RussiaGate Latest

Drawn from various sources and updated frequently by our editorial team, RussiaGate Latest tracks daily developments in the coverage of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, how much of it the Trump campaign knew, and ongoing federal investigations of the matter.

October 12, 2018

  1. Trump to Answer Mueller’s Questions in Writing

    Special counsel Robert Mueller has finally got his wish to question President Donald Trump, but not the way he wanted: Trump — and his lawyers — will be providing written responses. Terrified of the perpetually lying president perjuring himself, this is the preferred avenue for the White House’s lawyers, despite Trump being more than willing to meet Mueller face-to-face. The special counsel will now submit 15 questions to Trump, with his replies coming shortly thereafter.

    The matter of follow-up questions is still unknown, as Mueller has previously insisted on them. Trump hinted on Fox & Friends on Thursday that he may follow up the written answers with an in-person meeting, although it’s unlikely his lawyers will allow that. It appears for the time being Mueller is waiting to receive the first set of written answers before plotting his next move.

    The special counsel has been trying to get Trump to talk to investigators for over a year, although the breakthrough only came last month when Mueller said he’d allow written answers.

  2. Clinton Responds to Trump After Russia Collusion Accusations

    Showing a fire that was missing on the 2016 campaign trail, Hillary Clinton has struck back at Trump after he accused her of colluding with the Russians during the presidential campaign. During a rally in Pennsylvania Wednesday night, Trump told the “lock-her-up” chanting crowd that it was in fact Clinton, not Trump, who had colluded with Russia in 2016: “There was a lot of collusion with them and Russia and lots of other people.” He offered no evidence to support this.

    Clinton responded on Twitter, posting “Seriously, you asked Russia to hack me on national television.” This was a reference to Trump’s statement at a 2016 rally where he stated “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”

    This isn’t the first time Trump has made this reference, after a Washington Post columnist made the same accusation in April, although this was proven to be false by fact checkers. Never one to be halted by the truth however, Trump has stepped up this line of attack in recent weeks.

October 8-9

  1. Mueller Investigates Psy-Group for Proposed Online Manipulation Campaign

    Israeli social-media management company Psy-Group pitched a proposal to Trump campaign aide Rick Gates to persuade delegates to back Donald Trump at the Republican convention in 2016, the New York Times reports. Psy-Group reportedly claimed that “veteran intelligence officers” could run an influence campaign targeting undecided delegates by sending them “authentic looking” tailored messages meant to encourage them to support then-candidate Trump. Gates reportedly did not hire Psy-Group, but the firm and its owner Joel Zamel have been a target of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election for the past year. Zamel and Gates reportedly met with former head of Blackwater and Trump ally Erik Prince in Seychelles after the election, and Nader paid Zamel $2 million for unknown reasons.

  2. GOP Operative Sought Russian Hackers to Obtain Clinton’s Emails

    GOP operative Peter W. Smith raised at least $100,000 and contributed $50,000 of his own money in an attempt to obtain then-candidate Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails from Russian hackers who he thought were “probably around the Russian government,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Smith circulated recruitment documents which claimed that top GOP officials, including chief executive of the Trump campaign Steve Bannon, campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, and campaign advisor Michael Flynn, were involved in his efforts. Smith admitted to seeking out Clinton’s emails from Russian hackers 10 days before he was found dead. Local authorities ruled his death a suicide. John Szobocsan, a business associate of Smith who was involved in his efforts, has been the focus of the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. He has been interviewed three times this year, and appeared before a grand jury in August.

  3. Former FBI Official Investigating Alfa Bank and Trump Organization Ties

    Former FBI investigator and Democratic Senate staffer Dan Jones assembled two teams of computer scientists to investigate the data pertaining to online communication between Moscow-based Alfa bank and the Trump Organization, the New Yorker reports. Reports of an alleged server meant to act as a secretive channel between Alfa Bank and the Trump Organization surfaced in October 2016, but were met with skepticism. At the time, the FBI concluded that the events were “innocuous,” but in March 2017 the agency was reportedly still investigating the case. The New Yorker reports that 87 percent of the domain’s connections came from two Alfa Bank servers. The only other entity regularly reaching out to the Trump Organization’s domain is Spectrum Health, led by Richard DeVos Jr., husband of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and brother to former head of Blackwater Erik Prince. The Trump Organization, Alfa Bank, and Spectrum Health have repeatedly denied any contact.

