In a letter released on Sunday, Attorney General William Barr released the "principal conclusions" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation of President Trump, his 2016 campaign and allegations of collusion with Russia.
The four-page letter, addressed to top Democrats and Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, offered key insight into the nearly two-year-long investigation, the results of which were submitted to the Justice Department on Friday.
Probe does not find collusion between Trump campaign and Russia
Mueller’s investigation "did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated" with Russians who worked on those hacking efforts "despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign," Barr detailed in his letter.
Insufficient evidence for Trump obstructing justice
The attorney general said that the special counsel conducted a "thorough factual investigation" into whether Trump possibly obstructed justice. Mueller’s office, however, "determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment."
The special counsel "did not draw a conclusion" as to what constituted obstruction of justice, according to Barr’s letter.
Mueller "recognized" that the lack of evidence that Trump was involved in collusion would undercut any obstruction case — which would depend on showing a corrupt intent by the president. The investigation stated that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
Mueller’s office handed over the responsibility of determining "whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime" to the attorney general’s office.
Russian efforts to influence election
The investigation found that "there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election," Barr’s letter stated. The attempts stemmed from a Russian organization and the Russian government.
The first attempt to interfere in the election was by the Russian group, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), "to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election."
In addition, the special counsel’s office found that the Russian government tried to "conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election."
Investigators determined that "Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks."
In total, 26 Russian nationals and three Russian companies have been charged in connection to the investigation.
Mueller referred “other ongoing matters” to other federal offices
Barr said that the special counsel’s office referred "other ongoing matters" to "other offices" in Washington, D.C., "for further action," although Mueller did not recommend further indictments. Barr added that the timeline for processing the report "depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify" information that can’t be released to the public legally, before he determines what can go public.
Thousands of subpoenas issued during investigation
Mueller’s office "issued more than 2,800 subpoenas" and executed nearly 500 search warrants throughout the duration of the investigation, which lasted close to two years.
The office also "obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses" during the probe.
Source: Fox News Politics
Many of the Democrats running for president in 2020 responded to the release of key findings in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation Sunday by saying his report should go public in its entirety.
The findings, detailed in a letter from Attorney General William Barr, indicated that Mueller did not establish evidence President Trump’s team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election, and did not establish a conclusion on whether the president had obstructed justice.
Democrats who reacted after the release of the Mueller report’s summary included Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
Warren tweeted: “Congress voted 420-0 to release the full Mueller report. Not a "summary" from his handpicked Attorney General. AG Barr, make the full report public. Immediately.”
Booker tweeted: “The American public deserves the full report and findings from the Mueller investigation immediately—not just the in-house summary from a Trump Administration official.”
Gillibrand tweeted: “The Mueller report must be made public. Not just a letter from someone appointed by Trump to protect himself—all of it. The President works for the people, and he is not above the law.”
Harris tweeted: “The Mueller report needs to be made public, the underlying investigative materials should be handed over to Congress, and Barr must testify. That is what transparency looks like. A short letter from Trump’s hand-picked Attorney General is not sufficient.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Former South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report found no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential election, Democrats are going to have to go searching for some other avenue to criticize President Trump.
"They lost on collusion,” Gowdy said on Fox News on Sunday. “They’re going to have to pivot to something else.”
Gowdy, who spent Sunday playing golf with the president in Florida, made his comments shortly after Attorney General William Barr released a letter summarizing the Mueller’s findings from the lengthy investigation. In a four-page letter, Barr wrote that Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence that President Trump’s campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
The letter to Congress also said Mueller’s report "does not exonerate" the president on obstruction and instead "sets out evidence on both sides of the question." Barr said there was not sufficient evidence to determine an obstruction of justice offense against Trump.
Despite the findings in the report that were stated in Barr’s letter, Democrats have vowed to press on with their own investigations.
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the House Judiciary Committee chairman, tweeted that Barr’s letter to Congress says that while Trump may have acted to obstruct justice, the government would need to prove that "beyond a reasonable doubt."
Nadler tweeted Congress must hear from Barr about his decision making and see "all the underlying evidence for the American people to know all the facts."
