Mike Flynn – News Review

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Mike Flynn

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2.14.17 – Michael Flynn, key Iran player, resigns just as Netanyahu arrives in Washington | Jewish Telegraphic Agency

Mike Flynn – 5.18.17

Focus turns to Michael Flynn’s work for Turkey, Russia | Miami Herald
Fresh questions on Flynn add to White House turmoil – CNNPolitics.com
He was one of the most respected intel officers of his generation. Now he’s leading ‘Lock her up’ chants. – The Washington Post
Michael Flynn legal drama largest in decades – Washington Times
Mike Flynn’s Involvement With Russian Sources – May 17, 2017 – Zacks.com
Paid advocate Mike Flynn ‘opposed military operation against Isis after objections from Turkey’ | The Independent
Report: Flynn blocked US military plan that Turkey opposed | Fox News
Focus turns to Michael Flynn’s work for Turkey, Russia | McClatchy Washington Bureau
The Ghost of Mike Flynn
Michael Flynn will be a key figure in Robert Mueller’s special Russia probe – ABC News
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LT. GEN. Michael T. Flynn: “Gun for Hire” | HuffPost

Mike Flynn – 4.18.17

Ekim Alptekin – 4.8.17

The Russian connections to Michael Flynn’s Turkish benefactor – Boulder Weekly
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5.18.17

Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians – sources | Reuters
Now it’s up to the special counsel – CNNPolitics.com
U.S. cyber bill would shift power away from spy agency | Reuters
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The Ghost of Mike Flynn
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Fresh questions on Flynn add to White House turmoil
Focus turns to Michael Flynn’s work for Turkey, Russia
France, Germany resist U.S. plan for bigger NATO role against Islamic State
Now it’s up to the special counsel
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What Robert Mueller brings to the Russia probe – YouTube
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Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe – Washington Post
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Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 8:58 AM

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Report: Flynn, paid to lobby for Turkey, blocked U.S. military move …

Chicago Tribune1 hour ago

President Donald Trump, accompanied by, from second from left, Reince Priebus, Mike Pence, Sean Spicer and then-National Security Adviser …

Report: Flynn blocked US military plan that Turkey opposed
Fox News6 hours ago

Michael Flynn Is Under Investigation For Turkish Lobbying Work
The Daily Caller10 hours ago

Flynn delayed ISIS attack plan that Turkey opposed: report
The Hill (blog)10 hours ago

Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came …
Highly CitedNew York Times11 hours ago

Did Trump Know Flynn Was Under FBI Investigation When He …
In-DepthThe Atlantic10 hours ago

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New York Times

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The Atlantic

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Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its …

Miami Herald13 hours ago

One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired …

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Michael Flynn will be a key figure in Robert Mueller’s special Russia probe – ABC News

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 8:42 AM

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Michael Flynn will be a key figure in Robert Mueller’s special Russia probe
ABC News
President Trump’s short-lived National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has emerged as a central figure in ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, which Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was

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Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 8:39 AM

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Michael Flynn will be a key figure in Robert Mueller’s special Russia

ABC News13 hours ago

Michael Flynn, has emerged as a central figure in ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, which …

Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>14 hours ago

Trump’s Russia respite, at price of long-term peril
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Flynn stopped military plan Turkey opposed – after being paid as its …

Miami Herald13 hours ago

Even three months after he was fired, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his role in …

Trump Team Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation Before He Came …

New York Times11 hours ago

WASHINGTON — Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition … by the Russians for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the …

Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts …
Reuters3 hours ago

The Ghost of Mike Flynn
In-DepthThe Atlantic3 hours ago

White House Reportedly Knew Flynn Was Under Investigation …
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The Ghost of Mike Flynn

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:56 AM

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The Ghost of Mike Flynn

The Atlantic – ‎2 hours ago‎

Flynn was asked to resign on February 13 after it was publicly revealed that he had lied about his contacts with the Russian ambassador, including to Vice President Mike Pence, who had gone on television defending him. He was replaced by H.R. McMaster, …

You Need To Connect The Dots Between The Bombshell Michael Flynn Stories

HuffPost – ‎7 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON ― Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, vetoed a plan to attack the so-called Islamic State’s capital of Raqqa in Syria in January ― a position that aligned with the desires of Turkey, which had paid him …

Michael Flynn told Trump transition team before inauguration he was being investigated

Minneapolis Star Tribune – ‎9 hours ago‎

WASHINGTON – Michael T. Flynn told President Donald Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar

REPORT: Trump’s transition team knew Mike Flynn was being investigated before Trump hired him

Business Insider – ‎8 hours ago‎

Former national security adviser Mike Flynn reportedly told Donald Trump’s transition team that he was under federal investigation, weeks before Trump took office, according to a New York Times report published Wednesday. Two individuals cited in The …

Paid advocate Mike Flynn ‘opposed military operation against Isis after objections from Turkey’

The Independent – ‎3 hours ago‎

Days before President Donald Trump took office, incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn blocked a military plan against Isis that was opposed by Turkey, a country he had been paid more than $500,000 to advocate for, the McClatchy news service …

Report: Flynn blocked US military plan that Turkey opposed

Fox News – ‎5 hours ago‎

Paperwork filed in March with the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of …

Fresh questions over Flynn add to White House turmoil

CNN – ‎17 minutes ago‎

(CNN) Fresh controversy swirled around former US national security adviser Michael Flynn Thursday after one report claimed he told the Trump transition team he was under federal investigation before he started in the role, and another said he opposed a …

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Focus turns to Michael Flynn’s work for Turkey, Russia

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:33 AM

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One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.

Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.

If Flynn explained his answer, that’s not recorded, and it’s not known whether he consulted anyone else on the transition team before rendering his verdict. But his position was consistent with the wishes of Turkey, which had long opposed the United States partnering with the Kurdish forces – and which was his undeclared client.