October 3-5

  1. Manafort Agrees to Forfeit Property, Bank Accounts as Part of Guilty Plea

    President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort has agreed to forfeit multiple properties as part of his guilty plea. Should Judge Amy Jackson agree with the order, filed Friday in the US District Court in Washington, the Justice Department will take hold of the $3 million Trump Tower apartment — just floors below the suite where Trump launched his campaign — as well as a $7.3 million home in the Hamptons, two properties in Brooklyn, and one in Manhattan. They are also gaining control of four bank accounts; two at The Federal Savings Bank, one at Capital One and a Northwestern Mutual Universal Life Insurance policy.

    All of these are being confiscated as they are deemed to have been “derived from proceeds traceable to” the crimes he admitted to after being convicted by a jury in a US District Court in Virginia. 

  2. Former FBI General Counsel Gives “Explosive” Testimony on FBI

    Republican lawmakers on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees heard testimony last Wednesday from former FBI general counsel James Baker and said what they heard was “explosive” and “fundamentally changed” their understanding of the Justice Department’s Russia investigation. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) — two of Trump’s biggest and most devout defenders since the beginning — briefed the press following the testimony.

    Talking for over four hours, Baker told the committee about a “completely new” source who was “directly” providing the FBI with information while the Bureau was putting together the application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. No details were given to the media about this source. The two congressmen claimed that Baker’s testimony reinforced their belief that the Russia probe was handled in an “abnormal fashion” and a biased manner.

    The committee has been conducting a year-long probe of the FBI’s investigations of Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as it’s investigation of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. It has been heavily criticised by Democrats as being an attempt undermine the FBI, Justice Department, and the Mueller’s Russia probe. They have also complained about the committee’s decision to conduct it’s interviews in private.

October 1-2

  1. Two of Mueller’s Prosecutors Leave Investigation

    Two special counsel prosecutors are leaving the Russia investigation and returning to their roles in the Justice Department (DOJ), according to special counsel spokesman Peter Carr. Prosecutor Brandon Van Grack has already returned to his position in the DOJ’s National Security Division, while prosecutor Kyle Freeny will return to the DOJ’s Criminal Division later this month. Van Grack and Freeny worked on former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort’s criminal cases, and their departures indicate that Manafort’s cooperation has allowed special counsel Robert Mueller to shift the focus of the investigation to other areas. Carr made clear that neither prosecutor’s departure is related to disciplinary matters. There are 13 remaining special counsel prosecutors.

  2. FBI Refers Hacking Case to Special Counsel

    The FBI referred the investigation into Republican operative and Trump critic Cheri Jacobus’s hacked emails to special counsel prosecutors, Jacobus told Politico. The FBI opened the investigation in August 2016 after Jacobus filed a claim that her personal email account had been hacked and some content had been deleted. Jacobus also reported specific suspicious incidents, including an encounter with con man Steven Wessel masquerading as an English barrister and potential donor to an anti-Trump PAC. At the time, Jacobus was pursuing a defamation lawsuit against then-candidate Donald Trump. Jacobus told Politico that the FBI informed her that they had forwarded the investigation to the Mueller because “the matter came to exceed the bounds of computer intrusion.”

  3. Reports Confirm Trump Paid Off Stormy Daniels, President Still Denies

    In February, Trump directed his then-lawyer Michael Cohen to seek a restraining order against former adult film actress Stormy Daniels after learning that Daniels intended to speak publicly about their alleged affair, the Wall Street Journal reports. Trump then told Cohen to coordinate their legal response with his son Eric Trump through a confidential arbitration process. Trump has repeatedly denied having any knowledge of Daniels or the $130,000 Cohen paid Daniels in exchange for her silence during the 2016 US presidential election. During his plea hearing in federal court, Cohen confirmed that Trump arranged a hush payment with Daniels “for the principal purpose of influencing the [2016 US presidential] election.” When asked on Tuesday about whether he directed Cohen and his son to pay off Daniels, Trump responded, “I don’t even know what you’re talking about.”

