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Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation does not recommend any further indictments, according to several media reports.

A Justice Department official,who called Mueller's report "comprehensive" told the Associated Press that Mueller is finished pursuing indictments as part of his probe.

The official was not authorized to discuss the probe and asked for anonymity.

Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein at some point on Friday. The White House was informed of the news at 4:45 p.m. ET, according to reports.

As of now, the contents of the report are a closely guarded secret among a select group of DOJ officials. Barr told lawmakers he could brief them on Mueller's findings as soon as this weekend.

The Mueller investigation produced roughly three dozen indictments, although the vast majority of them involved Russians or Russian companies. President Donald Trump has proclaimed his innocence since the start, calling it a "witch hunt" and said his campaign did not work with the Russians to win the election.

Trump has yet to comment on the conclusion of Mueller's probe. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said neither Trump nor anyone else at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has been briefed on Mueller's findings.

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump’s lawyers want an early look at special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings before they are made public.

That’s according to Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s attorney. He says Trump’s legal team hasn’t received any assurances that they’ll get the early look they want, though.

Mueller notified Attorney General William Barr on Friday that he had concluded his probe of Russian election interference and any possible coordination with Donald Trump’s campaign.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Senior White House adviser and President Donald Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner will reportedly cooperate with the House Judiciary Committee's investigation into Trump's background.

According to The Hill, Kushner's lawyer confirmed he will hand over documents the panel requested as part of a sweeping Democratic probe.

With Democrats now in control of the House, they have targeted dozens of people in Trump's orbit as they look for anything that indicated Trump may have broken the law before or after he became president.

Judiciary panel chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has also asked Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump for documents.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Two of President Donald Trump's lawyers have spoken out regarding the end of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation, saying the ball is now in the Department of Justice's court.

Rudy Giuliani and Jay Sekulow released the following statement, which is similar to the straightforward one made by White House press secretary Sarah Sanders:

"We're pleased that the Office of Special Counsel has delivered its report to the attorney general pursuant to the regulations. Attorney General [William] Barr will determine the appropriate next steps."

Mueller delivered his final report on the Russia investigation, which began in May 2017 over allegations that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians, to Barr on Friday. It's not yet clear what the report says, although a DOJ official told the Associated Press the report does not recommend any more indictments as part of the probe.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Attorney General William Barr should “swiftly prepare a declassified version” of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, says Democratic Sen. Mark Warner.

"Congress and the American people deserve to judge the facts for themselves. The Special Counsel's report must be provided to Congress immediately, and the Attorney General should swiftly prepare a declassified version of the report for the public. Nothing short of that will suffice,” the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in a statement Friday.
“It is also critical that all documents related to the Special Counsel's investigation be preserved and made available to the appropriate Congressional committees,” he added.
“Any attempt by the Trump Administration to cover up the results of this investigation into Russia's attack on our democracy would be unacceptable."

Mueller on Friday delivered his long-awaited report to the Justice Department, a process that took 675 days and ate up most of Trump’s presidency.

Mueller’s team has indicted or won guilty pleas from 34 people and three companies as part of his investigation that has also probed issues unrelated to the 2016 campaign.

None of Trump’s associates have been charged with crimes related to collusion, though Roger Stone in January was charged with lying about his communications with WikiLeaks, the outlet that published hacked Democratic emails during the election.

Trump has repeatedly decried the probe as a “witch hunt” and has emphatically denied he or his campaign colluded with Russia to undermine Democrat Hillary Clinton’s chances.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell expressed relief that special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation has ended, asking for "openness and transparency" moving forward as Department of Justice officials prepare to make the report's findings public.

"I welcome the announcement that the special counsel has finally completed his investigation into Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2016 elections," said McConnell, a Kentucky Republican. "Many Republicans have long believed that Russia poses a significant threat to American interests. I hope the special counsel's report will help inform and improve our efforts to protect our democracy.

"The attorney general has said he intends to provide as much information as possible. As I have said previously, I sincerely hope he will do so as soon as he can, and with as much openness and transparency as possible."

Attorney General William Barr received Mueller's report on Friday, and he wrote to Congressional leaders that he might be able to brief them on the findings as soon as this weekend.

It's still unclear when the report's conclusions will be made public.

"I am grateful we have an experienced and capable attorney general in place to review the special counsel's report," McConnell said. "Attorney General Barr now needs the time to do that."

Source: NewsMax Politics

The White House has made its first comment regarding special counsel Robert Mueller's final report, saying it has not been briefed on the contents.

"The next steps are up to Attorney General Barr, and we look forward to the process taking its course," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said on Twitter. "The White House has not received or been briefed on the Special Counsel's report."

Mueller delivered his final report on the Russia probe to Barr late Friday afternoon. According to reports, the White House was informed of the news around 4:45 p.m. ET.

It's not yet clear what the report says, but Barr wrote to Congressional leaders that he might be able to brief them on the findings as soon as this weekend.

The probe began in May 2017 over claims that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians to win the 2016 election.

Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump on Friday said he knew nothing about son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's use of the WhatsApp encrypted messaging tool, a day after a top Democratic congressman pressed the White House for information on the issue.

Elijah Cummings, chairman of the House of Representatives Oversight Committee, on Thursday asked the White House about Kushner's use of the Facebook Inc-owned messaging application as part of his government work.

In a letter to the White House, seen by Reuters, Cummings said Kushner's lawyer Abbe Lowell had told lawmakers that Kushner used WhatsApp for official duties, a move that would violate current law prohibiting White House officials from using non-official electronic messaging accounts.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump denied any knowledge of Kushner's unofficial communications.

"I know nothing about it. I've never heard that, I've never heard about it," the Republican president said.

Representatives for Cummings had no immediate comment.

In his letter on Thursday, Cummings said Lowell also told Congress that Ivanka Trump – the president's daughter, Kushner's wife and also a top White House adviser – continued to use a personal email account for official business. That would also violate the Presidential Records Act.

Lowell, in a reply to Cummings, denied telling lawmakers that Kushner had communicated through any app with foreign "leaders" or "officials" but said Kushner had used such apps for communicating with "some people," who were not specified.

Lowell also denied commenting on Ivanka Trump's personal email account, saying the president's daughter "always forwards official business to her White House account."

In the 2016 presidential race, Trump railed against his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, for her use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state, inspiring chants at his rallies of "lock her up."

The FBI and the Department of Justice investigated Clinton but brought no charges.

Kushner's communications, particularly with foreign leaders, have been under scrutiny since the presidential campaign, and questions have been raised about his security clearance.

Separately, the Washington Post reported that Democratic leaders of six House committees planned to call on several federal agencies to preserve information they have given Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team for its investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The request will go to the Department of Justice, the FBI and the White House counsel's office, among others, the Post said, citing unnamed congressional aides familiar with the plan.

Cummings, in an essay in the Washington Post this week, said the White House so far has refused to respond to 12 letters seeking information on various topics and that his panel may have to issue subpoenas.

"If our committee must resort to issuing subpoenas, there should be no doubt about why," Cummings wrote. "This has nothing to do with presidential harassment and everything to do with unprecedented obstruction."

Trump has called Mueller's probe a "witch hunt" and has blasted House Democrats' investigations, likening them to "presidential harassment." Russia has rejected the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that it interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump's campaign.

Source: NewsMax Politics

The star goaltender of the 2018 Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals is opting out of the team's visit to the White House on Monday, calling it a "personal thing" that he hopes does not detract from the visit.

Braden Holtby told ESPN on Friday that he decided not to meet with President Donald Trump, making him the third player from the winning squad to skip the private meet and greet.

"It's one of those things you have to think about, but for me, I have to stay true to my values. I'm going to respectfully decline the offer," Holtby said.

"It's a tough situation for everyone, to be forced into making a decision. You're a team. You want to stick together, no matter what. I hope everyone kind of blows it away — that you don't worry about who goes and who doesn't. For me, it's just a personal thing. I believe in what I believe in.

"In order to stick to those values, I have to do what I think is right, but that doesn't make a difference in anyone else's decision. We stick by every teammate and their decision."

Capitals forward Brett Connolly also declined to attend the event, as did Devante Smith-Pelly — who is currently playing on the Capitals' farm team, the Hershey Bears.

After the Capitals won the Stanley Cup last June, Smith-Pelly, an African-American, said, "the things that [Trump] spews are straight-up racist and sexist."

Capitals coach Todd Reirden told ESPN his players have the right to decline the meeting with Trump, which will not be open to the media.

"I understand our players and their decisions and I respect it," Reirden said. "They're allowed to make their own decisions. It's important that we support them in whatever decision that they make."

The Capitals play at Capital One Arena, which is about a mile from the White House.

Source: NewsMax Politics

It's "shameful" that several 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls plan to attend this year's American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, and it shows there's a wing of the party base that is anti-Israel, Rep. Pete King said Friday.

"They are putting enormous pressure on these presidential candidates," the New York Republican told Fox News' "Outnumbered Overtime." "In many ways, the Democratic leadership in the House caved into this type of pressure two weeks ago after they wouldn't initiate the denunciation of what Congresswoman [Ilhan] Omar said, without linking it with every other group in the world."

Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, have all said they won't be attending the AIPAC three-day conference starting Sunday in Washington D.C. In addition, former Beto O'Rourke, and John Delaney have also said they won't attend.

Delaney blamed a scheduling conflict, but a Sanders' policy director, Josh Orton, said he won't go because he is concerned about the platform AIPAC provides for leaders "who have expressed bigotry and oppose a two-state solution, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Democrats such as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are not anti-Israel or anti-Jewish, said King, but there is still a wing of the party who is. Both reportedly plan to attend the event.

"We need to stand with our closest ally in the Middle East, which is the most dangerous region in the world," said King. "Nobody has to agree with every stand that AIPAC takes. The fact is that, as a centrist organization and for none of these currents down my candidates to peers really shameful. It shows this BDS Movement, the pro-Palestinian, critical of Israel movement, has really taken hold."

Source: NewsMax Politics

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