The Surprises in the Mueller Report

The Surprises in the Mueller Report

So what did we really learn about Trump, Russia and the power of the presidency? Some of the nation’s top legal minds unpack the document of the decade.

By POLITICO MAGAZINE

April 19, 2019

From the instant Robert Mueller’s report landed yesterday, a nation of legal experts and analysts began tearing into its 432 pages, skipping past the heavy black ink of redactions, and weighing the special counsel’s findings and conclusions against the president’s claims about his campaign’s behaviour with the Russians.

What surprises lurked in the two thick volumes released by the Department of Justice? And, given Attorney General William Barr’s decision not to pursue any charges, which of Mueller’s findings will end up mattering the most for the remainder of Donald Trump’s presidency? POLITICO Magazine went to some of the brightest legal minds in America for the answers.

We’d already seen plenty of detail through the 199 criminal charges, and 37 criminal indictments and plea deals that emerged from Mueller’s investigations, and in the countless news stories issued in the 100 weeks since Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel. But there were still surprises, depending on what you were looking for—from Robert Mueller’s under-argued case for publishing an obstruction report at all to the sharp contradiction—noted by many of our experts—between Barr’s public statements and what Mueller’s team actually found. Here are their responses:

Continue reading The Surprises in the Mueller Report

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TRUMP – RUSSIA Collusion: All the president’s liars

TRUMP – RUSSIA Collusion: All the president’s liars

It will cost you about $100,000 to join Trump National Golf Club here in Washington. Plan on setting aside $200,000 to join his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach. But put your money away if you want inside Trump’s most exclusive club. The only way into Trump’s liars club is to shoot your mouth off for him.

The current membership includes criminal confessed liars, former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, who lied to Congress, former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump policy aide George Papadopoulos, and former Trump campaign official Rick Gates, all of whom lied to investigators. In the Trump liars hall of fame, you can find Paul Manafort, who appears to have lied to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigators after signing a plea agreement in which he promised honest cooperation. Jerome Corsi, whom investigators believe lied repeatedly to them about his role in seeking the WikiLeaks caches of Podesta emails, and stands to be indicted soon, could be a member in time for the holidays. (Corsi says he did not lie intentionally.) Meanwhile, long-time Trump advisor Roger Stone, implicated in Corsi’s lies, has zig-zaggedon questions about his knowledge on WikiLeaks’ inner workings and has repeatedly said he expects to be indicted. Donald Trump Jr. is a member by virtue of nepotism. But he may have earned his way in if he lied to Congress about what he knew about the Moscow deal. Junior, who had said the deal was long dormant, faces new legal exposure now that Cohen has admitted that the Trump Organization were developing a Trump project in Moscow until June 2016. (For an intimate look at Donald Jr.’s unique relationship with the truth, see this HuffPost comprehensive list of his memory lapses.) Continue reading TRUMP – RUSSIA Collusion: All the president’s liars

Former Trump Campaign Aide George Papadopoulos Sentenced to Two Weeks

Former Trump Campaign Aide George Papadopoulos Sentenced to Two Weeks

By MATTHEW ZEITLIN//Slate/George Papadopoulos, the young foreign policy aide whose drunken boast that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton kicked off the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, will serve two weeks of prison time. He had pleaded guilty last year to lying to investigators but until Friday had not been sentenced.

Prosecutors said Papadopoulos had lied to the government during a January 2017 interviewabout his meetings with Russians and that “[his] lies undermined investigators’ ability to challenge … or potentially detain or arrest” Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor who may have been a go-between for Papadopoulos and the Russian government. Continue reading Former Trump Campaign Aide George Papadopoulos Sentenced to Two Weeks