September 26-28

  1. Russian Foreign Minister Criticizes US, Trump, During UN General Assembly Speech

    Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, heavily criticized the US and President Donald Trump in a speech on Friday before the United Nations General Assembly. The annual international gathering demonstrated divisions between the US and Russia despite the friendly atmosphere at the Helsinki Summit earlier this year. The two powers have clashed over everything from how to rebuild Syria to the Iranian nuclear deal to the constant argument over the 2016 election meddling accusations.

    During his speech Lavrov condemned what he called “an onslaught of belligerent revisionism” within the US, stating that it threatened the international order. He went on to accuse the US of using “political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force” to support its “self-serving unilateral approach.” He went on to point out that Trump still hadn’t accused the Russians of meddling: “This time he blamed China only for interference, he did not mention Russia — well he didn’t mention us before.”

    Lavrov’s rare public outburst against Trump came with an announcement that Russia would start delivering S-300 air-defence systems to Syria despite US protestation. This decision was made following the downing of a Russian reconnaissance plane last week.

  2. Mueller Cooperator to Be Sentenced Next Month

    A California man who unwittingly helped Russia interfere in the 2016 election is being sentenced this week — becoming the third person to be sentenced as a result of the special counsel probe. Richard Pinedo admitted to identity theft back in February and has cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In the lead-up to the election Pinedo sold bank account numbers to Russian trolls who then used them to buy web ads aimed at aiding Trump’s campaign.

    His sentencing is scheduled for October 10th. He could face a maximum of 15 years although this is unlikely with prosecutors saying sentencing guidelines call for a 12 to 18-month sentence. Pinedo’s defence lawyer is arguing for no prison time citing his constant fear of retribution from Russia, as well as his cooperation with Mueller’s probe

  3. House Panel Releases Russia Probe Transcripts

    The House Intelligence Committee voted to publicly release transcripts of 53 interviews it conducted as part of a now-concluded inquiry into Russia’s 2016 election interference. Included in the trove are testimonies from Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son; Jared Kushner, his son-in-law; Hope Hicks, his former communications director; and Roger Stone, his longtime associate.

    Democrats opposed the move, arguing that some of the most importants transcripts — including the interviews with the pro-Russia Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and  former head of the Democratic National Committee Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) — have not been released. The panel has also not provided the documents to Mueller.

  4. Top Trump Donor Requested Meeting With Russian Official

    Simon Kukes — an oil executive who contributed a quarter million dollars to Trump’s bid for presidency — corresponded with a Russian official in the lead-up to the 2016 election, according to newly released emails. In the summer of 2016 Kukes told Vyacheslav Pavlovsky, vice president of the state-owned Russian Railways, that he was involved with the Trump campaign’s “strategy development,” and sent a photograph of him posing with Rudy Giuliani, now the president’s personal attorney.  

    Former CIA officer Lindsay Moran considers the donation part of a pattern of Russia-linked businessmen influencing US elections and politics.

September 24-25

  1. Mueller Rejects Russian Firm’s Selective Prosecution Claim

    Russian company Concord Management claimed “selective prosecution” in a court document alleging that special counsel Robert Mueller targeted their company while allowing other foreign entities, including British former spy Christopher Steele, more leniency in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. In response, Mueller stated that Steele, who acted as an anonymous source for media articles, does not “remotely compare” to the Russian firm that conducted “information warfare” against the US. Mueller alleges that Concord Management financially supported the “systematic, deceptive effort” of the Russian “troll farm,” the Internet Research Agency.

