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Court officials have taken drastic steps to ensure the identity of the company remains unknown. The case, referred to in public dockets as with the title Sealed v Sealed, began in August. Michael Flynn agreed to delay his sentencing after U. District Judge Emmet Sullivan told Trump's former national security adviser "you sold your country out," and because of that, "I cannot assure you, if you proceed today, you will not receive a sentence of incarceration.

Flynn was supposed to be sentenced today for lying to the FBI and acting as an unregistered agent for Turkey. The judge also asked the special counsel's office whether Flynn could be charged with "treason" after he acted as "an unregistered agent of a foreign country, while serving as the national security adviser to the president of the United States. Sullivan's last words to the court were: "Happy holidays.

Mueller released a memo from that summarizes Michael Flynn's contemporaneous interview with the FBI. The interview was the catalyst that led to the high-profile case against Trump's former national security adviser and felon. According to the memo, Flynn lied during the interview about his contact with then-Russian ambassador to the U.

The memo includes clear examples of Flynn lying and claiming that he never made any policy requests of Russia as FBI agents prod him to provide fuller descriptions of his calls. Hours earlier, Trump wished Flynn — a confessed felon — "good luck" ahead of his sentencing hearing.

Trump previously claimed that discussions about the project ended in January , but Giuliani indicated that the conversations could have been in June or July of The Russian disinformation campaign also targeted Mueller by falsely claiming that he was corrupt and that Russian interference in the election was just conspiracy theories. Russian operatives went after Mueller and his team via fake social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms. They also claimed that Mueller had a history of working with "radical Islamic groups.

The Russian disinformation and influence campaign during the presidential election was more far-reaching than originally understood , according to the findings of two independent groups of researchers tasked by the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee. The report found that "active and ongoing interference operations remain on several platforms," including one campaign to support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and influence opinions on the Syrian Civil War. As attention was focused on Facebook and Twitter in , the Russians shifted much of their activity to Instagram.

Prigozhin and a dozen Internet Research Agency employees were indicted last February as part of Robert Mueller's investigation. In particular, the campaigns urged the African-American community "to boycott the election and focus on other issues instead," while messaging to conservative and right-wing voters "patriotic and anti-immigrant slogans" designed to "elicit outrage […] about liberal appeasement of 'others' at the expense of U. Mueller rejected Michael Flynn's suggestion that he was tricked into lying to FBI agents about his communications with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Neither Flynn nor his lawyers have explained why he lied. George Papadopoulos is considering a run for Congress. The former Trump campaign foreign policy aide just spent 12 days in prison after pleading guilty to making false statements to the FBI about contacts with a professor, Joseph Mifsud, who claimed to know that Russia had thousands of emails connected to Hillary Clinton. Maria Butina pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as a foreign agent of the Kremlin and influence U.

Butina tried to establish "unofficial lines of communication" with influential Americans in the NRA and in the Republican Party "under direction of" a former Russian senator and deputy governor of Russia's central bank, who matches the description of sanctioned Russian central banker Alexander Torshin.

Butina is also expected to provide evidence against Paul Erickson, who helped her with what she called her "Diplomacy Project. Two Michael Flynn associates said he discussed a deal with Sergey Kislyak during the campaign about how Trump and Russia could work together if Trump won. According to Flynn's associates, the bargain he discussed with Russia's then-ambassador to the U. In mid-August , Trump and Flynn received a briefing that noted the intelligence community had reached the preliminary conclusion that Moscow was behind the hacks of Democratic targets and the public disclosure of the stolen material.

Flynn's "series of contacts" with Kislyak continued despite knowing Moscow was behind the efforts to subvert the U. Mother Jones. Trump claimed that Robert Mueller's prosecutors gave Michael Flynn "a great deal because they were embarrassed by the way he was treated. The Hill. Flynn served in the job for less than a month. The comment contrasts the impression Trump gave aboard Air Force One that he was not familiar with a report that revealed Flynn had not told the truth about the calls. Michael Flynn asked to be spared jail time because of his "extensive cooperation" with Mueller.

