Mueller's investigation of Trump

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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3251

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:08 pm

Thanks, Obama.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3252

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 6:51 pm

Bloomberg
Trump Lawyers to Continue Talks With Mueller on Interview

Lawyers for President Donald Trump are expected to continue talks next week with Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team about an interview with the president, despite comments from Trump suggesting an interview is unlikely.

The lawyers may speak by phone with Mueller’s team as early as next Tuesday and are continuing an exchange over logistics, said a person briefed on the situation. Working out those details could take several weeks and a series of additional phone calls, the person said. Trump lawyer John Dowd declined to comment on his communications with the special counsel’s office.

Mueller, who’s investigating Russia meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign and whether anyone close to Trump colluded in it, has also indicated he would like to call back several White House staffers who were interviewed early on to ask about additional information he has received, the person said. The interviews are expected to be brief and don’t necessarily indicate significant changes in the investigation, according to the person.

Among those who have been interviewed by Mueller’s team are Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, White House Counsel Don McGahn, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former spokesman Sean Spicer and National Security Council chief of staff Keith Kellogg, according to people familiar with the investigation.


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3253

Post by Addie » Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:33 pm

ABC News: FBI vets: What many are missing about the infamous 'dossier' amid Russia probe


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3254

Post by Addie » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:37 am

Politico
Week 34: The Dossier Strikes Back

After 'Sneaky Dianne' releases 10 hours of testimony, the salacious report gets a boost of respectability. ...

The most electrifying revelation from the Simpson transcript fizzled almost as soon as it was lit. Simpson told the committee the FBI thought Steele’s information “might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.” This seemed to imply to some that the FBI had placed an informant inside the Trumpies. Infiltration of a presidential campaign by the FBI is not even something J. Edgar Hoover would have dared! Outrage was quelled after Ken Dilanian of NBC News reported that a “source close to Fusion GPS” had told him that no such “walk-in source” existed—that the Simpson passage was a reference to the Australian diplomat tip about George Papadopoulos,” the “Coffee Boy” who eventually became a cooperating witness for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, and not some random FBI stoolie.

Simpson denies that he and Steele were operating as Democratic Party apparatchiks at the time, even though the Hillary Clinton campaign was their Trump-in-Russia report client. Just before investigating Trump for Clinton, Fusion GPS investigated Trump for the Free Beacon, a conservative website, at the behest of a rich Republican, who footed the bill. He told the committee that he runs a professional business, working for both parties’ candidates, and that he and Steele were surprised to learn what they did about Trump as they researched his relationship with Russians. “What came back was something very different and obviously more alarming,” Simpson said. He likened the decision to contact the FBI to placing a 911 call after seeing something unusual while driving to work.

“[Steele] said he was very concerned about whether this represented a national security threat and said he wanted to—he said he thought we were obligated to tell someone in government, in our government about this information. He thought from his perspective there was an issue—a security issue about whether a presidential candidate was being blackmailed,” Simpson told the committee during his 10 hours of testimony, during which he praised his longtime collaborator as a “Boy Scout.”

Simpson’s chronology, if true, blows a hole in the Republican position that the dossier was contrived politically to give the FBI an excuse to “spy” on Trump. In the Simpson version, the FBI was already onto the Trump story. The dossier only deepened their interest.

The scandal’s main stage will revert to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III as soon as he sits down for his interview with Trump, which despite whatever foot-dragging the president wants to offer, will one day arrive. The press reported this week that Mueller has added a veteran cyber-prosecutor to his team, signaling that in addition to fraud and money-laundering specialists, he needs a lawyer conversant in computer crime. The prosecutor, Ryan K. Dickey, previously worked on the investigation of the Romanian hacker Marcel Lazar Lehel who went by the name of “Guccifer.”


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3255

Post by Volkonski » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:19 pm


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SCOOP: Mueller has subpoenaed Steve Bannon to testify before a grand jury as part of the ongoing Russia investigation. First person in Trump's inner circle known to have received a grand jury subpoena.
:-D


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3256

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:32 pm

Testifying before a grand jury is no fun. I did once, in Seattle, in the mid 1970s, in a probe involving GI Bill fraud. One of my clients was a target. I couldn't say much since almost everything I knew was attorney-client. But my client was the only target never indicted in the scandal.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3257

Post by Addie » Tue Jan 16, 2018 1:37 pm

New York Times
Bannon Is Subpoenaed in Mueller’s Russia Investigation

WASHINGTON — Stephen K. Bannon, President Trump’s former chief strategist, was subpoenaed last week by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to testify before a grand jury as part of the investigation into possible links between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

The move marked the first time Mr. Mueller is known to have used a grand jury subpoena to seek information from a member of Mr. Trump’s inner circle. The special counsel’s office has used subpoenas before to seek information on Mr. Trump’s associates and their possible ties to Russia or other foreign governments.

