3:57 PM 9/2/2017 – FBI – Current News and Selected Articles Review: Special Counsel Mueller has Trump’s draft letter on reasons for firing FBI Director James Comey: Source – CNBC

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Saved Stories – 1. FBI
A Long-Pursued ISIS Preacher Is Finally Charged in New York
Harvey is a 1,000-year flood event unprecedented in scale The Washington Post
House Financial Services panel leaders spar over Trump, Russia – The Hill
Netanyahu Seeks Russian-American Guarantees To Counter Iran | HuffPost
Selected Articles: 28/08/17 12:52 24/08/17 09:36: Erdogan And Putin Expand Military, Economic And Energy Relations OilPrice.com Will Trump Be the Death of the Goldwater Rule? The New Yorker | Hundreds of pages of new details on Trump-Russia dossier and Pee Pee Tape are on verge of being released
1. FBI from mikenova (10 sites)
fbi aclu report – Google News: The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington – Chicago Tribune
fbi – Google News: The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington – Chicago Tribune
mueller – Google News: Matthew T. Mangino: Mueller sends Trump administration message on pardons – Apalachicola Times
fbi – Google News: Couple who overdosed previously under FBI investigation – WTAJ
james b. comey – Google News: Here are the questions that Sarah Sanders actually answered at today’s news briefing – Washington Post
fbi – Google News: FBI says woman who reported being kidnapped killed herself – CBS … – CBS News

 

1. FBI from mikenova (10 sites)
Andrew McCabe – Google News: Mueller may have just gotten ‘the most important evidence’ so far in his obstruction of justice case – Business Insider


Business Insider
Mueller may have just gotten ‘the most important evidence’ so far in his obstruction of justice case
Business Insider
The acting director at the time, Andrew McCabe, later denied that the bureau had lost faith in Comey before his firing. Trump’s legal team has already mounted a defense against a potential obstruction case, asserting that the president has the 
Mueller Has Early Draft of Trump Letter Giving Reasons for Firing ComeyNew York Times
Trump Attorneys Lay Out Arguments Against Obstruction-of-Justice Probe to MuellerWall Street Journal
Mueller examining Trump’s draft letter firing FBI Director ComeyWashington Post

all 151 news articles »

Andrew McCabe – Google News

mueller – Google News: Matthew T. Mangino: Mueller sends Trump administration message on pardons – Wicked Local Holbrook


Wicked Local Holbrook
Matthew T. Mangino: Mueller sends Trump administration message on pardons
Wicked Local Holbrook
In 2013, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow found Arpaio’s office engaged in systemic racial profiling of Latinos in its anti-illegal-immigration efforts. Snow ordered the agency to stop detaining people solely because they were suspected of being …
Arpaio Pardon Shows the Futility of Mueller’s Obstruction InvestigationNational Review
Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio shows he could undermine one of Mueller’s key tools in the Russia probeBusiness Insider

all 344 news articles »

mueller – Google News

The World Web Times wwtimes.com: Trumps summer of discontent bleeds into high-stakes fall ABC News

Source: Trump’s summer of discontent bleeds into high-stakes fall – ABC News

The World Web Times wwtimes.com

fbi aclu report – Google News: The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington – Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune
The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington
Chicago Tribune
A look at the crowd during set by the Insane Clown Posse at a festival organized by the band. The event is nearly two decades old and was held this year in Oklahoma City in late July. Often derided as “white trash” the band and its base have a penchant

and more »

fbi aclu report – Google News

fbi – Google News: The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington – Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune
The FBI targeted Insane Clown Posse fans; now the Juggalos are marching on Washington
Chicago Tribune
If the FBI is to be believed, every one of the hundreds of Juggalos under this tent were potentially part of a criminal syndicate. That’s because in 2011, the FBI took the extraordinary and unprecedented step of labeling the entire fan base of ICP a 

and more »

fbi – Google News

mueller – Google News: Mueller’s Russia probe team reportedly has Trump’s draft letter on Comey firing – Fox News


