DemDaily: It’s Mueller Time

May 1, 2018

The New York Times has offered the first detailed insight into the Special Counsel's probe of the Russia-Trump election interference and collusion investigation, now over a year in process.

The Times, which shared this year's Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting with The Washington Post for their reporting on Trump's ties to the Russia investigation, released a lengthy list of questions that Special Counsel Robert Mueller wants answered - from the President.

The leaking of the questions, which were compiled by the Special Counsel's office and read in person to Trump's legal team, came from unnamed sources.

The Times confirmed they did not come from Mueller's operation, which has been scrupulously tight-lipped about its proceedings, and the President's lawyers have declined to comment.

Although it is unclear why Trump's legal advisors -- which recently added former New York Mayor and major Trump supporter Rudolph Giuliani to its ranks -- would leak the information itself, other than to possibly dissuade the President from meeting with Mueller.

The 49 questions do underscore the depth and bredth of the collusion investigation, and focus on a cast of characters, now well-known to the public, at the highest level of Trump's presidential campaign and administration.

The pointed inquiries range from knowledge of Russian meddling and backchannel communications during the 2016 presidential campaign, to efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation, corrupt leaders in the Department of Justice, and intimidate witnesses and/or get them fired.

The Questions

Former Trump NSA Advisor Michael Flynn

Questions related to Michael T. Flynn, the former National Security Adviser

  • What did you know about phone calls that Mr. Flynn made with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, in late December 2016?
  • What was your reaction to news reports on Jan. 12, 2017, and Feb. 8-9, 2017?
  • What did you know about Sally Yates's meetings about Mr. Flynn?
  • How was the decision made to fire Mr. Flynn on Feb. 13, 2017?
  • After the resignations, what efforts were made to reach out to Mr. Flynn about seeking immunity or possible pardon?

Former FBI Director James Comey before Senate Intelligence Committee June, 2017

  • Questions related to James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. Director
  • What did you think about Mr. Comey's June 8, 2017, testimony regarding Mr. Flynn, and what did you do about it?
  • What was the purpose of the September and October 2017 statements, including tweets, regarding an investigation of Mr. Comey?
  • What is the reason for your continued criticism of Mr. Comey and his former deputy, Andrew G. McCabe?

AG Jeff Session before Senate Intelligence Committee in June, 2017

Questions related to Attorney General Jeff Sessions

  • What did you think and do regarding the recusal of Mr. Sessions?
  • What efforts did you make to try to get him to change his mind?
  • Did you discuss whether Mr. Sessions would protect you, and reference past attorneys general?
  • What did you think and what did you do in reaction to the news of the appointment of the special counsel?
  • Why did you hold Mr. Sessions's resignation until May 31, 2017, and with whom did you discuss it?
  • What discussions did you have with Reince Priebus in July 2017 about obtaining the Sessions resignation? With whom did you discuss it?
  • What discussions did you have regarding terminating the special counsel, and what did you do when that consideration was reported in January 2018?
    What was the purpose of your July 2017 criticism of Mr. Sessions?

Trump Son-In-Law and Advisor Jared Kushner

Campaign Coordination With Russia

  • When did you become aware of the Trump Tower meeting?
  • What involvement did you have in the communication strategy, including the release of Donald Trump Jr.'s emails?
  • During a 2013 trip to Russia, what communication and relationships did you have with the Agalarovs and Russian government officials?
  • What communication did you have with Michael D. Cohen, Felix Sater and others, including foreign nationals, about Russian real estate developments during the campaign?
  • What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding any meeting with Mr. Putin? Did you discuss it with others?
  • What discussions did you have during the campaign regarding Russian sanctions?
  • What involvement did you have concerning platform changes regarding arming Ukraine?
  • A portion of the Republican platform was changed in a way more favorable to Russia.
    During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?
  • What knowledge did you have of any outreach by your campaign, including by Paul Manafort, to Russia about potential assistance to the campaign?
  • What did you know about communication between Roger Stone, his associates, Julian Assange or WikiLeaks?
  • What did you know during the transition about an attempt to establish back-channel communication to Russia, and Jared Kushner's efforts?
  • What do you know about a 2017 meeting in Seychelles involving Erik Prince?
  • What do you know about a Ukrainian peace proposal provided to Mr. Cohen in 2017?

For many the hope is that the release of the questions brings us closer to the end of an exhaustive investigation. In all likelihood, they are just the beginning.

DemList will keep you informed.

 

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