Trump eventually would approve the Raqqa plan, but not until weeks after Flynn had been fired.

[READ MORE: Trump will arm Syrian Kurds to fight ISIS, over Turkey’s fierce objections]

Now members of Congress, musing about the tangle of legal difficulties Flynn faces, cite that exchange with Rice as perhaps the most serious: acting on behalf of a foreign nation – from which he had received considerable cash – when making a military decision. Some members of Congress, in private conversations, have even used the word “treason” to describe Flynn’s intervention, though experts doubt that his actions qualify.

We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.

Michael Flynn in an opinion piece for The Hill

But treason or not, Flynn’s rejection of a military operation that had been months in the making raises questions about what other key decisions he might have influenced during the slightly more than three weeks he was Trump’s national security adviser, and the months he was Trump’s primary campaign foreign-policy adviser.

Even three months after he was fired, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his role in the White House resonates.

With word that the president may have asked FBI Director James Comey to drop any criminal probe of Flynn – failure to register as a foreign agent is a federal crime – there is renewed focus on getting to the bottom of what Flynn did, and what Trump knew.

Despite the Trump administration’s attempts to downplay the red flags, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the administration was repeatedly warned about Flynn’s foreign involvement.

“This was a serious compromise situation that the Russians had real leverage,” former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer downplayed her warning about Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials as just “a heads up.”

Flynn’s actions were also the subject of discussion just last week at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on national security threats, with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., zeroing in on the 18 days that passed between Yates’ warning that Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail and Flynn’s forced resignation.

“Blackmail, by an influential military official, that has real ramifications for global threat,” he said. “So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security adviser being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”

Flynn’s connections to Russia have been widely discussed. In 2015, he was paid more than $33,000 to speak at a gala dinner in Moscow where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin. That alone may have exposed him to criminal charges: As a retired U.S. military officer, Flynn was required to seek permission to travel and to receive payment from a foreign entity, something the State Department and the Pentagon have told Congress he did not do.

But it is his paid work on Turkey’s behalf that offers the clearest evidence of his role as a foreign agent – and of his legal problems, since he did not declare his foreign agent status till weeks after he’d left the Trump administration.

After he was fired, Flynn disclosed work as foreign agent

It was a fact Flynn disclosed himself in a declaration to the Foreign Agent Registration Unit of the Justice Department in early March. According to Flynn’s paperwork, he was paid $530,000 for work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” The contract ended last November.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the Justice Department within 10 days.

Ekim Alptekin, the Turkish businessman whose company paid Flynn, disputes that he was “taking directions from anyone in the government” of Turkey. But Flynn’s filing shows he set up a meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, at a New York hotel last September.

As then-candidate Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn sat in on classified briefings in the summer and fall of 2016. According to the filing, he signed the contract with Alptekin’s firm on Aug. 9. Trump received his first classified intelligence briefing on Aug. 18 – a meeting that Flynn attended. As Trump’s national security adviser in the White House, Flynn had access to even more highly classified intelligence. He sat in on most, if not all, of Trump’s phone conversations and meetings with foreign leaders.

How much Trump knew about Flynn’s paid foreign-agent work is uncertain. When Flynn’s firm filed the Justice Department paperwork in March, the White House said Trump was unaware that Flynn had been paid to lobby on Turkey’s behalf. But Flynn’s lawyer has said he called Trump’s transition team before the inauguration, asking whether Flynn should register as a foreign agent.

EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM

When asked why the call had not been an obvious indication to act quickly, the White House tried to smooth it over by saying their legal counsel had considered it a private decision the transition team should not get involved in.

“No, it’s not a question of raising a red flag,” Spicer said at a news briefing. “It is not up to – nor is it appropriate, nor is it legal – for the government to start going into private citizens seeking advice and telling them what they have to register or not.”

Flynn’s lobbying work also involved a meeting on Oct. 27 with a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee, according to the filing.

Despite Alptekin’s denials that he had hired Flynn to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, in an interview published in Hurriyet newspaper on Nov. 14 he said he had conversations with Trump officials about Syria.

“We have spoken with his advisers and security team to understand what their vision is for the Middle East and Syria,” Alptekin was quoted as saying. He said he was optimistic that the Trump administration would be more sympathetic to Turkish interests.

“It is not just that we were in disagreement with some Obama policies like Syria . . . (but) on the Trump side, we saw a willingness to look at these things differently,” he said.

The view from Ankara

Turkey has angrily objected to U.S. support of Syrian Kurdish fighters, arguing that to arm the YPG is to help a group that is carrying out attacks on a key ally and fellow NATO member. The YPG has ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey as well as the U.S. and the European Union. However, the U.S.-led coalition considers the YPG the most effective military partner against ISIS in Syria.

Turkey has insisted that the only feasible option to retake the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa is for its own forces to participate in the U.S.-led coalition. The promise has been viewed skeptically by the Pentagon, where it’s been dismissed as “Erdogan’s ghost army.”

The plan to arm the Kurdish fighters had been seven months in the making when it was presented to Flynn.

“Don’t approve it,” Flynn said, according to an account in The Washington Post that was included in a timeline prepared by the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “We’ll make the decision.”

Whether Flynn consulted with anyone before making the decision is also unknown. The White House did not respond to questions about whether Trump or his secretary of defense nominee, Jim Mattis, signed off on the decision.

What is known is that a few days later, Flynn again met with Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, for a breakfast at which they discussed U.S.-Turkish interests, according to a copy of the invitation. Cavusoglu attended Trump’s inauguration.

EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM

After Trump made Flynn his national security adviser, there were high hopes in Ankara that the new administration would give in to Turkey’s wishes “since many of Turkey’s views overlap with the incoming president,” in the words of an article in the Daily Sabah, a pro-government newspaper. In interviews with visiting foreign journalists in March, Turkish officials repeatedly expressed optimism about working with the Trump administration after years of withering relations with the Obama administration.

Turkey would finally have someone who listened to the two things they wanted: to nix any plans of working with the YPG once and for all, and to extradite Fethulah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan’s government suspects Gulen and his followers of masterminding a failed coup attempt last July.

Yates on Flynn: ‘The National Security Adviser, essentially, could be blackmailed by the Russians’ 1:41

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EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM

In the September meeting with Turkish officials, they discussed with Flynn how to remove Gulen without going through the extradition process, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey.

The idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal.

In the disclosures filed by Flynn, the meeting was “for the purpose of understanding better the political climate in Turkey at the time.”

Flynn also wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on Election Day titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support,” slamming the Obama administration for not taking Turkey’s Gulen concerns seriously. He described Gulen as a “shady Islamic mullah” he compared to Osama bin Laden.

“We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority,” he wrote. “In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Asked about Flynn’s work for the Turkish government in an interview on March 9, the day the news broke of his Justice Department registration, Turkey’s justice minister just laughed.

It “wouldn’t be appropriate . . . to make any revelation,” Bekir Bozdag said through a translator.

EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM

In another indication of the close ties between the new administration and Turkey under Flynn, the Turkish-U.S. Business Council’s annual summit, which is chaired by Alptekin, moved its meeting to the Trump International Hotel in Washington this year. The summit, which is in its 36th year, had in previous years been at the Ritz-Carlton. The new location was announced the day before Flynn was fired.

Is it treason?

Treason is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution, where it’s described as levying war against the U.S. or “adhering to” an enemy – helping them, in other words. An enemy is a nation or organization against whom the U.S. has declared war, said Carlton Larson, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who specializes in treason.

While non-state actors like ISIS probably fit the definition, Flynn’s action not to support a specific group against them does not legally fit the bill, Larson said. Even at the height of the Cold War, when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg handed over nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, they were tried and executed not for treason but for espionage.

[READ MORE: Democrats want to investigate if Flynn’s paid Russia speech violated Constitution]

However, given Flynn’s many connections to Russia and Turkey, with documented payments, Democrats have dusted off a chain of little-known ways he could have violated the Constitution.

In February they asked the Pentagon to look into whether he had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting money for his 2015 Moscow speaking engagement at a gala marking the 10th anniversary of the state-owned RT television channel. The clause prohibits former military officers from accepting gifts from foreign governments without the approval of Congress.

After he was fired, many Democrats also pointed to the Logan Act, an obscure 1799 statute that bars private citizens from interfering with diplomatic relations between the U.S. and foreign governments.

Matthew Schofield contributed to this report.

Vera Bergengruen: 202-383-6036, @verambergen

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The web connecting the Trump administration to Russia

From Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to former campaign director Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s allies have business and personal connections to Russia. As Congress and the FBI look into Russia’s involvement with the 2016 election, those connections are increasingly under a microscope.

Natalie Fertig and Patrick GleasonMcClatchy

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Report: Flynn blocked US military plan that Turkey opposed

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:22 AM

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Just days before President Trump was sworn in, his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, reportedly blocked a military plan opposed by Turkey that was supposed to take aim against an ISIS group.

The plan that he reportedly blocked was to be carried out by Syrian Kurdish forces in Raqqa, a measure Turkey has long opposed.

Flynn, who was fired from his position in February, was registered as a foreign agent for $530,000 worth of lobbying work before Election Day.

Paperwork filed in March with the Justice Department’s Foreign Agent Registration Unit said Flynn and his firm were voluntarily registering for lobbying from August through November that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”

The McClatchy news service reported that President Obama’s national security team asked for Trump’s approval on a plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa, because it was more than likely to be carried out under his presidency.

Timelines distributed by members of Congress show that Flynn told then national security advisor Susan Rice to hold off, delaying the operation for months.

Trump eventually approved the plan, but only after Flynn had been fired in February for misleading Vice President Mike Pence and other white House officials about his ties to Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.

It was only weeks later in March when Flynn disclosed to the Foreign Agent Unit Registration Unit of the Justice Department that he was paid for work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.”

News about Flynn’s activity comes amid intense scrutiny over his and other Trump associates’ potential contacts with Russia. On Wednesday, the Department of Justice named former FBI Director Robert Mueller to be special counsel investigating Russian efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election. Mueller will have sweeping powers, including the right to bring federal charges.

House and Senate intelligence committees are also investigating.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Michael Flynn legal drama largest in decades

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:18 AM

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After the shortest tenure as White House national security adviser in history, Michael Flynn faces a legal mess that Washington has not seen in decades, according to legal analysts.

The tangled drama, which will last far longer than his tenure as President Trump’s top security aide, includes uncertainty over what crimes the retired general might have committed, what mechanism exists for him to testify without incriminating himself, how much more light could he shed on the overall investigation into suspected Russian meddling in the presidential election and whether he could name Obama-era officials who targeted him for surveillance.

The president’s abrupt dismissal last week of FBI Director James B. Comey, whose agency was heading the investigation of suspected links between Russia and Mr. Trump’s campaign, has changed the calculus — and potentially the stakes — in talks between the former general’s legal team and lawmakers inCapitol Hill over a potential immunity deal to discover what Mr. Flynn knows.

There is also the issue of the White House versus Mr. Flynn’s attorney — a man whom the national Republican Party has entrusted in the past with its most sensitive investigations. Robert Kelner so disliked Mr. Trump that he once called his supporters “zombies.”

Fired by Mr. Trump for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about his Russian contacts, Mr. Flynn also may have failed to properly report earning about $40,000 from Russia’s state TV channel RT and other payments to his consulting firm from representatives of the Turkish government.