Earlier in the day, Nadler said Congress and the public deserve to see the underlying evidence, not just a summary of conclusions, to make their own judgments on the Mueller report
Asked how long Democrats will be willing to wait before considering subpoenas, Nadler said, "It won’t be months."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
President Trump told reporters Sunday that the release of a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe findings represented a "complete and total exoneration," calling it "an illegal takedown that failed."
"So after a long look, after a long investigation, after so many people have been so badly hurt, after not looking at the other side, where a lot of bad things happened, a lot of horrible things happened, lot of very bad things happened for our country, it was just announced there was no collusion with Russia, the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard," Trump said as he prepared to board Air Force One to return to Washington from his Mar-A-Lago estate in Florida.
"There was no collusion with Russia," Trump went on. "There was no obstruction, none whatsoever. It was a complete and total exoneration. It’s a shame that our country had to go through this. To be honest, it’s a shame that your president has had to go through this. Before I even got elected, it began. And it began illegally. And hopefully somebody’s gonna look at the other side. This was an illegal takedown that failed. And hopefully, somebody’s going to be looking at the other side. So, it’s complete exoneration. No collusion, no obstruction."
The president who repeatedly decried the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt," also tweeted: "No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"
This is a developing story; please check back for updates.
Source: Fox News Politics
Trump administration officials reacted with jubilation Sunday after Attorney General William Barr released the "principal conclusions" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations that members of Trump’s 2016 campaign colluded with Russian officials.
According to Barr, the special counsel’s investigation "did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government" or Russia-linked organizations in either "disinformation and social media operations" or "computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the  election."
In his letter, Barr added that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had concluded that evidence collected by Mueller’s investigators "is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense."
White House Director of Social Media Dan Scavino was the first to react to the news, tweeting: "As we already knew, NO COLLUSION! Nothing different from what President @realDonaldTrump has been saying for the past TWO YEARS!!!"
Scavino was quickly followed by White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, who said in a statement: "The Special Counsel did not find any collusion and did not find any obstruction. Attorney General Barr and Deputy Attorney General [Rod] Rosenstein further determined there was no obstruction [of justice]. The findings of the Department of Justice are a total and complete exoneration of the President of the United States.”
President Trump had no immediate reaction to the news.
This is a developing story; check back for more updates.
Source: Fox News Politics
The following is Attorney General Bill Barr’s letter to key congressional leaders summarizing the findings of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report:
On Friday, the Special Counsel submitted to me a "confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions" he has reached, as required by 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c). This report is entitled "Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election." Although my review is ongoing, I believe that it is in the public interest to describe the report and to summarize the principal conclusions reached by the Special Counsel and the results of his investigation.
The report explains that the· Special Counsel and his staff thoroughly investigated allegations that members of the presidential campaign of Donald J. Trump, and others associated with it, conspired with the Russian government in its efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, or sought to obstruct the related federal investigations. In the report, the Special Counsel noted that, in completing his investigation, he employed 19 lawyers who were assisted by a team of approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, and other professional staff. The Special Counsel issued more than 2,800 subpoenas, executed nearly 500 search warrants, obtained more than 230 orders for communication records, issued almost 50 orders authorizing use of pen registers, made 13 requests to foreign governments for evidence, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
The Special Counsel obtained a number of indictments and convictions of individuals and entities in connection with his investigation, all of which have been publicly disclosed. During the course of his investigation, the Special Counsel also referred several matters to other offices for further action. The report does not recommend any further indictments, nor did the Special Counsel obtain any sealed indictments that have yet to be made public. Below, I summarize the principal conclusions set out in the Special Counsel’s report.
Russian Interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. The Special Counsel’s report is divided into two parts. The first describes the results of the Special Counsel’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The report outlines the Russian effort to influence the election and documents crimes committed by persons associated with the Russian government in connection with those efforts. The report further explains that a primary consideration for the Special Counsel’s investigation was whether any Americans -including individuals associated with the Trump campaign – joined the Russian conspiracies to influence the election, which would be a federal crime. The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities."1
The Special Counsel’s investigation determined that there were two main Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The first involved attempts by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to conduct disinformation and social media operations in the United States designed to sow social discord, eventually with the aim of interfering with the election. As noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated with the IRA in its efforts, although the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian nationals and entities in connection with these activities.
