Tag Archives: counsel

Jury finds former Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig not guilty in foreign-influence case

Jury finds former Obama White House Counsel Gregory Craig not guilty in foreign-influence caseA jury found former Obama White House Counsel Greg Craig not guilty Wednesday of providing false information to federal investigators.



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Former Obama counsel acquitted of lying to government

Former Obama counsel acquitted of lying to governmentProminent Washington lawyer Greg Craig was found not guilty of lying to the Justice Department about work he did for the government of Ukraine in a case that arose from the special counsel’s Russia investigation and that centered on the lucrative world of foreign lobbying. The swift verdict on Wednesday was a setback to the Justice Department’s crackdown on lobbyists who do unregistered work for foreign governments and came as prosecutors have been ramping up enforcement of a decades-old law meant to police foreign influence and promote transparency. U.S. officials hoped a conviction would demonstrate an aggressive approach to lobbyists who fail to register their foreign work or who give false information to the Justice Department to avoid identifying themselves as a foreign agent, as Craig was alleged to have done.



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Mueller testimony exposes Trump as special counsel outlines possible crimes and Russian interference

Mueller testimony exposes Trump as special counsel outlines possible crimes and Russian interferenceRobert Mueller defended the findings from his report about Russian interference in the 2016 election on Wednesday during back-to-back congressional testimonies on Capitol Hill.While the former special counsel publicly outlined examples of alleged obstruction of justice on the part of Donald Trump and his White House aides, the hearings fell short of a summer blockbuster testimony many Democrats had hoped for. Mr Mueller directly refuted the president’s frequent claims he did not obstruct justice during the former special counsel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election while testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday."The president has repeatedly claimed that your report found that there was no obstruction and that it completely and totally exonerated him. But that is not what your report said is it?" Jerrold Nadler, the Democratic House Judiciary chairman, asked Mr Mueller at one point. "Correct. It is not what the report said," Mr Mueller told the committee. “So the report did not conclude that he did not commit obstruction of justice? Is that correct,” the chairman asked. “That is correct,” Mr Mueller replied.Still, Mr Mueller declined to implicate the president in any specific criminal act or indicate whether he would have charged Mr Trump with obstruction of justice if he were not currently the sitting president of the United States. Democrats repeatedly suggested the sole reason Mr Trump was not charged in the investigation was due to guidelines that said a sitting president cannot be indicted — a claim the former special counsel appeared to agree with when speaking to California Democrat Ted Lieu, before later walking back his comments in his second testimony on Wednesday. “Although Department policy barred you from indicting the President for this conduct, you made clear that he is not exonerated,” House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler said in his opening statement. “Any other person who acted this way would have been charged with a crime. And in this nation, not even the President is above the law."Mr Mueller continued to make clear during his testimony on Wednesday that Mr Trump was not cleared of obstruction of justice, saying at one point, “The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed.”He also noted his team did not “address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term,” during his opening remarks. The former special counsel’s 448-page report on Russian interference in the 2016 election did not fully exonerate the president as Mr Trump has repeatedly claimed. “If we had had confidence that the President clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” the report reads. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the President did commit a crime.”On Wednesday, Mr Mueller made clear that Mr Trump could still face obstruction of justice charges when he is no longer president. “Under Department of Justice policy, the president could be prosecuted for obstruction of justice crimes after he leaves office, correct?" Mr Nadler asked. “True,” Mr Mueller replied.The former special counsel also described in detail Russia’s “sweeping and systematic” efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. He said he did not find sufficient evidence to connect the president to these efforts in a criminal conspiracy.Before Mr Mueller arrived to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for his back-to-back testimonies before Congressional committees, over 80 House Democrats expressed support for launching an impeachment inquiry into the president. It remains unclear for now whether the former special counsel’s public testimony will increase calls for impeachment across Washington and beyond. An NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll published 14 July showed 21 per cent of registered voters felt Congress had enough evidence to begin impeachment hearings. Mr Trump launched a series of attacks against the former special counsel on Twitter ahead of his public testimony on Wednesday, writing, “So why didn’t the highly conflicted Robert Mueller investigate how and why Crooked Hillary Clinton deleted and acid washed 33,000 Emails immediately AFTER getting a SUBPOENA from the United States Congress? She must have GREAT lawyers!”The president also tweeted his frequent, all-caps claim: “NO COLLUSION, NO OBSTRUCTION!”



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Mueller testimony: Five crucial takeaways from special counsel hearings

Mueller testimony: Five crucial takeaways from special counsel hearingsDonald Trump said Robert Mueller’s testimony on Capitol Hill was “one of the worst performances in the history of our country”. Meanwhile, for at least one Democratic congressman, it underscored the need to open impeachment hearings.Over the course of more than five hours of quiet, rather than dramatic testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr Mueller defended the work of team of investigators and the report that was made public in April.It is not clear whether the appearance of Mr Mueller will benefit the cause of those pushing for Mr Trump’s impeachment. Indeed, Nancy Pelosi said afterwards, there was no immediate plans to open proceedings.Some Democrats were said to have been disappointed the 74-year-old who once headed the FBI, had not provided more of a blockbuster, or provided a fresh bombshell.At the same time, Mr Mueller’s public words were significant in a number of ways. There are five of the most important things:Possible obstruction of justiceMr Mueller said Trump tried to have him fired, asked the White House counsel to lie about it, and ordered aide Corey Lewandowski to limit the scope of his investigation. In his response to questions from Ted Lieu and later Adam Schiff, Mr Mueller may have not gone materially beyond what was in his report, but hearing him state this in person was a powerful moment.No exoneration:The president repeatedly claims Mr Mueller’s report cleared him of both collusion with Russia and obstruction of justice. But the special counsel again denied this. Asked whether the report exonerated Mr Trump on the question of obstruction of justice, Mr Mueller said: “That is not what the report said. The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed.”President’s written answers were ‘generally’ untruthfulMr Mueller made clear he would have preferred a sit down interview with the president rather than a written Q&A, but that he had to agree to that given the amount of time if would have taken to go through the courts to force a face-to-face. Mr Mueller said he had sent several follow up questions but received no response.Asked by congresswoman Val Demmings, if Mr Trump’s written answers to questions were inadequate, incomplete and untruthful, Mr Mueller said: “Generally.”Russian interference still continuingMr Mueller said the Trump campaign was aware of Russia’s efforts to help him in 2016. He denied the investigation was a “witch hunt”, and that it had found the Russian government “interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion”. He said Russia’s efforts in 2016 were not a “single attempt”. He said: “They’re doing it as we sit here.”Mueller refused to be mouthpiece for Democrats’ pushing for Trump impeachmentCongresswoman Veronica Escobar asked Mr Mueller about a mention in his report about “constitutional processes for addressing presidential misconduct”, something those in favour of Mr Trump’s impeachment took as call to arms. Mr Mueller refused to answer when asked specifically whether one of those “processes” was impeachment.



