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  1. #21
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    Default Trump doubles down on security clearances, former officials slam move

    Trump doubles down on security clearances, former officials slam move

    By Jeff Mason and Jonathan Landay, Reuters
    August 17, 2018


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-sec...150229454.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...8495#post18495
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...8495#post18495


    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump faced an unprecedented outcry from former intelligence officials on Friday after stripping the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, but Trump defended his move and said he planned another one soon.

    The bipartisan group, which included Robert Gates, George Tenet, David Petraeus, James Clapper and Leon Panetta, lashed out at the president in a scathing letter released late on Thursday. By Friday evening, a separate group of 60 former intelligence officers added their voices in their own letter.

    Brennan, a former official in the Obama administration and sharp critic of Trump, has said he will not be deterred by the removal of his security clearance. Brennan described Trump's actions at a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month as treasonous.

    Trump defended his decision, announced on Wednesday, saying it had elevated the former CIA chief rather than hampered his freedom of speech.

    The president also told reporters he was likely to revoke the clearance of Bruce Ohr, a Department of Justice official who is linked to a dossier on Trump's campaign and Russia compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele.

    Trump lashed out again at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading an investigation into possible collusion between his 2016 campaign and Moscow. Without citing evidence or offering proof, he said Mueller had conflicts of interest.

    In the statement released late on Thursday, officials who served under Republican and Democratic officials said they did not necessarily agree with Brennan's harsh criticism of the president but that security authorizations should be based on national security, not politics.

    "We all agree that the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances - and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech," the former CIA directors, deputy directors and directors of national intelligence said.

    "We have never before seen the approval or removal of security clearances used as a political tool," they wrote.

    Petraeus, one of the signers, was once considered by Trump as a candidate for secretary of state.

    Like the signatories of the first letter, the 60 former CIA officers said that while they do not necessarily agree with Brennan's opinions, "It is our firm belief that the country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views."

    The second group included Henry Crumpton, who also served as the State Department's top counter-terrorism official and Letitia Long, a former head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, which oversees the military satellites used for intelligence collection, navigation and communication.

    In another pushback against the president, retired Navy Admiral William McRaven, who oversaw the operation that killed Osama bin Laden, praised Brennan and asked Trump to revoke his security clearance as well, writing in a Washington Post opinion piece that he would "consider it an honor."

    MORE TO COME

    Trump challenged the suggestion that he was trying to silence critics by taking away security clearances.

    "There's no silence. If anything, I'm giving them a bigger voice," Trump said.

    "Many people don't even know who (Brennan) is, and now he has a bigger voice. And that's OK with me, because I like taking on voices like that. I've never respected him."

    The White House said it was studying a list of other individuals for security clearance review, and Trump suggested Ohr was at the top of that list.

    "I think Bruce Ohr is a disgrace," he said. "I suspect I'll be taking it away very quickly."

    Ohr works in the Justice Department's criminal division, and was in contact with former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled a dossier of allegations of possible collusion between Trump's camp and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.

    Russia denies having meddled in the 2016 election, but three U.S. intelligence agencies reported in January 2017 that Moscow had intervened and tried to help Trump beat Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    Putin told reporters in Helsinki, while standing next to Trump, that he had wanted the former New York businessman to win the White House.

    (Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; editing by Jonathan Oatis and James Dalgleish)




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    Default James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’

    James Clapper: Brennan’s anti-Trump rhetoric is ‘an issue in and of itself’


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/james-cla...175136744.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...8509#post18509
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...8509#post18509



    Yapper says Deranged Hibernigger Brennan is Over the Top with itz Slop

    .

    James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence, said that former CIA Director John Brennan has the subtlety of “a freight train” and that his rhetoric has become “an issue in and of itself.”

    After Trump’s summit meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki last month, Brennan leveled some incendiary accusations against the White House. He called Trump’s actions “nothing short of treasonous.”

    Jake Tapper, the host of CNN’s “State of the Union,” asked Clapper on Sunday morning whether he thinks Brennan’s “hyperbole” is cause for concern.

    “Well, I think it is. I think John is subtle like a freight train, and he’s going to say what’s on his mind,” Clapper said.