Flynn pleaded guilty last December to lying to the FBI during its counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election. He blamed the FBI agents for tricking him into lying by not warning him "that it was a crime to lie during an FBI interview. Mueller's office similarly recommended little to no jail time last week because he had provided "substantial assistance" in the investigation that "likely affected the decisions of related firsthand witnesses to be forthcoming.

Trump continues to reject the assessment U. In particular, Trump has dismissed the intelligence community's assessments about Russia's interference in the election, North Korea's willingness to abandon its nuclear weapons program, Iran's nuclear and regional ambitions, the existence of climate change, and the role of the Saudi crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Putin claimed "nobody" at Russia's spy agencies "knows anything about" Maria Butina , who agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy and cooperate with federal, state and local authorities in any ongoing investigations. An alleged Russian spy appears to have reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors involving accusations that she was working as an agent for the Kremlin in the U. Maria Butina is accused of working with a Russian banking official to develop relationships with American politicians through the National Rifle Association in an effort to advance Russian interests.

Butina previously pleaded not guilty to conspiracy and acting as an agent of a foreign government, but attorneys and prosecutors filed a request for a "change of plea" hearing since "the parties have resolved this matter. The Justice Department charged a Russian national and accused her of acting as a Russian agent "for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian federation. Charging documents say Butina was directed by a "high-level official in the Russian government," who has been previously identified as Alexander Torshin, a senior official at the Russian central bank, who is also a longtime associate of the NRA.

The charges were filed under seal the day after 12 Russian intelligence officers were indicted by the Justice Department for hacking Democratic computers. They were unsealed following Trump's press conference with Putin where he said he saw no reason the Russian leader would try to influence the presidential election. Maria Butina, the alleged Russian spy, socialized with a former Trump campaign aide weeks before the election. At the time, J. Gordon planned to join Trump's transition team, but ultimately never did. From March until August , Gordon was the point person for an advisory group on foreign policy and national security for the Trump campaign.

Paul Erickson, a GOP operative with whom Butina was in a romantic relationship, told her that Gordon was "playing a crucial role in the Trump transition effort and would be an excellent addition to any of the U. The Justice Department added a second charge against Russian national Maria Butina of acting as an unregistered foreign agent of the Kremlin since at least Butina was charged on Monday with conspiracy to act as an agent of a foreign government.

Butina was arrested on Sunday because she appeared to have plans to flee the U. At least 16 Trump associates interacted with Russian nationals during the campaign and transition period , according to public records and interviews. After taking office, Trump and senior officials repeatedly lied about the campaign's contact with Russians, with Trump at one point claiming: "No. Nobody that I know of. I have nothing to do with Russia. To the best of my knowledge, no person that I deal with does.

There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign. Trump tweeted there is no "smocking gun" tying his campaign to Russia , misspelling "smoking gun" twice in the same tweet. Trump suggested that the payments to Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal were not illegal campaign contributions, as federal prosecutors claim, but instead a "simple private transaction" that are only being scrutinized because investigators have not been able to find evidence of collusion between his campaign and Russia.

Paul Manafort told "multiple," "discernible lies" to the FBI and the special counsel's office concerning five different matters after agreeing to cooperate with prosecutors. Federal prosecutors accused Manafort of lying about his "contact with administration officials" and his interactions with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian tied to Moscow's intelligence services.

Manafort met with Kilimnik twice during the campaign. Robert Mueller's team said Manafort made multiple false statements that were "not instances of mere memory lapses" over the course of 12 meetings with the FBI and the special counsel after signing a plea agreement in September. Federal Prosecutors with the Southern District of New York said that while Michael Cohen gave federal investigators "relevant and useful" information, he still deserves a "substantial" prison term of about four years for his "extensive" criminal conduct.

Prosecutors said Cohen "repeatedly used his power and influence for deceptive ends" and "repeatedly declined to provide full information about the scope of any additional criminal conduct in which he may have engaged or had knowledge. The person claimed to be a "trusted person" in the Russian Federation offering the campaign "synergy on a government level.

