach began with a money-laundering case initiated last year by Preet Bharara, at the time a US attorney, according to Bloomberg.
Mueller — who was appointed in May to lead the FBI's probe after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey — is also homing in on money laundering and the business dealings of Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, Bloomberg said.
Bayrock and Trump SoHo
One of Trump's real-estate advisers in the early 2000s, the Russia-born businessman Felix Sater, was accused nearly two decades ago of being a co-conspirator in a $40 million fraud and money-laundering scheme involving four Mafia families. Trump worked with the real-estate firm where Sater was an executive, Bayrock Group, on at least four projects, including the Trump SoHo in Manhattan. Some of those projects ultimately failed.
A lawsuit brought in 2010 against Sater and others, which is ongoing, alleges that "for most of its existence [Bayrock] was substantially and covertly mob-owned and operated," engaging "in a pattern of continuous, related crimes, including mail, wire, and bank fraud; tax evasion; money laundering; conspiracy; bribery; extortion; and embezzlement."
The lawsuit, filed by Bayrock's former finance director, Jody Kriss, accused Sater and Bayrock's founder, Tevfik Arif, of cheating him out of millions of dollars via fraud, money laundering, and racketeering, among other misconduct. In December, a New York judge ruled that the lawsuit could move forward as a racketeering case .
trumpsohohotel.com
According to that complaint, Sater and Arif began negotiating with the Trump Organization in 2003 to market certain projects under the Trump brand but didn't tell Trump about Sater's criminal past.
In a 2007 deposition, Trump said his organization would never have agreed to partner with Bayrock on the development of Trump SoHo had he known about Sater's past. Trump also said he would not be able to identify Sater if they were in the same room.
Bayrock's office was once two floors below Trump's in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue. A person familiar with the matter, who requested anonymity for fear of retribution by Sater or his associates, told Business Insider that Sater and Trump had standing meetings each week.
Sater has said in a deposition that he met with Trump "on a constant basis," Bloomberg previously reported , and Kriss told the publication that Trump valued Sater's loyalty — and his Russia connections.
"It's ridiculous that I wouldn't be investing in Russia," Trump said in the 2007 deposition . "Russia is one of the hottest places in the world for investment."
Sater was evidently still in touch with Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, as recently as late January. The two met at a New York hotel on January 27 to discuss a peace plan for Russia and Ukraine that was drafted by a Ukrainian politician, Andrey Artemenko, The Times reported. Cohen was said to have delivered the plan directly to Michael Flynn before he resigned as national security adviser on February 13, though Cohen has disputed that in subsequent interviews.
Sater showed Ivanka Trump and her brother Donald Trump Jr. around Moscow in 2006 when their father was scouting real estate in Russia. They stayed for several days at the Hotel National Moscow opposite the Kremlin, according to The Times .
Sater also acted as a fixer to help the former Kazakh cabinet minister Viktor Khrapunov buy three apartments in Trump SoHo using shell companies, the Financial Times reported . The Kazakh government has alleged that Khrapunov stole those funds from the state.
Khrapunov's use of shell companies to buy Trump real estate was not unique — a USA Today investigation found that approximately 70% of buyers of Trump properties since June 2016 were limited-liability companies , compared with about 4% of buyers in the two years before.
Miss Universe in Moscow
Mueller is apparently interested in learning more about Trump's relationship with Aras Agalarov, a billionaire Azerbaijani-Russian developer who paid Trump $20 million to bring his Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.
Agalarov came under renewed scrutiny earlier this month when The Times reported that his son, Emin Agalarov, had requested a meeting between Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer last June at Trump Tower. An email chain released later by Trump Jr. showed that Emin's publicist, Rob Goldstone, had arranged the meeting on his behalf.
While in Moscow in 2013, Trump had dinner with Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia's largest bank and an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump also met at least 10 other Russian businessmen and oligarchs.
"The Russian market is attracted to me," Trump said shortly after the meeting. "Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room."
He also tweeted: "TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next."
