trump

Kevin Daley | Supreme Court Reporter

Democratic California Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday that there is compelling evidence that President Donald Trump colluded with Russian interests during the 2016 presidential election.

The accusation comes as special counsel Robert Mueller concluded his investigation without charging any U.S. citizen with a collusion-related crime, though six Trump associates were charged for unrelated criminal offenses.

“There’s a difference between compelling evidence of collusion and whether the special counsel concludes that he can prove beyond a reasonable doubt the criminal charge of conspiracy,” Schiff told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.

“I have trust in [Mueller’s] prosecutorial judgment,” Schiff added. “But that doesn’t mean, of course, that there isn’t compelling and incriminating evidence that should be shared with the American people.”

Schiff listed several episodes as substantiating the collusion charge, including the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between campaign officials and a Kremlin-aligned lawyer, former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s post-election conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and erstwhile Trump confidant Roger Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks.

The conduct underlying those widely reported episodes did not result in criminal indictments, though Flynn and Stone were charged with various process crimes. Mueller’s investigation, at Schiff’s urging, of Donald Trump Jr., Erik Prince and Jared Kushner for lying to Congress also concluded without indictments. (RELATED: Tucker Calls For Roger Stone Pardon)

WATCH the interview:

Attorney General William Barr will deliver a top line summary of Mueller’s report to Congress on Sunday. It is not yet clear whether Congress or the public will have access to Mueller’s report in full. In a Friday letter to relevant committee chairmen, Barr said he would make decisions as to disclosure consistent with the law and DOJ practice.

“I remain committed to as much transparency as possible,” Barr wrote.

A related dispute as to executive privilege may follow. The White House may wish to shield portions of the report that relate to communications within the executive branch, among other subjects. Such a move is sure to draw fierce criticism from Democrats.

Whatever the particulars of the special counsel’s report, Schiff indicated that the House Intelligence Committee would continue its investigations, Mueller’s own conclusions notwithstanding.

“We have an independent obligation to share the facts with the American people,” Schiff said. “We in the Intelligence Committee have a particular obligation to determine whether there is evidence that the president may be compromised in any way, whether that is criminal or not.”

The House Judiciary Committee is separately undertaking its own wide-ranging investigation of the president.

Mueller submitted his final report to Justice Department leadership on Friday.

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Henry Rodgers | Capitol Hill Reporter

Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan said anything related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe should be released to the public Sunday, as Attorney General William Barr looks over the completed report.

“If he is going to release all of the information, then I want all of it released,” Jordan said on ABC’s “This Week.” I want those 302’s. I want the conversations between Bruce Ohr and Christopher Steele, the guy who wrote the dossier, Glenn Simpson, the guy the Clinton campaign hired to put the dossier together, I want all those conversations that Bruce Ohr had with Glenn Simpson and Christopher Steele. Those notes from the FBI, I want all that made public.”

WATCH:

“I want the FISA application to be made public! They used that dossier, took it to a secret court, didn’t tell the court the Clinton campaign paid for that document, didn’t tell the court that a foreigner who was desperate to stop Trump from being elected president, wrote the document,” Jordan continued. “Let’s release it all.”

Regardless of the reports findings, which is likely to show no collusion between Trump and Russia, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler requested a number of documents from the White House and is sending letters seeking information from people and organizations close to President Donald Trump on March 4. (RELATED: Nadler Unleashes Massive Document Requests Into Threats Against Rule Of Law)

Nadler sent the requests to 81 groups, people and organizations, searching for Constitutional abuses and corruption by Trump. The New York Democrat said Sunday the requests for documents are to “begin investigations, to present the case to the American people about obstruction of justice, about corruption and abuse of power.”

Democrats and cable news pundits have begin to say the Mueller report is a cover up, even though it has not been released.

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Executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing and any attempt by the White House and President Donald Trump to block parts of special counsel Robert Mueller's report from Congress or the public would not be "right" nor "successful," according to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

"The president must personally assert executive privilege, and I do not believe it exists here at all because, as we learned from the [former President Richard] Nixon tapes case, executive privilege cannot be used to hide wrongdoing," Nadler told NBC's "Meet the Press."

". . . The president may try to assert it, may try to hide things behind it, but I don't think that's right or [would] be successful."

Rep. Nadler referred to the unanimous 1974 Supreme Court ruling on the Nixon tapes that rejected executive privilege overriding the judicial process.

