“These are not normal times and things are about to heat up” for Trump and his associates, said Jeffery Cramer, a former federal prosecutor. “The clock is ticking.”

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Trump Confronts Accelerating Russia Probes on Multiple Fronts

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Special counsel Robert Mueller and key congressional committees are tightening their focus on some of President Donald Trump’s family members and campaign associates as probes into Russia’s interference with the 2016 election enter a new and more aggressive phase.

Even fired FBI Director James Comey is aware that he may return to Capitol Hill to follow up on his explosive testimony from earlier this year, according to a source familiar with his thinking. Comey, who was dismissed by Trump in May, has not received a subpoena or any official indication he’ll be summoned to again testify.

Both Mueller and congressional investigators are also eager to learn more from the growing roster of recently departed White House staff, including former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and strategist Stephen Bannon.

Interviews with more than a dozen lawyers and officials involved in aspects of the Russia probes hint at the intensity of what lies ahead in an investigation the president continues to rail against as “fake news” and a “witch hunt.”

That intensity is intended to put a strain on major characters as well as bit players who are under investigation, as they jockey for advantage and it becomes clearer who’s cooperating with investigators and who is resisting.

Read a QuickTake Q&A on the Trump-Russia saga

“In any criminal investigation it is in the government’s interest to magnify conflicts between the various people they’re looking at,” said Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor who’s now a partner at Thompson Coburn LLC. “When the subjects of an investigation are pitted against each other the government can exploit those conflicts to induce some of the individuals to cooperate against others.”

Expanding Investigation

Although much of what Mueller is doing remains secret, there have been signs recently that his investigation is expanding, said two U.S. officials. That includes issuing subpoenas to a former lawyer and current public relations spokesman for Manafort, whose Virginia home was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation last month.

Manafort, who directed Trump’s campaign during six critical months last year, has emerged as a central figure because of his past financial dealings and his work for a Russian-backed party in Ukraine. Manafort’s financial transactions are also under scrutiny by New York’s attorney general, Politico reported Aug. 30, adding that the former campaign chairman hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who earned Trump’s ire when he recused himself from the Russia probe, is also expected to testify in the Senate in the coming weeks for the second time since his January confirmation hearing. While Sessions may want to focus on his anti-crime agenda, senators will demand details about his role in firing Comey, who had led the Russia probe.

‘Complex Crimes’

“The investigations are becoming more active,” Mariotti, who led prosecutions in a range of white-collar crimes including securities fraud and tax evasion, said in an interview. Mueller is “conducting an extremely thorough and wide-reaching investigation into what are complex crimes” while Congress is holding hearings and releasing details that Mueller might not, he added.

Mueller also will submit a list of his expenditures to the Justice Department soon after Sept. 30, which may provide insight into the scope of his investigation. The department is expected to make the document public.

Besides Manafort, one focus of investigators on Capitol Hill is the president’s eldest son.

Donald Trump Jr. has come under scrutiny for arranging a meeting in June 2016 with Russians who were promising damaging material on Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.

With congressional committees competing to hear from key witnesses, the Senate Judiciary Committee appears to be first in line to hear from Don Jr., though no firm date has been set.

Fusion GPS

“In late July, Donald Trump Jr. agreed to provide the Judiciary Committee with documents and a transcribed interview prior to a public hearing,” Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley and the panel’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein, said in a joint statement Aug. 29. “Shortly thereafter, a date for that interview was set and agreed to by both the committee and Trump Jr.”

The Judiciary Committee also might vote this month on whether to release a transcript from a 10-hour closed hearing in August with Glenn Simpson, founder of the political consulting firm Fusion GPS that helped create a dossier with salacious and unverified material about Trump.

“The committee has a transcript of the interview,” Simpson’s lawyer, Joshua Levy, said in a statement. “We are not permitted to have a copy. The committee has the right to disclose the transcript, if it wishes to do so.”

Russian Ambassador

The House Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas in June seeking testimony and documents from Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen, as well as Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn was removed after lying about communications he had with Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, before Trump took office.

Cohen has come under scrutiny because of allegations about him contained in the dossier linked to Fusion GPS and made public in January.

Cohen’s lawyer, Stephen Ryan, sent the House Intelligence Committee last month a point-by-point rebuttal of what he described as “sensational allegations” contained in the 35-page dossier. Ryan’s letter described that document’s allegations of ties between Cohen and Russian officials as false.

Cohen confirmed in an interview that he will testify before the House panel in September, after which he plans to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee. He added that he hasn’t received any communication from Mueller and has not been asked to appear before a grand jury.

Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was interviewed behind closed doors by the Senate and House intelligence committees, on July 24 and 25. Since then, Kushner hasn’t received any requests to testify in private or public before any congressional committee, according to a person with knowledge of the matter. He also hasn’t received any formal requests or subpoenas from Mueller’s team, the person said.