Mueller cited Trump's time in the White House as relevant to the investigation into Russia's interference in the election , saying Cohen provided valuable information "concerning his contacts with persons connected to the White House during the — time period. Thank you! According to Trump, his lawyers have already completed 87 pages, adding, "obviously cannot complete until we the see the final Witch Hunt report.

George Papadopoulos was released from prison after serving 12 whole days for lying to investigators about his contact with individuals tied to Russia during the campaign. James Comey met behind closed doors with the House Judiciary and Oversight committees. Lawmakers are expected to question Comey on a range of topics, including his memos about interactions with Trump, the details of his firing, the origins of the FBI's Russia probe, and whether bias contributed to the decisions to focus on Trump and to conduct surveillance on Carter Page.

And, according to FiveThirtyEight , Trump's approval rating is Robert Mueller's office recommended that Michael Flynn serve no jail time because he provided "substantial assistance" with the Russian probe. A court filing submitted by the special counsel's office says Flynn provided "firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between the transition team and Russian government officials. Flynn also provided details about other criminal investigations, but those details were heavily redacted from the court filing in order to keep information about ongoing probes secret.

The redactions suggest there is more to come in the probe into Russian election interference. Prosecutors in Manhattan are ramping up their investigation into foreign lobbying by two firms that did work for Paul Manafort. Mueller referred the case to authorities because it fell outside his mandate of determining whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.

Mueller is expected to make a sentencing recommendation for Michael Flynn today. The memo should describe the crimes the former national security adviser committed that led to his guilty plea after 24 days on the job and how he has helped the Russia probe. He will be sentenced by a federal judge on Dec. Flynn's sentencing was delayed four times after Mueller said he needed more time "due to the status of the investigation.

Michael Flynn resigned as National Security Adviser after it was revealed that he had misled Pence and other top White House officials about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the United States. Trump knew Flynn misled officials on Russia calls for "weeks," the White House says. Flynn discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador, despite denials. Paul Manafort tried to get Ecuador to hand over Julian Assange in exchange for debt relief from the U.

But the talks shifted to Ecuador's desire to rid itself of Assange, who has been staying the Ecuadorean embassy in London since Manafort suggested that he could negotiate a deal to handover Assange, which fell apart once it became clear that Manafort was a major target of Mueller's Russia investigation. There is no evidence that Trump was aware of or involved in Manafort's dealings with Ecuador. Trump complained about the cost of an "uncontrollable" arms race with Russia and China , despite previously bragging about his increase in military spending.

Mike Pompeo said the U. If Russia fails to meet the deadline, the U. Trump called for a "full and complete" sentence for Michael Cohen after his former lawyer asked to not be sent to prison. Cohen's lawyers argued that his cooperation with Robert Mueller warranted a sentence of "time-served. In seeking leniency, Cohen's attorneys claim his false statement to Congress was based on Trump and his team's attempts to paint interactions with Russian representatives "as having effectively terminated before the Iowa caucuses of February 1, Trump tweeted that all of those charges were "unrelated to Trump.

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee said the committee has made "a number of referrals" to Mueller's office for prosecution. Mark Warner added that while he doesn't know whether Cohen was instructed to lie to Congress, Cohen's plea contradicts Trump's multiple denials during the campaign that he did not have any business links to Russia.

Warner called it a "very relevant question that the American people need an answer to. The incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee: Cohen's cooperation is proof that Russia had "leverage" over Trump during the presidential campaign. Jerry Nadler said. The leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee: Cohen's cooperations confirms that "the president and his business are compromised.

Adam Schiff, "there is now testimony, there is now a witness, who confirms that in the same way Michael Flynn was compromised, that the president and his business are compromised. James Comey agreed to testify to Congress about the FBI's investigations during the campaign as long as lawmakers release the full transcript of his testimony within 24 hours. Comey and his attorney filed a legal challenge last week to the Republican-led effort to compel him to testify.

His attorney argued that the legal action was "to prevent the Joint Committee from using the pretext of a closed interview to peddle a distorted, partisan political narrative about the Clinton and Russian investigations through selective leaks. Trump and Putin had an "informal" meeting at the G20 Summit. I have my own. We stayed in our own positions. In Cohen's version, he says the discussions with at least one Russian government official continued through June There was never a definitive end to it.

