Judge Demands Details Surrounding Trump’s Clemency of Stone

WASHINGTON– A federal judge on Monday challenged President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence ofRoger Stone.

Stone, a long time ally of Trump, was convicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election. Stone was convicted of multiple charges, including making false statements, witness tampering and obstruction of justice. The 67-year-old received notice Friday evening that his 40-month prison sentence was commuted by Trump, just days before he was scheduled to report to prison.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson — who presided over Stone’s trial last year, issued order that a copy of Trump’s executive order commuting Stone be provided to her no later than Tuesday.

She also asked for clarification as to the scope of the clemency, including whether Trump’s order was specific to Stone’s prison sentence or also includes the two-year period of supervised release that was ordered as part of his sentence.

DISMISSED: Appeals Court Orders Criminal Case Against Michael Flynn Dropped

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Wednesday ordered a federal judge to drop the criminal case against Michael Flynn effective immediately.

Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, had been accused of lying to the FBI about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

In a 2-1 decision, the court ruled in favor of Flynn and the Trump administration, who had sought to prevent U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan from exercising his discretion on whether to proceed with the case.

“In this case, the district court’s actions will result in specific harms to the exercise of the executive branch’s exclusive prosecutorial power,” wrote Judge Neomi Rao. “The contemplated proceedings would likely require the Executive to reveal the internal deliberative process behind its exercise of prosecutorial discretion.”

Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general, was one of several former Trump aides charged under former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into whether the Trump campaign had colluded with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. He had twice plead guilty to the charge.

In his dissent, Judge Robert Wilkins, an Obama administration appointee, said the Justice Department’s handling of the case raised questions that merited further scrutiny by the District Court.

“In 2017, the then-Acting Attorney General told the Vice President that Flynn’s false statements ‘posed a potential compromise situation for Flynn’ with the Russians,” Wilkins wrote. “Now, in a complete reversal, the government says none of this is true.”

“This is no mere about-face; it is more akin to turning around an aircraft carrier.”

When reached for comment, a Justice Department spokesperson said the agency was “happy” with the court’s decision.

STONE GETS HARD TIME: Trump adviser Roger Stone sentenced to 40 months

WASHINGTON — Trump ally Roger Stone was sentenced to 40 months in federal prison Thursday for making what prosecutors said were false statements to investigators regarding the Trump-Russia probe.

Prosecutors had suggested that Stone, 67, serve nine years.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson, while sentencing Stone, said the prison term originally sought by federal prosecutors was “too excessive.”

“Mr. Stone lied,” Jackson said, denying allegations put forth by Stone’s defense team that he had been persecuted for his conservative stance. “He was not prosecuted, as some have claimed, for standing up for the president. He was prosecuted for covering up for the president.”

Stone, who was convicted in November on seven counts of obstruction, witness tampering and making false statements to Congress on charges that stemmed from former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, chose not to speak on his own behalf during the sentencing.

President Trump took quickly to Twitter following Stone’s sentencing, blasting the decision as politically motivated.

“’They say Roger Stone lied to Congress.’ @CNN. OH, I see, but so did Comey (and he also leaked classified information, for which almost everyone, other than Crooked Hillary Clinton, goes to jail for a long time), and so did Andy McCabe, who also lied to the FBI! FAIRNESS?” he tweeted.

The sentence is a far cry from the probation sought by Stone’s defense team, who cited their client’s age and lack of criminal history.

Stone was the sixth Trump aide to be convicted of charges brought as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into possible Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

In addition to his sentence, Roger Stone was fined $20,000 and given restrictions on travel pending his defense team’s motion for a new trial over claims of juror bias. Stone remains free on bond pending the outcome of the motion.

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BLUMENTHAL: Mueller must testify before Congress

WASHINGTON — Special Counsel Robert Mueller must testify before Congress on the details relating to his investigation of President Donald Trump, Sen. Richard Blumenthal declared Monday.

“I think he has to understand that part of his job as special counsel is to appear before congressional committees,” Blumenthal told CNN’s “New Day”.

“I hope he will do it voluntarily. If not, a subpoena may be necessary,” Blumenthal continued. “Robert Mueller wrote the book and it is a powerful 450-page description, obstruction and a threat by the Russians. Most Americans won’t read the book, they have to see the movie and Robert Mueller is the movie.”

“The key is accountability and Bob Mueller is the absolutely critical witness to holding the president accountable for his lawbreaking,” he added.

The senator also commented on House Democrat’s plans to call those mentioned in the Mueller report who have not worked in the White House and therefore cannot claim executive privilege to testify.

“They have no claim of executive privilege,” Blumenthal said. “But I’d argue that those individuals who worked in the White House previously like [former White House Counsel Don] McGahn and some of the others also lack a viable claim of executive privilege and it will be rejected by the courts.”

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‘DEMOCRATS NEED TO GET OVER IT’: Trump not worried about impeachment ‘at all,’ says White House

WASHINGTON — Despite a wealth of calls for impeachment from Democrats in the wake of the Mueller report, President Donald Trump is not worried about impeachment “at all” White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Tuesday.

