Saturday, 24 August, 2019

Mueller reportedly working with top Trump foe, could end-run presidential pardon

Mueller reportedly working with top Trump foe, could end-run presidential pardon Mueller reportedly working with top Trump foe, could end-run presidential pardon
Christy Curtis | 01 September, 2017, 00:58

The current target is former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, and the man Mueller has most recently enlisted to assist with the inquiries is sure to raise a few eyebrows: New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

The move, which Politico reported on Wednesday night, is another indication that Mueller is ramping up pressure on Manafort, who served as the former chairman of President Donald Trump's campaign.

Manafort is accused of making shady financial transactions.

Mueller has been tasked with an investigation into a possible collusion between Russian Federation and the Trump campaign but has expanded his inquiry to look at financial dealings of Trump's associates. As has been pointed out by practically everyone, the presidential pardon power does not extend to state crimes, and Schneiderman has been after Camp Runamuck since before the voters installed it in the White House last November. His spokesman, Jason Maloni, said at the time of the raid that Manafort was cooperating with the investigators.

Politico, which cited unnamed sources, reports the pairing of the two could mean Mueller's investigation is heating up.

Schneiderman has a contentious history with Trump. Mr Trump has hit back, by calling Mr Schneiderman "a lightweight".

That meeting, which was first revealed by the New York Times, was allegedly arranged so Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya could give the Trump campaign team damaging information on opponent Hillary Clinton. The president has repeatedly called it a "witch hunt", has denied any collusion with Moscow and has been critical of Mueller.

The sources told NBC News that prosecutors want to know what Trump knew about the meeting and whether he sought to hide its goal.

Mueller and his team first signaled their interest in the Trump Tower meeting last month by contacting an attorney for at least some of the Russians who attended. Reached by the AP, Akhmetshin declined comment.

"If it's what you say I love it especially later in the summer", Trump Jr wrote in one email response. The president said he settled just to have the matter behind him, though his previous mantra was never to settle cases. The meeting, Trump Jr. was told, was being arranged "as part of Russian Federation and its government's support for Mr. Trump", to which Trump Jr. replied, "I love it".

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