Derek Reinbold // 1/28/18 //
President Trump attempted to fire Special Counsel Mueller in June 2017 over his obstruction of justice probe, but refrained after White House Counsel Don McGahn threatened to quit, report Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman in the New York Times.
If Special Counsel Mueller attempts to interview President Trump, he may refuse and violate a norm of presidential cooperation with investigations, argues Bob Bauer at Lawfare.
Trump administration officials may have conspired to lie to federal investigators during the course of the Russia investigation, suggests Ryan Goodman at Just Security.
The White House has turned over more than 20,000 pages of documents to the Special Counsel, according to an attorney for President Trump (WSJ).
The Inspector General of the Justice Department has reported that missing text messages between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page have been recovered. President Trump had contended that messages related to the Russia investigation had been intentionally misplaced (Washington Post, WSJ).
William Burck is representing several individuals connected to the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, Reince Preibus, and Don McGahn, raising questions of conflicts of interest (Politico).
An erroneous court filing suggests that federal investigators had an informant at Paul Manafort’s political consulting firm (Politico).
Thousands of FBI-issued phones failed to save text messages, including those between two former lawyers on the Mueller investigation who sent messages that were allegedly critical of President Trump (WaPo).
There is growing evidence that President Trump uses AG Sessions to handle sensitive, and often controversial, political matters, including the attempted firing of FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe (NYT).
Don’t expect President Trump to testify soon, argues Harry Litman at Lawfare.
The FBI is reportedly exploring whether a Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign (TPM).
Analysts say Russian Twitter accounts promoted Republican talking points during the government shutdown (L.A. Times).
The FBI did not save texts from an official involved in the investigation into Hillary Clinton and President Trump (WaPo).
Collusion with Russian nationals could expose Trump campaign officials to prosecution for campaign finance violations under several legal theories, argues Bob Bauer at Just Security.
The ongoing government shutdown will not interrupt the Special Counsel investigation, reports Sabrina McCubbin at Lawfare.
Twitter notified Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) that he interacted with accounts linked to Russian influence campaigns during the 2016 election (The Hill).
House Republicans have drafted a memo detailing alleged abuse of government surveillance during the investigation into Russian interference, but the memo is unlikely to be credible, writes Quinta Jurecic at Lawfare.