As of Monday, the agencies investigating Mr. Flynn’s dealings include the Pentagon, the FBI, the House and Senate intelligence committees, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Hundreds of journalists from around the world and an unknown number of intelligence services also are trying to learn what Mr. Flynn did. Last week, the SenatePermanent Select Committee on Intelligence subpoenaed Mr. Flynn for documents related to its Russia investigation, a rare move for a congressional inquiry.

Late last week, news also emerged that federal prosecutors from the U.S. attorneys office in the Eastern District of Virginia had issued their own subpoenas, these for information related to Mr. Flynn’s business activities after he stepped down as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.

What crime, or crimes, Mr. Flynn broke is a subject of debate among Republican and Democratic insiders across Capitol Hill.

“In a public integrity/national security case, when you shoot the king, you shoot to kill,” said Barbara “Biz” Van Gelder, a veteran attorney of multiple congressional investigations. “Which means you have to have a clean case.”

Mr. Flynn’s case looks anything but clean. Evidence unearthed thus far from public hearings and via congressional document requests has found multiple potential violations, including his work representing foreign governments. Shortly after his firing, however, Mr. Flynn retroactively corrected his Foreign Agents Registration Act listing, citing work on behalf of the Russian and Turkish governments, for which he earned roughly a half-million dollars.

The issue caused serious headaches for the White House. But legal analysts say by retroactively acknowledging the mistake, Mr. Flynn could be fined but never criminally charged.

“With FARA cases, when people fail to register, then later register, it generally undercuts the case because they have mitigated the crime before the case is brought,” Ms. Van Gelder said.

Another tricky issue is that Mr. Flynn did not fully disclose his Russian business dealings when he sought to renew his security clearance. According to information obtained by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Form SF-86, which national security employees must complete, failed to disclose Mr. Flynn’s RT payment. Legal analysts say Mr. Flynn can claim this was a mistake.

Mr. Flynn initially claimed he was paid by RT, a state-owned TV station, and not directly by the Russian government.

There is also Article I, Section 9 of the U.S. Constitution — the emoluments clause — which includes a ban on foreign payments to retired military officers.

Legal scholars say that broadly speaking, Mr. Flynn’s indiscretions, if bundled together, could represent a violation of the emoluments clause. However, legal analysts also say the charges are weak and that the clause is hard to decipher and lacks a specific penalty.

At the extreme is the question of treason, with a hypothetical argument that goes along these lines: Mr. Flynn and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak discussed lifting U.S. sanctions against Moscow. Then Mr. Flynn received money.

Host of adversaries

The voices against Mr. Flynn are diverse and aligned.

Last week, former acting Attorney General Sally Q. Yates testified before a Senate committee that she told Trump administration attorneys in late January that Mr. Flynn was at risk of being blackmailed by Russia.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, Utah Republican, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland, the committee’s ranking Democrat, have repeatedly said that they have grave concerns about Mr. Flynn’s actions and that he seems to have committed crimes.

Mr. Flynn’s legal journey could take any number of roads, say lawyers with congressional investigation expertise. Determining what crime he committed is as tricky as predicting whether he will ever testify.

Earlier this year, Mr. Kelner sought an immunity agreement so that Mr. Flynn could testify on Capitol Hill. The request is not without precedent, even in high-profile national security cases. Congress granted Reagan aide Oliver North a type of immunity when he testified about the Iran-Contra affair 30 years ago.

Thus far, congressional investigators have denied Mr. Flynn’s request for immunity. They have subpoenaed documents, and reports say federal prosecutors in Virginia are also after information.

But right now, lawyers say, what Mr. Flynn represents is essentially someone who could give interesting testimony about all his Russians contacts and experiences — or name Obama-era officials who targeted him for surveillance — but will likely not because he could incriminate himself. If Congress wants him to testify and he refuses, they could charge him with contempt.

This would be debated by whichever chamber brought the charges, then voted on, then turned over to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, who could call a grand jury.

Mr. Kelner is a campaign finance, political law and government investigations specialist who will likely play a central role in the drama. A Republican and former speechwriter for Jack Kemp, Mr. Kelner now works with the Washington headquarters of Covington & Burling LLP and is well known on Capitol Hill for his expertise navigating congressional investigations.

Mr. Kelner has described such proceedings as the “Wild West” because they lack a set of defined rules, according to a recent article in the National Law Journal.

Mr. Kelner did not respond to repeated interview requests. But congressional insiders vouch for his credibility and experience with high-profile political clients, including the National Republican Congressional Committee, which hired him last decade to investigate a sensitive embezzling case.

Alongside Rep. Michael K. Conaway, who was the NRCC’s auditing committee chairman, Mr. Kelner helped remedy the issue. Mr. Conaway, Texas Republican, is currently heading the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigation into Russian hacking.

Mr. Kelner’s “Wild West” experiences also include representing John Lopez, chief of staff to former Sen. John Ensign — the Nevada Republican who resigned in 2011 amid a Senate ethics probe into an affair with an aide’s wife. Mr. Lopez received immunity before becoming a key witness.

Mr. Kelner also helped clear former Rep. Tom Petri, Wisconsin Republican, from an ethics investigation into his business matters.

Lawyers familiar with Mr. Kelner have called him principled and a first-rate defense attorney. He is also no fan of Mr. Trump.

In July, he said on Twitter, “After the November apocalypse, it will fall to those Republicans who opposed Trump (those few) to gather the ashes and rebuild.” The next month, he likened Trump voters to zombies.