Fox News
Mueller’s Russia probe team reportedly has Trump’s draft letter on Comey firing
Fox News
The Justice Department has reportedly given special counsel Robert Mueller the original letter that President Trump wanted to use as grounds for firing FBI Director James Comey, as part of Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign 
Special Counsel Mueller has Trump’s draft letter on reasons for firing FBI Director James Comey: SourceCNBC
Mueller team has draft letter on Comey firingPBS NewsHour
Mueller examining Trump’s draft letter firing FBI Director ComeyWashington Post
Salon –CBS News –New York Times –Wall Street Journal
all 155 news articles »

mueller – Google News

The World Web Times wwtimes.com: Obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

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Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it, Sater emailed Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen, detailed by The New York Times… 

We have become inured to Trumpian self-dealing, from doubling membership fees at Mar-a-Lago to profiting off his government-owned D.C. hotel. This one goes beyond pure greed. It edges into serious questions about whether Trumps positions on Putin and Russia have been and remain tainted by considerations not of what is best for the nation but what benefits Trumps bottom line.”

Image result for How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

    Obstruction of justice case against Trump

 

 

How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump – GS

Story image for Obstruction of justice case against Trump from The Guardian

How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

The Guardian2 hours ago
He reportedly possesses a draft letter explaining Trump’s rationale for … In any obstruction of justice case against Trump, Mueller might also …
3 Things to Know About the Trump Lawyers’ Memos to Mueller
The National Law Journal (registration)17 hours ago
_________________________________

Source: How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump | US news | The Guardian

“Certain additional documents whose existence was revealed for the first time meeting notes taken by the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a letter of intent reportedly signed by Trump to build a tower in Moscow seemed to undercut previous statements by the president, his son and others about relationships now under the scrutiny of Muellers team…

Draft letter

The documents were still flowing on Friday afternoon, with a New York Times report that Mueller was in possession of a draft letter explaining Trumps rationale for firing Comey. The draft was reportedly written by Trump and an aide, Stephen Miller, but rejected by the White House counsel, on unknown grounds…

Other documents

revealed a changing narrative in Trump campaign contacts with Russian agents. The Washington Post reported Monday that during the campaign, Trumps lawyer Michael Cohen wrote an email to an aide to Russias president, Vladimir Putin, asking for help with a real estate deal.

It was further revealed that early on in the presidential campaign, Trump signed a non-binding letter of intent to build a tower in Moscow, Cohen confirmed in a statement to ABC News. Trump claimed during the campaign that he knows nothing about Russia and had no loans and no deals there…

The details of any Trump deal or debt with a Russian connection, if any exist, are not publicly known but yet another headline this week indicated that Mueller may have gained insight on the subject. According to a Daily Beast report on Thursday, the special counsel has enlisted the help of agents from the criminal investigation unit of the Internal Revenue Service.”

Trump has disingenuously downplayed his financial interests in Russia

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WASHINGTON There comes a point in the unspooling of every complex political-financial-legal scandal when the story becomes so complicated that its easy to lose the thread of what matters. The facts dribble out, in ever more confusing increments. The lengthy cast of characters resembles a Russian novel. Competing news demands our attention.

That is where we are now when it comes to the investigation of President Trump and Russia. Harvey deluged the Gulf Coast, drowning out the news about Trumps involvement with Russia. Still, that news is, or should be, huge. The latest revelations feel, at least for now, like more of a political bombshell than a legal problem, but the two are closely related; consider how many public officials have landed themselves in legal jeopardy trying to save their political hides.

Still, that news is, or should be, huge. The latest revelations feel, at least for now, like more of a political bombshell than a legal problem, but the two are closely related; consider how many public officials have landed themselves in legal jeopardy trying to save their political hides.

