Sessions Under Pressure; More Questions For Trump Aides : NPR


Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about home safety on Nov. 2 in New York.

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks about home safety on Nov. 2 in New York.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Last week within the Russia investigations: More strain on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, extra particulars about Russia’s private outreach to Trump marketing campaign aides and extra questions on Trump Jr.’s badembly with Russians final 12 months

More questions for Jeff Sessions

The unhealthy information for Attorney General Jeff Sessions: He is due again on Capitol Hill on Tuesday to speak in regards to the Russia imbroglio, this time earlier than the House Judiciary Committee.

The excellent news for Sessions: He’ll be earlier than the House Judiciary Committee.

The Alternative 'Russia Scandal'

Its chairman, retiring Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., needs to speak Russia all proper — in regards to the Russian acquisition of the Canadian mining firm Uranium One in 2010, which has turn into the idea for a parallel narrative of “Russian collusion” that Republicans say is the actual scandal right here.

House Republicans Launch New Investigations Into Clinton Email Probe, Uranium Deal

Goodlatte and different House committee chairmen have vowed to research the position that Hillary Clinton performed in that deal — together with allegations of graft involving Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation — in addition to the FBI’s dealing with of its investigation into Clinton’s non-public e-mail server when she was secretary of state.

So the stage may very well be set for a Benghazi-like dual-track listening to: When Republicans have the ground, they will throw Sessions a lifeline with questions on what they name the venality of the Clintons and the Justice Department beneath his predecessor. When Democrats are up, they will give attention to what critics have known as his inconsistent statements in regards to the ties between Trump marketing campaign aides and Russians.

Fellow vacationers

Sessions has mentioned that he wasn’t conscious of any contacts between folks within the marketing campaign and Russians attempting to affect the election. In the previous few weeks, nonetheless, two former junior international coverage aides — George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, of whom extra anon — have mentioned they instructed their bosses, together with Sessions, about their Russian connections.

Carter Page Tells House Intel Panel He Spoke To Sessions About Russia Contacts

Papadopoulos has pleaded responsible to mendacity to the FBI about his dealings with Russians, which included conferences and contacts that concerned gives of grime on Clinton and “off the record” discussions with prime Russians. Page instructed the House Intelligence Committee that he wasn’t conscious of any affect marketing campaign, however he did acknowledge many in-person contacts with Russians on his journeys to Moscow final 12 months.

Sessions has already recused himself from the DOJ Russia probe as a result of, he mentioned, it will be improper for him to superintend the investigation of a marketing campaign through which he took half. But Democrats say there’s much more to this — Sessions hasn’t been truthful to Congress, they complain, and he owes extra solutions.

Doctor Page

The House Intelligence Committee has seldom convened a session just like the one which featured Carter Page, a former Trump marketing campaign adviser. It got here to order Nov. 2 at 9:40 a.m. It adjourned at four:58 p.m. The transcript ran to 243 pages. Page appeared with out an legal professional and submitted numerous written paperwork to the panel, regardless that he had beforehand mentioned he would invoke his Fifth Amendment proper to not incriminate himself, which he finally determined to not do, apart from the instances when he did.

“What in God’s name did I just read?” requested the Washington Post’s Alexandra Petri. The New York Times‘ Michael S. Schmidt tried to boil all of it right down to some “major takeaways.” For The Atlantic’s David A. Graham, the doc revealed a person, in Page, “deeply connected to Russia — and in way over his head.”

Former Trump Campaign National Security Adviser Had Worried About Page's Moscow Trip

What that you must know is that this: While touring to Russia final summer season, Page met personally with a number of folks, he says, together with no less than one prime authorities official. And he says he talked about his travels with Sessions and different marketing campaign supervisors, together with nationwide safety adviser J.D. Gordon and communications director Hope Hicks.