  2. Rosenstein and Trump Will Meet Thursday in Wake of Recording Reports

    President Trump has said that he will meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday, September 27. Last week the New York Times reported that Rosenstein had been secretly taping the president to invoke the 25th amendment — the right to remove an unfit president. Rosenstein denied recording Trump and called the New York Times report “absolutely false.” On Monday, Rosenstein arrived at the White House with Chief of Staff John Kelly, reportedly ready to resign. Rosenstein’s potential removal fed heightened speculation until White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that Trump is unavailable to meet with Rosenstein until he returns to Washington, DC, from the United Nations General Assembly. Rosenstein oversees the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, and if he is removed from his position, his successor is unclear. The next appointee in line is Trump-appointed Solicitor General Noel J. Francisco, but his former law firm Jones Day represents the Trump campaign in the special counsel investigation, presenting a conflict of interest. House conservatives are pushing for Rosenstein to appear for a public hearing to address the allegations, and have stated that they will force a vote to impeach Rosenstein if he does not testify.

  3. Stone Offered to Pay Legal Fees for Wikileaks Intermediary

    Randy Credico — political activist, comedian, and Roger Stone’s alleged intermediary with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — told Mother Jones that Stone had offered to pay the legal fees associated with the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. Credico appeared before a grand jury earlier this month to testify on his relationship with Stone and Wikileaks, and stated that he did not accept Stone’s offer to pay his legal fees. Credico told Mother Jones that Stone wanted to prevent him from talking to the press out of fear that he might contradict Stone’s narrative. Stone claimed that he offered Credico financial assistance because he knew Credico would lose his job as a radio host after offering his name to the House Intelligence Committee.

September 19-21

  1. Rosenstein Discussed Recording Trump, Invoking 25th Amendment

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed last year secretly taping President Donald Trump and enlisting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment, the mechanism for removing an unfit president according to memos written by FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

    The allegations, reported first by the New York Times, show the chaos within the Justice Department after Trump axed FBI Director James Comey last May. In his announcement of the firing, Trump drew from a memo Rosenstein had provided him: It criticized Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails. Rosenstein, who received widespread condemnation from Democrats for enabling the president, became upset with Trump and worried that he may have had ulterior motives for firing Comey.  

    Rosenstein disputed the Times’s account, saying, “Based on my personal dealings with the president, there is no basis to invoke the 25th Amendment.”

  2. Cohen Working With Mueller Without Cooperation Deal

    Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and longtime confidant, has done several hours of interviews with special counsel Robert Mueller over the past month. The questioning has focused on the president’s financial dealings with the Kremlin, alleged collusion between his campaign and Russians to influence the 2016 election, and whether he discussed with Cohen the possibility of a pardon. Cohen never struck a cooperation deal with prosecutors, according to his attorney Lanny Davis.

  3. Trump Halts Declassification of Russia Probe Documents

    Trump backtracked on his Monday order to release sensitive materials related to the FBI’s investigation into Russian electoral interference. Citing concerns from “key allies,” the president announced Friday that he would defer to Inspector General Michael Horowitz to review the documents and conclude whether FBI investigators were guilty of anti-Trump bias.

    Trump had ordered the Justice Department to “publicly release … without redaction” portions of the FBI’s June 2017 surveillance warrant application for his former campaign advisor Carter Page, as well as the text messages of several senior law enforcement officials, including Comey, McCabe, and FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

September 17-18

  1. Trump Orders Immediate Declassification of Intelligence Materials

    President Donald Trump has ordered the declassification of portions of the June 2017 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application for former Trump campaign advisor Carter Page, and the public release of text messages “related to the Russia investigation” sent by FBI and Justice Department (DOJ) officials.

    In July, the FBI released a heavily redacted version of Page’s FISA application. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders stated that Trump directed the DOJ and the director of national intelligence to immediately declassify “all FBI reports of interviews” related to Page’s application. Trump also demanded the release of unredacted text messages from former FBI Director James Comey, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, and DOJ official Bruce Ohr.

    Trump defended his decision by stating that he wants “transparency.” Top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff (D-CA) spoke to the consequences of the president’s decision, stating that, “With respect to some of these materials, I have been previously informed by the FBI and Justice Department that they would consider their release a red line that must not be crossed as they may compromise sources and methods.”