It just died of deal fatigue. He also said he didn't know that Cohen had sent an email to Putin's aide, Dmitry Peskov. In Cohen's guilty plea , he said he briefed Trump's family members about the continued negotiations. Cohen has been in the spotlight this week following new revelations about his outreach to Russian officials for help with a proposal for a Trump Tower in Moscow. Committee members still hope to interview Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with the Russian lawyer claiming to have damaging information about Hillary Clinton.

Kushner and Manafort have already spoken to the Senate Intelligence Committee. He also said he couldn't "recall" if he discussed the Russia investigation with his father. Michael Cohen discussed the idea with Dmitry Peskov, who serves as Putin's press secretary, hoping that giving the penthouse to Putin would encourage other wealthy buyers to purchase their own. The plan fizzled when the project failed to materialize, and it is not clear whether Trump knew about the plan to give the penthouse to Putin.

Ivanka and Trump Jr. It is also unclear whether or not they worked with Michael Cohen on the deal. Investigators have publicly cast Trump as a central figure in Robert Mueller's investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government during the campaign. Trump even has his own legal code name: "Individual 1.

Mueller is focusing on Stone's role as a potential go-between for the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks, which published thousands of DNC emails that were stolen by Russian intelligence officers. Mueller's team has evidence that Stone may have known in advance about the release of the emails, and investigators may also be looking into potential witness intimidation by Stone. Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress, admitting that he continued to engage in negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow well into the presidential campaign.

Cohen previously said talks regarding the Moscow project stalled in January , when in fact negotiations continued through June with Cohen traveling to Russia for meetings on the project. Cohen also told Congress that when the project allegedly stalled, he emailed Dmitry Peskov, a top aide to Putin, seeking help, but claimed he never received a response. That was also false. Cohen and Peskov discussed the project for 20 minutes by phone.

Prosecutors also said that Cohen continued to have contact in with Felix Sater, a Russian developer assisting with the project. Cohen briefed Trump on the status of the project more than three times. It's Cohen's second guilty plea in four months. Trump's company was pursuing a plan to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow while he was running for president. Discussions about the Moscow project began in September until it was abandoned just before the presidential primaries began in January , emails show. The details of the deal had not previously been disclosed.

The Trump Organization has turned over the emails to the House Intelligence Committee, pointing to the likelihood of additional contacts between Russia and Trump associates during the campaign. Trump's business associate promised that Putin would help Trump win the presidency if he built a Trump Tower in Moscow. Cohen said he never heard back from Peskov and the project never got off the ground. Peskov said that he had seen the email but that it was not given to Putin. Trump's personal lawyer met with the House Intelligence Committee today.

Michael Cohen emailed Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, during the presidential campaign seeking help getting a Trump Tower built in Moscow. Peskov said he never responded to the email. Trump's written responses to Mueller about building a Trump Tower in Moscow during the campaign reportedly align with what Cohen said in court , according to Trump's lawyers.

Rudy Giuliani attempted to explain why Trump would call Cohen a liar if they had the same understanding of the facts, saying: "Cohen has just told us he's a liar. Given the fact that he's a liar, I can't tell you what he's lying about. Trump abruptly canceled a planned meeting with Putin shortly after Cohen pleaded guilty in federal court to lying to Congress about his efforts to develop a Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential campaign. He cited Moscow's seizure of Ukrainian assets and personnel for the cancellation.

For comparison, Trump also does not "remember much" from the meeting with George Papadopoulos, where Papadopoulos offered to arrange a meeting with Putin. Trump, however, has previously claimed to have "one of the great memories of all time," using it as justification for not using notes during his meeting with Kim Jong Un, and blaming Sgt. La David Johnson's widow when he stumbled over the solider's name during a condolence call.

Trump threatened to cancel his upcoming summit with Vladimir Putin over Russia's recent maritime skirmish with Ukraine. Trump said he is waiting for a full report on the incident, during which Putin captured three Ukrainian ships and their crews in the Black Sea on Sunday, before making a final decision on whether he will cancel the planned summit in Argentina this week. The report "will be very determinative," Trump said.