“I was standing right next to him actually, [Monday] at the Easter Egg Roll,” Gidley said Tuesday morning during an appearance on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.” “A question was shouted out about impeachment and he said he wasn’t worried at all, not in the least, because there’s nothing to worry about when you’ve done nothing wrong.”

Primarily, said Gidley, because the president has committed “no crime.”

“The president hasn’t done anything criminally wrong, and they are still trying to attack this president,” Gidley said. “They don’t want to get to the truth. They want to get to the president, and he has done nothing wrong.”

Proof, said Gidley, is presented in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report itself. “We now know there is no collusion with a foreign power. We know there is no obstruction. He wasn’t prosecuted for anything,” he insisted.

Despite the best efforts by Democrats, Gidley pointed out, the Mueller report led to zero indictments.

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“Despite Democrats saying for two years that this president committed treason without proof or evidence and they’re continuing to double down,” he said. (If Democrats backed down now) “they would be admitting the last two years of their life was a complete and total waste of time.”

“Democrats need to get over it.”

NOT SO FAST: Dershowitz says Mueller report a ‘roadmap’ to Trump impeachment

WASHINGTON — While conservatives on Thursday celebrated the release of the Mueller report, famed legal scholar Alan Dershowitz was less than pleased.

The report, which seemingly exonerated President Donald Trump of any wrongdoing, should never have been written in its current form because it is unfair to the president, Dershowitz said Thursday in an interview with Newsmax TV.

“He’s been vindicated legally, but factually, morally, politically, there’s a lot in there that will be used by Democrats to try to show that although he may not have committed criminal conduct, he certainly committed conduct that’s not desirable by a president,” Dershowitz said.

“That’s exactly why there should never have been a Mueller report. The tradition of the Justice Department — a very good one, we remember when [former FBI Director James] Comey violated it with Hillary Clinton — is that when you decide not to charge somebody with a crime, you then don’t write a series of essays, or in this case a book, about all the bad things that they did that didn’t amount to criminal conduct. That seems to be very, very unfair, and that’s the negatives that have come out of this for President Trump.”

Dershowitz added that although he’s always believed Mueller would exonerate Trump in the end, he predicted long ago that Mueller would present evidence that could potentially be used to charge the president with a crime.

“I predicted months ago that he would provide a roadmap to Congress for further investigations, impeachments – also a roadmap for other prosecutors in various districts of the United States. And he’s done exactly that,” Dershowitz said.

“That’s appropriate if you do it discreetly. . . . But when you issue a public report that includes innocent conduct, non-criminal conduct, however conduct that is condemnable, not criminal, that really violates the long tradition of the Justice Department in the same way that Comey violated the traditions of the Justice Department when he accused Hillary Clinton of being sloppy with her emails after concluding that she committed no crime.”

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GIULIANI: Meuller findings a ‘clear victory’ for Trump

WASHINGTON– President Donald Trump’s attorney on Thursday called the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report “a clear victory” for his client.

Rudy Giuliani, who serves as the president’s personal lawyer, spoke on behalf of the president, who was the subject of the Mueller probe for nearly two years.

“We’re very happy,” Giuliani told Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom,” just after the report was released. “A clear victory. Any lawyer would say when you get a declaration you just won.”

Giuliani went on to state that, based upon his findings, Mueller now agrees with Attorney General William Barr on his claims of obstruction and blames “out of control members of his staff who had this very extended definition of obstruction.”

Further, Giuliani accused investigators of “trapping” former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who infamously pled guilty to lying to the FBI, resulting in his being declared a convicted felon.

“They created the crime,” Giuliani said. “Somebody has to do something about that, and rein them in.”

“One of these guys is a terror, never mind,” he added. “One of these guys is a terror and shouldn’t be allowed to prosecute.”

Asked about the response from Democrats who claim Mueller’s report was merely a technical dismissal of charges, Giuliani scoffed.

“The big victory is, no collusion with the Russians. I don’t think you could be any clearer, you can read that collusion 200 pages as much as you want,” he said. “Believe me, I was up two nights going through it and you are not going to find a darn thing that shows that President Trump or anybody on his campaign had any kind of connection with whatever the Russians were doing.”

FILE PHOTO: Donald Trump walks with former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani through the new Trump International Hotel in Washington

‘A GOOD DAY’: Trump declares victory in wake of Mueller report

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday declared victory after Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report on the Russia scandal absolved him of any wrongdoing.

The report, released Thursday morning, found no evidence that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia and found no causes to justify obstruction of justice.

“It’s a good day,” the president said during a White House event as he welcomed a group of wounded warriors. “This should never be allowed to happen to another president again.”

Trump, who has often times referred to the nearly two-year-long investigation as a “witch hunt,” took to Twitter to declare victory.

“No Collusion. No Obstruction,” the president wrote in a tweet. “For the haters and the radical left Democrats — Game Over.”