To recap, what we know now that we did not know a week ago:

While he ran for president, Trump was simultaneously and secretly pursuing financial opportunities with a foreign adversary. Not just any adversary, but Russia, a country described by his partys previous presidential nominee as the United States No. 1 geopolitical foe. And not just pursuing financial opportunities in Russia, but actively seeking the help of at least one senior Russian official to gain government approval for the project.

Once again: This is not OK. When you run for president, you cannot you should not put yourself in the position of using that candidacy as a door-opening business opportunity. You cannot even if the prospect of winning seems remote put yourself in a position of being financially beholden to a hostile foreign power.

Trump Tower Moscow was not another instance of Trump as unabashed cross-promoter-in-chief, like using the campaign press corps to help tout the reopening of his Scottish golf course. It represented something much more disturbing, even unpatriotic.

It was possible, when The Washington Post first broke the news of the failed deal, to discount the proposal as braggadocio from Felix Sater, the Russian-born real estate developer pushing the deal.

Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it, Sater emailed Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen, detailed by The New York Times.

But as it turned out, this was more than Sater freelancing in Trumps name. The Post next reported that Cohen emailed Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in January 2016 in a bid to save the languishing deal; that Cohen discussed the project with Trump on three occasions; and that the effort was dropped when Russian government permission was unforthcoming.

The Trump Organization not only pursued this opportunity in secret, it indeed, Trump himself actively misled the public. Imagine how much more sharply people would have responded to Trumps already repulsive praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin during that time Hes running his country, and at least hes a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country if they knew that Trump had just signed a letter of intent with a Russian firm to develop a Trump-branded tower in Moscow.

And as the question of Trumps Russian connections became increasingly controversial, he somehow omitted the just-abandoned deal. For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia, he tweeted in July 2016. This past January, as Trump prepared to take office, he reiterated, I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING! Shades of Bill Clinton it depends on what the meaning of have is.

As recently as his interview this summer with The New York Times, Trump disingenuously downplayed his financial interests in Russia. I mean, its possible theres a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? They said I own buildings in Russia. I dont. They said I made money from Russia. I dont. Its not my thing. I dont, I dont do that. Over the years, Ive looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one. Including the one he was pursuing while running for president, but failed to mention.

We have become inured to Trumpian self-dealing, from doubling membership fees at Mar-a-Lago to profiting off his government-owned D.C. hotel. This one goes beyond pure greed. It edges into serious questions about whether Trumps positions on Putin and Russia have been and remain tainted by considerations not of what is best for the nation but what benefits Trumps bottom line.

Ruth Marcus email address is ruthmarcus@washpost.com.

The World Web Times wwtimes.com

The World Web Times wwtimes.com: Plane Crashes During Demonstration Flight Near Moscow, 2 Killed Reports Sputnik International

Source: Plane Crashes During Demonstration Flight Near Moscow, 2 Killed – Reports – Sputnik International

Аргументы и Факты: В Балашихе при крушении самолета на авиашоу погибли два человека

Крушение потерпел самолет Ан-2

The World Web Times wwtimes.com

mueller – Google News: Arpaio Pardon Shows the Futility of Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation – National Review

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Obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

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“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater emailed Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen, detailed by The New York Times… 

We have become inured to Trumpian self-dealing, from doubling membership fees at Mar-a-Lago to profiting off his government-owned D.C. hotel. This one goes beyond pure greed. It edges into serious questions about whether Trump’s positions on Putin and Russia have been and remain tainted by considerations not of what is best for the nation but what benefits Trump’s bottom line.”