The second element involved the Russian government’s efforts to conduct computer hacking operations designed to gather and disseminate information to influence the election. The Special Counsel found that Russian government actors successfully hacked into computers and obtained emails from persons affiliated with the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations, and publicly disseminated those materials through various intermediaries, including WikiLeaks. Based on these activities, the Special Counsel brought criminal charges against a number of Russian military officers for conspiring to hack into computers in the United States for purposes of influencing the election. But as noted above, the Special Counsel did not find that the Trump campaign, or anyone associated with it, conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in these efforts, despite multiple. offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign.
Obstruction of Justice. The report’s second part addresses a number of actions by the President – most of which have been the subject of public reporting – that the Special Counsel investigated as potentially raising obstruction-of-justice concerns. After making a "thorough factual investigation" into these matters, the Special Counsel considered whether to evaluate the conduct under Department standards governing prosecution and declination decisions but ultimately determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment. The Special Counsel therefore did not draw a conclusion – one way or the other – as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction. Instead, for each of the relevant actions investigated, the report sets out evidence on both sides of the question and leaves unresolved what the Special Counsel views as "difficult issues" of law and fact concerning whether the President’s actions and intent could be viewed as obstruction .. The Special Counsel states that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him."
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime. Over the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s office engaged in discussions with certain Department officials regarding many of the legal and factual matters at issue in the Special Counsel’s obstruction investigation. After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues; consulting with Department officials, including the Office of Legal Counsel; and applying the principles of federal prosecution that guide our charging decisions, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. Our determination was made without regard to, and is not based on, the constitutional considerations that surround the indictment and criminal prosecution of a sitting president. 2
In making this determination, we noted that the Special Counsel recognized that "the evidence does not establish that the President was involved in an underlying crime related to Russian election interference," and that, while not determinative, the absence of such evidence bears upon the President’s intent with respect to obstruction. Generally speaking, to obtain and sustain an obstruction conviction, the government would need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person, acting with corrupt intent, engaged in obstructive conduct with a sufficient nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding. In cataloguing the President’s actions, many of which took place in public view, the report identifies no actions that, in our judgment, constitute obstructive conduct, had a nexus to a pending or contemplated proceeding, and were done with corrupt intent, each of which, under the Department’s principles of federal prosecution guiding charging decisions, would need to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt to establish an obstruction-of-justice offense.
Status of the Department’s Review
The relevant regulations contemplate that the Special Counsel’s report will be a "confidential report" to the Attorney General. See Office of Special Counsel, 64 Fed. Reg. 37,038, 37,040-41 (July 9, 1999). As I have previously stated, however, I am mindful of the public interest in this matter. For that reason, my goal and intent is to release as much of the Special Counsel’s report as I can consistent with applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
Based on my discussions with the Special Counsel and my initial review, it is apparent that the report contains material that is or could be subject to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6( e ), which imposes restrictions on the use and disclosure of information relating to "matter[ s] occurring before [a] grand jury." Fed. R. Crim. P. 6(e)(2)(B). Rule 6(e) generally limits disclosure of certain grand jury information in a criminal investigation and prosecution. Id. Disclosure of 6( e) material beyond the strict limits set forth in the rule is a crime in certain circumstances. See, e.g., 18 U.S.C. § 401(3). This restriction protects the integrity of grand jury proceedings and ensures that the unique and invaluable investigative powers of a grand jury are used strictly for their intended criminal justice function.
Given these restrictions, the schedule for processing the report depends in part on how quickly the Department can identify the 6( e) material that by law cannot be made public. I have requested the assistance of the Special Counsel in identifying all 6( e) information contained in the report as quickly as possible. Separately, I also must identify any information that could impact other ongoing matters, including those that the Special Counsel has referred to other offices. As soon as that process is complete, I will be in a position to move forward expeditiously in determining what can be released in light of applicable law, regulations, and Departmental policies.
