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Trump lawyers scramble to prepare for new stage of Russia probe

Trump lawyers scramble to prepare for new stage of Russia probe
October 31
14:11 2017

go here (Politico) – President Donald Trump’s White House and personal lawyers scrambled Saturday to learn where the knife might fall in the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, triggering a guessing game among aides after days of trying to turn attention away from allegations of collusion with Russia during the election.

Attorneys involved in the case said their cellphones have been ringing nonstop as they connected with each other, and with reporters, trying to gather more concrete details after a CNN report Friday night that a federal grand jury had approved the first charges in the Russia investigation.

kemadrin nebenwirkungen 40mg While the report did not cite names, attorneys close to the case said they were discussing whether the indictment was for two known Mueller targets: former campaign chairman Paul Manafort or former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Several attorneys who said they were in touch with the Manafort and Flynn lawyers said they had not been notified of any matter related to an indictment — which is customary in a white-collar criminal investigation — leading them to believe it wasn’t either of those two former high-ranking Trump aides. An attorney for Manafort did not respond to a request for comment. Michael Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment.

The attorneys close to the case also said they wouldn’t be surprised if the charges were targeting Flynn or Manafort family members, or a longtime accountant or lawyer.

Andrew Weissmann, one of Mueller’s top attorneys and a frequent presence over the last month at the grand jury proceedings in Washington, including on Friday, was known to use that tactic to gain advantage when attempting to prosecute Enron executives in the mid-2000s. “That moves you toward making a deal when the son or a wife is indicted,” said a white-collar attorney familiar with the Mueller probe.

For example, an indictment of Flynn’s son, who worked for his father’s lobbying firm, could put pressure on Flynn to begin to cooperate with investigators. Flynn and his son have been under scrutiny for their lobbying work on behalf of a Turkish client with ties to the country’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who is friendly with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Flynn Jr. also accompanied his father to Moscow in December 2015 for a paid speech, which Putin attended, celebrating the Russian propaganda outlet RT. Michael Flynn did not disclose the payments in his application to renew his security clearance in 2016; the Democratic and GOP leaders of the House Oversight Committee earlier this year said that was likely an illegal omission.

Barry Coburn, Michael Flynn Jr.’s attorney, also declined to comment. Alan Futerfas, an attorney for Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., said he had no insight into the CNN story or any Mueller indictments.

Aaron May, an attorney for Jeffrey Yohai, Manafort’s former son-in-law, who has come under scrutiny for real estate transactions conducted with Paul Manafort, said he couldn’t talk about the case, but not because he was under any kind of court order. “I don’t know,” he said.

A spokesman for Mueller, Peter Carr, declined to comment.

While Trump’s lawyers said they were just as in the dark in deducing what was happening on the Mueller indictment front, they noted White House staff interviews were continuing. They said the president’s team was adamant about maintaining a cooperative approach with the special counsel — even though the public push back from the president, his White House communications staff and even his 2020 reelection campaign were headed in a very different direction.

As Friday night’s news dominated the cable airwaves, the president on Twitter posted a link to a New York Post tabloid op-ed with the headline, “How Team Hillary played the press for fools on Russia” along with a 34-second video titled “WHAT HAPPENED.”

Trump earlier on Friday also went after the Russia investigations and added a jab at his 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton, tweeting, “It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump. Was collusion with HC!”

During her daily press briefing at the White House on Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump’s tweet about an expensive investigation wasn’t just about the Mueller probe. “That’s not the only investigation that’s taking place. Congress has spent a great deal of time on this — a better part of a year. All of your news organizations have actually spent probably a lot of money on this as well, which we would consider probably a pretty big waste,” she said.

The Trump campaign in a text message to supporters just before the CNN story broke blasted out a fundraising solicitation for upwards of $2,700 from “Trump Headquarters” with a subject line, “RUSSIA?”

“The Script Has Been Flipped,” the campaign’s website read. “Crooked Hillary and the DNC have been EXPOSED paying a company to use a foreign agent to take down my Presidency. … And the company they used has ties to Russia. I need the IMMEDIATE support of the American people. Contribute now and DEMAND answers from Crooked Hillary and the DNC!”

 

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/28/trump-russia-probe-legal-244270

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American News Update

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