    Clapper added that the intelligence professionals speaking out share a genuine concern for U.S. institutions and values but may express themselves in different ways. He suggested that inflammatory language can distract from the important issues at hand.

    “John and his rhetoric have become, I think, an issue in and of itself,” he said.

    Brennan has been particularly outspoken in his criticisms of Trump, after the president cast doubt on the intelligence community’s conclusion that Moscow launched a multifaceted campaign to disrupt American democracy and meddle in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

    Trump revoked Brennan’s top-secret security clearance last week in reaction to what he called “unfounded and outrageous allegations.” Former top intelligence officials, including several who served under Republican administrations, condemned Trump’s actions. They agreed that security clearances should be based on concerns of national security — not political ideology.

    In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday morning, Brennan doubled down on the accusation that Trump’s behavior has been treasonous.

    “I called his behavior treasonous. I stand very much by that claim,” Brennan said. “These are abnormal times. … I have seen the signs blinking red on what Mr. Trump has done and is doing.”

    .


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    Default Former Trump campaign chairman Manafort found guilty on eight counts

    Former Trump campaign chairman Manafort found guilty on eight counts

    Reuters
    August 21, 2018


    https://www.yahoo.com/news/former-tr...1--sector.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...8516#post18516
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...8516#post18516


    ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was found guilty on Tuesday of eight of the 18 charges he faced in a case of bank and tax fraud.

    The judge in the case declared a mistrial on the 10 other counts. Earlier in the day, the jury had indicated it was unable to reach consensus on all of the counts.

    (Reporting by Nathan Layne; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Eric Beech)



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    Default Michael Cohen has information ‘of interest’ to Robert Mueller, would not accept Trump pardon, lawyer says

    Michael Cohen has information ‘of interest’ to Robert Mueller, would not accept Trump pardon, lawyer says

    LUCIEN BRUGGEMAN Good Morning America
    August 22, 2018


    https://www.yahoo.com/gma/michael-co...opstories.html
    http://christian-identity.net/forum/...8526#post18526
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...8526#post18526


    Michael Cohen has information ‘of interest’ to Robert Mueller, would not accept Trump pardon, lawyer says originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com

    A lawyer representing Michael Cohen, the former longtime fixer and personal attorney for Donald Trump, says his client has information that would be “of interest” to special counsel Robert Mueller and that he would not accept any pardon from the president.

    “I can tell you it's my observation that what he knows, that he witnessed, will be of interest to the special counsel,” Cohen’s lawyer, Lanny Davis, told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos Wednesday on “Good Morning America.”

    Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to eight counts that included campaign finance violations spawned from hush money agreements with two women, Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal, who claim to have had affairs with Trump, which he has denied. Speaking to a packed federal courthouse in Manhattan, Cohen said he made those payments "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office," referring to then-candidate Donald Trump.

    (MORE: Trump’s former lawyer pleads guilty to payments at 'direction' of a 'candidate')

    .


    Trump's jewboy lawyer Mike 'the kike' Cohen has another jewboy lawyer representing it.

    .

    On “Good Morning America,” Davis accused Trump of committing “a criminal act that corrupted our democracy” in directing Cohen to make those payments and said Cohen would not accept a pardon from President Trump, if offered one.

    “Michael Cohen was directed … to do a criminal act,” Davis said on “Good Morning America,” adding, “It was not done by Donald Trump because he had affairs with two women, he did not want the news of those affairs to come out in the last two weeks of the campaign. That is a crime.”

    In addition to the campaign finance violations, Cohen pleaded guilty to a slew of bank fraud and tax evasion charges related to his personal business dealings.

    (MORE: Michael Cohen hints at possible cooperation with investigators)

    Shortly after Cohen's guilty plea, the president's attorney, Rudy Giuliani, maintained that Trump is not at fault, adding, "There is no allegation of any wrongdoing against the president in the government's charges against Mr. Cohen."

    "It is clear that, as the prosecutor noted, Mr. Cohen's actions reflect a pattern of lies and dishonesty over a significant period of time,” Giuliani said.

    On "Good Morning America," Davis said Cohen “will tell the truth to everybody who asks him about Mr. Trump,” though it was unclear whether Cohen has agreed to meet with federal investigators.

