aside FBI Special Counsel Mueller Is Moving Forward With Report Without Interviewing President

ROBERT MUELLER / . Scott Applewhite / AP file

After the president’s personal attorney Michael Cohen had his office, home and hotel room subjected to an FBI raid on the 9th of April 2018, the republican President Donald Trump has been refusing to attend a meeting with the FBI’s Special Counsel Robert Mueller III.

The FBI action against Michael Cohen had been reviewed and approved by the US Department of Justice’s Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein but he then referred the case over to the Southern District of New York, where this Manhattan judicial office is headed by a republican appointed by the president, himself. The standard of evidence is very high and several levels of review were required before the justice officials would deem to sign off on a “no knock” raid warrant but the requirements were met and the FBI raid was implemented. The warrant included the charges of campaign elections’ laws violations as well as bank and wire fraud.

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MICHAEL COHEN (CENTER) PHOTO FROM AXIOS

The FBI agents were intent in collecting data pertaining as to how Mr. Cohen worked to keep peoples quiet with hush monies and other tactics, who had embarrassing stories pertaining to the president. This would include individuals like the adult film star Stormy Daniels who wanted to tell all about an affair she had with the president in 2006, while the president was married and his wife was pregnant. Ms. Daniels felt forced to sign a non-disclosure form (NDA) in return for her silence along with a payment of about $130,000 dollars within a month of Mr. Trump becoming president.

Because according to Mr. Cohen, he acted without the president’s knowledge and because of the timing was very close to when Mr. Trump would become president, it is very possible that Mr. Cohen did not abide by current elections’ laws. This would hold true for any monies paid out for these types of situations which occurred after Mr. Trump started his campaign to become the 45th US president.

Mr. Michael Cohen has claimed to be not only the president’s personal attorney but the fixer of problems for the family for many years.

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MUELLER/ ROSENSTEIN/ SESSIONS

Of course the president is furious to where there are numerous news articles indicating that he has been seriously thinking about firing the Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, or the Attorney General Jeff Sessions who has recused himself from having anything to do with the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe, or the Special Counsel Robert Mueller III who is heading the Trump Russia inquiry, or all of the above.

With all of these chaotic surrounding noises, Mr. Mueller has announced his plans to proceed to complete a final report regarding any “obstruction of justice” findings to date which involve the president but without requiring him to participate in an interview. This work product should be finished shortly.

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Here is the rest of the story…

On April 12, 2018, Carol E. Lee, Julia Ainsley, Kristen Welker and Hallie Jackson  of NBC News has penned the following report, “Trump, Mueller teams prepare to move forward without presidential interview” (“Monday’s raid on Trump’s personal lawyer upended talks for the president to sit down with investigators.”)

Excerpts:

 “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office and President Donald Trump’s legal team are now proceeding with strategies that presume a presidential interview will likely not take place as part of the Russia investigation, after months of talks between the two sides collapsed earlier this week, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.”

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 “On Monday (4/9/18)Trump’s lawyers were discussing a possible interview with Mueller’s team and had begun to hash out the final sticking points, including the timing, scope and length, according to people familiar with the discussions. One person familiar with the strategy said the president’s lawyers had over the weekend sought to expand his legal team to include individuals who would prepare him for an interview. Another person familiar with the matter, however, said preparations had not yet gone that far.”

“But the prospects for a presidential interview dramatically dimmed once the FBI raided the home, office and hotel room of Trump’s long-time personal lawyer, Michael Cohen on Monday, these people said. The president criticized the raid as out of bounds in Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with Trump aides.”  

MICHAEL COHEN
 “The president’s lawyers wanted an interview to last only a few hours. They also wanted Mueller to agree to write a report within at least three or four months after completing the interview, this person said.”

“Prior to Monday’s raid, Mueller’s team had been aiming to finalize a report on its findings on whether the president has tried to obstruct justice in the Russia investigation in the coming months, as early as May or as late as July, three sources said. That timeline hinged in part on reaching a decision on a presidential interview, these people said. One person familiar with the investigation described a decision on an interview as one of the last steps Mueller was seeking to take before closing his investigation into obstruction.”

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 “Now, according to two sources, Mueller’s team may be able to close the obstruction probe more quickly as they will not need to prepare for the interview or follow up on what the president says.”

“The raid on Cohen “significantly complicated” any negotiations for the president’s legal team, according to a person familiar with the discussions, who also cautioned that “you never say never” in terms of a possible interview. This person said the president’s legal team is still in frequent contact with Mueller’s team on other issues related to the investigation.”

 

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I have agreed with the historically cooperative, disciplined approach that we have engaged in with Robert Mueller (Unlike the Clintons!). I have full confidence in Ty Cobb, my Special Counsel, and have been fully advised throughout each phase of this process.

 “Three sources familiar with the investigation said the findings Mueller has collected on Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice include: His intent for firing former FBI Director James Comey; his role in the crafting of a misleading public statement on the nature of a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between his son and Russians; Trump’s dangling of pardons before grand jury witnesses who might testify against him; and pressuring Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation.” 

“Mueller would then likely send a confidential report to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing the Russia investigation. Rosenstein could decide whether to make the report public and send its findings to Congress. From there, Congress would then decide whether to begin impeachment proceedings against the president, said two of the sources.”

Trump 'certainly believes he has the power' to fire Mueller, White House says

“Rosenstein met with the president at the White House on Thursday. A White House official told reporters the meeting was about “routine department business.” A Justice Department spokeswoman said it was part of a scheduled meeting with officials from other agencies as well as DOJ.”