As I observed in my initial notification, the Special Counsel regulations provide that "the Attorney General may determine that public release of’ notifications to your respective Committees "would be in the public interest." 28 C.F.R. § 600.9(c). I have so determined, and I will disclose this letter to the public after delivering it to you.
William P. Barr Attorney General
Source: Fox News Politics
Attorney General William Barr on Sunday released the "principal conclusions" of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s completed Russia probe in a bombshell four-page letter to Capitol Hill lawmakers, which stated definitively that Mueller did not establish evidence that President Trump’s team or any associates of the Trump campaign had conspired with Russia – "despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign."
Mueller’s team specifically looked into two Russian efforts to interfere with the 2016 election — first, the work by a Russian organization, the Internet Research Agency (IRA), to "conduct disinformation and social media operations" designed to "sow discord" in the U.S."
Aaccording to Barr’s letter, "The special counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its effort" to interfere with the 2016 presidential election in that manner.
Next, Mueller investigated whether the Trump team was involved in the hacking of emails, many of which were released publicly, that belonged to the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
"The Special Counsel did not find that any U.S. person or Trump campaign official or associate conspired or knowingly coordinated" with Russians who worked on those hacking efforts, according to Barr’s letter, "despite multiple offers from Russian-affiliated individuals to assist the Trump campaign."
Mueller’s report did not reach a conclusion on whether the Trump campaign obstructed justice, and left that decision to Barr and officials at the DOJ. But Mueller "recognized," according to Barr’s letter, that the lack of evidence that Trump was involved in collusion would undercut any obstruction case — which would depend on showing a corrupt intent by the president.
Barr’rs letter concluded: “After reviewing the Special Counsel’s final report on these issues… Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.”
Barr added, "the Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does no exonerate him.’"
For Trump, though, who has tweeted more than 230 times that he and his team did not collude with Russians, the moment amounted to a near-total vindication.
Barr said Mueller’s team had "thoroughly" investigated allegations that Trump’s team sought to conspire with Russians or obstruct investigators. Mueller said he employed 19 lawyers and approximately 40 FBI agents, executing hundreds of search warrants, 10 pen registers, and interviewed approximately 500 witnesses.
Barr’s disclosure was a capstone moment following the 22-month investigation that ensnared six former Trump advisers and associates — but resulted in no indictments related to collusion with Russia.
The letter promised to settle some of the largest outstanding questions of the Mueller investigation, even as Democrats on Sunday vowed to press on with other investigations, and members of both parties continued to push for the public release of as much of the Mueller report as possible.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that he believed there remained “significant evidence of collusion” linking the Russian government with President Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Schiff said Democrats might subpoena Mueller if the full report is not released.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., speaking to "Fox News Sunday," insisted, "So we know a lot of things and maybe it’s not indictable, but we know there was collusion. The question is the degree."
Democrat congressional leaders scrambled to respond to the end of the Mueller probe this weekend, holding an emergency conference call and discussing potential next steps.
A top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee conceded to reporters Saturday that Barr’s release of Mueller’s conclusions likely would be a cause for celebration among President Trump’s supporters — many of whom have stood by the president for more than two years amid a torrent of unproven allegations that the Trump campaign illegally worked with Russia to influence the 2016 election.
"It’s the end of the beginning but it’s not the beginning of the end," Delaware Sen. Chris Coons said, echoing his party’s strategy of moving forward on to other investigations, including probes into Trump’s financial dealings. "Once we get the principal conclusions of the report," he added later, "I think it’s entirely possible that that will be a good day for the president and his core supporters."
Along those lines, Nadler said that Democrats would continue their efforts.
"The job of Congress is much broader than the job of the special counsel," Nadler said. "The special counsel is looking and can only look for crimes. We have to protect the rule of law, we have to look for abuses of power, we have to look for obstructions of justice, we have to look for corruption in the exercise of power which may not be crimes."
But House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Doug Collins, R-Ga., speaking to "Fox News Sunday," argued that Democrats were unlikely to uncover anything Mueller could not.