Image result for How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

    Obstruction of justice case against Trump

 

 

How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump – GS

Story image for Obstruction of justice case against Trump from The Guardian

How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump

The Guardian2 hours ago
He reportedly possesses a draft letter explaining Trump’s rationale for … In any obstruction of justice case against Trump, Mueller might also …
3 Things to Know About the Trump Lawyers’ Memos to Mueller
The National Law Journal (registration)17 hours ago
_________________________________

Source: How an obstruction of justice case may be shaping up against Trump | US news | The Guardian

“Certain additional documents whose existence was revealed for the first time – meeting notes taken by the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a letter of intent reportedly signed by Trump to build a tower in Moscow – seemed to undercut previous statements by the president, his son and others about relationships now under the scrutiny of Mueller’s team…

Draft letter

The documents were still flowing on Friday afternoon, with a New York Times report that Mueller was in possession of a draft letter explaining Trump’s rationale for firing Comey. The draft was reportedly written by Trump and an aide, Stephen Miller, but rejected by the White House counsel, on unknown grounds…

Other documents

revealed a changing narrative in Trump campaign contacts with Russian agents. The Washington Post reported Monday that during the campaign, Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen wrote an email to an aide to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, asking for help with a real estate deal.

It was further revealed that early on in the presidential campaign, Trump signed a non-binding letter of intent to build a tower in Moscow, Cohen confirmed in a statement to ABC News. Trump claimed during the campaign that he “knows nothing about Russia” and had “no loans” and “no deals” there…

The details of any Trump deal or debt with a Russian connection, if any exist, are not publicly known – but yet another headline this week indicated that Mueller may have gained insight on the subject. According to a Daily Beast report on Thursday, the special counsel has enlisted the help of agents from the criminal investigation unit of the Internal Revenue Service.”

Trump has disingenuously downplayed his financial interests in Russia

1 Share

WASHINGTON — There comes a point in the unspooling of every complex political-financial-legal scandal when the story becomes so complicated that it’s easy to lose the thread of what matters. The facts dribble out, in ever more confusing increments. The lengthy cast of characters resembles a Russian novel. Competing news demands our attention.

That is where we are now when it comes to the investigation of President Trump and Russia. Harvey deluged the Gulf Coast, drowning out the news about Trump’s involvement with Russia. Still, that news is, or should be, huge. The latest revelations feel, at least for now, like more of a political bombshell than a legal problem, but the two are closely related; consider how many public officials have landed themselves in legal jeopardy trying to save their political hides.

Still, that news is, or should be, huge. The latest revelations feel, at least for now, like more of a political bombshell than a legal problem, but the two are closely related; consider how many public officials have landed themselves in legal jeopardy trying to save their political hides.

To recap, what we know now that we did not know a week ago:

While he ran for president, Trump was simultaneously — and secretly — pursuing financial opportunities with a foreign adversary. Not just any adversary, but Russia, a country described by his party’s previous presidential nominee as the United States’ “No. 1 geopolitical foe.” And not just pursuing financial opportunities in Russia, but actively seeking the help of at least one senior Russian official to gain government approval for the project.

Once again: This is not OK. When you run for president, you cannot — you should not — put yourself in the position of using that candidacy as a door-opening business opportunity. You cannot — even if the prospect of winning seems remote — put yourself in a position of being financially beholden to a hostile foreign power.

Trump Tower Moscow was not another instance of Trump as unabashed cross-promoter-in-chief, like using the campaign press corps to help tout the reopening of his Scottish golf course. It represented something much more disturbing, even unpatriotic.

It was possible, when The Washington Post first broke the news of the failed deal, to discount the proposal as braggadocio from Felix Sater, the Russian-born real estate developer pushing the deal.

“Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it,” Sater emailed Trump Organization executive vice president Michael Cohen, detailed by The New York Times.

But as it turned out, this was more than Sater freelancing in Trump’s name. The Post next reported that Cohen emailed Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov in January 2016 in a bid to save the languishing deal; that Cohen discussed the project with Trump on three occasions; and that the effort was dropped when Russian government permission was unforthcoming.

The Trump Organization not only pursued this opportunity in secret, it — indeed, Trump himself — actively misled the public. Imagine how much more sharply people would have responded to Trump’s already repulsive praise of Russian President Vladimir Putin during that time — “He’s running his country, and at least he’s a leader, you know, unlike what we have in this country” — if they knew that Trump had just signed a letter of intent with a Russian firm to develop a Trump-branded tower in Moscow.

