Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change

As U.S. investigators probe whether President Donald Trump’s campaign orchestrated a Russia-friendly change to the Republican Party platform last summer, three senior Capitol Hill aides — including Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff — may have answers about how the episode unfolded.

The three staffers, who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, advised the GOP convention’s platform committee on foreign policy matters and had front-row seats when a low-profile group of delegates, acting in conjunction with Trump campaign officials, spiked a proposal urging a tougher U.S. policy against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

That change has drawn scrutiny from the House and Senate intelligence committees as they investigate whether any Trump campaign officials cooperated with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Some witnesses say they expect it to become a topic of interest in special counsel Robert Mueller’s parallel criminal probe.

Spokespeople for the offices of two of Continue reading “Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change”

Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change

As U.S. investigators probe whether President Donald Trump’s campaign orchestrated a Russia-friendly change to the Republican Party platform last summer, three senior Capitol Hill aides — including Speaker Paul Ryan’s chief of staff — may have answers about how the episode unfolded.

The three staffers, who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, advised the GOP convention’s platform committee on foreign policy matters and had front-row seats when a low-profile group of delegates, acting in conjunction with Trump campaign officials, spiked a proposal urging a tougher U.S. policy against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

That change has drawn scrutiny from the House and Senate intelligence committees as they investigate whether any Trump campaign officials cooperated with Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Some witnesses say they expect it to become a topic of interest in special counsel Robert Mueller’s parallel criminal probe.

Spokespeople for the offices of two of Continue reading “Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change”

Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say

Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month.

“We appreciate your voluntary cooperation with the Committee’s investigation, but the production appears to have been incomplete,” the pair wrote in a letter dated Thursday to Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell.

In a section of the letter titled “Missing documents,” Grassley and Feinstein said Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and a senior adviser, had handed over some materials but omitted communications that mentioned some of the people connected to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

“If, as you suggest, Continue reading “Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say”

Sessions: ‘No reason to doubt’ Roy Moore accusers

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday that he has "no reason to doubt" the women who have accused Alabama GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct.

"I have no reason to doubt these young women," he told the House Judiciary Committee.

Moore, who is running to fill the remaining portion of a term in the Senate seat from Alabama vacated by Sessions when he took over at the Justice Department, has faced an onslaught of pressure to quit the race following accusations from two Alabama women that Moore molested them as teenagers. Other women have said Moore had relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was significantly older.

Sessions said that he has been advised to play no role in any potential investigations surrounding the Alabama campaign because he knows many of the people involved.

"I have steadfastly adhered to that view and I should continue to Continue reading “Sessions: ‘No reason to doubt’ Roy Moore accusers”

Sessions says he never lied, has ‘no clear recollection’ of proposed Trump-Putin meeting

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Tuesday he never lied under oath about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 election and said he didn’t recall conversations with Trump campaign aides about their Russia-linked contacts until he saw news reports about them.

At his first appearance before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions said he has "no clear recollection" of what was said at a session at which a Trump campaign associate, George Papadopoulos, proposed organizing a meeting between then-candidate Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

However, Sessions said that despite his lack of clarity on what transpired at the March 2016 meeting, he believes he rejected the suggested meeting with Putin.

"I believe that I wanted to make clear to him that he was not authorized to represent the campaign with the Russian government, or any other foreign government, for that matter," Sessions told the committee. "But I did not recall this Continue reading “Sessions says he never lied, has ‘no clear recollection’ of proposed Trump-Putin meeting”

Sessions faces grilling about Russia’s outreach to Trump campaign

After months of dismissing questions about the Kremlin’s meddling in the 2016 election, Jeff Sessions on Tuesday will have to address recent revelations that he knew about some aspects of Russia’s outreach to Donald Trump’s campaign.

Members of the House judiciary committee have already indicated they’ll ask the former Alabama senator about his role in meetings and conversations about Trump aides’ travels to Russia and attempts to set up a meeting between the then-Republican presidential nominee and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Sessions has come under intensifying scrutiny about his repeated denials or shifting answers to questions about what he knew about the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia. Among them:

-During Sessions’ Jan. 10 confirmation hearing, the incoming attorney general told Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) that he “did not have communications with the Russians.” He separately told Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) in writing that he had not been Continue reading “Sessions faces grilling about Russia’s outreach to Trump campaign”

Fusion GPS founder agrees to interview with House intel panel in Trump dossier probe

A co-founder of the private investigation firm that commissioned a dossier of information on President Donald Trump has agreed to be interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee, at least partially defusing a looming subpoena fight.

A lawyer for Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson announced that, after appearing before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing Wednesday, Simpson would submit to a "voluntary interview" with the panel next week.

Fusion GPS attorney Josh Levy suggested that the leaders of the House panel’s probe into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election, Reps. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), had shown more flexibility than Simpson was offered in the past by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)

"We are pleased to announce that the House Intelligence Committee, under the signatures of Mr. Conaway and Mr. Schiff, has agreed to withdraw Mr. Nunes’ subpoena served on Mr. Simpson. Mr. Simpson Continue reading “Fusion GPS founder agrees to interview with House intel panel in Trump dossier probe”