Robert Mueller

Trump Advised to Change Lawyers or Oust Mueller

The Associated Press reports that President Trump told “two close allies over the weekend that he believed he was in the clear and that Mueller’s team wouldn’t unveil any further charges… Both of the confidants said they disputed that assessment and urged Trump to go on the offensive, perhaps by firing his current lawyers or triggering a series of events that could lead to Mueller’s dismissal.”

“Trump did not suggest he was considering that approach. And one of the advisers, who speaks to Trump regularly, said the president had not discussed with him the possibility of issuing any pardons.”

For members: Will Trump Now Try to Fire Mueller?

Flynn Promised ‘Full Cooperation’ with Mueller

ABC News: “Flynn’s plea signals the former top adviser to President Trump is now cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team. A brief statement released by Mueller’s team Friday morning does not say what information Flynn has provided the government as part of the deal, but people familiar with the agreement told ABC News Friday he has made a decision to assist investigators.”

“The general told confidants about his decision to plead guilty in the last 24 hours, according to people close to Flynn, who say the former adviser feels President Trump has abandoned him and has agreed to answer questions about the president or anyone else.”

Flynn’s Lawyer Meets with Special Counsel’s Team

“The lawyer for President Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn met Monday morning with members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, the latest indication that both sides are discussing a possible plea deal,” ABC News reports.

“That process would typically include a series of off-the-record discussions in which prosecutors lay out in detail for Flynn and his lawyers the fruits of their investigation into his activities. Prosecutors would also provide Flynn an opportunity to offer what’s called a ‘proffer,’ detailing what information, if any, he has that could implicate others in wrongdoing.”

It’s Mueller Who May Be Draining the Swamp

Washington Post: “Since Mueller was appointed, more people and firms have either filed or amended registrations that make public their work on behalf of foreign interests than had done so over the same time period in each of at least the past 20 years. Lobbyists, lawyers and public relations professionals who work for foreign companies and governments say Mueller’s probe has spooked K Street, and firms are likely to be more careful in their compliance with public disclosure standards.”

What Mueller’s Org Chart Says About Russia Investigation

“Special counsel Robert Mueller has not publicly uttered a single word about the direction of his high-stakes Russia probe. But the way he’s assigned the 17 federal prosecutors on his team — pieced together by Politico from court filings and interviews with lawyers familiar with the Russia cases —gives insight into how he’s conducting the investigation and what might be coming next.”

“His most experienced attorneys have discrete targets, such as former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, former national security adviser Michael Flynn and current White House aides. Mueller’s longtime chief of staff is coordinating all the lawyers, including some who cover multiple topics. Select FBI special agents have been tapped to question witnesses.”

Mueller Interviewed Clovis Last Week

“Sam Clovis, the former top Trump campaign official who supervised a man now cooperating with the FBI’s Russia investigation, was questioned last week by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and testified before the investigating grand jury,” NBC News reports.

“George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI in July and began cooperating with agents… The court documents unsealed Monday describe emails between Papadopoulos and an unnamed ‘campaign supervisor.’ The supervisor responded ‘Great work’ after Papadopoulos discussed his interactions with Russians who wanted to arrange a meeting with Trump and Russian leaders.”

Mueller Schedules Interviews with White House Staff

President Trump’s longtime aide and current communications director, Hope Hicks, is scheduled to speak with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in mid-November, following the president’s trip to Asia, multiple people familiar with the schedule told Politico.

Mueller’s team is also expected to interview three or four other current White House officials as early as this week.

Mueller Puts Down a Marker

Financial Times: “The allegations in the federal indictment of Paul Manafort and Richard Gates — even considered in isolation — are enough to frighten any friend of America. If they are true, Donald Trump’s campaign manager from March to August 2016 — a period encompassing his nomination by the Republican party — was a criminal. Not a criminal in some abstract or technical sense: Mr Manafort is accused of laundering millions of dollars, evading taxes, and concealing his role as a lobbyist for a foreign government.”

“The latter point is the most alarming. It raises the possibility that a foreign power, without knowledge of the electorate, influenced the policy of the party that ultimately won the presidency.”

Robert Mueller Sends a Message

John Cassidy: “After CNN published its story on Friday night, some Democrats and commentators suggested that the Trump Administration may have known the Mueller indictments were coming and leaked the Steele story to create a smokescreen… Plausible as that theory sounds, it, too, is conjecture.”

“What isn’t speculation is the fact that, five months into his investigation, Mueller has brought a first set of criminal charges. By the standards of recent special prosecutors, that is fast work, and it confirms Mueller’s reputation as someone who doesn’t like to dally. Now that he has started arresting people, there is no reason to suppose he will stop. And that is precisely the message he wants to send.”

No Puppet. No Puppet. You’re the Puppet!

Jonathan Chait: “Having apparently decided that defending the Trump campaign against charges of collusion with Russian cyberattacks is an impossible task, the Republican Party has decided to go on offense. The House Intelligence Committee, putatively assigned to investigate collusion, is instead running a counter-investigation into Trump’s nemeses. Their argument, incredibly enough, is that the FBI and Robert Mueller are the real perpetrators of collusion with Russia. ‘No puppet, no puppet, you’re the puppet’ has become the new Republican argument against Mueller.”

“Their case, which is being quickly spread by Republican officeholders and conservative media, centers on the role of Christopher Steele, a respected retired British intelligence officer turned private investigator, and Fusion GPS, the firm for which he worked.”

Mueller Announcement Within a Month?

National security expert Juliette Kayyem told Boston Public Radio that news from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation will be announced within the next month.

Said Kayyem: “I think it is safe to say that before Thanksgiving … something’s going to drop with Mueller. The pace is too much right now. Every 12 hours we’re now dealing with a piece of this story at a pace we haven’t seen.”

Kayyem speculated that the pace of stories critical of Hillary Clinton represents “a recognition by the White House team” that Mueller is getting close to something substantive as a result of his investigation.