Manafort allegedly held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London. Manafort met with the WikiLeaks founder around March — about the same time he joined Trump's presidential campaign. Several months later, WikiLeaks published the Democratic emails stolen by Russia. Manafort also met with Assange in and It's unclear why Manafort met with Assange or what they discussed. Manafort and WikiLeak both denied that Manafort had met with Assange. George Papadopoulos was ordered to start his day prison sentence today for lying to federal investigators in the Russia probe , Papdopoulos has asked to delay the start of his sentence while a constitutional challenge to the special counsel's investigation of Russian election interference remains unresolved.

The head of Russian military intelligence died "after a long and serious illness. The Office of Special Counsel is looking into whether acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker violated the Hatch Act , which prohibits federal employees from accepting political contributions. According to the Office of Special Counsel guidance, "penalties for Hatch Act violations range from reprimand or suspension to removal and debarment from federal employment and may include a civil fine. The House Intelligence Committee's incoming Democratic majority is looking to hire money-laundering and forensic accounting experts for the purposes of examining unanswered financial questions about Trump and Russia.

Robert Mueller still wants to question Trump about his actions in the White House , in addition to the written answers Trump submitted in response to questions about Russian interference in the election. Rudy Giuliani signaled that the Trump team would fight any questions they believe violate executive privilege — especially if they relate to potential obstruction of justice.

Trump submitted his written answers to Robert Mueller's questions "regarding the Russia-related topics of the inquiry," according to Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow. Mueller has not ruled out trying to compel Trump to sit for an interview after reviewing the written answers. Trump won't stop Whitaker from curtailing Mueller's investigation into possible collusion by Trump campaign officials with Russian interference in the presidential election.

Trump said he would "not get involved" if Whitaker moved to restrict it. Trump said he answered Robert Mueller's written questions himself "very easily," but he hasn't submitted them because "you have to always be careful when you answer questions with people that probably have bad intentions. Trump spent more than five hours in meeting over three days this week with his attorneys working out written answers for Mueller about alleged collusion between his campaign and Russia during the presidential election. Despite telling reporters that "the questions were very routinely answered by me," Trump's temper boiled during all three meetings.

Seemingly out of nowhere, Trump targeted Mueller on Twitter yesterday, calling the special counsel team "thugs" and the investigation a "witch hunt. Trump made up an accusation that Robert Mueller was "horribly threatening" witnesses to force them to cooperate in the Russia probe. The renewed attack on the special counsel comes one day after Mitch McConnell blocked an effort to protect Mueller's work. A federal judge denied a Russian firm's motion to dismiss charges filed by Mueller's team. The special counsel has accused Concord Management and Consulting of funding a propaganda operation to sway the presidential election in Trump's favor.

Concord was charged with conspiring to defraud the U. Concord is controlled by Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin, a Russian oligarch with close ties to Putin. Trump claimed that he did not discuss Robert Mueller's Russia probe with Matthew Whitaker before appointing him acting attorney general. Trump defended Whitaker, calling him a "highly respected man," but also said "I don't know Matt Whitaker.

Whitaker will not recuse himself from overseeing Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the election. It's also unlikely that Whitaker would approve any subpoena of Trump as part of the investigation. Progressive groups are calling for nationwide protests today at 5 p. The protests will be held under the banner, "Nobody is Above the Law," and will be led by the activist group MoveOn.

The protests were triggered by Trump's decision to fire Jeff Sessions and replace him with Matthew Whitaker, who will now have authority over the Russia investigation. Sessions recused himself after he was first appointed in , giving Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein oversight of the probe.

Whitaker has publicly called for Mueller's probe to be reigned in. Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump's request. Matthew Whitaker — Sessions's chief of staff — will take over as acting attorney general and assume oversight of Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump's campaign. Rod Rosenstein was overseeing the probe because Sessions had recused himself from any involvement with the special counsel.

A DOJ spokesperson indicated that Whitaker would take over "all matters under the purview of the Department of Justice" — including the Mueller probe. Trump has repeatedly attacked Sessions for recusing himself from oversight of the probe in after it was revealed that he had met more than once with the Russian ambassador to the U.