Mike Cassese/Reuters
Sergey Gorkov was appointed CEO of Vnesheconombank — a bank under US sanctions — in January 2016 after Gref recommended him. Gorkov met with Kushner in December at Trump Tower for reasons that are still unknown.
Reuters reported in May that the FBI was examining whether Kushner entertained an offer from Gorkov to finance the Trump family's business ventures in exchange for the administration relaxing or lifting economic sanctions on Russia.
Deutsche Bank and Dmitry Rybolovlev
As Trump praised and defended Putin along the campaign trail, many questioned whether the real-estate mogul had any financial incentives — including business ties or outstanding debt — to seek better relations with Moscow.
The Washington Post has reported that "Trump and his family members have made numerous trips to Moscow in search of business opportunities" since the 1980s, "and they have relied on Russian investors to buy their properties around the world." The Trump Organization is also believed to have received loans from Russia when it was struggling in the 1990s, the report said.
The family's bank of choice has long been Deutsche Bank, the only bank willing to loan to Trump after he lost others money in a series of bankruptcies — something he figured "was the bank's problem, not mine," he wrote in his 2007 book, " Think Big: Make it Happen in Business and Life ."
"What the hell did I care?" Trump wrote. "I actually told one bank, 'I told you you shouldn't have loaned me that money. I told you the goddamn deal was no good.'"
Deutsche Bank was fined earlier this year as part of a Russian money-laundering scheme that involved its Moscow, New York, and London branches. The bank refused in June to hand over documents requested by five Democratic lawmakers related to the bank's relationship with Trump, citing the confidentiality of nonpublic customer information. But the FBI is likely to get ahold of them.
Questions have also been raised about Trump's relationship with Dmitry Rybolovlev, a Russian multibillionaire who was an early investor in one of the world's most lucrative fertilizer companies.
Rybolovlev bought a Palm Beach property from Trump for $95 million in 2008, two years after Trump put it on the market for $125 million . (Trump purchased it in 2004 for $41 million.) It was believed at the time to be the most expensive home sale in US history.
According to PolitiFact , in 2008, Trump Entertainment Resorts missed a $53.1 million bond interest payment and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to reorganize.
Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort
The FBI is also examining whether Russian officials suggested to Kushner that Russian banks could finance Trump's associates' business ventures if US sanctions were lifted or relaxed, Reuters reported in May.
The possibility first came under scrutiny after Kushner met with Gorkov in December. That meeting came on the heels of Kushner's meeting with Russia's ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak, at Trump Tower, in which he reportedly floated the possibility of setting up a secure line of communication between Trump's transition team and Russia.
Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the US to communicate, which would essentially conceal the Trump team's interactions with Russian officials from US government scrutiny, The Post reported in May.
The meeting with Gorkov came as Kushner was trying to find investors for a Fifth Avenue office building in Manhattan. That deal ultimately fell through, but the Kremlin and the White House have provided conflicting explanations for why Kushner met privately with Gorkov in the first place.
Meanwhile, Manafort has faced questions about whether he received cash payments reportedly earmarked for him for his work with former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's political party throughout the 2000s. The Times reported on Wednesday that Manafort was in debt to pro-Russian interests as recently as last year.
Manafort has also come under scrutiny for more than a dozen bank accounts and companies he set up in Cyprus beginning in 2007 that were linked to offshore companies, NBC reported , one of which was used to receive millions of dollars from the Russian oligarch and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska.
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Started 92 d ago until 91 d ago
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92 d ago USA TodayMueller now investigating Donald Trump Jr.'s Russia meeting
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Ike Kaveladze also participated in the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower and intends to comply with investigators, his lawyer told USA TODAY.
         
 
 

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91 d ago The Guardian :: Donald Trump Jr faces Russia grilling live on TV, but what will they ask?
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Senate judiciary committee will want to know what happened when the president’s son met Russian individuals with dirt to dish on Hillary Clinton
The investigation into possible Russian collaboration with the Trump campaign to skew the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election moves another step closer to the incumbent in the Oval Office next Wednesday with the scheduled appearance of Donald Trump Jr and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort at a congressional hearing.