  2. Prosecutors Ready for Flynn Sentence

    Special counsel Robert Mueller asked a federal judge to schedule sentencing for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. In a joint filing with federal prosecutors and Flynn’s lawyers, the special counsel requested that Flynn be sentenced between November 28 and December 7, after the midterm elections. Prosecutors and Flynn’s lawyers also asked that the judge allow them to file all sentencing memos less than two weeks before the sentencing, which would allow the special counsel to wait until after the midterm elections to make public the ways in which Flynn assisted the investigation.

    Flynn pleaded guilty last December to lying to the FBI about his contact with then-Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, but prosecutors have since delayed his sentencing. Three days before this filing, Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort struck a plea deal with investigators. Flynn is the highest-ranking official charged to date in the special counsel investigation.

  3. Trump Legal Team Unafraid of Manafort’s Cooperation With Investigators

    Trump’s lead lawyer Rudy Giuliani said that Manafort’s legal team assured him that Manafort, despite his cooperation with federal investigators, has not disclosed incriminating information on the president. Manafort and Trump have had a long-standing joint-defense agreement, but last week Manafort made a plea deal after pleading guilty to conspiracy against the US and obstruction of justice by witness tampering. Manafort’s legal team told Giuliani that Manafort has told investigators “nothing that is adverse to the president, the Trump family, the Trump campaign.”

    However, legal ethics experts have refuted Giuliani’s claim, explaining that Manafort’s lawyers could not make a credible assertion about the consequences of Manafort’s cooperation with investigators. The Washington Post reports New York University Law Professor Stephen Gillers explanation, “No one can know whether what Manafort knows could be harmful.”

September 12-14

  1. Bob Woodward Saw No Collusion, Still Thinks It Happened

    While discussing his new book Fear, famed journalist Bob Woodward stated that despite looking hard for any signs of collusion between President Donald Trump and Russia, he found nothing. However, he does still believe special counsel Robert Mueller has something on the president: “He [Mueller] has something that [Trump’s former lawyer] Dowd and the president don’t know about, a secret witness or somebody who has changed their testimony.”

    While the book deals mostly with disorder within the White House and the efforts of aides and advisors to undermine Trump, this admission from the man who broke watergate is an interesting aside.

  2. Trump Passes Weak Sanctions Against Foreign Meddlers, Russia Doesn’t Care

    In a move which angered both Republicans and Democrats, Trump signed an executive order which may result in sanctions on any foreign countries or individuals who attempt to interfere in the upcoming midterm elections. Coming just eight weeks before the November 6th election, lawmakers from both side of the aisle derided the move as not enough, while Russia shrugged it off as merely internal US politics.

    Departing from from his usual style, Trump signed the order behind closed doors with no reporters present. According to national security advisor John Bolton, the sanctions could include freezing assets, restricting foreign exchange transactions, limiting access to US financial institutions, and prohibiting U.S. citizens from investing in companies involved.

    Both Republicans and Democrats however, have decried the order, with a joint statement by Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) summarizing the position of both sides: “Today’s announcement by the administration recognizes the threat, but does not go far enough to address it.”

  3. Manafort Cuts Plea Deal with Mueller

    Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chair, has agreed to cooperate with  Mueller in the inquiry into possible collusion between the campaign and Russians. In return, Manafort’s seven-charge indictment has been reduced to two; he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the US and one count of obstruction of justice.

    In a separate trial in Virginia, Manafort is convicted of eight financial crimes that, combined with the other charges, could amount to a 20-year prison sentence. Prosecutor Andrew Weissman said that the charges will be dropped if Manafort complies fully with terms of the deal. Both White House attorney Rudy Giuliani and press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Manafort’s decision to cooperate with Mueller is “totally unrelated” to the president.

  4. GOP Releases New Batch Emails Between Ex-FBI Officials

    Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) released a number of text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page capturing their reaction to news coverage of the bureau’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. The texts, Meadows said, “suggest a coordinated effort on the part of the FBI and DOJ to release information in the public domain potentially harmful to President Donald Trump’s administration.” In one message, Strzok told Page that he wanted discuss with her “media leak strategy with DOJ,” which Republican lawmakers interpreted as an attempt to manipulate media coverage about the investigation.