Janet Taylor Lisle

Mueller, meanwhile, has been looking into Trump's previous statements about wanting to fire Sessions or force his resignation to determine whether those acts are part of a pattern of attempted obstruction of justice. Whitaker by law can serve as acting attorney general for a maximum of days. House Democrats are prepared to open multiple investigations of Trump when they take control in January. The House Judiciary Committee is expected to focus on health care, beginning with an investigation of Sessions's refusal to defend the Affordable Care Act against a lawsuit from Republican-led states.

The House Intelligence Committee is expected to revisit Russian election meddling. The Education and Workforce Committee will likely examine Betsy DeVos's efforts to relax regulations for for-profit colleges and limit student loan forgiveness, and the Ways and Means Committee could use a law to request Trump's tax returns and then make them public with a simple majority vote. Mueller is expected to submit his final report to the Justice Department in the coming months. Trump will meet with Putin this weekend in Paris. The French had asked the Americans and Russians not to hold the meeting for fear that it would overshadow an event to mark the th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Facebook suspended accounts believed to be engaged in "coordinated inauthentic behavior. Almost all the Facebook pages appear to be in French or Russian. A Navy reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Black Sea was intercepted by a Russian fighter jet in an unsafe manner. The effort is one of the first major cyber battle plans organized under the new government policy that allows offensive cyber operations to be worked out in advance among key agencies.

Center for Public Integrity. Jerome Corsi met with Mueller's investigators and is scheduled to appear before the federal grand jury probing Russia interference in the U. Corsi is one of at least 11 individuals associated with Stone who have been contacted by the special counsel. It would be Putin's first visit to the White House since September Trump dismissed a report that Chinese and Russian spies were eavesdropping on his cellphone conversations, calling the report "boring" and "soooo wrong!

Day Chinese and Russian spies are routinely eavesdropping on Trump's cellphone calls , despite aides repeatedly warning him that his personal iPhone is not secure. Trump has two official iPhones that have been secured by the National Security Agency, but he uses a personal iPhone because it can store contacts on it. As a presidential candidate, Trump regularly attacked Hillary Clinton for her use of an unsecured email server while she was secretary state.

Putin wants to hold direct discussions with Trump , suggesting they meet in Paris next month, where they'll both be to mark the th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. Trump vowed to outspend Russia and China in building up its nuclear arsenal "until they come to their senses. Cyber Command took its first countermeasure against Russian operatives to stop them from interfering in the upcoming midterm elections.

The campaign attempts to deter Russian operatives from spreading disinformation by telling them that American agents know who they are and what they're doing. Mikhail Gorbachev: The U. The Justice Department charged a Russian national with conspiracy for her role in an "information warfare" campaign designed to interfere with the midterm elections. Elena Khusyaynova managed the finances of an operation the Justice Department identified as "Project Lakhta," which was designed "to sow discord in the U.

The operation was "a Russian umbrella effort funded by Russian oligarch Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin and two companies he controls, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, and Concord Catering," the Justice Department said, which pushed arguments and misinformation online about immigration, the Confederate flag, gun control, the NFL national anthem protests, among other things.

Prigozhin, known as "Putin's chef," and 12 other Russians were indicted by Robert Mueller in February on charges of interfering in the presidential election. Top U. The joint statement by the Justice Department, FBI, Homeland Security Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence said there is no "evidence of a compromise or disruption of infrastructure that would enable adversaries to prevent voting, change vote counts or disrupt our ability to tally votes in the midterm elections.

Trump plans to tell Russia the U. Aras Agalarov formed a U. The Guardian. Robert Mueller is expected to issue findings after the midterm elections on whether Trump's campaign colluded with Russia and if Trump obstructed justice during the probe. Rod Rosenstein has indicated that he wants Mueller's probe to conclude as soon as possible. The findings may not be made public since Mueller can only present the findings to Rosenstein, who can then decide what is shared with Congress and what is publicly released.