And as the question of Trump’s Russian connections became increasingly controversial, he somehow omitted the just-abandoned deal. “For the record, I have ZERO investments in Russia,” he tweeted in July 2016. This past January, as Trump prepared to take office, he reiterated, “I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA — NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!” Shades of Bill Clinton — it depends on what the meaning of “have” is.

As recently as his interview this summer with The New York Times, Trump disingenuously downplayed his financial interests in Russia. “I mean, it’s possible there’s a condo or something, so, you know, I sell a lot of condo units, and somebody from Russia buys a condo, who knows? …They said I own buildings in Russia. I don’t. They said I made money from Russia. I don’t. It’s not my thing. I don’t, I don’t do that. Over the years, I’ve looked at maybe doing a deal in Russia, but I never did one.” Including the one he was pursuing while running for president, but failed to mention.

We have become inured to Trumpian self-dealing, from doubling membership fees at Mar-a-Lago to profiting off his government-owned D.C. hotel. This one goes beyond pure greed. It edges into serious questions about whether Trump’s positions on Putin and Russia have been and remain tainted by considerations not of what is best for the nation but what benefits Trump’s bottom line.

Ruth Marcus’ email address is ruthmarcus@washpost.com.


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Two dead in crash at Moscow airshow Saturday September 2nd, 2017

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 Russian Press from mikenova (91 sites): Свободная Пресса: Самолет Ан-2 разбился в Балашихе во время показательного полета на авиашоу

Пилот до последнего пытался увести неисправную машину от толпы зрителей


Source: Plane Crashes During Demonstration Flight Near Moscow, 2 Killed – Reports – Sputnik International

Аргументы и Факты: В Балашихе при крушении самолета на авиашоу погибли два человека

Крушение потерпел самолет Ан-2

Russia News and News In Russian – Новости из России и Новости на Русском языке – Page from The Brooklyn Bridge

An-2 plane crashes outside Moscow, killing 2 – YTS

_______________________________

Russia News and News In Russian – Новости из России и Новости на Русском языке – GS

Two dead in crash at Moscow airshow

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MOSCOW: Two crew members were killed Saturday after their Soviet-era biplane ploughed into the ground at an airshow near Moscow, local police said.

The vintage An-2 aircraft crashed as it was performing an aerial acrobatics routine in front of a crowd at an airfield near the satellite town of Balashikha on the edge of Moscow.

“We confirm the crash and that according to our preliminary information two people onboard were killed,” a spokesman for the Moscow region police told AFP.

The spokesman said the plane came down in a field and no spectators were hurt. Police were at the scene working to establish the causes of the crash.

A source in the emergency services told TASS news agency that pilot error was viewed as the most likely cause of the crash.

Russian media published video it said was from eyewitnesses showing the Antonov propeller plane bursting into flames after hitting the ground and then thick black smoke pouring into the air.

The single-engine plane An-2 went into production shortly after World War II and was typically used for transport or crop dusting. — AFP

Russian plane crashed – Google Search

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Story image for Russian plane crashed from Sputnik International

Plane Crashes During Demonstration Flight Near Moscow, 2 Killed …

Sputnik International49 minutes ago
An An-2 small plane crashed during a demonstration flight in … hit the ground,” Russian media report citing a source in emergency services.

Putin does not really know the U.S.  and does not understand the psychology and spirit of the American people 

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Putin and U.S. – Google Search

Putin, who seeks the productive and the beneficial for him relations with the U.S., and who sets the tone for everything in Russia, including very much the foreign policy, does not really know the U.S., and he does not understand the psychology and spirit of the American people at all, although he pays the empty lip service in extolling them. 

He hopes and intends, and maybe already does, to rule the U.S. through and by Trump, it looks like. However, this makes things much worse. I think, he and his ruling circles just started to realize that these strategies and tactics are not only futile but they are dangerous and disastrous for the U.S. – Russian relations. You cannot rule America by the cooptation of the parts of her financial and political elites, this will cause the disbalance in the system, with the eventual restoration of the status quo and homeostasis, the balance, with the powerful, strong, natural and the inevitable political and the geopolitical push-back against this invasive attempt. 