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mike flynn – Google Search

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:17 AM

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The Ghost of Mike Flynn

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The ghost of Michael Flynn haunts this White House. He only served as national-security adviser for 24 days. But Flynn propelled Donald …

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President Trump’s short-lived National Security Advisor, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, has emerged as a central figure in ongoing investigation into …

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Fresh questions on Flynn add to White House turmoil

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 7:04 AM

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The claims emerged even as it was announced that former FBI Director Robert Mueller

had been appointed as special counsel

to oversee the federal investigation into Russia’s attempts to influence the 2016 election and the possibility of collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign officials — a legal tangle in which Flynn plays a central role.

Wednesday’s

New York Times report

, citing two people familiar with the case, claimed that Flynn told the Trump transition team more than two weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.

Flynn was appointed national security adviser despite this revelation, which was made on January 4 to the transition team’s chief lawyer Donald McGahn, now the White House counsel, the New York Times said. “That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported,” it said.

Meanwhile,

a McClatchy Newspapers report

, citing members of Congress, claimed that just before Trump’s inauguration, Flynn opposed a military operation to which Turkey would have objected while being paid to lobby on the country’s behalf, a contract he had not disclosed.

Raqqa plan

Congress has been told the Obama administration wanted the incoming Trump administration to sign off on a Pentagon plan to retake ISIS stronghold Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces, because the operation would likely happen after Trump took office.

Then-President Barack Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice briefed Flynn, who according to the McClatchy report “didn’t hesitate” to tell her to hold off.

One US official explained to CNN the Obama administration offered to green light arming the Kurds during the transition in order to spare Trump the fallout with Ankara. The official had the impression Trump’s people vetoed it because they wanted to do their own strategic review. The official did not speak to Flynn’s role in this.

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That decision meant the operation — which was ultimately approved by Trump — was delayed by months.

Turkey sees these militias, which are widely seen as the most effective fighting force on the ground, as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, which is considered a terrorist group in the US, Turkey and Europe. The US views the two Kurdish groups as distinct organizations.

Comey claim

Flynn was forced to resign in February after lying to Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey Kislyak.

Since then, it’s emerged that he was paid at least $500,000 to represent Turkey’s interests during the 2016 US election campaign and reportedly didn’t properly report a speech he gave to RT TV, a media operation widely regarded as a propaganda arm for the Russian government.

The Trump administration has been plagued by questions over Flynn, who was fired only 24 days into the role, and he’s a key figure in ongoing investigations by Congress and the FBI.

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  • · · ·

Focus turns to Michael Flynn’s work for Turkey, Russia

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 6:57 AM

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One of the Trump administration’s first decisions about the fight against the Islamic State was made by Michael Flynn weeks before he was fired – and it conformed to the wishes of Turkey, whose interests, unbeknownst to anyone in Washington, he’d been paid more than $500,000 to represent.

The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president.

Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.

If Flynn explained his answer, that’s not recorded, and it’s not known whether he consulted anyone else on the transition team before rendering his verdict. But his position was consistent with the wishes of Turkey, which had long opposed the United States partnering with the Kurdish forces – and which was his undeclared client.

Trump eventually would approve the Raqqa plan, but not until weeks after Flynn had been fired.

[READ MORE: Trump will arm Syrian Kurds to fight ISIS, over Turkey’s fierce objections]

Now members of Congress, musing about the tangle of legal difficulties Flynn faces, cite that exchange with Rice as perhaps the most serious: acting on behalf of a foreign nation – from which he had received considerable cash – when making a military decision. Some members of Congress, in private conversations, have even used the word “treason” to describe Flynn’s intervention, though experts doubt that his actions qualify.

We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority. In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.

Michael Flynn in an opinion piece for The Hill

But treason or not, Flynn’s rejection of a military operation that had been months in the making raises questions about what other key decisions he might have influenced during the slightly more than three weeks he was Trump’s national security adviser, and the months he was Trump’s primary campaign foreign-policy adviser.

Even three months after he was fired, for lying to Vice President Mike Pence about a call with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, his role in the White House resonates.

With word that the president may have asked FBI Director James Comey to drop any criminal probe of Flynn – failure to register as a foreign agent is a federal crime – there is renewed focus on getting to the bottom of what Flynn did, and what Trump knew.

Despite the Trump administration’s attempts to downplay the red flags, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the administration was repeatedly warned about Flynn’s foreign involvement.

“This was a serious compromise situation that the Russians had real leverage,” former acting Attorney General Sally Yates said in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer downplayed her warning about Flynn’s interactions with Russian officials as just “a heads up.”

Flynn’s actions were also the subject of discussion just last week at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on national security threats, with Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., zeroing in on the 18 days that passed between Yates’ warning that Flynn might be subject to Russian blackmail and Flynn’s forced resignation.

“Blackmail, by an influential military official, that has real ramifications for global threat,” he said. “So this is not about a policy implication, this is about the national security adviser being vulnerable to blackmail by the Russians.”

Flynn’s connections to Russia have been widely discussed. In 2015, he was paid more than $33,000 to speak at a gala dinner in Moscow where he was seated next to President Vladimir Putin. That alone may have exposed him to criminal charges: As a retired U.S. military officer, Flynn was required to seek permission to travel and to receive payment from a foreign entity, something the State Department and the Pentagon have told Congress he did not do.

But it is his paid work on Turkey’s behalf that offers the clearest evidence of his role as a foreign agent – and of his legal problems, since he did not declare his foreign agent status till weeks after he’d left the Trump administration.

After he was fired, Flynn disclosed work as foreign agent

It was a fact Flynn disclosed himself in a declaration to the Foreign Agent Registration Unit of the Justice Department in early March. According to Flynn’s paperwork, he was paid $530,000 for work that “could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey.” The contract ended last November.

Under the Foreign Agent Registration Act, U.S. citizens who lobby on behalf of foreign governments or political entities must disclose their work to the Justice Department within 10 days.

