Monday, May 22, 2017

Last Call For Russian To Judgment

So apparently fired FBI Director James Comey was not the only intelligence chief Trump went after in order to kill the Russia story, he asked Director of Intelligence Dan Coats and NSA head Adm. Mike Rogers as well to interfere.

President Trump asked two of the nation’s top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, according to current and former officials.

Trump made separate appeals to the director of national intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, urging them to publicly deny the existence of any evidence of collusion during the 2016 election.

Coats and Rogers refused to comply with the requests, which they both deemed to be inappropriate, according to two current and two former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private communications with the president.

Trump sought the assistance of Coats and Rogers after FBI Director James B. Comey told the House Intelligence Committee on March 20 that the FBI was investigating “the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Trump’s conversation with Rogers was documented contemporaneously in an internal memo written by a senior NSA official, according to the officials. It is unclear if a similar memo was prepared by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to document Trump’s conversation with Coats. Officials said such memos could be made available to both the special counsel now overseeing the Russia investigation and congressional investigators, who might explore whether Trump sought to impede the FBI’s work.

So yes, Trump asked both Coats and Rogers to lie for him, and they said "no".  From a legal standpoint, that's not good for him.  And speaking of Comey's memos by the way, those not only exist, but are in the hands of Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.

Robert Mueller -- the former FBI director now overseeing the Department of Justice's investigation into Russia's election-year meddling and contact with the Trump campaign -- has been briefed on the contents of some of the memos that former FBI Director James Comey kept to document his conversations with President Donald Trump, according to a person familiar with the matter.  
Additionally, he has already visited FBI headquarters, where he met with the counterintelligence agents who have been working on the case since last July, according to two people familiar with the matter. 
In one memo, Comey wrote that Trump asked him to end the FBI probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a person familiar with the matter. 
One source added that part of Mueller's investigation is expected to focus on obstruction of justice. In that case, Comey would be a witness and Mueller will likely interview him as part of the probe.

Ahh, but it gets worse: Paul Manafort and Roger Stone are cooperating with the FBI. And Mike Flynn?  He's not.

Two former associates of President Trump — Paul Manafort and Roger Stone — have turned over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee in its Russia investigation, a congressional source with direct knowledge told NBC News.

Earlier this month, the committee sent document requests to Manafort and Stone, as well as Carter Page and Mike Flynn, officials said previously. The requests sought information pertaining to dealings with Russia. Page has not yet complied, the congressional source said, and Flynn plans to assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination as a reason not to comply with a committee subpoena, a source close to him has said.

And all this is just another Monday in Trumpland.

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