President Trump has reportedly weighed using executive privilege to review classified material not related to any indictment legal proceeding, merely the public release of potentially politicized material that is not used in review criminality.

"Congress must get all the information and the evidence that the Department of Justice may have in order to exercise our function of being able to hold the president accountable," Nadler told host Chuck Todd. "If we don't do that, if we can't do that the president is effectively above the law."

Source: NewsMax Politics

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday did not rule out an impeachment of President Donald Trump — but said it would depend on “overwhelming evidence of criminality.”

In an interview on ABC News’ "This Week," Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, qualified his remarks to the San Francisco Chronicle that if there’s no bombshell in the final report of special counsel Robert Mueller report, there’d be no impeachment.

"Not necessarily,” Schiff said Sunday.  “Because… [the Department of Justice]  can't indict the president. That's their policy. And therefore there could be overwhelming evidence on the obstruction issue [in the Mueller report]. And I don't know if that's the case, but if there were overwhelming evidence of criminality on the president's part, then the Congress would need to consider that remedy if indictment is foreclosed."

Schiff also pushed back at GOP claims saying declarations of vindication for Trump in the completed Mueller probe are wrong.

Trump’s allies have “been saying with each indictment that it's a vindication,” he said. “About six people close to the president have been indicted. That hardly looks like vindication to me.”

He also called it a “mistake” for Mueller to have not interviewed the president before ending the investigation.

“It was a mistake to rely on written responses by the president,” he said.That is generally more what the lawyer has to say than what the individual has to say. I can certainly understand why the lawyers like [Rudy] Giuliani were fighting this, because the president is someone who seems pathologically incapable of telling the truth for long periods of time.

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Source: NewsMax Politics

CNN’s Carl Bernstein defended the media on Sunday against criticism of its coverage of President Donald Trump and the Russia probe, saying that the press “has done one of the greatest reporting jobs” in the history of presidential coverage.

“Look, let’s look at where the disinformation and mistakes and lying have come from. It hasn’t come from the press. It’s come from the President of the United States and those around him,” Bernstein said on CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” hosted by Brian Stelter.

Stelter used the opening of his show to defend major news outlets against allegations from conservatives that the press uncritically pushed the narrative for two years that Trump colluded with Russia. (RELATED: The List Of CNN’s Bungled Reporting Is A Sight To Behold)

Special counsel Robert Mueller ended his Russia probe on Friday with the delivery of a final report to the Justice Department. An agency official said that no other indictments will be issued in the investigation, meaning that no charges were filed in the 22-month long investigation for conspiracy or collusion between Trump associates and Russia.

CNN has been at the forefront of reporting on possible collusion involving Trump, frequently airing dramatic headlines suggesting that Trump or his associates conspired with Russia. The network has also been responsible for some of the biggest blunders in Trump-Russia reporting.

On Dec. 8, 2017, CNN reported that Donald Trump Jr. received an email on Sept. 4, 2016, containing a link to WikiLeaks materials. The timing of the email was significant because the information contained in the link had not been made public. But it turned out that CNN bungled the date of the email. Trump Jr. received it on Sept. 14, 2016, a day after the information had been made public. (RELATED: CNN Botches Major ‘Bombshell’ Accusing Trump Jr. Of WikiLeaks Contact)

Bernstein was one of the reporters on another major CNN blunder.

On July 27, 2018, Bernstein and CNN’s Jim Sciutto reported that former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was planning to tell the special counsel that he overheard Donald Trump Jr. telling his father in June 2016 about a now-infamous meeting at Trump Tower with a group of Russians.

That bombshell report soon fell apart after one of the story’s sources, Cohen lawyer Lanny Davis, acknowledged that he had inaccurate information. Cohen was not aware of Trump Jr. telling his father about the meeting.

Bernstein, best known for his Watergate coverage in the 1970s, was one of the four CNN reporters on the story that led to the publication of the Steele dossier, the unverified report that accuses Trump and his associates of colluding with the Russian government.

“I think we’ve done — the media, the press — has done one of the great reporting jobs in the history, especially of covering a presidency, by the most news organizations,” Bernstein said Sunday.

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Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz tore into House Democrats on Sunday, arguing that they absolutely intend to impeach President Donald Trump — and that they don’t even care why.