Ekim Alptekin, the Turkish businessman whose company paid Flynn, disputes that he was “taking directions from anyone in the government” of Turkey. But Flynn’s filing shows he set up a meeting with Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, and energy minister, Berat Albayrak, who is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s son-in-law, at a New York hotel last September.

As then-candidate Trump’s national security adviser, Flynn sat in on classified briefings in the summer and fall of 2016. According to the filing, he signed the contract with Alptekin’s firm on Aug. 9. Trump received his first classified intelligence briefing on Aug. 18 – a meeting that Flynn attended. As Trump’s national security adviser in the White House, Flynn had access to even more highly classified intelligence. He sat in on most, if not all, of Trump’s phone conversations and meetings with foreign leaders.

How much Trump knew about Flynn’s paid foreign-agent work is uncertain. When Flynn’s firm filed the Justice Department paperwork in March, the White House said Trump was unaware that Flynn had been paid to lobby on Turkey’s behalf. But Flynn’s lawyer has said he called Trump’s transition team before the inauguration, asking whether Flynn should register as a foreign agent.

EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM

When asked why the call had not been an obvious indication to act quickly, the White House tried to smooth it over by saying their legal counsel had considered it a private decision the transition team should not get involved in.

“No, it’s not a question of raising a red flag,” Spicer said at a news briefing. “It is not up to – nor is it appropriate, nor is it legal – for the government to start going into private citizens seeking advice and telling them what they have to register or not.”

Flynn’s lobbying work also involved a meeting on Oct. 27 with a representative of the House Homeland Security Committee, according to the filing.

Despite Alptekin’s denials that he had hired Flynn to lobby on behalf of the Turkish government, in an interview published in Hurriyet newspaper on Nov. 14 he said he had conversations with Trump officials about Syria.

“We have spoken with his advisers and security team to understand what their vision is for the Middle East and Syria,” Alptekin was quoted as saying. He said he was optimistic that the Trump administration would be more sympathetic to Turkish interests.

“It is not just that we were in disagreement with some Obama policies like Syria . . . (but) on the Trump side, we saw a willingness to look at these things differently,” he said.

The view from Ankara

Turkey has angrily objected to U.S. support of Syrian Kurdish fighters, arguing that to arm the YPG is to help a group that is carrying out attacks on a key ally and fellow NATO member. The YPG has ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, considered a terrorist group by Turkey as well as the U.S. and the European Union. However, the U.S.-led coalition considers the YPG the most effective military partner against ISIS in Syria.

Turkey has insisted that the only feasible option to retake the terrorist group’s capital of Raqqa is for its own forces to participate in the U.S.-led coalition. The promise has been viewed skeptically by the Pentagon, where it’s been dismissed as “Erdogan’s ghost army.”

The plan to arm the Kurdish fighters had been seven months in the making when it was presented to Flynn.

“Don’t approve it,” Flynn said, according to an account in The Washington Post that was included in a timeline prepared by the office of Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. “We’ll make the decision.”

Whether Flynn consulted with anyone before making the decision is also unknown. The White House did not respond to questions about whether Trump or his secretary of defense nominee, Jim Mattis, signed off on the decision.

What is known is that a few days later, Flynn again met with Cavusoglu, the Turkish foreign minister, for a breakfast at which they discussed U.S.-Turkish interests, according to a copy of the invitation. Cavusoglu attended Trump’s inauguration.

EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM

After Trump made Flynn his national security adviser, there were high hopes in Ankara that the new administration would give in to Turkey’s wishes “since many of Turkey’s views overlap with the incoming president,” in the words of an article in the Daily Sabah, a pro-government newspaper. In interviews with visiting foreign journalists in March, Turkish officials repeatedly expressed optimism about working with the Trump administration after years of withering relations with the Obama administration.

Turkey would finally have someone who listened to the two things they wanted: to nix any plans of working with the YPG once and for all, and to extradite Fethulah Gulen, a Turkish cleric living in exile in Pennsylvania. Erdogan’s government suspects Gulen and his followers of masterminding a failed coup attempt last July.

Yates on Flynn: ‘The National Security Adviser, essentially, could be blackmailed by the Russians’ 1:41

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EDITORS: BEGIN OPTIONAL TRIM

In the September meeting with Turkish officials, they discussed with Flynn how to remove Gulen without going through the extradition process, according to former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey.

The idea was “a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away,” Woolsey told The Wall Street Journal.

In the disclosures filed by Flynn, the meeting was “for the purpose of understanding better the political climate in Turkey at the time.”

Flynn also wrote an opinion piece in The Hill on Election Day titled “Our ally Turkey is in crisis and needs our support,” slamming the Obama administration for not taking Turkey’s Gulen concerns seriously. He described Gulen as a “shady Islamic mullah” he compared to Osama bin Laden.

“We need to adjust our foreign policy to recognize Turkey as a priority,” he wrote. “In this crisis, it is imperative that we remember who our real friends are.”

Asked about Flynn’s work for the Turkish government in an interview on March 9, the day the news broke of his Justice Department registration, Turkey’s justice minister just laughed.

It “wouldn’t be appropriate . . . to make any revelation,” Bekir Bozdag said through a translator.

EDITORS: END OPTIONAL TRIM

In another indication of the close ties between the new administration and Turkey under Flynn, the Turkish-U.S. Business Council’s annual summit, which is chaired by Alptekin, moved its meeting to the Trump International Hotel in Washington this year. The summit, which is in its 36th year, had in previous years been at the Ritz-Carlton. The new location was announced the day before Flynn was fired.

Is it treason?

Treason is the only crime that is defined in the Constitution, where it’s described as levying war against the U.S. or “adhering to” an enemy – helping them, in other words. An enemy is a nation or organization against whom the U.S. has declared war, said Carlton Larson, a law professor at the University of California at Davis who specializes in treason.

