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Trump’s lawyers deny he’s under investigation

US President Trump’s lawyers deny he is under investigation, contradicting an anonymously sourced story which in a tweet the President appeared to have confirmed.

Alexander Mercouris

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US President Trump’s legal team has flatly denied claims that he is being investigated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller for obstruction of justice.  Instead they claim that President Trump’s tweets apparently confirming that he was under investigation were provoked entirely by the report in the Washington Post.

This was always a possibility and here is what I said about that previously

Rosenstein’s statement leaves open the possibility that President Trump’s tweet this morning originates not from any briefing by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein but from the Washington Post story itself, with the President assuming that this story is true before he has been properly briefed on it.

This is exactly what a member of President Trump’s legal team is now reported as saying

Jay Sekulow, a lawyer who is part of a team hired by Trump to deal with allegations of collusion by his campaign with Moscow, made the rounds on Sunday talk shows to cast doubt on media reports citing unnamed sources – and to add nuance to a straightforward claim Trump made on Friday that he was under investigation.

“The fact of the matter is the president has not been and is not under investigation,” Sekulow said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” – in one of four interviews he gave on Sunday – adding that the president has not received any notification that he is being investigated…..

Sekulow said that Trump, in his tweet, was reacting to a story in the Washington Post that was the first to report Mueller was examining whether Trump had tried to obstruct the probe by firing FBI director James Comey in May.

In its discussion of Sekulow’s comments Reuters tries to revive the claim that President Trump actually is under investigation by saying that the Special Counsel Mueller would be under no obligation to tell him if he actually was or not

Barak Cohen, a former Justice Department lawyer and now a defense attorney specializing in white-collar crime and investigations, said there was no requirement that the special counsel notify Trump he was under investigation, so the lack of such notice meant nothing.

He said, however, that Sekulow’s comments could mean the White House was taking the position that no investigation exists until Mueller’s team officially confirms it, disregarding any media reports based on anonymous sourcing.

Cohen said the first official communication that a target is under investigation typically comes when prosecutors begin requesting documents and other evidence. At that time, defense lawyers often will ask for their client’s status.

Prosecutors will often answer then to avoid misleading the target. But they may also not answer if they are trying to build a case and develop further evidence.

“No answer is probably the most troubling answer in criminal defense,” said Cohen.

I have to say that I find this argument farfetched.  It would imply that Mueller is failing to tell Trump that he is under investigation despite the story being all over the newspapers, which not only seems to me completely unethical but if it is true grossly unfair and improper.

Besides I cannot believe that if Mueller really were investigating the President of the United States he would not inform the Justice Department of this, and that they in turn would not pass on this information to the President himself.  It is an error in my opinion to draw parallels between an investigation of the President of the United States and other criminal investigations.  In the case of the President – the country’s head of state and chief executive – far more rigorous procedures must apply.

There is also the fact which I discussed previously, that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s statement of 15th June 2017 appeared to be a roundabout way of denying the story that the President is in fact under investigation.   Here is what I previously said about that

Coming the day after the Washington Post story that the President is under investigation, this statement appears to warn Americans against believing this story, and moreover does so in a way that hints that the ‘officials’ who leaked that story are not even Americans.   Indeed the statement opens up the possibility that many of the leaks which have so destabilised the Trump administration since before the inauguration have their origins outside the US, which has huge implications if it turns out to be true.

Rosenstein’s statement leaves open the possibility that President Trump’s tweet this morning originates not from any briefing by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein but from the Washington Post story itself, with the President assuming that this story is true before he has been properly briefed on it.

Sekulow’s denial that the President is under investigation has been made in the open on television.  The claim that the President is under investigation was first made in an anonymously sourced story in the Washington Post.

As I have repeatedly said, in any rational world an open and public denial would be given more weight than an anonymously sourced rumour.  In the Russiagate scandal the media however is doing the opposite.  Just as the New York Times refuses to retract its 14th February 2017 story about how US intelligence supposedly intercepted a large number of communications between members of the Trump campaign and Russian spies despite former FBI Director Comey publicly and on oath saying it is largely untrue, so the media apparently prefers to believe an anonymously sourced story in the Washington Post that the President is under investigation to the very public denial that he is from his lawyer.

In light of this it is difficult to disagree with the President that this whole affair has now developed all the worst qualities of a witch hunt.

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EU leaders dictate Brexit terms to Theresa May (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 115.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how EU leaders have agreed on a plan to delay the the Article 50 process which effectively postpones Brexit beyond the 29 March deadline.

The UK will now be offered a delay until the 22nd of May, only if MPs approve Theresa May’s withdrawal deal next week. If MPs do not approve May’s negotiated deal, then the EU will support a short delay until the 12th of April, allowing the UK extra time to get the deal passed or to “indicate a way forward”.

UK PM Theresa May said there was now a “clear choice” facing MPs, who could vote for a third time on her deal next week.

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Theresa May outlines four Brexit options, via Politico

In a letter to MPs, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May set out the four options she believes the country has in light of Thursday’s decision by EU leaders to extend the Brexit deadline beyond next Friday.

The U.K. is faced with a four-way choice, May wrote late Friday.

The government could revoke Article 50 — which May called a betrayal of the Brexit vote; leave without a deal on April 12; pass her deal in a vote next week; or, “if it appears that there is not sufficient support” for a vote on her deal in parliament next week or if it is rejected for a third time, she could ask for an extension beyond April 12.

But this would require for the U.K. taking part in European elections in May, which the prime minister said “would be wrong.”