Trump, meanwhile, has signaled that he may replace Jeff Sessions and there are rumors that Rosenstein could resign or also be fired by Trump after the election. Rosenstein defended Mueller's investigation as "appropriate and independent," contrasting Trump's description of the probe as a "witch hunt" and "rigged. A senior Treasury Department employee was charged with leaking confidential government reports about suspicious financial transactions related to Paul Manafort , Rick Gates, the Russian embassy and accused Russian agent Maria Butina.

Natalie Mayflower Sours Edwards disclosed suspicious activity reports related to Mueller's investigation of possible collusion between Trump's election campaign and Russia. SARs are submitted by banks to alert law enforcement to potentially illegal transactions. Federal investigators are looking into a series of suspicious financial transactions involving people who attended the Trump Tower meeting. The transfers reveal how Aras Agalarov, a Russian billionaire with strong ties to Trump and Putin, used overseas accounts to distribute money through a web of banks to himself, his son, and at least two people who attended the meeting.

Investigators are focusing on two bursts of activity: one occurring shortly before the Trump Tower meeting and one immediately after the election. Trump's legal team is preparing written answers to questions provided by Robert Mueller related to the investigation into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians. The two sides have still not agreed on whether Trump will be interviewed in person regarding obstruction of justice related to the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Trump accused Hillary Clinton of colluding with Russia during the election campaign.

His supporters chanted "lock her up. The Trump campaign argued that it can't be held legally responsible for the WikiLeaks publication of DNC emails because the First Amendment protects the campaign's "right to disclose information — even stolen information. As the three investigators chase the mystery, Walter will learn more about his past - and his present - than he ever thought possible.

This ebook features a personal history by Janet Taylor Lisle including rare images and never-before-seen documents from the author's own collection. Genre: Children's Fiction. Please email webmaster fantasticfiction. The first dry-run took place on April 18 at the favourite spot for political rallies - Marina Beach in Madras. The meeting was photographed by Ravi Shankaran while Shubha Sundaram's agency took a video recording. However, the potential assassins did not attempt to get too close to the two leaders.

Incidentally, Haribabu, who was present at the trial run along with Ravi Shankaran, had his first inkling that the target was going to be a politician. The next dry-run was executed on May 12 at a meeting featuring V. Singh and Karunanidhi at Thiruvallur in Arkonam, 40 km away from Madras. This time, the exercise was more fruitful as Dhanu was able to touch the feet of V. Singh in much the same manner as she would do with Rajiv Gandhi on the fateful night of May This session was also shot on video by the Shubha Photo Agency. The video film is now in possession of the investigating team.

Following two successful rehearsals, Shivarasan now looked for the right opportunity for the actual assassination. Time was running out. The May 21 meeting at Sriperumbudur was announced two days in advance and it provided the best - and the last - opportunity. On the morning of May 20, Shivarasan reached Nalini's house with a newspaper clipping which detailed Rajiv's public meetings on May 21 ending at Sriperumbudur that night.

The venue was decided. Ravi Shankaran called Haribabu and asked him to purchase the garland and then meet Shivarasan and others at Nalini's house on the afternoon of May Haribabu then asked Ravi Shankaran to get him a camera along with a film roll. Ravi Shankaran, instead of giving Haribabu one of his own cameras, borrowed one from a friend Deepak, and gave it to Haribabu along with a Konika colour roll. The night of May 20 was spent in a relaxed mood. The conspirators watched a film. None of the girls, particularly Dhanu, showed any sign of nervousness.

Shubha tried out the denim vest on Dhanu. She also'tried on the spectacles she would wear for disguise for the first time. The next day at 4. At Parry's Corner, near the main bus stand of Madras city, Haribabu was waiting with the sandalwood garland which he had bought an hour earlier from the state emporium Poompuhar. The five conspirators boarded a bus for Sriperumbudur where they reached around 8 o'clock in the evening. All five, with Dhanu holding the garland, positioned themselves around the VIP enclosure.

At one point, they were questioned by a woman sub-inspector on duty, Ansuya Kumari. Haribabu said he was a press cameraman and was there to take the photograph of the girl Dhanu garlanding Rajiv Gandhi. The sub-inspector told them that Rajiv was coming much later and hence there was no need for them to be around so early and the photographer should go to the press enclosure. They moved away. Shubha and Nalini sat in the crowd. Shivarasan took his position near the dais.

