Categories
Uncategorized

Mueller subpoenas Trump Co., affiliates, associates

A new, wide-ranging subpoena from the special counsel to the Trump Organization describes at least seven partnerships — a requirement the president’s lawyers consider an “overreach.”

The request is the latest sign that Robert Mueller is intensifying his investigation into President Donald Trump’s business relationships and links to Russia. It’s also indicative of Mueller’s continued focus on the family of his first target, Trump’s longtime attorney and fixer Michael Cohen.

The subpoena, which included the names of partners and a description of their partnership agreements, appeared in a court filing unsealed late Wednesday in New York.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to lying to Congress about his attempts to negotiate a real estate deal in Moscow on Trump’s behalf. He was also accused of arranging hush money payments to two women who alleged affairs with Trump in the months before the 2016 election to influence the campaign.

The latest court filing sheds new light on the companies that Cohen said Trump discussed the deal with — although none of the firms are with Cohen’s former company.

Prosecutors are investigating them, according to the court filing.

Trump’s attorneys have consistently maintained that their president is not under federal investigation.

In a statement Wednesday night, a spokesman for President Trump’s legal team said the co-investment agreements described in the subpoena “constitute a completely improper and pointless measure by this overzealous prosecutor.”

“He has no evidence that Mr. Trump committed a crime, and thus, taking his advice, the raid on the law offices of Michael Cohen was nothing more than an attempt to intimidate Mr. Cohen and obtain what it cannot legally obtain,” the spokesman said, asking for an expedited hearing in New York federal court to determine the merits of the request.

“This latest subpoena is nothing more than a fishing expedition,” he added.

The president’s legal team specifically targeted the New York attorney general, J. Keith Urbahn, a former spokesman for the National Security Council under President George W. Bush.

Last month, after the release of the Cohen document to the FBI, Urbahn tweeted that he was fired from his job at the NSC in February because he told the White House “Trump’s central staff turnover is the result of disdain/hostility among core administration staff.”

“I’ve seen this episode play out over and over again, with a steady stream of FBI agents, DOJ attorneys, and prosecutors gone,” he said.

The Trump-related partnerships in question include entities that bear the name of Elliot Broidy, a California hedge fund manager who last year married the daughter of a Russian oligarch.

The subpoena lists several payments from brokering firms to several individuals.

It was sent by Mueller’s team to Cohen’s law firm, which in turn provided it to law enforcement officials.

The subpoena is the latest step in an investigation Mueller is conducting into the relationship between Trump, his family and business. It’s an investigation that appears to be entering an increasingly aggressive phase after months of cooperation by Cohen.

The special counsel’s team of prosecutors, known as the team of unindicted co-conspirators, is seeking documents and information about the Trump Organization.

Mueller’s office has increased its secrecy in recent weeks, and a spokesman declined to comment.

A spokesman for the Manhattan US attorney’s office also declined to comment.

Categories
Uncategorized

Ann Coulter on Trump: ‘We are about to elect an individual who does not hold to the oath of office he’s taking’

BURSTON, Pa. — Ann Coulter sounded the way Richard Nixon did. She offered a resignation after the election was called, and she said President-elect Donald Trump should do the same because, “I doubt that Congress can function without the brakes of Donald Trump.”

She said she didn’t trust Republicans.

“The single most important question on Trump’s inaugural committee was who was going to say Trump should resign,” Coulter said Tuesday night, speaking at a Republican election forum put on by the Reagan group Fire Within Inc.

“The other question was, who was going to say Trump should remain in office because he did something no one else did,” she said.

Coulter was one of the most prominent Republican writers to criticize Trump’s temperament and try to convince him not to run for president. On Monday night she also said that the president-elect had the strength of character to understand the importance of attorney general “and appoint someone who, no matter how crazy it is, has the humanity to admit they’re wrong.”

There was a similarly wild ride here in nearby Butler County on Tuesday night as a diverse crowd gathered to hear the candidates for U.S. Senate and other statewide offices, with at least one talk of impeachment.

Mark Harris, a coal miner’s son who a year ago said he was opposed to Trump before he became the front-runner and became the Republican nominee, claimed the consequences of electing the president-elect would be grave.

“We’re about to elect an individual who does not hold to the oath of office that he’s taking as president. We’re not going to be a country that’s a country of honor, we’re going to be a country that’s a country of sanction,” Harris said.

A former speaker of the state House and a former chairman of the state Republican Party, Rick Saccone, dismissed the idea of impeachment.

“I promise you tonight that Donald Trump will not be impeached,” Saccone said. “I promise you that.”

On his radio show Monday night, Mike Gallagher called the impeachment talk “nuts” and noted that there was a rational basis for some concern about the potential presidency of Trump.

“We are learning this year that the Mueller investigation is about whether or not President Trump colluded with the Russians. That can be used to impeach a president,” Gallagher said. “The collusion can be impeached. That is not insane. We have been talking to Congress.”

Such talk, Gallagher said, is already having a profound impact.

“It’s already taken some very specific actions,” he said. “Folks on both sides of the aisle have really been paralyzed. They aren’t willing to say or do anything at all because everybody’s so worried. It’s been literally paralyzing.”

Coulter, who has been one of the most reliable and vocal voices of dissent against Trump, was perhaps the loudest when it came to the prospects of impeachment.

“I think we should learn what impeachable offenses he did, what qualifies him as a person to be the president of the United States,” she said. “It’s not that he’s crazy. It’s not that he’s not a master of communication. But it’s the kind of things that you would want to know before you give someone power that makes people very vulnerable.”

lolson@mcall.com

Twitter @LauraOlson

202-780-9540