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Mueller investigation – live updates: Trump attacks Russia probe as new details about Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen to be released

Mueller investigation – live updates: Trump attacks Russia probe as new details about Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen to be released

Donald Trump has attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators prepare to release new information about two close associates of the president that have pleaded guilty to federal crimes. New court documents will flesh out the cases against Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former long-time personal lawyer and fixer…

Donald Trump has attacked Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators prepare to release new information about two close associates of the president that have pleaded guilty to federal crimes.

New court documents will flesh out the cases against Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former long-time personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Mr Mueller’s team has accused Manafort of breaching a plea bargain agreement by lying to prosecutors – something Manafort has denied – and he will submit information on those alleged lies. Meanwhile, the US Attorney from the Southern District of New York are to file sentencing memos on Cohen who has admitting to lying to Congress.

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Elsewhere, the former head of the FBI James Comey – a frequent target for attacks from Mr Trump – is undertaking behind-closed-doors interviews with two congressional committees on decisions made by the Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.

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Numerous Democratic senators are speaking out about William Barr’s nomination to become the next attorney general, with Senator Richard Blumenthal saying in a statement, “I will demand that Mr. Barr make a firm and specific commitment to protect the Mueller investigation, operate independently of the White House, and uphold the rule of law.”

In a statement, Senator Sheldon White House also pointed to “Barr’s strange calls for the Department to investigate fringe conspiracy theories involving the Clintons”.

He added, “This nomination still doesn’t solve … the unconstitutional appointment of Matt Whitaker.”

Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee Adam Schiff posted a tweet focusing on the president’s reaction to looming news surrounding Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. 

“What Trump is saying: It’s a witch hunt. We will have our own report. Mueller is bad. Comey is worse. Rosenstein is no picnic. Why don’t they go after Hillary and Brennan, anyone but me?” the congressman wrote. “What he means: When Mueller’s report comes, it will be bad.” 

“Why he says it: Meltdown,” he added.

 

Viktor Vekselberg, a Russian oligarch, boasted to people in his circle that he had “the pull needed to help achieve the sanctions relief the Kremlin was craving” thanks to a relationship he maintained with Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer and personal fixer, Michael Cohen, Bloomberg has reported.

 

It’s no coincidence the president has been unleashing a series of anti-Mueller tweets to cap off the week. 

We’re expecting major news announcements surrounding Michael Cohen’s cooperation with New York prosecutors, an outline of Paul Manafort’s “crimes and lies” that forced the end of his cooperation agreement with the special counsel and further controversy surrounding James Comey’s closed-door meeting with the Judiciary and Oversight committees. 

Meanwhile, Mr Trump has assured there will be a “major Counter Report,” adding, “This should never be allowed to happen to a future President of the United States!” 

 

CNN has reported exclusively White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was questioned by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators in recent months surrounding the counsel’s probe into the president’s potential obstruction of justice. 

According to the network, “Kelly is widely expected to leave his position in the coming days and is no longer on speaking terms with President Donald Trump.”

The questions presented to the chief of staff were reportedly “narrow,” involving the president’s attempts to fire the special counsel.

As for Mr Trump, he is currently in Kansas and will deliver remarks on safety in about 30 mins.

From the pool: THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks at the 2018 Project Safe Neighborhoods National Conference

Plenty of media interest in what James Comey might be telling Congress, with a few hours of testimony left in his behind-closed-doors interviews with two committees:

 
 

CNN is also reporting that Mr Mueller’s team have interviewed Mr Kelly as part of the investigation into whether Mr Trump has obstructed the federal probe.

Outside of the Mueller probe and its various offshoots, there are reports that Mr Trump’s chief of staff John Kelly is set to resign soon.

In response to the new documents expected from Mr Mueller, Mr Trump has said that a response to the findings is already being written – before the Russia probe report is even finished.

Elsewhere, Mr Comey is undertaking behind-closed-doors interviews with two congressional committees on decisions made by the Justice Department during the 2016 presidential election.

It comes on the day that new court documents from Mr Mueller’s team  will flesh out the cases against Mr Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his former long-time personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen.

Mr Mueller’s team has accused Manafort of breaching a plea bargain agreement by lying to prosecutors – something Manafort has denied – and he will submit information on those alleged lies.

​Meanwhile, the US Attorney from the Southern District of New York are to file sentencing memos on Cohen who has admitting to lying to Congress.

As well as his usual claims that the investigation – which is looking at Russian election meddling in the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and Russia – is a “witch hunt” Mr Trump has also personally attacked Mr Mueller and former FBI director James Comey.

 

Hello and welcome to our coverage of what could a big day for President Donald Trump.

Mr Trump has started early, furiously tweeting all morning about Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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