( Daily Caller ) Special counsel Robert Mueller thus far hashed out four main topics he hopes to ask President Donald Trump about when they meet to discuss the Russian investigation, according to a CNN Wednesday report.
Investigators want to ask Trump about his role crafting a statement abroad Air Force One that miscast Donald Trump Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with Russians at Trump Tower, the circumstances surrounding that meeting, and the firing of FBI Director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn, the report noted. The findings are based on information from two anonymous sources. But the bulk of the topics surround the ousting of Comey and Flynn.
Trump’s legal team — made up of attorney John Dowd and White House special counsel Ty Cobb — is discussing with Mueller a potential interview with the president potentially to include Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ involvement in Comey’s firing as well as the President’s knowledge of Flynn’s phone calls with the Russian ambassador.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has focused on events since the election — not during the campaign — in his conversations with President Trump’s lawyers, Axios reported Monday.
“That suggests a focus on obstruction of justice while in office, rather than collusion with Russia during the campaign,” the report said.
The report said the top two topics that Mueller has expressed interest in so far are the firings of FBI director James Comey and national security adviser Michael Flynn.
President Trump fired Comey last May, under the recommendation of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. However, in an interview, Trump said the Russia investigation was also on his mind.
Comey told lawmakers that Trump had asked him to let former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn go — who was under FBI investigation — during a private conversation. The president has denied making any such request
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Because of DOJ regulations, Special Counsel Robert Mueller‘s report about President Trump is not going to be released to the public – unless he obtain from the grand jury an indictment of the President.
Mueller was appointed special counsel by Rosenstein under DoJ regulations which also bind him as special counsel.
These DOJ regulations do not require or even permit a public report from Mueller.Instead, they make it very difficult for any such findings to become public.
The DOJ regulations, specifically Section 600.8, requires the special counsel to provide a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel,” but only to the Attorney General [AG].In this situation, since AG Jeff Sessions has recused himself from anything involving the Russian probe, that “confidential report” would presumably go only to Rosenstein.
a “speaking indictment”; a term used to describe a lengthy and detained indictment document which contains more facts and allegation than the law requires.
Law and Crime reports:
Mueller is bound by current Justice Department [DoJ] regulations which make any release – much less a release to the public – of any such report very unlikely.
So Mueller may have to obtain an indictment against Trump, and include the details of Trump’s alleged wrongdoing in the text of the indictment, for this information to become public.
Indeed, unless Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein changes the regulations to permit the release of any such report to the public, an indictment may be the only way for Mueller to insure that the information sees the light of day who suggests that those who claim to favor the release of any such report should urge Rosenstein to change the DoJ regulations now to make this possible.
….Mueller was appointed special counsel by Rosenstein under DoJ regulations which also bind him as special counsel.
These DoJ regulations do not require or even permit a public report from Mueller.Instead, they make it very difficult for any such findings to become public.
The DoJ regulations, specifically Section 600.8, requires the special counsel to provide a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel,” but only to the Attorney General [AG].In this situation, since AG Jeff Sessions has recused himself from anything involving the Russian probe, that “confidential report” would presumably go only to Rosenstein.
Moreover, if Mueller does find that impeachment should be considered – technically that “other governmental action outside the criminal justice system might be appropriate” – he may “consult [ONLY] with the Attorney General with respect to the appropriate component to take any necessary action.”
But it’s not clear that Rosenstein, who was appointed by Trump, and who has been under very heavy pressure from the President, would release the report, especially since the law doesn’t require him to do so.If he does want to, however, any such release must “comply with applicable legal restrictions.”
….In summary, unlike Starr and other independent counsel, if Mueller did discover evidence suggesting that Trump committed one or more crimes, and/or engaged in other activities which might warrant impeachment, he has no easy way to present this information to the entire Congress, much less to the American people.
One, of course, would be to obtain from the grand jury an indictment of the President.
Presumably any such indictment would be a “speaking indictment”; a term used to describe a lengthy and detained indictment document which contains more facts and allegation than the law requires.
Indeed, since a number of the indictments Mueller has obtained and made public so far are speaking indictments, it is clear that Mueller and his band of skilled prosecutors is well aware of how such unnecessarily detailed indictments can be used to transmit information to the public for a variety of purposes.
….So if Mueller feels strongly that he has information about wrongdoing by Trump which Congress and/or the public should know, he may be forced to reveal it by obtaining an indictment against Trump, and including within it the information he has, even if it was not necessary for all the information to be in there.
Emma Kohse, Harvard International Law Journal editor-in-chief, Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the Lawfare blog’s top editor, argue that, based in the language of the indictments and the legal precedents behind them, the “conspiracy to defraud the government” charge provides the Mueller team with significant flexibility in trying to build a case against Mr. Trump and members of his 2016 campaign. […]
“Russia’s sustained, many-front effort to interfere in the 2016 election — a glimpse of which was shown in the indictment — is undoubtedly more complex and far-reaching than the plots that have previously been prosecuted as conspiracies to defraud the United States,” Ms. Kohse and Mr. Wittes write. “But that makes Mueller’s theory richer, not more novel.” […]
Because Mr. Mueller is alleging conspiracy to defraud the FEC, DOJ and State Department, some legal scholars say recent commentary about “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Kremlin is misdirected. Instead, he appears to be building a case with the FEC, DOJ and State Department at its core — not the Kremlin. […]
“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate,” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said
( Daily Caller ) Former Attorney General Eric Holder believes special counsel Robert Mueller already has plans to charge President Donald Trump with obstructing justice.
Mueller is holding back on charging Trump until he can make sure he has the president dead-to-rights, Holder, who served under former President Barack Obama, said Friday night on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” He has made similar arguments in the past regarding Trump’s behavior.
“I’ve known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can. So, I think that we have to be patient in that regard,” Holder said. He has long-suggested that Trump should be held criminally liable for ousting former FBI Director James Comey during the midst of an investigation into Russian meddling.
“You cannot charge a president with obstruction of justice for exercising his constitutional power to fire Comey and his constitutional authority to tell the Justice Department who to investigate, who not to investigate,” Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz said last year.
( Fox News ) Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is now purportedly looking into whether the United Arab Emirates, with perhaps help from a top adviser, tried to gain political influence by putting money into Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign — a tack that would indicate Mueller’s investigation continues to expand beyond whether campaign officials colluded with Russia.
Mueller’s investigators in recent weeks have questioned the adviser, Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, and asked witnesses for information about whether the UAE tried to buy political influence by giving money to the Trump campaign, according to The New York Times.
Nader has been a frequent visitor to the Trump White House. And the president has praised the UAE for the Persian Gulf nation’s efforts to work with the United States on economic issues and squashing terrorism in the region, thanking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed for his efforts just last week, according to the White House.
Nader has purportedly been an adviser to the crown prince. Axios first reported that Mueller investigators were talking to Nader.
Mueller took over the Justice Department investigation in May 2017. And in recent weeks, he has made several moves that suggest his probe has expanded beyond possible collusion, including charging former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort with alleged tax and bank fraud and indicting 13 Russians in connection with trying to sow political discord during the 2016 elections.