    Cohen's stunning admission marked the end of a monthslong investigation into his personal business practices, the genesis of which can be tied back to Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling during the 2016 campaign. Mueller referred the case to New York's Southern District to investigate.

    (MORE EXCLUSIVE: Michael Cohen says family and country, not President Trump, are his 'first loyalty')

    Cohen served as Trump's fixer and trusted confidant for years, solving the real estate tycoon's legal troubles and once famously boasting that he would "take a bullet" for the president. A gratified patron, Trump praised his personal attorney as a "fine person with a wonderful family."

    But as Cohen's legal exposure developed, their relationship soured and arrived at a breaking point last month when Cohen told ABC News that he was prepared to "put family and country first," a suggestion that rocked the White House as speculation of Cohen's flipping on the president reached a fever pitch.

    At a campaign rally in West Virginia on Tuesday night, the president made no mention of Cohen's guilty plea.

    Cohen, who now faces the possibility of a lengthy prison sentence and substantial monetary forfeiture, is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 12.

    .



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    Default Andrew C. McCarthy: Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney

    Andrew C. McCarthy: Why Trump is likely to be indicted by Manhattan US Attorney

    By Andrew McCarthy | Fox News
    9 Dec. 2018



    https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/andr...an-us-attorney
    http://christian -identity.net/forum...9013#post19013
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...9013#post19013


    The major takeaway from the 40-page sentencing memorandum filed by federal prosecutors Friday for Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former personal attorney, is this: The president is very likely to be indicted on a charge of violating federal campaign finance laws.

    It has been obvious for some time that President Trump is the principal subject of the investigation still being conducted by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York.

    Cohen earlier pleaded guilty to multiple counts of business and tax fraud, violating campaign finance law, and making false statements to Congress regarding unsuccessful efforts to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

    Yes, Cohen has stated he did the hands-on work in orchestrating hush-money payments to two women who claim to have had sexual liaisons with Trump many years ago (liaisons Trump denies).

    But when Cohen pleaded guilty in August, prosecutors induced him to make an extraordinary statement in open court: the payments to the women were made “in coordination with and at the direction of” the candidate for federal office – Donald Trump.

    Prosecutors would not have done this if the president was not on their radar screen. Indeed, if the president was not implicated, I suspect they would not have prosecuted Cohen for campaign finance violations at all. Those charges had a negligible impact on the jail time Cohen faces, which is driven by the more serious offenses of tax and financial institution fraud, involving millions of dollars.

    Moreover, campaign finance infractions are often settled by payment of an administrative fine, not turned into felony prosecutions. To be sure, federal prosecutors in New York City have charged them as felonies before – most notably in 2014 against Dinesh D’Souza, whom Trump later pardoned.

    In marked contrast, though, when it was discovered that Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was guilty of violations involving nearly $2 million – an amount that dwarfs the $280,000 in Cohen’s case – the Obama Justice Department decided not to prosecute. Instead, the matter was quietly disposed of by a $375,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission.

    Nevertheless, the sentencing memo in Cohen’s case reads like an ode to campaign finance laws. Unlike other types of pleadings, which can be dry and legalistic, sentencing memoranda are meant to persuade the sentencing judge, and they often read like dramatic jury arguments.

    This one is no exception, urging that campaign finance laws are vital to election integrity – “painstakingly” designed by Congress “to promote transparency and prevent wealthy individuals” from fueling the “public cynicism” that “the political process belongs to the rich and powerful.”

    In the four corners of this case, these words apply to Cohen. But President Trump cannot feel too comfortable upon reading them.

    Nor can the Trump legal team take solace when the campaign finance charges to which Cohen pleaded guilty are scrutinized. Thus far, the team has been dismissive, noting that campaign finance law has different standards for a candidate than for other donors.

    Contributors such as Cohen made were limited in 2016 to a $2,700 donation, but there is no limit on a candidate’s spending. Thus, the argument goes, even if the hush-money payments vastly exceeded Cohen’s legal ceiling, Trump himself could have made them legally.

    There are flaws in this theory.

    To begin with, the campaign finance laws do not just prescribe limits on spending; they mandate disclosure. This is a leitmotif of the sentencing memo: Congress demanded transparency. A candidate may spend unlimited amounts on the campaign, but the amounts spent must be reported to the Federal Election Commission.