WATCH:

Cruz appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” with guest host Dana Bash on Sunday, immediately following House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, and he pointed out what he felt was telling about Nadler’s comments. (RELATED: Top-Ranking Democrat Says Mueller Report Doesn’t Matter — ‘We Know There Was Collusion)

Listen, if anyone thinks that the Mueller report being concluded is the end of the Democrats’ attempt to take down President Trump, they haven’t been paying attention the last two years. It’s striking as I listened to your interview with Congressman Nadler that he was immediately pivoting away.

He then turned back to Bash, saying, “You asked Congressman Nadler whether the House is going to impeach the president. I’ll answer that for you. Yes. They fully intend to impeach the president and they don’t care about the basis.”

But then Cruz brought up the point he found telling. “Twice Congressman Nadler said something remarkable,” he began. “He said, ‘listen, the special counsel is focused on crimes. We’re not all that concerned with crimes. Our focus, this is Democrats in the House, is much broader than crimes.’ What they are basically saying is they are going to impeach the president for being Donald Trump. And they don’t care about the evidence.”

Cruz concluded by saying that the Mueller report should be made public and that we should all reserve judgment until we have seen what is actually in it.

He also called for Democrats to stop “obsessively trying to destroy the president and this administration,” saying, “We ought to be coming together and solving the real problems, not just engage in relentless political warfare.”

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Source: The Daily Caller

Congressional Democrats “intend to impeach” President Donald Trump — and “don’t care about the evidence,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said Sunday.

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Cruz, though critical of the now-completed investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller, said House Democrats  have another agenda.

What they are basically saying is they are going to impeach the president for being Donald Trump. And they don't care about the evidence,” he said.

Cruz said if it remains true that “not a single person was indicted for colluding with the Russians to influence the 2016 election — that’s goodness for the American people.”

“I'm concerned that it may have become a fishing expedition,” he said of the Mueller probe.

“Bob Mueller made a serious mistake when he brought together the team of investigators and lawyers and selected so many partisan Democrats who had been longtime Democratic donors,” he said. “I think that was unfortunate because by doing that, it undermined the credibility and impartiality of the special counsel's office.”

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Source: NewsMax Politics

In an early look at hypothetical 2020 presidential election fields, both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., lead President Donald Trump head-to-head, according to Fox News.

Biden leads President Trump in a hypothetical by 7 percentage points (47-40 percent), the voters polled leading candidate. The only other Democrat to lead President Trump in a hypothetic campaign was Sen. Sanders (3 percentage points, 44-4 percent), according to the other poll results.

The poll's leading candidates to win the Democratic primary:

  1. Biden – 31 percent.
  2. Sanders – 23 percent.
  3. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. – 8 percent.
  4. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, D-Texas – 8 percent.
  5. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J. – 4 percent.
  6. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. – 4 percent.
  7. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. – 2 percent.
  8. All other candidates are 1 percent or less.

Among the candidates above, only Biden has yet to officially announce his candidacy.

The Fox News poll surveyed 1,002 registered voters – including 403 Democratic primary voters – from March 17-20 with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Virginia Kruta | Associate Editor

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler confirmed Sunday that Congress will continue to investigate President Donald Trump regardless of the conclusions reached by special counsel Robert Mueller.

“We know there was collusion,” Nadler insisted several times during an appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union” with guest host Dana Bash. “Why there’s been no indictments, we don’t know.” (RELATED: Nadler Unleashes Massive Document Requests Into Threats Against Rule Of Law)

WATCH:

Nadler listed the Trump Tower meeting — which has been the subject of numerous false reports — and the way Trump “pressured the FBI to go easy, to stop investigating Flynn,” and Trump firing Comey as evidence of the alleged “collusion.”

Bash pointed out several times that none of that rose to the level of indictment from the Mueller team, but Nadler quickly shrugged it off.

“Well, there have been obstructions of justice, whether they are — clearly, whether they are criminal obstruction is another question,” Nadler explained. “But we have — the special prosecutor is limited in scope. His job was limited in scope and limited to crimes. What Congress has to do is look at a broader picture. We are in charge — we have the responsibility of protecting the rule of law, of looking at obstructions of justice, abuses of power, at corruption, in order to protect the rule of law so that our democratic institutions are not greatly damaged by this president.”

Nadler’s response made it clear that Congressional Democrats are likely moving forward with any number of investigations — in spite of warnings from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell regarding the possible consequences of “presidential harassment.”

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Democrats are pressing for full disclosure of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation and vowing to use subpoena powers and other legal means if necessary to get it.