While non-state actors like ISIS probably fit the definition, Flynn’s action not to support a specific group against them does not legally fit the bill, Larson said. Even at the height of the Cold War, when Julius and Ethel Rosenberg handed over nuclear secrets to the Soviet Union, they were tried and executed not for treason but for espionage.

[READ MORE: Democrats want to investigate if Flynn’s paid Russia speech violated Constitution]

However, given Flynn’s many connections to Russia and Turkey, with documented payments, Democrats have dusted off a chain of little-known ways he could have violated the Constitution.

In February they asked the Pentagon to look into whether he had violated the Constitution’s emoluments clause by accepting money for his 2015 Moscow speaking engagement at a gala marking the 10th anniversary of the state-owned RT television channel. The clause prohibits former military officers from accepting gifts from foreign governments without the approval of Congress.

After he was fired, many Democrats also pointed to the Logan Act, an obscure 1799 statute that bars private citizens from interfering with diplomatic relations between the U.S. and foreign governments.

Matthew Schofield contributed to this report.

Vera Bergengruen: 202-383-6036, @verambergen

The web connecting the Trump administration to Russia 4:33

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The web connecting the Trump administration to Russia

From Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to former campaign director Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s allies have business and personal connections to Russia. As Congress and the FBI look into Russia’s involvement with the 2016 election, those connections are increasingly under a microscope.

Natalie Fertig and Patrick GleasonMcClatchy

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France, Germany resist U.S. plan for bigger NATO role against Islamic State

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 6:45 AM

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Now it’s up to the special counsel

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 5:58 AM

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A presidency that had seemed in danger of slipping legal restraints — for example after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey in an apparent bid to shut down the FBI Russia investigation — now appears constrained by the rule of law.

“I think it in one sense it is bad news for Trump and it is good news for people who want a robust investigation because Mueller is definitely a straight shooter and he has a good reputation as an FBI director,” said Jens David Ohlin, a Cornell University law professor. “It means that the investigation goes on. It is not going to be stopped and it also means that the Deputy Attorney General doesn’t want to do Trump’s bidding on this.”

The checks and balances of democracy, in other words, hold.

Wednesday’s announcement might also be remembered as the moment that the norms that apply to other politicians finally also ensnared Trump. For so long, the President has broken rules that govern public life.

So confident was he of his own immunity to convention that he once boasted he could shoot someone in the middle of New York’s Fifth Avenue and wouldn’t lose voters. But as President, that impunity has been challenged and Trump’s behavior became a liability. Ultimately, had he not fired Comey in a fit of pique about the Russia investigation, it might never had emerged that he reportedly asked the FBI chief to cool it in his investigation. And Rosenstein’s hand may not have been forced and Trump may not have faced a special counsel.

Whatever Mueller eventually concludes, his reputation for fairness, reflected by the high praise that showered him from both sides of the aisle Wednesday, may ensure, crucially, wide acceptance of his eventual conclusion.

“I think we are going to see justice. If crimes were committed we will find that out. If no crimes were committed we are going to find that out, too,” said senior CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin. “That’s all you can ask of a criminal justice system.”

If there was wrongdoing, that gives the President plenty of cause for concern.

But it also means Trump’s critics, who have confidently predicted his guilt in the Russia episode, will have little choice but to accept any finding by Mueller that no indictments are necessary — a fact that Trump, given his insistence that the Russia meddling story is a big hoax, should welcome.

“When (Mueller) says we don’t have probable cause to pursue this — there are no charges that are going to be put forth, I think that will be a good thing for the Trump administration,” said Trump supporter Kayleigh McEnany on CNN.

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Political ramifications

But there are broad political ramifications that flow from Wednesday’s announcement.

The appointment represents a significant loss of control of the Russia story for the administration. Previously, it appeared that the administration sought to influence the course of a House intelligence committee inquiry. Trump told NBC News that he was thinking of the Russia probe when he fired Comey. And The New York Times and then CNN reported Tuesday that he had asked the former FBI director to drop the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn before he fired him.

Mueller’s arrival on the scene represents another learning experience for a President determined to wield wide executive power but who has been thwarted by checks built into the nation’s political infrastructure, for example, the courts that blocked his travel ban for people from Muslim nations.

“They fired Comey because they wanted the Russia investigation to go away. It backfired. Now they have a special counsel and they have got someone who is going to be even less susceptible to pressure than Comey was,” said Ohlin. “Their ability to influence and manage this situation has gone out of the window. Things have definitely gotten worse for the White House.”

Mueller will also have discretion to take the investigation where he sees fit and will likely be well resourced, in terms of manpower and his own vast experience, and will be able to convene a grand jury and lay indictments.

“He will have the powers of a United States attorney, he will be able to issue subpoenas, get access to all the documents, potentially interview the President himself,” said Susan Hennessey, managing editor of the Lawfare blog and a CNN national security and legal analyst. “He is going to be incredibly empowered. Bob Mueller has a remarkable, impeccable reputation.”

Most concerning for the White House may be Mueller’s investigative freedom. He could for example subpoena the President’s tax returns, which Trump has refused to release publicly, and which his critics say could contain evidence of exposure to Russian debt or investments that could pose a conflict of interest or cloud his judgment. The White House would likely fight such a step in court, triggering what would be a damaging showdown that would have damaging political reverberations.

One early sign of trouble could come if Mueller seeks to block the release to congressional investigators memos written by Comey after Trump reportedly asked him to steer clear of Flynn. That could indicate that he is probing alleged interference in the FBI’s Russia investigation by the President.

Past presidents have chafed at the way independent counsels and prosecutors have taken their probes well beyond their initial bounds. In theory that could mean that Trump and his aides could find their past lives, as well as their present arrangements, open to investigation.