One interesting piece of information that came from the Mueller report shows that several times throughout the ordeal Trump pushed Michael Flynn and other members of his administration to track down Democratic rival Hillary Clinton’s private emails, which were also at one time the subject of an FBI investigation.

According to an excerpt from Mueller’s report, “Trump asked individuals affiliated with his Campaign to find the deleted Clinton emails. Michael Flynn, who would later serve as National Security Advisor in the Trump Administration – recalled that Trump made this request repeatedly, and Flynn subsequently contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails.”

Clinton’s emails have been at the center of controversy for years. Clinton’s attorneys claim their client deleted approximately 33,000 emails because they were personal and not government related. Republicans, however, have long fought for the release of the emails, claiming they were improperly deleted and hid damaging information.

Mueller’s report, which most political pundits expected to be much more highly redacted, also shows that Trump, outraged at the investigation, tried often to intervene in the investigation.

The report states that in June of 2017, Trump directed White House counsel Don McGahn to call Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the investigation, to say that Mueller must be ousted because Mueller had conflicts of interest. According to the report’s findings, McGahn refused on the grounds that doing so may indicate impropriety.

In his final summary, Mueller wrote: “While the investigation identified numerous links between individuals with ties to the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump Campaign, the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”

“Now the tables have turned, and it’s time to investigate the liars who instigated this sham investigation into President Trump, motivated by political retribution and based on no evidence whatsoever,” Trump’s re-election campaign manager, Brad Parscale, said in a statement.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., who had also been the subject of investigation throughout the Mueller probe, also weighed in on Thursday’s findings.

“Better luck next hoax!” the younger Trump wrote on Twitter.

Calls for statement to a Hillary Clinton spokesperson were met with “no comment.”

Republican National Convention: Day Four

TICK TOCK: Justice Department to release Mueller report to public Thursday morning

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is planning to make public a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia probe as early as Thursday morning, spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said Monday.

Mueller officially concluded his nearly two-year-long investigation in late March and submitted the confidential report to Attorney General William Barr. Two days later, Barr sent Congress a four-page letter outlining Mueller’s “principal conclusions.” In it, In his letter, Barr said the special counsel found no evidence that President Donald Trump took part in a criminal conspiracy to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential campaign. Further, the attorney general went public with comments suggesting that it was Trump’s election rival, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, “spied” on Trump and his campaign in an effort to swing the election in her favor.

“For the same reason we’re worried about foreign influence in elections…I think spying on a political campaign – it’s a big deal, it’s a big deal,” Barr said of Clinton and her ally at the time, former president Barack Obama.

The president has taken to Twitter in recent days both to claim vindication and to voice his frustrations over the 22-month ordeal.

“Mueller, and the A.G. based on Mueller findings (and great intelligence), have already ruled No Collusion, No Obstruction,” Trump tweeted. “These were crimes committed by Crooked Hillary, the DNC, Dirty Cops and others! INVESTIGATE THE INVESTIGATORS!”

While Democrats, angry over the findings, called for an immediate release of the Mueller report, Republicans celebrated, calling the investigation no more than a “witch hunt” conducted for the sole purpose of bringing the president down.

“The Mueller Report, which was written by 18 Angry Democrats who also happen to be Trump Haters (and Clinton Supporters), should have focused on the people who SPIED on my 2016 Campaign, and others who fabricated the whole Russia Hoax. That is, never forget, the crime,” the president wrote in a separate tweet.

When asked by reporters last week if he had seen a confidential copy of the Mueller report the president said he had not.

“As far as I’m concerned, I don’t care about the Mueller report,” Trump said. “I’ve been totally exonerated.”

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‘TREASONOUS’: President slams collusion accusors for their ‘evil’ acts

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump came out swinging Monday against those who had for more than two years accused him of colluding with Russia to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.

“There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things, I would say treasonous things against our country,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “And hopefully people that have done such harm to our country — we’ve gone through a period of really bad things happening — those people will certainly be looked at. I have been looking at them for a long time. And I’m saying, “Why haven’t they been looked at?” They lied to Congress. Many of them — you know who they are — they’ve done so many evil things.”

“I will tell you, I love this country. I love this country as much as I can love anything: my family, my country, my God. But what they did, it was a false narrative. It was — it was a terrible thing,” Trump continued. “We can never let this happen to another President again. I can tell you that. I say it very strongly. Very few people I know could have handled it. We can never, ever let this happen to another President again.”

The president’s comments come just one day after an official report released by Special Counsel Robert Mueller failed to tie the president to any unethical activities relating to the 2016 presidential campaign.

Mueller’s investigation, which had gone on for nearly two and one-half years had encompassed the entire first half of Trump’s first term in office.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders on Monday called for congressional hearings to investigate many of the president’s most prominent critics including former CIA Director John Brennan, Former FBI Director James Comey and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

“The media and Democrats have called the president an agent of a foreign government,” Sanders said during an appearance on NBC’s “Today”. “That is an action equal to treason, which is punishable by death in this country.”

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