Attorney General William Barr was expected to release his first summary of Mueller's findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said, on what lawmakers anticipated could be a day of reckoning in the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Russian efforts to elect him. Since receiving the report Friday, Barr has been deciding how much of it Congress and the public will see.

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."

At his resort in Florida, Trump stirred from an unusual, nearly two-day silence on Twitter with the anodyne tweet Sunday morning: "Good Morning, Have a Great Day!" Then followed up: "MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said Democrats won't be willing to wait long for the Justice Department to hand over full information on the probe into whether Trump's 2016 campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the election and whether the president later sought to obstruct the investigation.

"It won't be months," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

Asked if he still believes Trump obstructed justice, he indicated there has been obstruction but "whether it's criminal is another question."

Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller and oversaw much of his work, analyzed the report on Saturday, laboring to condense it into a summary letter of main conclusions.

The Russia investigation has shadowed Trump for nearly two years and has ensnared his family and close advisers. And no matter the findings in Mueller's report, the probe already has 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 Democrat Hillary Clinton and exposed lies by Trump aides aimed at covering up their Russia-related contacts.

Barr has 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.

Democrats are citing the department's recent precedent of norm-breaking disclosures, including during the Clinton email investigation, to argue that they're entitled to Mueller's entire report and the underlying evidence he collected.

Even with the details still under wraps, Friday's end to the 22-month probe without additional indictments by Mueller was welcome news to some in Trump's orbit who had feared a final round of charges could target more Trump associates or members of the president's family.

The White House sought to keep its distance, saying Sunday it had not been briefed on the report. Trump, who has relentlessly criticized Mueller's investigation as a "witch hunt," went golfing Saturday and was uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter. Not so one of his guests, musician Kid Rock, who posted a picture with the president and the tweet, "Another great day on the links!" He added: "What a great man, so down to earth and so fun to be with!!"

The conclusion of Mueller's investigation does not remove legal peril for the president.

He faces a separate Justice Department investigation in New York into hush money payments during the campaign to two women who say they had sex with him years before the election. He's also been implicated in a potential campaign finance violation by his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who says Trump asked him to arrange the transactions. Federal prosecutors, also in New York, have been investigating foreign contributions made to the president's inaugural committee.

As for Mueller, absent the report's details it was not known whether he concluded the campaign colluded with the Kremlin to tip the election in favor of the celebrity businessman. A Justice Department official did confirm that Mueller was not recommending any further indictments, meaning the investigation had ended without any public charges of a criminal conspiracy, or of obstruction of justice by the president.

In a letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders of the congressional judiciary committees, Barr noted on Friday that the department had not denied any request from Mueller, something Barr would have been required to disclose to ensure there was no political interference. Trump was never interviewed in person by Mueller's team, but submitted answers to questions in writing.

In a conference call Saturday about next steps, Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a warning for his fellow Democrats, some of whom have pinned high political hopes on Mueller's findings: "Once we get the principal conclusions of the report, I think it's entirely possible that that will be a good day for the president and his core supporters."

A number of Trump associates and family members have been dogged by speculation of possible wrongdoing. Among them are Donald Trump Jr., who helped arrange a Trump Tower meeting at the height of the 2016 campaign with a Kremlin-linked lawyer, and Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was interviewed at least twice by Mueller's prosecutors.

All told, Mueller charged 34 people, including the president's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, his first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and three Russian companies. Twenty-five Russians were indicted on charges related to election interference, accused either of hacking Democratic email accounts during the campaign or of orchestrating a social media campaign that spread disinformation on the internet.

Five Trump aides pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with Mueller and a sixth, longtime confidant Roger Stone, is awaiting trial on charges that he lied to Congress and engaged in witness tampering.

Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, said Saturday that the case of former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates will be handed off to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. Gates was a key cooperator in Mueller's probe and court papers show he continues to help with several other federal investigations.

Justice Department legal opinions have held that sitting presidents may not be indicted. But many Democrats say Trump should not be immune from a public accounting of his behavior. Though the department typically does not disclose negative information about people who are not indicted, officials have at times broken from that protocol.

Former FBI Director James Comey famously held a July 2016 news conference in which he criticized Clinton as "extremely careless" in her use of a private email server but said the FBI would not recommend charges. The Justice Department also took the extraordinary step of making available to lawmakers the details of a secret surveillance warrant obtained on a Trump campaign aide in the early days of the Russia probe.

Source: NewsMax Politics


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