“America” is a very complex phenomenon, very viable and adaptable, it is a phenomenon in the making, in the process of development, just like Russia is. The analysis of these comparison reveals many diverging factors, and the most of them are not in the Russia’s favor. 

The sooner and deeper Putin and his circles understand this, the better it will be for them, but most likely this big and grave error will be for the next generation of the Russian leaders to correct. 

Michael Novakhov

9.1.17

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· ·

I ran Congress’ 9/11 investigation. The intelligence committees today can’t handle Russia. – The Washington Post

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If they want a real autopsy, they need more resources.


Michael Cohen, an attorney for Donald Trump, reached out to Kremlin officials during the presidential campaign about building a Trump Tower in Moscow. (Richard Drew/AP)

 

Outlook

September 1 at 12:20 PM

Bob Graham was a U.S. senator from Florida from 1987 to 2005. He served as chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence from 2001 to 2003 and as co-chairman of the Joint Inquiry Into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.

Since the Justice Department named a special investigator, Robert Mueller, to handle the government’s official inquiry into Russian meddling in the U.S. election, the weight of public expectation has largely fallen on his shoulders. While the two congressional panels, the Senate and House intelligence committees, continue to hold hearings and question witnesses, including Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner, both are led by members of a party that is, with the exception of Charlottesville, skittish about criticizing the president. The greatest hope for an aggressive and impartial inquest seems to lie with Mueller, whose bosses have either recused themselves from the Russia probe (as Attorney General Jeff Sessions did) or volunteered that he would have autonomy to follow the facts wherever they led (as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did). The pressure, it seems, is off Congress to act as the primary body holding the president to account.

This is a dangerous sentiment. The two intelligence committees should act as if their investigations will be the final (and possibly the only) ones — because they may be. President Trump has worked hard to undermine Mueller’s effort, not only berating it as beholden to a partisan “hoax” but also belittling Sessions in humiliating terms on Twitter in a transparent attempt to force the attorney general’s resignation. That way, the president could replace him with an appointee who would stymie Mueller’s work. A central role for Congress is the only real way to guarantee a full report, with conclusions and recommendations, for the American people.

I oversaw a similarly complex and politically fraught inquiry as co-chairman of the joint congressional inquiry into 9/11, so I know what it takes — as a matter of resources, time, perseverance and, yes, occasional political courage — to run an investigation of this size and importance. And I know this, too: The congressional intelligence committees, as they are constituted today, are not ready for this burden.

They must tackle three problems.

First, the committees need substantially more capacity. After 9/11, the Senate and House leadership decided to merge the two intelligence committees so they could collaboratively and thoroughly investigate the intelligence issues raised by the attacks. The joint committee had a staff of 24 experienced professionals who were dedicated to the inquiry, independent from the regular professional staff of either the House or the Senate intelligence committee. They’d worked at key intelligence and law enforcement agencies and had knowledge of forensic accounting, investigation and intelligence analysis. Staff director Eleanor Hill had previously prosecuted organized crime for the Justice Department and served as staff director and chief counsel for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Given the number of highly classified documents under review, the joint inquiry also had its own secure office space, separate from each chamber’s committee office. It had its own budget of at least $5 million, dedicated solely to the one-year inquiry. By comparison, the Senate committee had $8.1 million and the House panel $8.6 million to address regular legislative and oversight responsibilities for the two years of the 107th Congress.

Right now, the Senate has 38 staffers and the House 31 devoted to the intelligence committees, with budgets for the 115th Congress of $11 million and $12.1 million, respectively. Those personnel and funds are intended to cover all the legislative and oversight work of the intelligence committees, including the Russia investigation. Early in the inquiry, the Senate committee reportedly had only seven staffers working on the probe. It needs many more.

