Trump-Russia Roundup: January 10 – 16

In this Roundup: Two major bombshell reports show why it’s so critical to block Barr from becoming attorney general. Read more:

Yesterday, during his hearing to become the next attorney general, Bill Barr refused to commit to recusing himself from overseeing Mueller’s investigation — or even to make Mueller’s findings public!

This is a dangerous development given Barr’s public comments criticizing Mueller’s investigation.

And it comes at a critical moment. Just in the past six days, we’ve learned that:

  • In 2017, the FBI opened an unprecedented counterintelligence investigation to determine if Trump has been working (while president!) against U.S. interests on behalf of the Kremlin.
  • Trump is hiding details about his meetings with Putin from intelligence officials, even confiscating notes from aides. That means there is no detailed record of Trump’s interactions with Putin from at least five meetings over the past two years.

These bombshell reports are critical reminders that we need to protect Mueller’s investigation. Bill Barr is not committed to protecting Mueller’s work or making his findings public. Blocking this Trump stooge is so important.

Read more about the Barr hearing and other top breaking news developments in this week’s Trump-Russia Roundup:

NBC News: Attorney General nominee Barr: The public may never see Mueller’s report
Comments made yesterday by Bill Barr, Trump’s nominee for attorney general, suggest that the report of Mueller’s Russian meddling investigation might not become public in the way many have been expecting.

Vice News: Barr’s Pledge to Make Mueller Report Public Comes with a Big “Escape Hatch”
When asked if he’d interfere in the release of Mueller’s final report or overrule the special counsel’s most important decisions, Bill Barr’s answers amounted to a qualified maybe.

CNN: Barr sent or discussed controversial memo with Trump lawyers
Attorney general nominee Bill Barr shared a controversial memo last year with nearly all of Trump’s lawyers concluding that an aspect of Mueller’s case could be “fatally misconceived,” Barr acknowledged earlier this week.

Rolling Stone: Will Trump’s New Attorney General Interfere With the Mueller Investigation?
Though he met with Sens. Graham and Grassley last week, Trump’s pick to take the reins of the probe into his campaign’s relationship Russia refused to meet with Democratic senators prior to his confirmation hearing, citing the partial government shutdown.

The New York Times: FBI Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia
In the days after Trump fired Comey as FBI director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by Trump’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests.

The Washington Post: The FBI’s willingness to investigate Trump shows we still have the rule of law
The FBI’s willingness to investigate Trump is a sign that it is an admirable, indeed essential, safeguard of American democracy. The FBI was, and is, pursuing its duty to enforce the law and stop foreign penetrations of American politics — no matter how high the threat goes.

Politico Magazine: Obstruction Is Collusion
The revelation that the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation to determine whether Trump is compromised by or working for the Russian government is beyond disturbing. Here’s how prosecutors think about the latest Russiagate revelations.

NBC News: Trump’s firing of Comey triggered an FBI counterintelligence investigation. Here’s what ‘counterintelligence’ entails.
The Russian investigation that has monopolized the news cycle for the past year has focused attention on another — lesser known — aspect of the FBI’s role: as the leading “counterintelligence” agency on U.S. soil.

The Washington Post: Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration
Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials.

Roll Call: Adam Schiff hiring full-time team to investigate Trump’s Russia connections
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Schiff is sinking panel resources into a robust investigative staff to revive the probe into Trump’s ties to Russia with roughly seven committee staffers directing their energy full-time.

The Washington Post: The Trump-Putin revelations tell us what we knew all along
The truth is that Trump’s connection to Putin has been out in the open for years, long before he decided to run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

The New York Times: Trump and Putin Have Met Five Times. What Was Said Is a Mystery.
Trump has adamantly insisted there was “no collusion” with Russia during his 2016 presidential campaign. But each of the five times he has met with Putin since taking office, he has fueled suspicions about their relationship.

The Washington Post: The Russians know exactly what Putin and Trump talked about, but we probably won’t find out for decades
The United States has no detailed record of Trump’s five face-to-face interactions with Putin over the past two years, The Washington Post reported last week.

The New York Times: Michael Cohen, Trump’s Former Lawyer, Agrees to Testify to Congress
Trump’s former personal lawyer who implicated him in a scheme to pay hush money to two women claiming to have had affairs with him, said last week that he had agreed to testify before a House committee next month and give “a full and credible account” of his work for Trump.

CNBC: Mueller releases a heavily redacted filing to demonstrate why he accused Paul Manafort of lying
An FBI agent working for Mueller filed a heavily redacted court document yesterday aiming to bolster Mueller’s claim that former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort repeatedly lied to investigators.

That’s it (for now!). It’s all real news. Nothing fake here.

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