The subpoena could be a negotiating tactic. Mr. Mueller is likely to allow Mr. Bannon to forgo the grand jury appearance if he agrees to instead be questioned by investigators in the less formal setting of the special counsel’s offices about ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia and about the president’s conduct in office, according to the person, who would not be named discussing the case. But it was not clear why Mr. Mueller treated Mr. Bannon differently than the dozen administration officials who were interviewed in the final months of last year and were never served with a subpoena.

The subpoena is a sign that Mr. Bannon is not personally the focus of the investigation. Justice Department rules allow prosecutors to subpoena to the targets of investigations only in rare circumstances.

On Tuesday, Mr. Bannon testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mr. Bannon did not address reporters before entering the proceeding on Tuesday, and a spokesman for Mr. Mueller and a senior White House lawyer did not respond to messages seeking comment.


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3258

Post by Turtle » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:08 pm

He's also getting subpoenaed by House Intel AKA Nunes:




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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3259

Post by Jez » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:16 pm

I am going to willingly admit, right now, that I have no idea how these grand jury questioning things work. I have a vague idea: Someone is subpoenaed, they show up under penalty of severe pain, questions are asked by <who?>, Grand Jury peep have a Grand Slam or some Moons over My Hammy, and then... what?

Also, is the subpoena limited? For example, if you call Bob Smith in front of a Grand Jury, do you have carte blanche to ask them anything you want? Or are you limited in that you can ask them (for example, only about his checking account, or the meeting on June 15)?

If this has already been explained somewhere, please let me know.


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3260

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:28 pm

Grand jury assembles. In my case it was 23 people. The Assistant U.S. Attorney conducted the proceeding. There was a court reporter present, plus other assistant U.S. Attorneys, plus a bailiff.

It was in a huge room. One of the female grand jurors in the front was knitting while I was being asked questions.

I was not held in contempt!



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3261

Post by Jez » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:29 pm

Can the questions be wide ranging? Or are they limited? Is a person that is summoned allowed to have a lawyer present? Or are they on their own?


I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3262

Post by bob » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:37 pm

Jez wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:29 pm
Can the questions be wide ranging? Or are they limited?
Generally speaking, a grand jury can inquire about any crime. Of course, federal jurisdiction is (theoretically) limited, so it would be technically irrelevant to inquire about an act that's a crime only under state law. And this situation is somewhat more complicated by the "limited" nature of Mueller's authority.

But the real-world answer is that it would be almost impossible to successfully litigate a grand jury's overreach.

Is a person that is summoned allowed to have a lawyer present? Or are they on their own?
In the federal system, the witness's lawyer is not present. A witness, however, can request to consult with a lawyer. So the lawyer waits outside.


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3263

Post by Jez » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:42 pm

Thanks Bob!


I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet, strange, I am ungrateful to those teachers.

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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3264

Post by NMgirl » Tue Jan 16, 2018 3:51 pm

Marcy Wheeler's take on Nunes' role in both the House Intel and Mueller investigations:

With-the-corey-lewandowski-interview-devin-nunes-confirms-hes-no-more-than-trumps-mole
/
https://www.emptywheel.net/2018/01/15/w ... umps-mole/

On the subpoenas with which Bannon was served today:

emptywheel:
There you go: This sounds more like a RESPONSE to Mueller's subpoena than a response to WH privilege claim.

I've argued Nunes has become nothing but a mole.

So after finding out Mueller was going to bypass the obstruction currently in place, Nunes moved to make sure he'd know what Bannon will tell Mueller.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3265

Post by Kendra » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:23 pm

Rachel Maddow opens with some very helpful info on grand juries. No link, show is still live (for me).



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3266

Post by Sunrise » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:28 pm

Like Jez, I have a question about grand juries. Is someone able to invoke the Fifth? If so, is there any way to force an answer?
Also, if someone (say Bannon) pulls a Sessions and simply doesn't recall, is that the end of it?

I guess the bottom line for me is why would anyone in that situation bother to give any information if there aren't any repercussions? I'm obviously hoping my theory will be wrong and people can't simply respond with no answer.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3267

Post by bob » Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:43 pm

Sunrise wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:28 pm
Is someone able to invoke the Fifth? If so, is there any way to force an answer?
Yes, a witness can invoke the Fifth Amendment before a grand jury.

The short answer to compelling compliance: grant immunity or seek a contempt charge (or both).


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3268

Post by fierceredpanda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:34 pm

Well, the "Nunes subpoenaed Bannon to help Trump" theory didn't last long. White House told Bannon to refuse to answer even after he was subpoenaed. Including questions about Bannon's conversations with POTUS after Bannon left the White House staff - which is a breathtaking expansion of executive privilege. Mueller will not accept that answer, and the fact that Bobby Three-Sticks went to the trouble of actually subpoenaing Bannon to testify before the grand jury without an informal interview suggests to me that Mueller is willing to seek sanctions for contempt if Bannon were to attempt the "I can't talk 'cuz Don McGahn said not to" act at that time. Also, the White House directing witnesses not to testify to the grand jury would be tantamount to witness tampering, which Mueller could also pursue.