    The sentencing memo for Cohen argues that the hush money payments were not merely unreported. It states that Cohen and the Trump organization – the president’s company – went to great lengths to conceal them by fraudulent bookkeeping.

    Equally significantly, Cohen was not charged with merely making illegal donations. He was charged in the first campaign finance count with causing a company to make illegal donations.

    This was the offense centering on Playboy model Karen McDougal. It involves David Pecker, a longtime friend of the president and of Cohen. Pecker runs American Media, Inc., which controls the National Enquirer.

    According to prosecutors, Pecker arranged with Cohen that the Enquirer would buy McDougal’s story for $150,000 and bury it. Although it was contemplated that Cohen would reimburse Pecker (and then be reimbursed by Trump), the reimbursement did not happen.

    Cohen, therefore, pleaded guilty not to making his own excessive contribution but to causing a third party to make an illegal contribution.

    Cohen says he was operating at Trump’s direction. Logically, then, if this is true and Cohen caused the third-party illegal contribution, so did the president.

    Notably: prosecutors have given Pecker and another American Media executive, Dylan Howard, immunity from prosecution. Do you think prosecutors did that to tighten up the case against Cohen? I don’t.

    As for the second campaign finance charge, that involves an illegal payment by Cohen – the $130,000 to Stephanie Clifford (who goes by the stage name “Stormy Daniels”). There are two things to bear in mind about it.

    First, as we’ve just seen, it is a felony to cause another person to make an illegal contribution. Since, under the claim by prosecutors Trump was directing Cohen, Trump could be accused of having caused Cohen to make an illegal payment.

    The fact that Trump could have made the payment himself without violating the law does not excuse allegedly causing Cohen to violate the law.

    Trump’s point that he had no personal limit on spending is also undermined by the facts that (a) the payment was not reported, and (b) the purpose of the transaction was to distance him from the payment (which is why the non-disclosure agreement employs pseudonyms rather than referring to Trump and Clifford by name).

    Second, the violation to which Cohen pleaded guilty is not merely making illegal expenditures; it also includes making such expenditures “in cooperation, consultation, or concert, with or at the request or suggestion of, a candidate.” (Section 30116(a)(7)(A) of the election laws).

    Again, this is why Cohen was pushed at his guilty plea proceeding to state that he acted “in coordination with and at the direction of” Trump. It is an assertion the prosecutors emphasize in the sentencing memo. The thrust of their allegation is that Cohen and Trump are confederates in an illegal contribution that Cohen made only because Trump directed him to do so.

    This is not to suggest that the president is without cards to play. Campaign finance violations have a high proof threshold for intent. President Trump could argue that because there was no spending limit on his contributions, he did not think about the campaign-finance implications, much less willfully violate them.

    There is, furthermore, a significant legal question about whether the hush-money payments here qualify as “in-kind” campaign contributions. There is nothing illegal per se in making a non-disclosure agreement; they are quite common. The criminal law comes into play only if the non-disclosure payment is deemed a donation for purposes of influencing a political campaign.

    Arguably, the payment is not a donation if it was made for an expense that was independent of the campaign – that is, money that would have had to be paid even if there were no campaign.

    Cohen chose to plead guilty and forfeited the right to contest this point. That concession is not binding on Trump. If the president is charged, I expect he would vigorously argue that the payment was not a campaign contribution.

    There are other salient issues to consider. Justice Department guidance holds that a sitting president may not be indicted. If prosecutors in the Southern District of New York believe they have a case against the president, must they hold off until after he is out of office?

    If President Trump were to win re-election, he would not be out of office until 2024, when the five-year statute of limitations on a 2016 offense would have lapsed.

    More importantly, do campaign finance violations qualify as “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which is the constitutional standard for impeachment? It is hard to imagine an infraction that the Justice Department often elects not to prosecute is sufficiently egregious to rise to that level, but the debate on this point between partisans would be intense.

    Those are all questions for another day. The point for this day is that the Cohen case in New York City is not about Cohen. The president is in peril of being charged.

    Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review. @andrewcmccarthy

    .