David Gergen, an adviser to multiple presidents and a CNN senior legal analyst, noted how former President Bill Clinton was “investigated on Whitewater and it ended up way over with Monica Lewinsky. Presidents and White Houses really, really don’t want to go here but they have to now learn to live with it.”

The impact of a special counsel investigation is almost certain to sap severely drained morale in the White House.

Already, the West Wing mood was desperately grim. One White House official told CNN’s Jim Acosta staff were exhausted by days of devastating reversals.

“It’s just been three days straight of these 5:45 pm announcements,” the official said.

Staffers now face the prospect that they will be examined by Mueller’s probe and will worry about their own potential legal jeopardy, and must cope with the corrosive reality of working in an administration that will now be under a dark cloud of investigation and uncertainty for months or even years to come.

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Chaotic storm of allegations

It is not just at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where the political impact of Mueller’s arrival will be felt.

For Capitol Hill Republicans, who have been whiplashed by the chaotic storm over allegations of wrongdoing by Trump and the White House, there was an audible sigh of relief.

GOP leaders have been caught between the White House’s increasing exposure on Russia and a desire not to offend the President’s voters, who represent a substantial portion of their party’s base and impatience that his troubles are slowing their best chance in decades to enact a conservative agenda.

Now, when House Speaker Paul Ryan is asked whether he will do more to investigate Trump, he can refer to the credible investigation that is being undertaken by Mueller. The GOP may get some space to push ahead with key goals like tax reform and hope for some insulation if Trump remains unpopular ahead of the midterm elections next year.

For Democrats, the announcement of Mueller’s new job represented good news and bad news. On the one hand it is a validation of weeks of demands and pressure for a special counsel to investigate the Trump White House.

“A special counsel is very much needed in this situation and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein has done the right thing,” said Democratic Senate Minority leader Chuck Schumer. “Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead.”

But conversely, the Mueller probe could slow other congressional investigations or deprive them of key witnesses and evidence, as Democrats seek to use the investigations to pressure and discredit the Trump administration.

It seems unlikely, for instance, that Comey will now testify in public in what would have been one of the most significant congressional hearings in recent times. There is also no guarantee that if he does not decide to recommend criminal prosecutions, Mueller will feel the need to release a report into his investigation. That is one reason why Democrats will continue to press the case for sweeping congressional probes.

“The appointment of a special counsel is not a substitute for a vigorous investigation in Congress and the House intelligence committee will take steps to make sure our investigations do not conflict and ensure the success of both efforts,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence committee.

CNN’s Pamela Brown, Evan Perez, Dana Bash, Jeff Zeleny and Jim Acosta contributed to this report

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Exclusive: Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians – sources

Thursday May 18th, 2017 at 5:22 AM

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How a Special Counsel Alters the Russia Investigationby CHARLIE SAVAGE

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 11:20 PM

NYT > Home Page

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who was overseeing the investigation, had resisted pressure to name a special counsel. Here is what the appointment means.

What Robert Mueller brings to the Russia probe – YouTube

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 10:28 PM

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Published on May 17, 2017

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller was named as a special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian election interference. John Yang gets reaction from John Carlin, a former assistant attorney general for national security, Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., plus what precipitated the decision by the Justice Department from Matt Zapotosky of The Washington Post.

Israeli Source Seen Key to Countering ISIS Threat

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 9:49 PM

WSJ.Com: World News

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The classified information that President Donald Trump shared with Russian officials last week came from an Israeli source described by multiple U.S. officials as the most valuable source of information on external plotting by Islamic State.

Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in electionby Devlin Barrett

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 7:01 PM

National Security

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Former FBI director Robert Mueller will over see the FBI probe, including any coordination between Trump associates and Russians.

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House majority leader to colleagues in 2016: ‘I think Putin pays’ Trumpby Adam Entous

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 7:01 PM

National Security

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Speaker Ryan responded: ‘What’s said in the family stays in the family.’ GOP leaders now cast exchange as ‘an attempt at humor.’

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DAG Rosenstein Appoints Robert Mueller as Special Counselby Quinta Jurecic

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to oversee the investigation into Russian election interference. Rosenstein’s statement on Mueller’s appointment and his order are included below.

 

Order 3915 2017 Special Counsel (PDF)

Order 3915 2017 Special Counsel (Text)

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AssociatedPress’s YouTube Videos: AP Top Stories May 17 Pby AssociatedPress

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 6:35 PM

  1. VIDEO NEWS From Mikenova (66 Sites)

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From:AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:11

Here are the top stories for Wednesday, May 17: Mixed reaction over memo that Donald Trump tried to interfere with FBI investigation; DC and Turkey pointing fingers over clashes; Gang raids carried out in Los Angeles; Ringling Brothers to give last show.

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Find the 45th President of the United States Donald Trump’s latest press conferences, announcements, speeches and highlights here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLnwt1fUa-EVgihKJ_26XtMdmGDOmABAAa

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Washington Post’s YouTube Videos: Putin offers up transcripts, but U.S. lawmakers aren’t interestedby Washington Post

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 6:32 PM

  1. VIDEO NEWS From Mikenova (66 Sites)

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From:Washington Post
Duration: 01:57

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle scoffed May 17 at Russian President Vladimir Putin’s offer to release transcripts from the May 10 meeting between President Trump and Russian officials.

Washington Post’s YouTube Videos

Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 6:28 PM

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Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe – Washington Post

Wednesday May 17th, 2017 at 6:26 PM

Mueller – Google News

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Former FBI Director Mueller to lead Trump-Russia probe
Washington Post
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Wednesday appointed former FBI Director RobertMueller as a special counsel to oversee a federal investigation into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential …

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