The prospect of a public grilling by the Senate judiciary committee of the president’s son promises another live TV sensation to rival the testimony of the former FBI director James Comey last month. The event is being billed as a high-stakes spectacle that will give Congress the chance to glean new details relating to the interactions between key Trump associates and Russian individuals and political interests.
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Started 95 d ago until 94 d ago
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95 d ago CNNThe Magnitsky Act and the Russia investigation
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Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital Management, sits down with Fareed Zakaria to discuss how the Magnitsky Act, a US law that punishes Russians who are seen as human rights abusers, may relate to the Russia investigation.


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94 d ago CNN :: Trump shifts focus from Russia investigation
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The string of revelations from Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a well-connected Russian lawyer gave more fuel to already intense congressional investigations into potential collusion between the campaign of President Donald Trump and Russia. CNN's Jessica Schneider reports.


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Started 100 d ago until 99 d ago
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100 d ago Business InsiderA controversial Trump aide has been defending the administration against the latest Russia allegations
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The White House has attempted to avoid direct questions about the unfolding Russia investigation, directing inquiries to lawyers representing President Donald Trump and other top administration and former campaign officials. 
Thus, no prominent White House surrogates were on television on Tuesday following a bombshell New York Times report from Monday evening that revealed that Donald Trump Jr. was informed that a Kremlin-connected lawyer was attempting to pass him information as part of a Russia government effort to boost his father's campaign. This largely left the official on-camera response to a curiously-credentialed White House adviser.
White House Deputy Assistant Sebastian Gorka, who focuses on national security issues, appeared for interviews on three cable networks on Monday night and Tuesday morning, fielding a number of difficult questions about Russian involvement in the 2016 campaign.
Though Gorka attempted to focus on the Iraqi military's liberation of Mosul from the terrorist group ISIS, he also had to field questions about Trump Jr.'s meeting with the Russian lawyer, pointing out that a Democratic National Committee staffer met with Ukrainian officials to potentially acquire damning opposition information about the Trump campaign's ties to Russia.
In an interview that he booked himself on CNN's "New Day," Gorka brushed aside whether Trump Jr. or other Trump campaign officials should have disclosed the meetings and mocked CNN's 9 p.m. programming for its ratings.
"They wanted dirt," host Alisyn Camerota said, referring to Trump campaign officials who met with a Russian lawyer who allegedly promised damaging information on Clinton.
"Which is what political campaigns do," Gorka responded. 
Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/884753578115706880
"There was no connection [to the Kremlin]," @SebGorka says of "private lawyer" who met with Don Jr. https://t.co/JaGoSPjjjZ
"The amount of time you spend in desperation on a topic that has plummeted you to 13th place in viewership ranking across America, more people watch Nick at Nite cartoons than CNN today," Gorka said.
"Our ratings are doing just fine," Camerota responded.
Gorka also appeared in a heated 15-minute interview with MSNBC's Stephanie Ruhle, in which the adviser declared that the Russia investigation was a "massive nothing-burger," and attempted to argue that former President Bill Clinton committed a crime by accepting a speaking fee from Russia while Hillary Clinton was running for president (she was secretary of state  at the time of the speech to a Russia finance corporation).
"If you want to make the argument that crimes were committed by Democrats, then if Donald Trump Jr. accepted a meeting like this and wanted this type of information with ties to a foreign government, would that also not be a crime?" Ruhle asked.
"I'm talking about the fact that you had a presidential candidate called Hillary Clinton running for the highest office in this country and the most powerful country in the world when her husband was getting half-a-million dollar speaking fees from the Russian government," Gorka said. 
Tweet Embed:
https://twitter.com/mims/statuses/884772772232167425
My full interview with one Trump's top advisers, where he defends Don Jr.'s meeting as routine opposition research https://t.co/djhIisgAyQ
"It's standard political practice," Gorka said as Ruhle continued to press about Trump Jr's meeting.
