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NYT Columnist Worries Mueller Investigation Actually Helping Trump

23 May 2018

Comey's firing and Flynn's hasty departure - he only served 24 days in the job and quit after reports surfaced that he had misled Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of his communications with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the US - led to questions about whether Trump hampered the investigation into Russia's role in the 2016 election.

The FBI and Department of Justice will brief lawmakers Thursday on classified material they have requested relating to the FBI's actions during the 2016 campaign, the White House announced Tuesday. And Trump has taken up the cause as the White House tries to combat the threat posed by special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into potential ties between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Matt Gaetz and Rep. Jim Jordan listen during a news conference May 22, 2018 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

Press: Why Trump should thank FBI Trump administration sued for not releasing FBI morale survey results MORE and whether that constituted obstruction of justice.

There was no immediate response from House leadership aides on whether the measure might come up for a vote.

Caputo's revelation comes after recent news that an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant had approached former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page on July 11, 2016. "So hopefully they will all be able to get together", he said.

Attorney Rudy Giuliani told the New York Times that Mueller intends to wrap up the obstruction investigation by September 1, however, if the special counsel can't interview Trump on obstruction, that may no longer be the case.

"Trump has engaged over the past year and a half in a series of incremental transgressions of the norms of DOJ independence", says John Bies, who worked in the Justice Department for almost a decade under President Barack Obama and is now chief counsel at American Oversight.

There have been multiple reports over the past few months about how President Trump's lawyers (including the very outspoken Rudy Giuliani) want to deal with the potential Robert Mueller, and now there's a new one about how they want to limit the scope of questions asked.

Their goal is to move past a standoff that threatens to drag out Mueller's investigation, and appears to be part of a larger strategy to negotiate with the special counsel through the media.

Rep. Devin Nunes of California, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy of SC, who chairs the House Oversight panel, will attend, though Sanders said no Democrats were invited.

The top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, California Rep. Adam Schiff, said the briefing should have been done through the bipartisan "Gang of 8", which includes Republican and Democratic leaders and the top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate intelligence panels.

"We said we wanted the questions limited to Russian collusion", one source close to Trump's team told CNN. Negotiations between the House Republicans and the Justice department appeared to stall last week ahead of Trump's tweet - an apparent reversal of the White House's initial policy.

"Sadly they have allies in Congress who are all too happy to help in destroying these institutions", Schiff said.

NYT Columnist Worries Mueller Investigation Actually Helping Trump