Robert Mueller

Most Now Say Mueller Is Politically Motivated

A new CBS News poll finds a slight majority of Americans thinks that special counsel Robert Muerller’s investigation is politically motivated, 53% to 44%.

“The shift reveals a hardening stance among Republicans, who are now even more critical of the investigation. While a large majority of Republicans has always seen the investigation as politically motivated, the percentage that thinks so has risen seven points since December. There is an even larger shift when it comes to whether Republicans think Mr. Trump should cooperate with the special counsel. In January, 73% said he should cooperate, but now just 53% do.”

Will Mueller Probe Go Dark for Midterm Elections?

Wall Street Journal: “The clock is ticking for special counsel Robert Mueller. With six months to go until November’s midterm elections, Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign will soon run into a dead zone of sorts, in which former prosecutors say they expect him either to wrap up, or lie low and take no visible steps until after the election.”

“Though Mr. Mueller doesn’t face any specific legal deadline, the fall midterms amount to a political one, according to experts and prosecutors. He will reach a point this summer when Justice Department habits dictate that he will have to either finish his inquiries or go dark and stretch out his work until past November so he doesn’t appear to be trying to sway voters’ decisions, which would be at odds with Justice Department guidelines for prosecutors.”

Mueller Zeroes In on Roger Stone

Special counsel Robert Mueller “is focusing intensely on alleged interactions between former top Trump campaign official Rick Gates and political operative Roger Stone, one of President Trump’s closest confidants,” CNBC reports.

“The questions have been largely about what was discussed at meetings, including dinners, between Stone and Gates, before and during the campaign… The new developments indicate that Mueller’s team is interested in Stone beyond his interactions with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during the campaign.”

Trump Hires Clinton Impeachment Lawyer

President Trump “plans to hire Emmet T. Flood, the veteran Washington lawyer who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment, to replace Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer who has taken the lead in dealing with the special counsel investigation, who is retiring,” the New York Times reports.

“Mr. Flood is expected to take a more adversarial approach to the investigation than Mr. Cobb, who had pushed Mr. Trump to strike a cooperative tone.”

“It was not clear what prompted Mr. Flood to sign on. The president’s legal team for the special counsel investigation has been marked by turnover and uncertain strategy, complicated by a client liable to dismiss his lawyers’ advice. That factor prompted Mr. Trump’s lead lawyer on the case, John Dowd, to quit this year.”

Mueller Asks to Delay Michael Flynn’s Sentencing

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office “wants two more months before it looks toward sentencing former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators and is cooperating in the Russia probe,” CNN reports.

Prosecutors told the court: “Due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time.”

Questions Show Mueller’s Probe Is Far-Reaching

First Read: “Yes, the reported list of questions that special counsel Robert Mueller wants to ask President Donald Trump, according to The New York Times, appears to be just starter questions. And yes, the list comes from Trump’s orbit… But taken together, the questions underscore the magnitude of the Russia probe — a story that’s been reported in bits and pieces over the last 17 months.

“The Russia story has always been complicated. But these questions — taken together — combine all of the different strands of the potential story. And they’re a reminder that the obstruction angle — regarding Comey and Flynn — might be the smallest part of this investigation.”

“Oh, and one other thing: If Mueller is asking these questions, the possibility exists that he already knows the answers.”

Sessions Says Mueller Probe Has a ‘Life of Its Own’

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions defended his decision not to appoint a second special prosecutor to investigate Republicans’ concerns about the FBI by noting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe had already taken on “a life of its own,” Reuters reports.

Said Sessions: “I do not think we need to willy-nilly appoint special counsels. As we can see, it can really take on a life of its own.”

Giuliani Reopens Discussions with Mueller

Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s new personal lawyer dealing with the ongoing probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, met with special counsel Robert Mueller to reopen negotiations for a presidential interview, the Washington Post reports.

Giuliani “conveyed the ongoing resistance of Trump and his advisers to an interview with federal investigators, but did not rule out the possibility.”

“Trump remains ‘extremely opposed’ to granting Mueller an interview, according to one close adviser — setting up a potential high-stakes legal battle between the White House and the special counsel, who could ultimately seek to try to subpoena the president.”

GOP Candidates Call for End to Mueller Investigation

“Republican Senate candidates in competitive primary races have begun to call for an end to the special counsel’s investigation of Russian tampering in the 2016 election, breaking from congressional GOP leaders,” the Washington Post reports.

“Candidates in Montana, Indiana, Arizona and Mississippi have gone public since Sunday with their concerns that the investigation by Robert Mueller has gone on too long, expanded too broadly or is motivated by improper partisan interests.”

“All are competing in states President Trump won easily in the 2016 campaign.”

Trump ‘Less Inclined’ to Meet with Mueller

“In the wake of an early morning FBI raid on his personal attorney, sources close to President Trump and his legal team say the president is ‘less inclined’ to sit down for an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team,” ABC News reports.

One source said Trump is now “understandably less trusting” of Mueller and his team.

“Multiple sources say advisers don’t know how to deal with the president’s frustration and are bracing for what he may do next.”