‘Not Normal Times’

But Democrats say they continue to focus on details surrounding a meeting Kushner had in December — a month before Trump took office — with Sergey Gorkov, the head of a Russian state-owned bank known as Vnesheconombank, according to Representative Adam Schiff, the intelligence panel’s top Democrat.

Schiff cited the bank’s “reported ties to the Kremlin, that the meeting was taken at the request of Russian Ambassador Kislyak, and that Gorkov is a graduate of the FSB’s finishing school,” a reference to Russia’s premier spy agency.

“These are not normal times and things are about to heat up” for Trump and his associates, said Jeffery Cramer, a former federal prosecutor. “The clock is ticking.”

— With assistance by Steven T. Dennis, and David Voreacos

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Vladimir Putin Calls For Russia to Sue US Over Diplomatic Spat – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Vladimir Putin Calls For Russia to Sue US Over Diplomatic Spat
Newsweek
“Let us see how the situation develops further.” Russia continues to deny interference in the U.S.presidential election, despite the claim from U.S. intelligence agencies that Russian hackers instigated hacks on the Democratic Party. Several high 
Russia probes kick into high gearPolitico
Russia Says It Has Seen No Positive Impact From North Korea SanctionsU.S. News & World Report
The Trump campaign and the Russians‘ ‘active measures’Washington Examiner

all 81 news articles »

Trump family and associates to be in Russia probe crosshairs – The Seattle Times

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The Seattle Times
Trump family and associates to be in Russia probe crosshairs
The Seattle Times
As Congress returns to Washington, a web of President Donald Trump’s family and associates will be in the crosshairs of committees investigating whether his campaign colluded with Russia last year, as well as of the high-wattage legal team assembled by 

and more »

Putin Says Russia May Order US To Cut Further Diplomatic Staff – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Putin Says Russia May Order US To Cut Further Diplomatic Staff
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
The U.S. intelligence community issued an assessment in January that Putin ordered an “influence campaign” targeting the U.S. election, with goals that included undermining trust in the U.S. electoral process and denigrating Trump’s Democratic rival 
‘People who mix up Australia and Austria’: Putin’s veiled attack on Trump over North KoreaNEWS.com.au

all 240 news articles »

Donald Trump ‘Not My Bride,’ Vladimir Putin Says – New York Times

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New York Times
Donald Trump ‘Not My Bride,’ Vladimir Putin Says
New York Times
MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin seemed to be in top form during a news conference in China on Tuesday, answering a question about President Trump by saying the American leader is “not my bride, and I am not his groom.” While the comment …
Putin: President Trump Is ‘Not My Bride’Daily Beast
Putin says Trump ‘not my bride, and I’m not his groom’ABC News
Putin Says Trump’s ‘Not My Bride,’ But Still Hopes for DetenteBloomberg
Business Insider –The Moscow Times
all 72 news articles »

daca – Google Search

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Story image for daca from Los Angeles Times

Regardless of what President Trump does on DACA, these …

Los Angeles Times2 hours ago
As a DACA recipient, Buenrostro, 26, has a Social Security number and a work permit that he can renew every two years for about $500 a pop.
What you need to know about DACA
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Trump has decided to end DACA, with 6-month delay
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Trump Prepares to End DACA
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Obama Reportedly Plans to Speak Up if Trump Ends DACA
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John McCain and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spotted together abroad 

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What happens when a powerful United States Senator, known for his trips overseas to conduct clandestine business, is spotted abroad alongside the U.S. Director of National Intelligence? At the least, it gets people talking. That’s the case now that John McCain and Daniel Coats have been spotted – of all things – taking a boat ride together in Italy.

When it comes to official explanations, there’s a perfectly good reason for McCain to be there: he’s attending a high profile international forum while the Senate is recess, according to the Associated Press via the Washington Post (link). But see, the Senate is actually not in recess, because Senators left it technically in session when they most recently headed out of town so that Donald Trump couldn’t start firing and replacing cabinet members. And that context is part of what adds intrigue to the matter.

John McCain once secretly traveled to Syria to meet with the rebels there, without bothering to tell anyone – even President Obama – that he was doing so. After the most recent election, McCain also secretly sent an envoy to Europe to pick up a copy of the now-infamous Trump Russia dossier, which detailed everything from election collusion to the Pee Pee Tape. Any time Senator McCain travels abroad, or sends someone abroad, it always raises eyebrows. Considering the current chaos with Trump and his scandals, it sets off even more alarms.

Come to think of it, just why is the Director of National Intelligence meeting up with John McCain in Italy? Why does McCain consider this particular conference to be so important that he’s traveled to it in the midst of punishing brain cancer treatment? Dan Coats and McCain are old buddies from when they were in the Senate together. Maybe they were merely using that boat ride to catch up. Or just maybe – as has so often turned out to be the case – McCain is working on something under the radar. We’ll see.

The post John McCain and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spotted together abroadappeared first on Palmer Report.

Putin: “Trump’s not my bride & I’m not his groom” – YouTube

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Donald Trump ‘Not My Bride,’ Vladimir Putin Says

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