Americans have become accustomed, if not resigned, to the spectacle of the president of the United States attacking his own attorney general and denouncing the investigation into possible collusion by his campaign with Russia as a "witch hunt." But this week, after the FBI executed a search warrant on the office and hotel room of Michael Cohen, his longtime personal lawyer, Donald Trump became even more unhinged, to the point of publicly speculating about firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. … [Read more...] about Even Republicans should be horrified by Trump’s latest Mueller meltdown
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In the latest sign of plummeting relations with Moscow, the Trump administration slapped new sanctions Friday on seven Russian oligarchs with close ties to the Kremlin, including President Vladimir Putin's son-in-law, for what a U.S. official called "attacks to subvert Western democracies.”The administration’s long-delayed move against Russia’s ruling elite, mandated by Congress last year to punish Moscow for its meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, also included targeted sanctions against 12 Russian companies and 17 senior government officials.The direct assault on Putin’s inner circle seemed to signal an end, at least for now, to President Trump’s persistent efforts to revive moribund U.S. relations with Moscow despite growing warnings by U.S. intelligence officials that the Kremlin will try to interfere in the November midterm election.The blacklist was issued a week after the United States and two dozen other countries expelled about 150 Russian … [Read more...] about U.S. slaps new sanctions on Russia, targeting billionaires and Putin’s son-in-law
Supported by Europe The Saturday Profile By ANDREW E. KRAMER APRIL 6, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story KIEV, Ukraine — The man sat at a restaurant table, grasping a glass of white wine. His sandy hair was close cropped, he wore a cardigan sweater and in the afternoon bustle he looked like just another office worker at lunch.While seated, the most notable element of his appearance was hardly noticeable; only when he stood to introduce himself did it become clear that he is short, almost childlike, in stature, a characteristic that earned him the nickname “the midget.”He spoke flawless English, with only a touch of an accent, was gregarious, and casually brushed aside the main question in this rare interview in Kiev, the Ukrainian capital, a year or so ago, saying that of course he was not a Russian spy.Yet in Washington these days, the … [Read more...] about He Says He’s an Innocent Victim. Robert Mueller Says He’s a Spy.
Supported by Politics By CHARLIE SAVAGEAPRIL 5, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story WASHINGTON — Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, transformed this week what has appeared to be a weakness — his relative lack of independence — into a strength.Since he was appointed in May by Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, the scope of Mr. Mueller’s power has been intensely debated. President Trump’s allies have portrayed the special counsel as running amok as his focus expanded to the business dealings of Mr. Trump’s associates. The president’s critics have worried that Mr. Mueller is too vulnerable to potential Trump administration interference.The tension is familiar when the president comes under scrutiny by law enforcement, as the vast powers of the executive branch are at stake. Similar tensions cropped up … [Read more...] about For Mueller, a Feared Weakness Becomes a Strength
Supported by Politics By MARK MAZZETTI, DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, BEN PROTESS and SHARON LaFRANIEREAPRIL 4, 2018 Continue reading the main story Share This Page Continue reading the main story WASHINGTON — A witness who is cooperating in the special counsel investigation, George Nader, has connections to both the Persian Gulf states and Russia and may have information that links two important strands of the inquiry together, interviews and records show.Mr. Nader’s ties to the United Arab Emirates are well documented — he is an adviser to its leader — but the extent of his links to Russia had not been previously disclosed.Mr. Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, has a catalog of international connections that paved the way for numerous meetings with White House officials that have drawn the attention of the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III. For example, Mr. Nader used his longstanding ties to Kirill Dmitriev, the manager of a state-run Russian … [Read more...] about Witness in Mueller Inquiry Who Advises U.A.E. Ruler Also Has Ties to Russia