Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly “close to completion” of his probe into whether President Trump obstructed justice, as The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s legal team is working with Mueller to wrap up the Russia collusion investigation.
Bloomberg News reports that Mueller would likely set aside the obstruction probe to complete other facets of the investigation. “That’s because Mueller may calculate that if he tries to bring charges in the obstruction case — the part that may hit closest to Trump personally — witnesses may become less cooperative in other parts of the probe, or the president may move to shut it down altogether.”
The president’s legal team, fearful that Trump will incriminate himself and/or ramble unhelpfully, has been increasingly cool to the idea of a sit-down, and have begun floating nigh-on-impossible conditions for such a tête-à-tête.
Last week, his lawyers floated the (comic) notion of agreeing to a presidential interview if Mueller promised to wrap up the portion of his investigation dealing directly with the president within 60 days.
Any clear outcome of the obstruction inquiry could be used against Mueller: Filing charges against Trump or his family could prompt the president to take action to fire him.” Bloomberg reported. “Publicly clearing Trump of obstruction charges — as the president’s lawyers have requested — could be used by his allies to build pressure for the broader investigation to be shut down.”
Former Attorney General Eric Holder predicted that Mueller will eventually file obstruction charges:
“You technically have an obstruction of justice case that already exists,” Holder, who served under then-President Obama, said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” “I’ve known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can. So, I think that we have to be patient in that regard.”
ICE Barricades Entrances to Prevent Protestors from Entering Government Building
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers barricaded an employee and visitor entrance Wednesday to prevent activists from performing an “occupation” of the agency’s D.C. headquarters.
Several dozen activists had intended to enter the building to protest Trump administration deportation and border detention policies, but arrived to find temporary fencing and a line of officers blocking their way.
Amid heavy rain, activists chanted slogans anyhow, including “quit your jobs!” at Department of Homeland Security guards and ICE employees who peered from windows.
The protest was organized by Movimiento Cosecha and was advertised in a press release as a demonstration by “undocumented activists and allies,” as similar protests occur in other cities.
NRA Weird Starts Political Campaign Ads Against Ocasio-Cortez
Claiming that 22 year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a threat to America, the NRA has started pushing political ads that attack candidates that they don’t support.
“Left-wing socialists have infiltrated our nation and want to fundamentally change the country we love,” NRATV host Grant Stinchfield warns. “The socialist movement in America is real. It is dangerous. And it is more powerful than you may think.”
“The socialist movement in America is real, it’s dangerous… The election of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who openly despises the very system that makes America the greatest country in the world proves we must take every election seriously.” —@stinchfield1776 #WednesdayWisdom pic.twitter.com/C25QwWsgRv
— NRATV (@NRATV) June 27, 2018
WATCHDOG: NRA Russian Dark Money Funded Pro-Trump Ads Illegally
Watchdogs say an unknown amount of Russian dark money funneled through the National Rifle Association helped Donald Trump win the presidency.
The NRA is claiming they only received a few donations from Russia, but refuses to allow its books to be audited.
Robert Maguire is an investigator with the Center for Responsive Politics, which runs opensecrets.org. He said the dark money loophole that allows nonprofits to take limitless donations without reporting the source means we can’t really tell how much foreign money was spent in the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s safe to assume that what we’re seeing is the tip of the iceberg,” Maguire said. “The problem is that there’s no way to track that.”
But that figure does not include large payments from U.S. subsidiaries of companies owned by Russian oligarchs. Investigators have found such payments went to others in Trump’s orbit.
Direct foreign funding of American campaigns is illegal and could be politically toxic.
Maguire said the problem is that it might also be invisible.
And he pointed out that in the 2016 presidential race, the NRA spent three-times what it had supporting Mitt Romney in 2012 – and the money came just as big GOP donors were distancing themselves from Trump.
“The NRA spent more money than it has in any previous cycle,” Maguire said. “Without the NRA stepping into that vacuum, it would have severely impacted the chances that he would have won the election.”
Maguire said the NRA got what it paid for. After the Parkland shooting, Trump said he might back some gun-control measures – until the National Rifle Association got involved.
“The NRA in a matter of weeks had two private meetings with the president,” Maguire observed; “and we saw those sort of initiatives kind of fade away.”
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