Investigate the Investigators!
Reform the FBI!
Two FBI officials, Jim Rybicki and Carl Ghattas, are considered to be subpoenaed
Judiciary considers subpoenas for Manafort, FBI officials
… Senate Judiciary Committee is considering issuing subpoenas to President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman and two FBI officials close to fired director James Comey as part of the panel’sinvestigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections.
Ex-Trump aide Manafort’s spokesman testifies to Russia probe grand juryReuters.comall 34 news articles »
New York Times
Judiciary Chairman Considers Subpoenas in Trump Investigation
New York Times
Committee members have said it is crucial to their investigation to question Mr. Sessions not only about those contacts but his role in Mr. Comey’s firing. The New York Times reported on Thursday that Mr. Sessions had offered his resignation to Mr …
“In May 2017, Politico published a report titled “The Political Isolation of Jim Comey.”This article goes into detail about the fact that over the past year, James Comey has been surrounded by enemies on all sides, who have questioned many of his decisions including the idea of holding a press conference in July 2016 during which he said that Hillary Clinton acted carelessly in her use of a private email server.
Politico reports that through all of the turmoil engulfing the FBI, James Comey found himself isolated, as his closest counselor, Chuck Rosenberg, had left in 2015, and Jim Rybicki did not meet Comey’s needs.
“Meanwhile, his chief of staff, Jim Rybicki, was seen by other bureau executives, Justice Department leaders and White House staff as weak and generally ineffective—not, as one senior official said, the wartime consigliere Comey needed while under unprecedented fire,” Politico reports.”
“ABC News is reporting that Peter Strzok left the position for unknown reasons. He is now working in the FBI’s human resources department. It is unclear why the move was made.
CNN reported last month that Mueller had picked Strzok to manage the ever-expanding investigation into possible collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government.
The probe has expanded to include possibly illegal business activities involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
As chief of the FBI’s counterespionage section, Strzok oversaw the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.
Strzok was one of the FBI officials who interviewed Clinton during her interview last July 2. Three days later, then-FBI Director James Comey announced that charges would not be filed against Clinton for mishandling classified information.
CNN reported last month that Strzok also helped start up the FBI investigation into possible campaign collusion. That probe began last July, just as the Clinton inquiry ended.
The Office of the Special Counsel declined to offer comment regarding Strzok’s move.”
“It would be the first subpoenas for the two FBI officials, Jim Rybicki and Carl Ghattas, after the Justice Department reiterated in a letter this week that it won’t permit the two men to testify. The department had initially declined the panel’s request in July.
Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd said in the letter that the overlapping areas of the committee’s investigation and special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe had not yet been sorted out.”
Judiciary considers subpoenas for Manafort, FBI officials
The Senate Judiciary Committee is considering issuing subpoenas to President Donald Trump’sformer campaign chairman and two FBI officials close to fired director James Comey as part of the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 …
Ex-Trump aide Manafort’s spokesman goes before Russia probe grand juryReuters
Ex-Trump aide Manafort’s spokesman testifies to Russia probe grand juryReuters.comall 42 news articles »
Trump Russia Investigation and Facebook: Why Mueller’s Counterintelligence Effort is Just as Important as His …
The Trump-Russia investigation: Every day, we hear something new about Robert Mueller’s criminal probe—from rumors of Kremlin-connected money laundering to questions about why the president fired former FBI director James Comey. Considering how …
A couple of weeks ago, I was chatting with a prominent lawyer in Washington when she lamented that one of her brightest colleagues had just left her firm — and a multimillion-dollar salary — to join the government for a pittance.
Of course, that’s not unheard of; many high-fliers decide to devote part of their careers to public service. But this decision was particularly intriguing, because the senior lawyer in question had joined the secretive team working for Robert Mueller, the former head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, who was appointed this year to probe President Donald Trump’s dealings with Russia.
“I was surprised to see [my colleague] go — he gave up a big job,” my lawyer friend said. “But I have to think that Mueller is working on something even bigger.”
