8:35 AM 10/25/2017 – TRUMP-RUSSIA

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TRUMP-RUSSIA

The Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office is conducting an investigation into former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort focusing on possible money-launderingaccording to sources. The probe is being carried out in collaboration with special counsel Robert Mueller who has been pursuing a wide-ranging investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, Erica Ordern and Nicole Hong report at the Wall Street Journal.

The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) paid for part of the research compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, a letter filed in court yesterday revealed, the salacious dossier alleged connections between Trump associates and Russia, and Steele was contracted by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS to do the work. Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett and Rosalind S. Helderman report at the Washington Post.

The revelation about funding for the dossier is likely to fuel claims that the Trump-Russia investigations are politically motivated, at the time that the Democrats began paying for the research, Trump was on the cusp of being nominated by the Republican Party as the presidential candidate. Kenneth P. Vogel reports at the New York Times.

Focus on the congressional and federal Trump-Russia investigations are more important than details about the source of funds for the dossier, Democratic officials emphasized. Cristiano Lima and Josh Dawsey report at POLITICO.

The disputed dossier could provide the first legal battle for congressional investigations, with Fusion GPS’ attempts to block the House Intelligence Committee’s subpoena raising numerous questions. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

House Republicans have launched a probe into “outstanding questions” yesterday, including the F.B.I. investigation into one of Trump’s associates in the 2016 presidential campaign, whether Obama administration officials spied on Trump’s campaign, whether the Russians helped pay for the Steele dossier and questions about the Obama-era deal where a Russian-owned company bought U.S. uranium supplies. Sarah N. Lynch and Susan Heavey report at Reuters.     

Republicans have no interest in Trump-Russia ties and are keen to pursue their own investigations into the Obama-era uranium deal and focusing on the Obama administration and Democrats more generally. Betsy Woodruff and Spencer Ackerman observe at The Daily Beast, highlighting the particular role of House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.).

Trump’s personal lawyer and associate Michael Cohen was interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee in a private session yesterday about the allegations of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, Cohen declined to comment on the nearly six hours of testimony. Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.


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