May wrote that she’s hoping for the deal to pass, allowing the U.K. to leave the EU “in an orderly way,” adding “I still believe there is a majority in the House for that course of action.”

“I hope we can all agree that we are now at the moment of decision,” she wrote.

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US media suffers panic attack after Mueller fails to deliver on much-anticipated Trump indictment

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

RT

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Via RT


Important pundits and news networks have served up an impressive display of denials, evasions and on-air strokes after learning that Robert Mueller has ended his probe without issuing a single collusion-related indictment.

The Special Counsel delivered his final report to Attorney General William Barr for review on Friday, with the Justice Department confirming that there will be no further indictments related to the probe. The news dealt a devastating blow to the sensational prophesies of journalists, analysts and entire news networks, who for nearly two years reported ad nauseam that President Donald Trump and his inner circle were just days away from being carted off to prison for conspiring with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

Showing true integrity, journalists and television anchors took to Twitter and the airwaves on Friday night to acknowledge that the media severely misreported Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, as well as what Mueller’s probe was likely to find. They are, after all, true professionals.

“How could they let Trump off the hook?” an inconsolable Chris Matthews asked NBC reporter Ken Dilanian during a segment on CNN’s ‘Hardball’.

Dilanian tried to comfort the CNN host with some of his signature NBC punditry.

“My only conclusion is that the president transmitted to Mueller that he would take the Fifth. He would never talk to him and therefore, Mueller decided it wasn’t worth the subpoena fight,” he expertly mused.

Actually, there were several Serious Journalists who used their unsurpassed analytical abilities to conjure up a reason why Mueller didn’t throw the book at Trump, even though the president is clearly a Putin puppet.

“It’s certainly possible that Trump may emerge from this better than many anticipated. However! Consensus has been that Mueller would follow DOJ rules and not indict a sitting president. I.e. it’s also possible his report could be very bad for Trump, despite ‘no more indictments,'” concluded Mark Follman, national affairs editor at Mother Jones, who presumably, and very sadly, was not being facetious.

Revered news organs were quick to artfully modify their expectations regarding Mueller’s findings.

“What is collusion and why is Robert Mueller unlikely to mention it in his report on Trump and Russia?” a Newsweek headline asked following Friday’s tragic announcement.

Three months earlier, Newsweek had meticulously documented all the terrible “collusion” committed by Donald Trump and his inner circle.

But perhaps the most sobering reactions to the no-indictment news came from those who seemed completely unfazed by the fact that Mueller’s investigation, aimed at uncovering a criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Kremlin, ended without digging up a single case of “collusion.”

The denials, evasions and bizarre hot takes are made even more poignant by the fact that just days ago, there was still serious talk about Trump’s entire family being hauled off to prison.

“You can’t blame MSNBC viewers for being confused. They largely kept dissenters from their Trump/Russia spy tale off the air for 2 years. As recently as 2 weeks ago, they had @JohnBrennan strongly suggesting Mueller would indict Trump family members on collusion as his last act,” journalist Glenn Greenwald tweeted.

While the Mueller report has yet to be released to the public, the lack of indictments makes it clear that whatever was found, nothing came close to the vast criminal conspiracy alleged by virtually the entire American media establishment.

“You have been lied to for 2 years by the MSM. No Russian collusion by Trump or anyone else. Who lied? Head of the CIA, NSA,FBI,DOJ, every pundit every anchor. All lies,” wrote conservative activist Chuck Woolery.

Internet mogul Kim Dotcom was more blunt, but said it all: “Mueller – The name that ended all mainstream media credibility.”

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Canadian Lawmaker Accuses Trudeau Of Being A “Fake Feminist” (Video)

Rempel segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career

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Via Zerohedge

Canada’s feminist-in-chief Justin Trudeau wants to support and empower women…but his support stops at the point where said women start creating problems for his political agenda.

That was the criticism levied against the prime minister on Friday by a conservative lawmaker, who took the PM to task for “muzzling strong, principled women” during a debate in the House of Commons.

“He asked for strong women, and this is what they look like!” said conservative MP Michelle Rempel, referring to the former justice minister and attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould, who has accused Trudeau and his cronies of pushing her out of the cabinet after she refused to grant a deferred prosecution agreement to a Quebec-based engineering firm.

She then accused Trudeau of being a “fake feminist”.

“That’s not what a feminist looks like…Every day that he refuses to allow the attorney general to testify and tell her story is another day he’s a fake feminist!”

Trudeau was so taken aback by Rempel’s tirade, that he apparently forgot which language he should respond in.

But Rempel wasn’t finished. She then segued to Trudeau’s push to quash an investigation into allegations that he once groped a young journalist early in his political career. This from a man who once objected to the continued use of the word “mankind” (suggesting we use “peoplekind” instead).

The conservative opposition then tried to summon Wilson-Raybould to appear before the Commons for another hearing (during her last appearance, she shared her account of how the PM and employees in the PM’s office and privy council barraged her with demands that she quash the government’s pursuit of SNC-Lavalin over charges that the firm bribed Libyan government officials). Wilson-Raybould left the Trudeau cabinet after she was abruptly moved to a different ministerial post – a move that was widely seen as a demotion.

Trudeau has acknowledged that he put in a good word on the firm’s behalf with Wilson-Raybould, but insists that he always maintained the final decision on the case was hers and hers alone.

Fortunately for Canadians who agree with Rempel, it’s very possible that Trudeau – who has so far resisted calls to resign – won’t be in power much longer, as the scandal has cost Trudeau’s liberals the lead in the polls for the October election.

 

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