Inside year one of the Mueller investigation
As the Mueller probe hits its one year anniversary, the special counsel’s canada goose outlet online team has brought charges against 22 people and companies, notched five guilty pleas and canada goose outlet uk seen one person sentenced. While a number of those charges were related to Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, so far none of them has extended to potential collusion between the Russian government and Trump associates.
But under President Donald Trump’s Twitter glare, Mueller’s team has pressed forward with their work. Their operation reflects the man who leads it: no frills, no drama, no leaks. And that has left Washington and the nation guessing at where their pile of evidence might lead canada goose outlet store them and when they will arrive there.
For months, the word among lawyers representing witnesses and subjects in Mueller’s investigation was that the Russia probe appeared to be nearing its end, perhaps by early this summer.
More recently, some of those prognostications are changing as Mueller’s team continues to bring back witnesses for follow up canada goose outlet interviews, and in some cases for testimony before a Washington, DC, grand jury.
The activity elsewhere comes as lawyers representing Trump are in a standoff with Mueller’s team over whether the President will cooperate with a voluntary interview. The negotiations have dragged on, in part, because the President’s struggled to keep lawyers and hire new ones, giving way to a new legal team that is still getting up to speed.
“The chances now are 50 50,” Rudy Giuliani, one of the recent additions to buy canada goose jacket the President’s legal team, told CNN of the odds of Trump sitting for an interview. “At times it’s been higher, at times lower. I don’t know what they’re going to give us in the way of ground rules that make us comfortable.”
Other members of the legal team give much smaller chances that a voluntary interview will happen, and are prepared to dare the special counsel to issue a subpoena, which could trigger a lengthy legal fight.
“We are going to try as best we can to put the canada goose outlet online uk message out there that it has been a year, there has been no evidence presented of collusion or obstruction, and it is about time for them to end the investigation,” canada goose outlet sale Giuliani said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Giuliani told CNN he believes Mueller official canada goose outlet canada goose coats is “sensitive” to the fact that his investigation is reaching its one Canada Goose Jackets year mark, in part because Mueller mentioned the anniversary in a recent meeting.
“He doesn’t want to look like one of these special counsels that hangs on forever,” Giuliani told CNN, based on his conversation with Mueller and prior canada goose factory outlet knowledge of how Mueller operates.
The special counsel’s office declined to comment for this story.
But by white collar criminal investigation standards, the Mueller probe is still relatively Canada Goose sale short. Cases of this complexity the Enron investigation, for instance routinely take several years to investigate. “The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!”
Trump’s allies have been encouraged by recent polls showing Trump’s approval rating inching up and Mueller’s beginning to slide, particularly among Republicans, after months of withering attacks on the investigation by Trump and his allies. Trump has remained adamant that Mueller won’t find any evidence of collusion or at least nothing that could personally implicate Trump, sources said.
“He has learned to do a better job of compartmentalizing,” a Trump ally said about Trump’s mindset around the Russia probe, although the source acknowledged the President still likes to vent about the investigation. “It’s there, it’s a pain in the ass, but it’s canada goose not the dominant feature anymore.”
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal team is preparing for the possibility that Mueller may choose to issue a subpoena to interview the President a move that could lead to a lengthy legal battle that could wind up in front of the Supreme Court.
“We don’t particularly want to have it,” Giuliani said of a constitutional fight. “If we don’t get the ground rules that we consider fair, we’re going to canada goose jacket outlet have it.”
As for Mueller, he has demonstrated under the supervision of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein that he’s willing to use aggressive means to collect information. FBI agents, for instance, took the extraordinary step of stopping at least two Canada Goose Parka Russian oligarchs after their private jets landed at US airports earlier this year canada goose uk outlet to question them.
But Mueller has also signaled that he understands the value of drawing boundaries around the Russia probe.
In April, FBI agents carried out a series of raids on the New York office, home and hotel room of Michael Cohen, the President’s longtime personal lawyer. They carted off thousands of documents and federal prosecutors in Manhattan said in court that it related to a criminal investigation of Cohen that was based at least partly on a referral from Mueller’s office. So far, the Cohen probe appears to have less to do with Russia than with Cohen’s business conduct, which includes his role as “fixer” for the President in handling canada goose outlet canada matters such as a hush money payment days before the 2016 election to an adult film actress who claims to have had an affair with Trump.
An investigation that expandedThe centerpiece of Mueller’s investigation his original mandate was to https://www.fabulalitera.de investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election and any potential collusion between Trump and his associates and the Russian government. But the mandate also allowed Mueller to look into any areas that may arise from the investigation. So the probe expanded to include an offshoot investigation into whether the President has tried to obstruct justice.
Now, a year in, Mueller’s areas of interest have run the gamut.
His team has been in contact with corporations including pharmaceutical giant Novartis and telecommunications conglomerate cheap canada goose AT regarding their payments to Cohen. Investigators have pressed witnesses about the extent of longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone’s contact with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. They’ve asked Russian oligarchs whether wealthy Russians sent cash illegally, either directly or indirectly, to Trump’s presidential campaign an inauguration.
Others have been questioned about former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn’s contacts with the former Russian ambassador and Flynn’s subsequent attempts to cover it up. Some have been asked canada goose outlet about the President’s decision to fire FBI director James Comey. Still others have been questioned about how a statement was crafted aboard Air Force One, which misleadingly claimed a 2016 Trump Tower meeting between senior campaign aides and a Russian attorney focused on primarily adoptions rather than collecting damaging information about Hillary Clinton.
Those who canada goose outlet uk sale have met with Mueller’s team have left stunned by what investigators already know. By the time someone is called in for an interview, investigators have already crafted meticulous timelines based on evidence, such as emails and calendars, of the events they plan to ask about.
Still, witnesses are often left with only a glimpse of where the investigation might be headed. Some lawyers have acknowledged they have no idea why their clients were asked certain questions.
What it’s like to be interviewed by Mueller’s teamThe special counsel’s team has toiled quietly and declined to hold press conferences. When Mueller brought charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities in February for allegedly meddling in the 2016 presidential election, he left it up to Rosenstein, who oversees the Russia probe, to make the cheap canada goose uk public announcement.