“Since the FBI raid seizing Cohen’s documents and electronics, Trump has soured on the idea of sitting for an interview with Mueller, people familiar with his thinking said. Trump’s lawyers were wary of him agreeing to a sit-down, but in the days before the raid they had started initial preparations for Trump take part in a possible interview in part because the president could overrule their advice, people familiar with the discussions said.”

“If Trump were to decline a voluntary interview, his legal team discussed making the case that a sitting president can’t be subpoenaed, according to people familiar with the discussions. The argument hinges on the idea that a sitting president can’t be indicted, with Trump’s lawyers surmising that if a president can’t be indicted he can’t be subpoenaed.”

14 comments

    • Dear John Fioravanti,

      This is great news. Mr. Mueller knows that time is of the essence and I’m convinced that he can complete his report soon regarding the president’s involvement in actions designed to “obstruct justice.”

      The raid was overseen by the judicial office out of the Southern District NY Office located in Manhattan. The head of this office is a republican appointed by the president, himself. The second in command is another staunch republican. That they approved and conducted this raid speaks volumes. if the president fires anyone now, this office will continue the investigation. The added benefit is that presidential pardons will not be effective because the State of NY can take over the criminal charging of any wrong doing that would fall under its jurisdiction. The presidential Pardon is effective in the Federal court systems but NOT in the state court systems. Fortunately Mr. Cohen has conducted much of his business in NYC.

      The president just did Mr. Mueller a favor. Now, he can crank out that report asap.

      Hugs, Gronda

  1. I think things are coming to a head. There seems to be a lot of steam running this train now and Muller knows he needs to get this thing wrapped up before its too late.

    • Dear Tony Burgess,

      You nailed it. The president just did Mr. Mueller a favor as he doesn’t need the president’s testimony to make his case. But he does need to complete it asap and I bet he is working overtime to get this done. I suspect that he may already be close to finishing it.

      Hugs, Gronda

  2. Gronda!!! You are so good!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What a post!!!!!!!!!!!! I was impressed with your piece on “1968” & I am impressed once again!!! Phil from excuseusforliving.com …..friend of Horty Rexach, Dr. Rex!

    • Dear Philip Fontana,

      Welcome! I have been following Horty for years.

      I appreciate all your gracious feedback.

      This is indeed great news. I am just praying that Mr. Mueller can complete this initial report asap before anyone is fired.

      I had started my college years in 1968 and so I remember this period in time, pretty well. It is helpful to be reminded that we have survived other turbulent times.

      Hugs, Gronda

  3. Dear Mz. Gronda,

    It seems strange that with the past knowledge of Bill Clinton being compelled to testify before a grand jury by Ken Starr (a Republican) that now this republican administration suddenly has determined that it is not legal to call a president to testify? I suppose the argument to be used is that the Republican President is to be held to a lower standard than a President from the opposing party. Hmmm, what’s wrong with that picture? This whole process is starting cause questions that I fear answers will not be provided for.. While I am still convinced that it would be best for the nation not to impeach tRump (because of Pence), I still think there should be a day of reckoning for him and his acts and deeds exposed for all the world to see!

    • Deat Crustyolemothman,

      Don’t worry. The president just did the FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller III a favor. Mr. Mueller does not need the president’s testimony to make his case. He can afford to be gracious, especially now that he can complete his report asap.

      Now, If the president were going to fire anyone, he needed to do that before the president’s personal attorney’s office, house, hotel room were all raided by the FBI with a ‘no knock” warrant which included charges like campaign law violations, bank and wire fraud.

      It was the Southern District of NY judicial offices that oversaw this raid. This means that whoever is now fired, the investigation will continue from this NYC office and the presidential pardons have less value in this jurisdiction. Mr. Cohen lives in NYC and where Mr. Cohen has broken state laws he can be prosecuted in this jurisdiction where the pardon does not reach. And guess what else? It was President Trump who personally interviewed the head of this NYC office and placed him there. Geoffrey Bremen is a Rudy Giuliani protégé. His second in command is a staunch republican. Yet this same office chose to conduct this raid. This tells you all you need to know.

      This had to be a treasure trove.

      Mr. Mueller will be working overtime to complete the report on his findings pertaining to “obstruction of justice” and the president’s involvement with this, asap. I wouldn’t be surprised if this initial report isn’t close to being finished already.

      Hugs, Gronda

    • Dear 1EarthUnited,

      There is progress. I can honestly say that it is too late for the president to fire anyone where the Trump-Russia investigation would be derailed.

      Hugs, Gronda

  4. Gronda, apparently Mr. Cohen like to tape conversations. Now isn’t that interesting? Speaking of interviews, there are enough tweets, statements and interviews (like the Lester Holt one) where Trump has admitted obstruction of justice. Keith

    • Dear Jill,

      The DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has stated for the record that he is now in a position to be fired. That means that the president can yell and scream, stand on his head but it will all be for naught. The FBI Trump- Russia probe will continue. I am actually hoping that the FBI report as to any “obstruction of Justice” findings pertaining to the president will be completed by May 1st.

      Hugs, Gronda

      • I’m sure that Mueller and his team are in overdrive now, trying to tie up as many loose ends as possible. May 1? Maybe, though I am not holding my breath. And tonight I read that Trump is trying to get their grubby paws on the information that was seized in the raid on Cohen’s office/home. I hope they are not successful … it seems to me that would be an overreach, an abuse of his power.
        Hugs!!!

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