Tag Archives: Russiagate

Then-presidential candidate Donald Trump with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn during a September 2016 town hall meeting

This morning/afternoon.

Following the United States Justice Department decision to drop the criminal case against US President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

CBS News reporter Catherine Herridge: “The last thing most Americans remember about General Flynn is that he was fired. And that he admitted lying to the FBI. Does the fact remain that he lied?”

US Attorney General William Barr: “Well, you know, people sometimes plead to things that turn out not to be crimes. … And the Department of Justice is not persuaded that this was material to any legitimate counterintelligence investigation. So it was not a crime.”

Herridge: “When a special counsel report was released last year, you were accused by critics of putting your thumb on the scale in the president’s favor. Are you doing the president’s bidding in General Flynn’s case?”

Barr: “No, I’m doing the law’s bidding. I’m doing my duty under the law, as I see it.”

Herridge: “You know you’re going to take a lot of incoming … for this decision. Are you prepared for that?”

Barr: “Yea, I’m prepared for that. I also think it’s sad that nowadays these partisan feelings are so strong that people have lost any sense of justice.”

Herridge: “What should Americans take away from your actions in the Flynn case today?”

Barr: “I was concerned people were feeling there were two standards of justice in this country. … I wanted to make sure that we restore confidence in the system. There’s only one standard of justice.”

Attorney General Barr says what Michael Flynn did “was not a crime” (CBS News)

Getty

St Peter’s Square, The Vatican

Last night.

Via Reuters:

Vatican police raided the offices of the Holy See’s Secretariat of State and its Financial Information Authority, or AIF, on Tuesday and took away documents and electronic devices as part of an investigation of suspected financial irregularities, a Vatican statement said.

…The Vatican statement gave no details except to say that the operation was a follow-up to complaints filed in the summer by the Vatican bank and the Office of the Auditor General and were related to “financial operations carried out over the course of time”.

A senior Vatican source said he believed the operation, which the statement said had been authorized by Vatican prosecutors, had to do with real estate transactions

Vatican police raid top offices in financial investigation (Reuters)

Meanwhile...

United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Rome, Italy

This morning.

Via The Daily Beast:

The Daily Beast has learned that [Attorney General] Bill Barr and [US attorney] John Durham were especially interested in what the Italian secret service knew about Joseph Mifsud, the erstwhile professor from Malta who had allegedly promised then candidate Donald Trump’s campaign aide George Papadopoulos he could deliver Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton

….The sources in Rome who confirmed that Barr and Durham came to learn more about Mifsud also told The Daily Beast that they expected Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet the same intelligence agencies on his state visit that began yesterday.

Pompeo is meeting the Italian president, the prime minister, and the Pope while in Rome. His official mandate is to discuss Libya, China trade, and sanctions on Russia, which Italy does not support. Pompeo will also be spending time with the U.S. Ambassador to the Vatican….

*popcorn*

Barr Went to Rome to Hear a Secret Tape from Joseph Mifsud, the Professor Who Helped Ignite the Russia Probe (Daily Beast)

Pics: Getty/AP

At 4pm Irish time.

Watch proceedings here

Update:

Charging Trump was not an option, says Robert Mueller (BBC)

This afternoon.

Special counsel Robert Mueller considered 10 “episodes” involving actions by President Trump that might have been been connected to obstruction of justice, Attorney General Bill Barr said  — but the Justice Department concluded they do not amount to a breach of the law.

Barr said he is satisfied Trump had “non-corrupt motives” and that is what prompted him to decide not to prosecute the president.

Because investigators did not find a conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Russian interference in the 2016 election, that suggested Trump wasn’t trying to cover anything up, Barr said. And notwithstanding his frequent public outrage about the matter, Trump cooperated with Mueller’s inquiry, Barr said.

Watch Live: Attorney General Barr Briefs Reporters About The Mueller Report (NPR)

Read full report here

Meanwhile

Meanwhile

Update:

Statement tonight from Trump 2020 Campaign Manager Brad Pascale, who served as Trump’s Digital Media Manager in the 2016 Campaign.