He carried a pistol as he was the lone member of the back-up team. Dhanu and Haribabu stood close to the red carpet on which Rajiv would walk on his way to the dais. Rajiv arrived at around 10 p. The sub-inspector, Ansuya, once again tried to prevent Dhanu from getting close to Rajiv. She had almost caught hold of the assassin but for Rajiv Gandhi, who, according to Ansuya, said: "Let everybody get a chance.

Dhanu bent down as if she wanted to touch Rajiv's feet. Rajiv in turn bent to lift her up. Dhanu's right finger activated the bomb. Soon after the blast, Nalini and Shubha walked towards the bus stand where they were to meet Shivarasan who told them that Rajiv Gandhi, Dhanu and Haribabu were dead and they better make a getaway.

They took an auto-rickshaw till Poonamali from where they took another to reach Shivarasan's Porur house. Shivarasan rang up Shubha Sundaram and told him that though Haribabu had died in the blast, his camera was intact and Sundaram should try and recover it.


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But because of the disturbance in the city, they were confined to the house all through the day. On the night of May 21, Sundaram swung into action. He rang up the house of a photographer, T. Ramamurthy, and was told that Ramamurthy had called from the Poonamali police station to say that he was slightly injured in the blast and would take some time to reach home. Sundaram then rang up the Poonamali police station and asked Ramamurthy if he had brought the camera from Haribabu.

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Ramamurthy told him that was "not his job". Meanwhile, Sundaram had informed Ravi Shankaran about the necessity of recovering Haribabu's camera and the crucial film roll.

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By then, the SIT had launched its massive investigation. Officials had visited the Madras General Hospital to get an eyewitness account from the victims. Ansuya gave them a description of some "suspicious characters" she had seen roaming around with a photographer. By then, the photographs taken by Haribabuhad been developed. Ansuya's account had made them suspicious about certain characters featured in the pictures including that of the woman holding a sandalwood garland along with Shivarasan.

Next day, Ansuya confirmed that they were the same people she had spotted. The next morning, the SIT visited the scene of crime where they found parts of Dhanu's dress, strips of the vest and the belt-bomb she wore with pieces of flesh attached, two toggle switches, wires used in the bomb and a half-burnt 9-volt battery. The experts carried out DNA printing of the pieces of flesh found at the spot.

The flesh piece attached to the belt matched with the portion of the woman's body found. That established convincingly the theory of the assassin being a human-bomb. Next, the bomb experts of the National Security Guards reconstructed the denim vest and part of the belt.

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Shankar, when intercepted, told the local police that he had been sent to India by Pira-bhakaran in order to kill Varadaraja Perumal who has been given refuge by the Indian Government in Bhopal. The matter was immediately brought to the notice of the SIT in Madras.

Shankar, when shown the pictures taken by Haribabu, identified the kurta-pyjama clad man in the photographs as Raghuvaran, an explosive expert and a trusted lieutenant of Pirabhakaran who was involved in the killing of EPRLF leader Padmanabha. Of the several LTTE activists and sympathisers rounded up for interrogation, one Jagdishan from Vedaraniam also identified the kurta-pyjama clad man as Raghu adding that he had travelled during the Padmanabha killing in his speedboat between Vedaraniam and Point Pedro of Jaffna. A notebook recovered from Shankaran's possession carried a Madras telephone number with two names: Nalini and Murugan.

The telephone authorities confirmed the identity of the holders of the number. Meanwhile, a study of Padma-nabha's killing revealed that the two unexploded grenades found from the spot contained C4 RDX explosives. Haribabu's mother, Laxmi, told the SIT that Ravi Shankaran had visited their house on May 22 morning to inquire about the camera but never told them about his death. This led the SIT to tap the phones of the two photographers. Both were put under surveillance. The SIT officials visited Sriperumbudur again with the pictures shot by Haribabu of the crowd which was circulated among the local population.

Through a painstaking process of elimination, only four or five characters were left unidentified and two of them turned out to be Shubha and Nalini. A study of the photo album seized from Ravi Shankaran also showed Nalini along with a few others.