Is he? That is the $50m, or $5bn, question sparking endless chatter in Washington right now. As autumn gets under way, the headlines have mostly been dominated by stories such as hurricanes Harvey and Irma, the president’s latest speeches and tweets about immigration and tax reform, and the North Korea crisis.
But while Mueller’s probe has slipped from the spotlight, it is provoking lively — if furtive — gossip behind the scenes. The Trump team insist the probe is merely a procedural matter, sparked by the president’s Democratic opponents. “We are pleased Mueller is investigating,” one White House figure recently declared, insisting the investigation “will just prove that there is nothing there”. After all, these Trump supporters point out, it is notable that nothing incriminating has tumbled out so far from the investigation. Certainly there have been news reports this year that seem damaging: intelligence documents have suggested that Trump’s team have had extensive contact with Russian players, while CIA officials say the Russian government meddled in the election to support Trump.
However, Mueller has not revealed what he is actually investigating. And nobody has produced any public evidence showing that Trump actually colluded with Russians or broke any laws — even though large teams of investigative journalists have been looking into these tales for months. “With so many journalists on this, it’s strange they haven’t found something yet,” one senior Democratic congressman told me last week.
The Trumpians have an explanation: there is nothing to find. But lawyers who know Mueller’s team suspect there might be another explanation: Mueller is doing such a ruthlessly disciplined job that he is preventing any material from leaking. This partly reflects the character of the man, who is respected across party lines as a consummate professional. It also stems from something else: for Mueller and his other former FBI colleagues, this investigation has extraordinary historic importance, given that Trump fired James Comey in May as head of the agency for having mishandled last year’s email investigation into Hillary Clinton. “Mueller is absolutely determined to pursue this to the end — the credibility of the FBI is at stake,” said a lawyer who knows him well.
Then there is the issue of all those lawyers Mueller has hired. These already total 17, many from senior roles. Indeed, the roster is so experienced that it reads like a who’s who of the legal world, featuring prosecutors who are considered top of their field when it comes to pursuing members of the mafia, turning witnesses, and investigating money laundering and other financial crimes.
Take Andrew Weissmann, one lawyer who answered Mueller’s call; a former general counsel to the FBI, he ran the task force that sued Enron more than a decade ago. Before that, he was a federal prosecutor who successfully convicted mafia members and bosses. Then there is James Quarles, a long-time litigator who worked on the Watergate investigation, and Greg Andres, who helped to prosecute the Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford for running an $8bn Ponzi scheme. The list goes on and on.
Nobody outside the team knows exactly what they are doing. But there is speculation that they are now probing questions such as: did the Trump group launder Russian money through its real estate operations? Did Russian banks guarantee loans that big European banks made to Trump? Did the Trump organisation pay bribes to Russian groups? And, most importantly, did anybody around Trump collaborate with the Russians during the recent election to gain their support for his campaign?
As I have said, there is no proof that any of these questions will produce evidence of wrongdoing. And Trump’s supporters dismiss the whole effort as a political attack, particularly since some of Mueller’s team are Democrats. “You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history,” the president tweeted in June, insisting that Mueller’s probe was being “led by some very bad and conflicted people!”.
But don’t expect the rumour mill to stop churning; at least not until Mueller’s team issues its report or, as some Democrats fear, he is fired. One thing is clear — some day, somebody is going to make a stunning film about this drama, with its all-star legal cast. In Trumpland, truth is sometimes stranger than fiction, and less believable.
Illustration by Shonagh Rae
Trump and Russia: what does Robert Mueller know?
And nobody has produced any public evidence showing that Trump actually colluded withRussians or broke any laws — even though large teams of investigative journalists have been looking into these tales for months. “With so many journalists on this, …
New Legislation to Protect Russia Investigation’s Robert Mueller From TrumpNewsweek
Why Mueller is drilling into Trump’s role in drafting Don Jr.’s false Russia statementVox
Robert Mueller’s Russia probe has a ‘red-hot’ focus on Facebook and other social mediaThe Independent
USA TODAY –Axios –The Inquisitr –Axios
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The president grabs two felines from floodwater in the clearly fake picture.