But Page says he wasn’t conscious of any Russian effort to affect the election and rejects particularly the claims about him within the notorious, unverified file that surfaced in January. And Gordon instructed NPR’s Ryan Lucas that each Page and Papadopoulos had been “peripheral members of a relatively peripheral advisory committee.”

Quid professional quo?

One of the Russian advocates who met with Donald Trump Jr. final 12 months says he appeared to agree to think about revisiting U.S. sanctions on Russia if his father was elected, Irina Reznik and Henry Meyer report for Bloomberg Politics.

Attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya instructed the correspondents that Trump Jr. responded to her provide of proof that Democratic donors had been evading taxes by elevating the prospect notional President Trump may re-evaluate the restrictions on key Russians imposed in 2012.

For what it is price, Veselnitskaya additionally mentioned she is ready to inform the identical story to Justice Department particular counsel Robert Mueller, and there are indications she could keep up a correspondence with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Foreign Interference Has Bedeviled D.C. For Decades, With No Easy Reponse

What form of recreation is being performed right here? There’s no technique to know. The marketing campaign of “active measures” waged by the Russian authorities towards the U.S. since … for example, 2015 … has by no means stopped. The new twist may very well be that it is geared toward hurting Family Trump, fairly than serving to it. There has at all times been the potential that the Russian authorities might flip a change and reverse the polarity of its interference, as a result of why not? The fundamental purpose is to sow chaos.

Big if true, although. Trump Jr. was one in all no less than 9 folks within the Trump orbit in touch with Russians or their brokers throughout the marketing campaign and transition, per the Washington Post’s accounting. And if, in actual fact, he reciprocated a suggestion of “dirt” on Democrats (or Hillary Clinton, or whatevs) by promising favorable consideration if Trump was elected? That could be important.

However, Congress wound up rising sanctions on Russia in retaliation for its badault on the 2016 presidential marketing campaign, in addition to limiting President Trump’s capability to ease them with out approval from Capitol Hill.


Ex-aide tells lawmakers he rejected provide of ladies for Trump

President Trump listens to then-Director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller on the White House on June 12.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

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Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

President Trump listens to then-Director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller on the White House on June 12.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Trump’s former prime safety guard instructed the House Intelligence Committee he laughed off a suggestion to ship girls as much as Trump’s resort room in Moscow throughout a 2013 go to, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report for CNN. Keith Schiller, a longtime aide to Trump for a few years previous to the president’s political profession, instructed investigators behind closed doorways that he thought-about the provide a joke.

At The 2013 Miss Universe Contest, Trump Met Some Of Russia's Rich And Powerful

Meaning what? Trump and allies are eager to knock down the allegations within the notorious, unverified file. NPR has by no means detailed the fabric as a result of it has not been proved, however Schiller’s testimony continues the administration’s sturdy case that it is balderdash. At the identical time, Schiller does seem to have acknowledged that somebody in Russia might need wished to embarrbad — and maybe blackmail — Trump.

Google boss: Who is aware of what tech Russia may have by 2020?

How Russian-Backed Agitation Online Spilled Into The Real World In 2016

The government chairman of Google’s dad or mum firm says that the search and advert large is doing what it may to quash influence-mongery on its platform, however the image he paints will not be a rosy one. Eric Schmidt requested Fast Company rhetorically how the West might hold tempo. “I worry that the Russians in 2020 will have a lot more powerful tools,” Schmidt mentioned.

Meaning what? If that is one other enviornment within the cyberworld through which badault is stronger than protection, Schmidt’s warning suggests even he’s involved that potential energetic measures campaigns in 2018 or past may very well be past Western countermeasures.

Grant me the serenity to just accept my very own Twitter account

The James Comey Saga, In Timeline Form

Former FBI Director James Comey has dropped his long-maintained cowl on Twitter beneath the guise of theologian Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr. Now he’s posting within the open beneath the deal with @Comey.

Meaning what? The ex-G-man has a guide popping out and he needs to market it — plus who is aware of what different aspirations he has for the following section of his profession?

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