Manafort Alerted Lawmakers to Trump Jr.'s Meeting with Russian Lawyer

Sunday, 13 Aug, 2017

The search is the most significant public step investigators have taken since the special counsel, Mr Robert Mueller, was appointed in May. I don't recall Newt Gingrich having any problem with Starr's probe back when he was House Speaker, but as a leading Trump surrogate, Gingrich certainly has his knickers in a twist over the Russian Federation investigation.

President Trump said Thursday that he hasn't given any thought to firing Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russian Federation investigation that Trump has described as a "witch hunt". As former GOP congressman Bob Barr aptly put it in the MDJ recently, Mueller "is sure to find something".

Politico's report suggested that the change in representation could be a signal that Manafort now needs special criminal counsel.

Kenneth Starr, the Whitewater independent counsel frequently criticized for alleged overreach by then-President Bill Clinton, never utilized search warrants, two members of the team told NPR.

But after the raid on Manafort's house, he backed up his former campaign chair as a "decent" man and called the move 'pretty tough stuff'. Given his shadowy business and political dealings with pro-Russia elements coupled with his proximity to Trump during the campaign, the fact that he's under investigation is unsurprising.

Trump's comments on the raid were more restrained than his lawyer, John Dowd, who bashed it as a "gross abuse of the judicial process" done for "shock value" since Manafort was already cooperating. Investigators were seeking his cooperation in the probe against Manafort, two sources told CNN.

"We don't engage in fishing expeditions", Rosenstein told Fox Sunday, using a phrase for an investigation that doesn't stick to a stated objective but hopes to uncover incriminating information. "As of today, WilmerHale no longer represents Mr. Manafort", Jason Maloni said in a statement.

"But the landscape has shifted", he said.

"The grand jury is often engaged in investigations of both the prosecutor's office and the FBI".

Legal experst contend the timing of the raid indicates that not only does Mueller believe a crime has been committed, but he doesn't trust Manafort will fully cooperate with either his or Congressional investigations.

In any case, the Justice Department frequently deploys tough tactics with a larger goal in mind: securing the cooperation of insiders who can guide authorities through a complex investigation and help deliver bigger targets.

Andrew Kent, a Fordham University law professor, said the expansion of Mueller's investigation has put Trump and the special counsel on a collision course.

On Thursday night, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley was part of the panel on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" discussing the July 26 Federal Bureau of Investigation raid of the home of Paul Manafort.