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Trump attorneys researching pardons and searching for ways to block and undermine Mueller probe

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The New York Times and the Washington Post both published stories Thursday evening detailing efforts by President Donald Trump’s legal team to cripple and de-fang Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia and possible collusion with that country in meddling with the 2016 election.

The Times piece, written by Michael S. Schmidt, Maggie Haberman and Matt Apuzzo, detailed efforts by the White House legal team and Trump’s personal lawyers to dig up potential conflicts of interest to use as disqualifying factors and impugn Mueller’s objectivity in the case.

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In the Post, Carol D. Leonnig, Ashley Parker, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger said that not only are Trump’s attorneys looking for ways to undermine Mueller’s authority, but are also exploring the legal minutiae of presidential pardons.

The Trump administration is setting itself on course for a showdown with Mueller rather than quietly submitting to the investigation. Trump and his attorneys would clearly rather attack and sabotage the workings of the investigation rather than hope his arguments will survive on their merits.

Trump attorney Jay Sekulow told the Post that Mueller should immediately stop looking into Trump’s past financial dealings with Russian oligarchs and figures with elaborate connections to organized crime.

Sekulow insisted that those dealings are separate from the inquiry into collusion with Russia and that Mueller is overstepping his bounds.

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“The fact is that the president is concerned about conflicts that exist within the special counsel’s office and any changes in the scope of the investigation,” Sekulow told the Post. “The scope is going to have to stay within his mandate. If there’s drifting, we’re going to object.”

However, given what we know about investigations into former Trump 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort’s connections to Russian money laundering and clues from intelligence services that Russia was pumping money into the 2016 election through elaborate shell companies and other entities, it is entirely possible that it is within Mueller’s purview to examine those records.

Trump’s last western creditor, Deutsche Bank agreed Thursday to hand over its financial records of Mr. Trump’s dealings with the bank, something it has previously declined to do citing privacy laws.

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The Times said that the White House legal team is reshuffling. Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz is being relegated to a lesser role, perhaps stemming from his recent emotional outburst at an emailer.

Veteran Washington attorney John Dowd will now be leading the defense team, assisted by Sekulow and spokesman Mark Corallo resigned on Thursday, according to the Post.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Twitter mocks ‘gibbering conspiracy loon’ Trump after he claims Google rigged the election

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On Monday, President Donald Trump made the dubious claim that Google had tried to sway the election for Hillary Clinton.

"My victory was even bigger than thought!" the president proclaimed.

Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019

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Paul Krugman hilariously roasts Trump economic adviser for decades’ worth of terrible predictions

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Monday set his sights on Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who himself is not actually an economist, for making decades' worth of terrible predictions.

Writing on Twitter, Krugman concedes that making predictions is a difficult business and he admits to making his own bad predictions in the past.

However, he then explains that Kudlow is unique because he's been making the same false prediction for decades -- namely, about tax cuts for the ultra-rich producing economic miracles.

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Twitter admits China has created hundreds of fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests

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Twitter on Monday admitted that China had created hundreds of fake accounts aimed at undermining the protests in Hong Kong that have gripped the city in recent weeks.

Specifically, Twitter found that at least 936 different accounts had been created within the People's Republic of China that have been "deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground."

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