"As we’ve seen in the first two months of this Congress, [Democrats] really don’t have a policy agenda," Collins said. "They have an agenda against the President. They have an agenda to try and win 2020. And so, what we’re seeing is, they think that they can go into the Judiciary Committee or any other committee and have a limited budget, limited subpoena power, limited staff and go up against an investigation that lasted 22 months, had unlimited power, unlimited subpoena power, had plenty of investigators — and they think they can find something more than what they did, then I think they’re sadly mistaken."
A former senior law enforcement official echoed those remarks, telling Fox News that Democrats would lack key investigative powers that Mueller had, including the ability to convene grand juries — and that Nadler’s path amounted to trying to criminalize meetings with foreign actors that the special counsel apparently determined were simply not criminal.
“With all the talk of the Democrats intensifying their House investigations," the former official said, it was important to note that "unlike Special Counsel Mueller, Congress and the [DOJ Inspector General] cannot convene grand juries and initiate prosecutions. If Mueller couldn’t find collusion or conspiracy with every investigative tool, what do the Democrats expect to accomplish?"
Some conservatives, meanwhile, argued that Democrats should come under increased scrutiny for their contacts with foreign nationals. Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) hired the firm Fusion GPS, which employed Britsh ex-spy Christopher Steele to produce an anti-Trump dossier that the FBI used to justify the surveillance a top Trump aide and kickstart the Russia probe — even as text messages exclusively obtained by Fox News this week revealed that the DOJ seemingly raised "repeated" concerns that Steele, whose anti-Trump views are now widely known, was politically biased.
The Trump aide, Carter Page, has not been charged with any wrongdoing, although the FBI initially alleged he had conspired with Russians.
On Sunday, Ohio GOP Rep. Jim Jordan said Sunday that if the Mueller report is disclosed publicly, then all documents relating to it should also be published — including the complete Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant application to monitor Page.
"We have asked for that information to be made public a long time ago,” Jordan said in a televised interview.
In a show of confidence, for his part, Trump waved and flashed two thumbs up to supporters as he returned to his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Saturday. The entertainer Kid Rock later uploaded a photograph of his golf outing with Trump earlier in the day.
On Sunday morning, Trump broke an unusual, nearly 40-hour-long Twitter silence, writing simply, "Good Morning, Have A Great Day!"
He added, minutes later: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"
White House officials told Fox News that Trump then embarked on a golf outing with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., and chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
This is a breaking story. Check back for updates.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson at the Justice Department and Chris Wallace contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Former assistant Watergate prosecutor Jon Sale said on Sunday that President Donald Trump should be very happy with what has so far been revealed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report into Russian interference into the 2016 election – but warned that this is only “round one.”
Speaking on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” Sale said that the summary of Mueller’s report that is expected to be released on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr could shed more light on what Mueller’s investigation turned up, but will most likely disappoint people looking for more details into any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials in 2016.
“I think in round one, the president should be very happy,” Sale said. “But it’s only round one, and now where are we? We’re waiting for the attorney general to decide what his summary is going to be.”
Sale added: “What [Barr] received from Mueller is, by regulation confidential…What I think he is going to release sometime today may disappoint us as I don’t think it’s going to be as detailed and give the underlying information everybody is waiting for.”
Mueller’s investigation is known to have concluded without a recommendation for further indictments after having snared nearly three dozen people, senior Trump campaign operatives among them. The probe illuminated Russia’s assault on the American political system, painted the Trump campaign as eager to exploit the release of hacked Democratic emails to hurt Hillary Clinton and exposed lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts.
Mueller submitted his report to Barr instead of directly to Congress and the public because, unlike independent counsels such as Ken Starr in the case of President Bill Clinton, his investigation operated under the close supervision of the Justice Department, which appointed him.
Mueller was assigned to the job in May 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw much of his work. Barr and Rosenstein analyzed Mueller’s report on Saturday, laboring to condense it into a summary letter of main conclusions.
Barr said he wants to release as much as he can under the law. That decision will require him to weigh the Justice Department’s longstanding protocol of not releasing negative information about people who aren’t indicted against the extraordinary public interest in a criminal investigation into the president and his campaign.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said Sunday that he doesn’t understand why President Trump has revived his criticism of the late Arizona Sen. John McCain.