The plot thickens.

There's also an interesting angle here, in that Bannon and the most logical White House staffer to give the instruction telling Bannon to STFU (Don McGahn) have the same lawyer. One wonders how that ethical needle is being threaded...


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3269

Post by fierceredpanda » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:38 pm

Sunrise wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:28 pm
Like Jez, I have a question about grand juries. Is someone able to invoke the Fifth? If so, is there any way to force an answer?
Also, if someone (say Bannon) pulls a Sessions and simply doesn't recall, is that the end of it?

I guess the bottom line for me is why would anyone in that situation bother to give any information if there aren't any repercussions? I'm obviously hoping my theory will be wrong and people can't simply respond with no answer.
Contempt sanctions for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury can be nasty in the extreme. Potentially, a judge could order the contemnor to (literally) sit in jail until prosecutor drops the subpoena, the contemnor shows good cause why the subpoena should be quashed, or the contemnor has a change of heart and testifies. Obviously, that's the judge's version of an atomic bomb, not to be used lightly, but still. Not a risk I (or any sane attorney) would advise a client to take.


"There's no play here. There's no angle. There's no champagne room. I'm not a miracle worker, I'm a janitor. The math on this is simple; the smaller the mess, the easier it is for me to clean up." -Michael Clayton

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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3270

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:45 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:38 pm
Sunrise wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:28 pm
Like Jez, I have a question about grand juries. Is someone able to invoke the Fifth? If so, is there any way to force an answer?
Also, if someone (say Bannon) pulls a Sessions and simply doesn't recall, is that the end of it?

I guess the bottom line for me is why would anyone in that situation bother to give any information if there aren't any repercussions? I'm obviously hoping my theory will be wrong and people can't simply respond with no answer.
Contempt sanctions for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury can be nasty in the extreme. Potentially, a judge could order the contemnor to (literally) sit in jail until prosecutor drops the subpoena, the contemnor shows good cause why the subpoena should be quashed, or the contemnor has a change of heart and testifies. Obviously, that's the judge's version of an atomic bomb, not to be used lightly, but still. Not a risk I (or any sane attorney) would advise a client to take.
May that be the reason why Bannon is called to testify at the Federal grand jury rather than only to Mueller where he rejected to appear or answer(iirc)?



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3271

Post by neeneko » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:47 pm

bob wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:43 pm
The short answer to compelling compliance: grant immunity or seek a contempt charge (or both).
Or 36 hours of constant unrecorded questioning with occasional 'stop resisting' beatings. I am sure they can find some local cops in DC well acquainted with this technique.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3272

Post by Sunrise » Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:56 pm

Thank you bob and fierceredpanda. I feel much better now. :swoon:



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3273

Post by Somerset » Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:15 pm

fierceredpanda wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:38 pm
Sunrise wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 9:28 pm
Like Jez, I have a question about grand juries. Is someone able to invoke the Fifth? If so, is there any way to force an answer?
Also, if someone (say Bannon) pulls a Sessions and simply doesn't recall, is that the end of it?

I guess the bottom line for me is why would anyone in that situation bother to give any information if there aren't any repercussions? I'm obviously hoping my theory will be wrong and people can't simply respond with no answer.
Contempt sanctions for refusing to testify before a federal grand jury can be nasty in the extreme. Potentially, a judge could order the contemnor to (literally) sit in jail until prosecutor drops the subpoena, the contemnor shows good cause why the subpoena should be quashed, or the contemnor has a change of heart and testifies. Obviously, that's the judge's version of an atomic bomb, not to be used lightly, but still. Not a risk I (or any sane attorney) would advise a client to take.
Bannon really doesn't like Kushner, he thinks Jr is too stupid to breathe (lastest suck-up notwithstanding) and he's no longer enamored of the OSG (again, disregarding the latest suck-up).

Bannon is crafty and he likes to blow things up. I can see him willingly giving testimony that takes down Kushner and Jr, just to put the OSG into a more impeachable position.



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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3274

Post by bob » Wed Jan 17, 2018 3:32 am

RTH10260 wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:45 pm
May that be the reason why Bannon is called to testify at the Federal grand jury rather than only to Mueller where he rejected to appear or answer(iirc)?
An interesting twist is that it is rare for someone hauled before a grand jury to be the target of the investigation. So wanting to put Bannon before a grand jury suggests that someone else is the real target.


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Re: Mueller's investigation of Trump

#3275

Post by Kendra » Wed Jan 17, 2018 5:51 am

Sunrise wrote:
Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:56 pm
Thank you bob and fierceredpanda. I feel much better now. :swoon:
:yeah:



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