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    Default Democrats lose interest in server conspiracy claims linking Trump to Russia's Alfa Bank

    Democrats lose interest in server conspiracy claims linking Trump to Russia's Alfa Bank

    By Rowan Scarborough - The Washington Times
    Sunday, March 10, 2019



    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news...acy-interest-/
    http://christian -identity.net/forum...9426#post19426
    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...9426#post19426


    Amid all the Trump-Russia conspiracy stories — such as prostitutes in Moscow, a secret trip to Prague and hush money to computer hackers — Democrats seem to have lost interest in at least one of them.

    The past two weeks of Michael Cohen’s public testimony and the House Judiciary Committee’s demands for documents contained no inquires about the elusive Trump computer server. The machine supposedly linked Trump Tower directly to Russia’s largest commercial bank, Alfa, and its oligarch partners.

    When it initially surfaced during the campaign, the tale added up to Trump-Moscow election collusion.

    The theory was pushed by liberal Twitter users based on some IP address numbers and a Trump domain name. Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn R. Simpson, the orchestrator of the Christopher Steele dossier, tried to sell the server conspiracy to then-Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr in December 2016, according to Mr. Ohr’s notes. An agent working on behalf of Hillary Clinton presented it to the FBI high command in September 2016.

    The New York Times knocked down the story on Oct. 31, 2016, but the liberal Slate news website promulgated the tale that same day.

    It has refused to die on other liberal sites. The New Yorker in October published a long piece quoting a cybersecurity specialist identified as “Max” arguing that such a server existed. The New Yorker story triggered a new spat of Alfa Bank allegations at The Atlantic, HuffPost, MSNBC and other liberal outlets.

    On March 4, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, New York Democrat, released 81 letters to Trump-connected people and entities demanding any documents on pardon offers, foreign emoluments, the Russian hotel project and the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign officials and a Russian lawyer.

    A Washington Times examination found that no letter mentions Alfa Bank or a server even though letters went to the Justice Department, the FBI and Trump Tower employees — sources who would have the details if such a server ever existed.

    Mr. Nadler also sent document-request letters to Mr. Trump’s inner sanctum at Trump Tower: His sons Donald Jr. and Eric, who run the Trump Organization; Executive Vice President Ronald C. Lieberman; bodyguard Matthew Calamari; and personal secretary Rhona Graff.

    Cohen, Mr. Trump’s former personal attorney who has turned against his ex-boss and called him a con man, testified Feb. 27 before the House Oversight and Reform Committee. Democrats asked him a number of questions about various Russia conspiracy stories — but not about Alfa Bank.

    Said a Republican Capitol Hill source: “They probably figure that the Alfa Bank story has been definitely debunked by now, with multiple forensics experts finding nothing suspicious, plus evidence that Glenn Simpson was pushing this story. So they just move on to the next conspiracy theory.”

    When Slate posted the story about an Alfa Bank server on Oct. 31, 2016, a week before the presidential election, Mrs. Clinton immediately struck on Twitter, accusing Mr. Trump of being in bed with Russia.

    Cybersecurity specialist Robert Graham analyzed the various codes and addresses and concluded that the Trump-related IP address and server were controlled by a marketing firm, not the Trump Organization.

    ‘This is nonsense,” Mr. Graham blogged. “The evidence available on the Internet is that Trump neither (directly) controls the domain ‘trump-email.com,’ nor has access to the server. Instead, the domain was setup and controlled by Cendyn, a company that does marketing/promotions for hotels, including many of Trump’s hotels. Cendyn outsources the email portions of its campaigns to a company called Listrak, which actually owns/operates the physical server in a data center in Philadelphia.

    “In other words, trump-email.com is not intended as a normal email server you and I are familiar with, but as a server used for marketing/promotional campaigns,” he wrote.

    Cohen has told Congress that he has no knowledge of a Trump Tower-Alfa Bank server.

    In a 2017 interview with The Washington Times, Cohen referred to it as a “third-party server.” He said Alfa Bank employees apparently stayed at Trump hotels and that their names were added to a mass email list used by the spam server.

    Democrats also are shying away from Mr. Steele’s dossier, which became the fodder of liberal Trump accusers when it hit public consciousness on BuzzFeed’s website in January 2017.