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With Mueller testimony looming, Trump predicts trouble for special counsel and Dems

With Mueller testimony looming, Trump predicts trouble for special counsel and DemsThe former special counsel "should not be given another bite at the apple,” the president wrote on Twitter.



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UPDATE 3-Trump denies telling White House counsel to fire Mueller from Russia probe

UPDATE 3-Trump denies telling White House counsel to fire Mueller from Russia probeU.S. President Donald Trump denied on Thursday that he had ordered then-White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller from the Russia investigation, moving to undermine McGahn’s credibility ahead of a possible congressional testimony. Trump’s move appears to be part of an effort by the White House to push back on attempts by congressional Democrats to pursue investigations related to Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference in 2016 and possible obstruction of justice by Trump. “As has been incorrectly reported by the Fake News Media, I never told then White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire Robert Mueller, even though I had the legal right to do so.



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House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Ex-WH Counsel McGahn

House Judiciary Committee Subpoenas Ex-WH Counsel McGahnHouse Judiciary Committee chairman Jerry Nadler subpoenaed former White House counsel Donald McGahn on Monday, days after the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report drew attention to McGahn's assertion that President Trump directed him to have the Justice Department fire Mueller.Nadler said he considers McGahn, who left the White House in October, a "critical witness" in his committee's probe of the president and his associates, which is focused in part on the question of whether Trump obstructed justice during the Russia investigation. Mueller declined to reach a conclusion on that question in his final report, which was released with redactions on Thursday."Mr. McGahn is a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the Mueller report. His testimony will help shed further light on the President's attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same," Nadler said in a statement.The New York Democrat requested that McGahn submit the documents the Committee has requested by May 7 and testify by May 21.Trump has railed against the report since its release, making particular reference to notes McGahn claimed to have taken during his time in the White House and subsequently provided to Mueller's team."Statements are made about me by certain people in the Crazy Mueller Report, in itself written by 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters, which are fabricated & totally untrue," he wrote on Twitter on Friday. "Watch out for people that take so-called 'notes,' when the notes never existed until needed."



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U.S. House panel chair subpoenas ex-White House counsel McGahn on Mueller inquiry

U.S. House panel chair subpoenas ex-White House counsel McGahn on Mueller inquiryU.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel in its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. In a statement, Nadler, a Democrat, said the committee had asked for documents from McGahn by May 7 and for him to testify on May 21. A report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly released on Thursday by the Justice Department said Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller as he was investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow officials.



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Democrats subpoena ex-White House counsel Don McGahn in wake of Mueller report findings

Democrats subpoena ex-White House counsel Don McGahn in wake of Mueller report findingsThe chairman of the House judiciary committee has subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to force him to publicly testify next month, in the latest fallout following the release of the Mueller report.Representative Jerry Nadler, described Mr McGahn as “a critical witness to many of the alleged instances of obstruction of justice and other misconduct described in the special counsel’s report”.Several other top allies to Donald Trump are expected to be subpoenaed to testify before Congress in addition to Mr McGahn, who stepped down from his post in October.“The special counsel’s report, even in redacted form, outlines substantial evidence that President Trump engaged in obstruction and other abuses,” Mr Nadler said.He continued: “It now falls to Congress to determine for itself the full scope of the misconduct and to decide what steps to take in the exercise of our duties of oversight, legislation and constitutional accountability.”Mr Nadler’s subpoena requests that Mr McGahn appear before the committee on 21 May, with a deadline of 7 May to provide documents to the judiciary committee related to Mr Mueller’s investigation.The subpoena comes as Democrats have wrestled with the fallout of the Mueller report, and whether they should pursue impeachment against the president in light of the multiple concerning details in the report.House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those in the Democratic caucus who have urged patience in the process, and on Monday wrote to fellow Democrats, suggesting they allow investigations in Congress to establish a factual basis for impeachment before they begin talking on the subject.Mr McGahn’s “testimony will help shed further light on the President’s attacks on the rule of law, and his attempts to cover up those actions by lying to the American people and requesting others do the same”, Mr Nadler said.



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House panel chair subpoenas ex-White House counsel McGahn on Mueller inquiry

House panel chair subpoenas ex-White House counsel McGahn on Mueller inquiryU.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler on Monday subpoenaed former White House counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel in its investigation of possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. In a statement, Nadler, a Democrat, said the committee had asked for documents from McGahn by May 7 and for him to testify on May 21. A report by Special Counsel Robert Mueller publicly released on Thursday by the Justice Department said Trump asked McGahn to fire Mueller as he was investigating suspected Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and possible coordination between Trump campaign members and Moscow officials.



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