To complete the Russia investigation, the committees need independent staff members who are solely dedicated to this topic: forensic accountants and specialists in international law, financial crimes, counterintelligence investigations, and cybersecurity and coding. Those devoted to Russian meddling should not be regular committee staffers on overtime, unfamiliar with the tasks unique to the Russian inquiry.

After more than six months of separate activity, it is probably too late to merge the current congressional committees. It is not too late, however, to create independent, experienced and substantially larger staffs capable of fulfilling the committees’ responsibilities, particularly in a post-Mueller era.

Second, the House and Senate intelligence committees must quickly begin planning for post-Mueller scenarios. Yes, perhaps Sessions will stick around and Rosenstein will continue to guard Mueller’s autonomy. But the congressional committees need to devise protocols now that would be activated if Mueller were fired to ensure the protection of, and access to, all documents, transcripts, communications and other materials amassed by the Mueller and James Comey probes. The protocols should ensure that these materials are made available to the congressional committees in their original form. If Mueller is dismissed, the congressional inquiry would probably expand, as in the Watergate investigation, to the consideration of impeachment.

Third, Congress must embrace its investigatory role with renewed urgency. The 9/11 inquiry had a deadline of December 2002, the end of the 107th Congress. This investigation has no such finale. But there are serious consequences to procrastination. If Russia has in fact attempted to interfere with democratic elections in Europe, the United States and elsewhere, disclosing that reality and repelling further intrusions are crucial. Preventing future tampering in elections will require the support of an informed American public, which should be told of Congress’s definitive conclusions as soon as possible. Any delay in publicly sharing clear and convincing evidence will add to the already staggering distrust of many Americans in their government. (Portions of the 9/11 inquiry report remain classified even today, limiting the public’s understanding of the tragic event and its ability to influence policy, especially regarding U.S.-Saudi relations.)

The nation’s best option is for Mueller to continue his investigation until it ends, wherever it leads. Should Trump find some way to remove him, it would spark a constitutional crisis unlike anything since Watergate; Congress must be ready for this worst-case scenario. In our constitutional system of checks and balances, it has the right and duty to exercise full oversight. Now is the time to start preparing for the execution of that responsibility.

Twitter: @GrahamCenter

Read more from Outlook and follow our updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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putin and us – Google Search

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Vladimir Putin throws Donald Trump under the bus in Russia scandal 

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Over the past three days the media has been demonstrating just how aggressively Donald Trump and his team were working to build a Trump Tower in Moscow while Trump was running for President of the United States. Now, when Trump is at a particularly vulnerable point in his Russia scandal, and could use the help of the Kremlin more than ever, Vladimir Putin has instead decided to rather cravenly throw him under the bus by making the scandal bigger.

As the New York Times and Washington Post have raced each other to flesh out the Trump Tower Moscow story this week, one of the key details has been that Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen had reached out to Putin through his spokesman for help. The Kremlin could have helped out Trump and Cohen quite a bit by claiming that it never received the email. But instead, according to an on-air report today by NBC News, the Kremlin has released a statement today confirming that it did in fact receive the email.

Michael Cohen admits that he discussed the Trump Tower Moscow project with Donald Trump on several occasions, but he’s claiming that Trump didn’t know he sent the email request for help to Putin’s spokesman. However, Cohen has worked for Trump for decades, and he never would have done something that major unless Trump signed off on it first. So now we know that Trump reached out to Putin for help with a real estate project in Moscow during the election, and that Putin received that message. It proves that Trump and Putin were communication about matters of personal finance during the election, which in turn demonstrates that Trump was using his campaign to try to curry personal favor with Putin. But there’s more.

Vladimir Putin is cutthroat and calculating. He made a clear decision to throw Donald Trump under the bus today, when he could have helped him instead. Either Putin is trying to punish Trump for failing to come through on sanctions relief, or he’s given up on his failed Trump experiement and he’s now trying to finish him off entirely.

The post Vladimir Putin throws Donald Trump under the bus in Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.

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