    Strzok and Page came under fire earlier this year when it emerged that they exchanged texts critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign. Strzok was fired from the bureau last month, and Page resigned.

September 10-11

  1. Stone and Assange’s Alleged Intermediary Testifies Before Grand Jury

    Political activist, perennial political candidate, and comedian Randy Credico told Ari Melber on MSNBC that most of his testimony in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election was about Trump’s political adviser Roger Stone. Credico said a “preponderance” of the questions pertained to Stone, and that investigators asked questions about WikiLeaks “peripherally.” This is Credico’s second subpoena before a grand jury. In November 2017, the House Intelligence Committee subpoenaed Credico after Stone alleged that Credico was his intermediary with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to obtain information on Hillary Clinton. The committee released Credico from appearing for an interview after he invoked his Fifth Amendment right.

  2. Trump Jr. Is Not Afraid of Mueller Probe

    Donald Trump Jr. told Good Morning America that he is not afraid of any information that may be uncovered in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential elections.

    “I know what I did, and I’m not worried about any of that,” Trump Jr. said, “I’ve done nothing that anyone else wouldn’t do in that position.” Trump Jr.’s participation in the June 2016 meeting at Trump Towers is a key area of the investigation. He initially told reporters that the purpose of the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was to discuss a “program about the adoption of Russian children” but later admitted that he was expecting to receive damaging information on Hillary Clinton. In a letter to special counsel Robert Mueller, President Trump’s lawyers acknowledged that Trump “dictated” Trump Jr.’s misleading statements.

  3. Trump Tweets About Collusion on 9/11 Anniversary

    On the morning of the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, President Trump tweeted, “We have found nothing to show collusion between President Trump & Russia” but alleged that there is an increasing amount of “documentation” implicating the FBI, the Department of Justice, and Hillary Clinton. Trump then alleged that newly released text messages between former FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page contained a “Media Leak Strategy.” The president’s last tweet of the morning acknowledged the 9/11 attacks by praising his attorney and then-mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, who Trump called a “TRUE WARRIOR.”

September 5-7

  1. Giuliani: Trump Won’t Answer Questions on Obstruction of Justice

    President Donald Trump will not answer any obstruction-related questions in his interview with special counsel Robert Mueller, according to his attorney Rudy Giuliani. It is an explicit rejection of Mueller’s attempt to determine whether Trump tried to block the investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin in the 2016 election. Mueller’s team has tried in the past to question Trump on his firing of the former FBI director James Comey and his continued attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

  2. Kavanaugh Denies Discussing Russia Probe With Law Firm

    On the third day of his confirmation hearing, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh definitively denied speaking about the Russia inquiry with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Trump attorney Marc Kasowitz. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a 2020 presidential hopeful, first asked Kavanaugh the question on the second day, but he said he wasn’t certain. Harris told Kavanaugh that she had “received reliable information” that he had discussed the investigation with the firm, but did not provide any proof.

    Kavanaugh also declined to answer whether a sitting president can be subpoenaed.

  3. Former Trump Aide Pleads for Clemency Prior to Sentencing

    Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded for probation instead of prison ahead of his sentencing on Friday. Papadopouloss was indicted for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with a London-based professor. Mueller’s team recommended a six-month prison term.

    During the 2016 campaign, Papadopoulos told an Australian diplomat about his meeting with the professor, who had informed him that Russians had compromising information on Democrat Hillary Clinton. The tip spearheaded the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election meddling.

  4. Republicans Urge Trump to Declassify Russia Documents

    Allies of the president are urging him to release classified documents onin the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s election interference. GOP Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jim Jordan (R-OH), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Lee Zeldin (R-NY) have specifically requested that Trump declassify the bureau’s warrant application for former campaign aide Carter Page.

    The development is part of an ongoing effort by the GOP to expose alleged anti-Trump bias among intelligence officers handling the Russia probe. The FBI’s application to spy on Page was based on tips from the dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele, which posits collusion between Trump and Russians. House Republicans pointed to the long-standing relationship between Steele and Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr — who testified before two subcommittees last week — as proof that the Russia probe lacks credibility.