While admitting that he didn’t always see eye to eye with McCain, Rubio said he respected the longtime lawmaker and Vietnam veteran for his service to the country and was confused as to why Trump continued to attack McCain and his legacy months after the seantor’s death.
“I don’t get it, I don’t understand it,” Rubio said on NBC’s “Meet The Press.” “I didn’t agree with John McCain on everything but so what? I honored and I respected his service to the country and his time in the Senate. I always felt he did things he felt passionate about.”
Trump last week slammed McCain during a speech to workers at an Army tank plant in Ohio – criticizing the deceased lawmaker for his support of the United States’ wars in the Middle East and his infamous vote against repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act.
Trump tore into McCain’s legacy and in an unusual remark, and took credit for the late senator’s state funeral in Washington late last year.
“I endorsed him at his request, gave him the kind of funeral he wanted, which as president of the United States I had to approve,” Trump said.
“I don’t care, but I didn’t get a thank you.” “I never liked him much,” Trump said. “I really probably never will.”
The president’s recent criticism of McCain and his legacy has rankled many members of his own Republican party – with many GOP lawmakers speaking out in defense of the late Arizona senator.
“Today and every day I miss my good friend John McCain,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., tweeted. “It was a blessing to serve alongside a rare patriot and genuine American hero in the Senate. His memory continues to remind me every day that our nation is sustained by the sacrifices of heroes.”
Trump’s feud with McCain dates back to well before he was elected president.
In 2015, after McCain had said Trump’s platform had "fired up the crazies," Trump mocked McCain’s imprisonment in the Vietnam War, saying: "I like people that weren’t captured."
The two continued to be at odds until McCain’s death from brain cancer last year.
While Trump had remained quiet about his dislike of McCain since the senator’s death, over the weekend the president renewed his attacks on McCain and blasted giving the FBI the uncorroborated Steele dossier alleging that Moscow held compromising information on Trump.
“Spreading the fake and totally discredited dossier ‘is unfortunately a very dark stain against John McCain.’ Ken Starr, Former Independent Counsel,” Trump tweeted. “He had far worse “stains” than this, including thumbs down on repeal and replace after years of campaigning to repeal and replace!”
Megan McCain, the late senator’s daughter and a co-host on ABC’s “The View,” tweeted early Wednesday: “As my father always used to say to me – Illegitimi non carborundum” – a mock-Latin aphorism loosely translated as "Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” She followed up on “The View” by saying her father “would think it was so hilarious that our president was so jealous of him that he was dominating the news cycle in death.”
Source: Fox News Politics
Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, argued on Sunday that all the documents relating to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should be released if the report is eventually made public.
While Jordan did not say if he would directly ask President Trump to release all the documents surrounding the investigation, he said that if Democrats want the information made public, then they should be prepared for everything involving Mueller’s investigation to be released.
“If the Democrats are going to call for all that to be released, then they should call for everything to be released," Jordan said during an appearance on ABC’s “This Week.”
Jordan specifically demanded the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act application on former Trump aide Carter Page, "302" summaries from the FBI, and any information on briefings lawmakers received on the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump.
“We have asked for that information to be made public a long time ago,” he said.
Jordan added that he does not think that Mueller’s report will be the “bombshell” that some Democrats are hoping for.
“We haven’t seen any” indication of the “central charge of the special counsel … to see if this was conspiracy, coordination, or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to impact the election,” Jordan said.
“They don’t think this Mueller report is going to be the bombshell they anticipated,” Jordan added in reference to House Democrats. “Now they’re launching other charges, other investigations.”
Democrats are on a hair trigger over the prospect that some information may be withheld.
"I suspect that we’ll find those words of transparency to prove hollow, that in fact they will fight to make sure that Congress doesn’t get this underlying evidence," Rep. Adam Schiff of California, chairman of the House intelligence committee, said on ABC’s "This Week."
His plan: Ask for information and if that’s denied, "subpoena. If subpoenas are denied, we will haul people before the Congress. And yes, we will prosecute in court as necessary to get this information."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Source: Fox News Politics