    Mr. Steele wrote that Cohen secretly traveled to Prague in August 2016 to meet with operatives of Russian President Vladimir Putin and pay hush money to computer hackers.

    No public evidence has arisen. Special counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t charged Cohen with any type of Russian conspiracy. Cohen repeatedly has denied the trip happened.

    Also, there has been no public confirmation that Mr. Trump frolicked with prostitutes in Moscow, as Mr. Steele’s Russian sources alleged.

    Fusion’s Mr. Simpson has pushed the Prague theory as well as the Alfa Bank story. Months after raising the allegation to the Justice Department, Mr. Simpson told the Senate Judiciary Committee that he had no opinion.

    He was not the only Clinton operative to try to sell the Justice Department on Alfa Bank. Michael Sussmann, a partner in the Clinton campaign’s law firm, Perkins Coie, pitched the server story in September 2016 to James Baker, then the FBI general counsel.

    In the two years since the Slate story and the New Yorker piece, journalists don’t appear to have made progress nailing it down.

    The 2016 Slate headline: “Was a Trump Server Communicating With Russia?”

    The 2018 New Yorker headline: “Was There a Connection Between a Russian Bank and the Trump Campaign?”


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    Default House Judiciary approves subpoenas for 12 key witnesses, including Jared Kushner

    House Judiciary approves subpoenas for 12 key witnesses, including Jared Kushner

    Politico
    By Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney
    July 11, 2019



    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...0018#post20018
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    http://whitenationalist.org/forum/sh...0018#post20018


    The House Judiciary Committee voted on Thursday to authorize subpoenas for 12 crucial witnesses as part of House Democrats’ ongoing investigations targeting President Donald Trump.

    On a party-line vote, the committee empowered Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) to issue subpoenas to current and former Trump administration officials who were central figures in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month investigation of Russian contacts with the Trump campaign.

    The subpoena list also includes Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, in addition to some of Mueller’s key witnesses: former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

    The panel also authorized subpoenas for executives of American Media Inc., which was involved in hush-money payments to women who alleged that they had affairs with Trump. Nadler has not indicated when or whether he’ll issue the subpoenas.

    “We will not rest until we obtain their testimony and documents so this committee and Congress can do the work that the Constitution and the American people expect of us,” Nadler said.

    Trump ripped the Judiciary Committee’s move early Thursday on Twitter, erroneously stating that Mueller concluded there was “no collusion, no obstruction.” He also accused Democrats of wasting time.

    “Enough already, go back to work!” he said.


    The committee also approved subpoenas for documents and testimony from unnamed administration officials related to the “zero tolerance” policy at the southern border, which has led to the separation of migrant families.

    The Judiciary Committee — which will hear testimony from Mueller next week — has been investigating obstruction of justice allegations against the president, but the subpoenas for AMI executives David Pecker and Dylan Howard represent an expansion of the committee’s inquiry to include the hush-money payments.

    In addition to Pecker and Howard, the list includes Keith Davidson, who was adult-film actress Stormy Daniels’ attorney while she was negotiating the terms of a $130,000 hush-money payment. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former attorney and fixer, is serving a three-year prison sentence in part for orchestrating that payment, which was found to be a campaign-finance violation.

    Nadler will also have the authority to subpoena Corey Lewandowski, who served as Trump’s campaign manager but never worked in the White House, making it easier for the committee to subvert the White House’s efforts to block current and former officials’ compliance with the panel’s subpoenas.

    Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, accused Democrats of a “premature subpoena authorization.”

    “In the world of congressional oversight, these subpoenas make no sense at all, but in the world of politics, this markup makes perfect sense,” he said.

    Other Republicans used the meeting to vent about the strict constraints that members are poised to face during next week’s hearing with Mueller. Though the logistics for the high-stakes hearing are in flux, Judiciary Committee leaders are eyeing a format in which only 11 members on each side of the aisle get to question Mueller, excluding the committee’s more junior members.

    “Next week we’re going to be questioning Robert Mueller, and I don’t even get a chance to question him? This is just plain wrong,” said Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-Ariz.). “I’ve been elected just like everybody else here.”

    Collins, too, ripped the tentative hearing format.

    “We’re having our legs cut out from under us,” he said.

    .


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