Russian President Vladimir Putin said, Saturday, Russian citizens charged in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election may not have been Russians, but Ukrainians, Tatars or Jews with Russian citizenship, prompting Democrats to urge the use of ‘all resources available’ for extradition. The investigation was closed, Monday, with no evidence that Trump’s campaign cooperated with the Kremlin found.
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign aide, said, Monday, that he would defy the Justice Department special counsel by refusing to appear in front of a grand jury to be questioned regarding the investigation into Russian involvement in the 2016 election. Nunberg was subpoenaed, but is refusing to attend the hearing, saying ‘Let them arrest me.’
Alex van der Zwaan, lawyer and Dutch son-in-law of one of Russia’s wealthiest men, pleaded guilty, Tuesday, in federal court in Washington, to making false statements during special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election. Van der Zwaan lied about his contact with Rick Gates, a top Trump campaign official.
The Justice Department confirmed, Tuesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned as part of the special counsel for Russian investigation, last week, making him the first member of President Trump’s cabinet to be interviewed. Mueller has expressed interest in interviewing Trump about the firing of FBI director James Comey, and about national security advisor, Michael Flynn.
The pressure mounts against President Trump’s former chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, after facing two subpoenas in the investigation into Russia and Trump’s associates, the first issued by Robert Mueller’s special counsel. A second subpoena was issued, Tuesday, following Bannon’s refusal to answer questions during a closed-door interview with a House Intelligence Committee.
Amid Republican efforts to dismantle special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, sued Mueller, Wednesday, requesting a federal court to reduce his authority. The unexpected action comes while Trump attempts to portray the investigation as a politically motivated attack.
Tensions continue to rise between special counsel Robert Mueller and the White House, during the investigation into Russian election interference. A top lawyer for President Trump accused a government agency of handing over emails to Mueller, unlawfully, Saturday. When asked about the emails, Sunday, Trump claimed he has no plans to fire Mueller.
Congress Republicans relaunched attacks on the integrity of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, Wednesday, attempting to discredit any forthcoming findings. The attacks came after text messages between two FBI officials were released. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein defended Mueller, saying he saw no cause to fire him, asserting his investigation is ‘not a witch-hunt.’
Special Counsel Robert Mueller issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank, in Germany, for financial records relating to the investigation into Russian election interference. The subpoena has sparked assumptions that information on President Trump’s accounts has been requested, a claim his lawyer denies. Mueller’s potential investigation into Trump family finances could lead to further controversy.
After Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to FBI about interactions with Russian officials, Friday, President Trump said Flynn’s plea deal was a ‘shame’ because he had ‘nothing to hide.’ Trump’s admission of firing Flynn due to FBI lies highlights Trump’s possible role in encouraging former FBI director, James Comey, to suspend investigation into Flynn.