"No sir, it is not standard political practice to seek information from a foreign government," Ruhle replied.
Other surrogates were largely absent, save Trump's personal attorney Jay Sekulow, who sat for one largely friendly interview on "Fox & Friends."
Sekulow faced two questions on the New York Times report, but largely focused on leaks of classified information.
Gorka's role and influence in the White House has been the subject of speculation for months.
Reports several months ago said the deputy assistant was potentially on the ropes, and hadn't received full security clearance.
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100 d ago Fox News :: Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know
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Questions about Russia's involvement in the U.S. election has plagued the Trump administration.
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100 d ago Business Insider :: The Trump administration just fired back at Russia
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Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters
The Trump administration moved on Tuesday to prevent government agencies from using products developed by Kaspersky Labs, an elite Russian cybersecurity firm, Politico reported .
The General Services Administration announced on Tuesday that it had removed Kaspersky from the list of approved vendors government agencies can use to obtain technology-related services.
"GSA’s priorities are to ensure the integrity and security of U.S. government systems and networks and evaluate products and services available on our contracts using supply chain risk management processes," a GSA spokesperson told Politico.
Kaspersky is currently under active FBI counterintelligence investigation, and the Senate Intelligence Committee is also probing the nature of its relationship to the Kremlin, and called it an "important national security issue."
After it emerged last month that the FBI was interviewing American employees who work for Kaspersky, a company spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement that the firm had not been "officially approached or notified by the bureau about an investigation," and denied having any ties to the Russian government.
"The company has a 20 year history in the IT security industry of always abiding by the highest ethical business practices, and Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations," the statement said.
The White House, Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration, and other agencies were engaged in an "interagency review" of Kaspersky's possible risks for weeks before coming to a final decision, sources told ABC News .
Federal agencies will still be able to acquire Kaspersky's services if they choose, but it would need to be done outside of GSA contracts, and the process can be complex, Politico reported.
Kaspersky's products are widely used across the US, and officials worry that Russian state actors could exploit Kaspersky's software and gain access to sensitive user data as well as critical infrastructure.
Russia has increasingly emerged as a central figure following a slew of high-profile cyberattacks over the past few years. In addition to interfering in the US election, Russia is also thought to be the culprit behind an elaborate effort to turn Ukraine into a cyber-weapon testing ground.
REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
In 2015, a massive cyberattack leveled against the country's power grid cut electricity to almost 250,000 Ukrainians. Cybersecurity experts linked the attack to IP addresses associated with Russia.
Since then, Wired magazine's Andy Greenberg reported , Ukraine has seen a growing crisis in which an increasing number of corporations and government agencies have been hit by cyberattacks in a "rapid, remorseless succession."
Officials also believe Russia may have been behind last month's "Petya" cyberattack that crippled countries and corporations across the globe.
And most recently, investigators have linked Russia to attacks on at least a dozen US nuclear facilities. The hacks, though confined to the enterprise side of the nuclear plants, raised red flags as they could be a preliminary step toward an attack against the US power grid, cybersecurity experts previously told Business Insider.
If that were the case, it would fit into a pattern adopted by Russia in the past, particularly as it relates to Ukraine.
Alex McGeorge, the head of threat intelligence at Immunity Inc., told Business Insider that instead of imposing economic sanctions in response to cyber threats, the US should retaliate by targeting key players in Russia's cyber industry. The Trump administration's move against Kaspersky may do just that.
"The intelligence community has come out and said there's internal evidence saying Kaspersky is not playing fair and can't really be trusted," McGeorge said. "It would send a good message and be a clear statement to Russia if the US government responded in kind and took aim exactly at the Russian cyber industry. That's what a deterrent would look like."
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99 d ago New York Times :: Donald Trump Jr. and Russia: What the Law Says
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So far, specialists say, not enough evidence has emerged about the president’s son to bring charges, but they caution that the inquiry into election meddling continues.
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