intelligence

House Oversight threatens ex-Trump adviser with contempt after skipping deposition
Former White House adviser Carl Kline is accused of threatening a whistleblower

Chairman Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, speaks as ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, listens during the House Oversight and Reform Committee markup of a resolution authorizing issuance of subpoenas related to security clearances and the 2020 Census on Tuesday, April 2nd 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Elijah Cummings threatened Tuesday to hold former White House adviser Carl Kline in contempt of Congress for defying a subpoena ordering him to testify about his role allegedly covering up wrongdoing in the Trump administration’s White House security clearance process.

President Donald Trump’s White House counsel directed Kline in a letter earlier this week not to comply with the subpoena. Kline did not appear for his scheduled deposition.

Will the White House or Trump’s lawyers block Don McGahn from testifying?
President’s team is examining case law for possible claim of executive privilege or immunity

The House Judiciary Committee has issued a subpoena for former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify before the panel. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

White House officials have yet to determine whether they will exert executive privilege to block all or some of Don McGahn’s possible testimony to Congress, after Robert S. Mueller III’s report portrayed him as defying the president’s orders to hinder the special counsel’s investigation.

The report, released in redacted form last week, details several early instances when the White House counsel refused to follow through with President Donald Trump’s orders to remove Mueller. Trump has since criticized McGahn without naming him, and a decision on allowing him to appear before congressional panels — and how much he might be permitted to say — is still pending, White House aides say.

Fact check: Trump focuses on ‘crimes,’ but impeachment is a political decision
Founders left it to Congress to define ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ scholars say

President Donald Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., follow Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael C. Stenger and House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul D. Irving down the House steps on March 14. Trump pushed back on impeachment talk Monday, saying it was the Democrats “that committed the crimes.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

ANALYSIS — Impeachment is very much on President Donald Trump’s mind even after he declared victory right as special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report was made public. But some of his arguments against it are contradicted by the former FBI director’s conclusions and legal scholars.

“Only high crimes and misdemeanors can lead to impeachment. There were no crimes by me (No Collusion, No Obstruction), so you can’t impeach,” the president tweeted Monday morning as the hashtag #ImpeachDonaldTrump was trending on Twitter in the United States. A few hours later, the president told reporters he was “not even a little bit” concerned about being impeached.

Trump feared ‘one of these independent counsels.’ He got something else
Amid Democrats’ criticism, is Barr trying to protect Trump or the office he occupies?

President Donald Trump was worried that “one of these independent counsels,” as Kenneth Starr was during the Clinton administration, would bring the “end of my presidency,” special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded in his report. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Jeff Sessions, then the attorney general, ended a phone call and returned to the Oval Office. It wasn’t long before President Donald Trump was in an angry rage.

Sessions, since unceremoniously fired, had just taken a phone call from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who informed him he had appointed former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as a special counsel to look into Russia’s 2016 election meddling, including whether there was coordination with Trump’s campaign.

Mueller says messaging apps likely destroyed Trump-Russia evidence
Tech challenges prevented special counsel from establishing full picture of what happened

Some of the individuals interviewed by the special counsel’s office communicated using apps that “do not provide for long term retention of data or communication records,” according to the Mueller report. (Carl Court/Getty Images file photo)

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III concluded that there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against individuals connected with President Donald Trump’s campaign for their ties to Russia, but he said the investigation faced numerous challenges, including technological ones, in establishing a full picture of what transpired in 2015 and 2016.

“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,” Mueller wrote in his report made public Thursday by the Justice Department.

Mueller report shows Trump aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial matters
Special counsel highlights chaotic West Wing where staff tried to save president from himself

President Donald Trump's top aides routinely ignored his orders on crucial legal matters during his first year in office, according to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Presidential orders given but often ignored. Ample cursing. Aides working behind the scenes to protect Donald Trump from his own anger and impulsiveness. And an effort to prevent the president from firing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III despite his determination to do so.

Mueller’s long-anticipated report reveals a chaotic West Wing driven by paranoia and frequent outbursts from a green president who wanted to remove the special counsel and demanded that his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, be more like predecessors Robert F. Kennedy and Eric H. Holder Jr., whom he felt “protected” the respective presidents they served, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.

House Democrats press on with investigations after Mueller report release
They’re dissatisfied with how much information was redacted from special counsel’s report

Rep. Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, still wants “comprehensive testimony from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller’s Russia investigation. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump might be claiming vindication with the release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia report, but House Democrats are moving forward with their investigations of him and people in his orbit.

Democrats quickly expressed their dissatisfaction with how much information Attorney General William Barr redacted from the report released Thursday.

Trump-Russia collusion: What the Mueller report says — and doesn’t say
Mueller found ‘evidence of numerous links’ between campaign and Russians but not enough to support conspiracy

Pages of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, which was printed out by staff in the House Judiciary Committee's hearing room on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III uncovered “evidence of numerous links” between Donald Trump campaign officials and individuals with or claiming ties to the Russian government, according to a redacted version of his final report released by the Justice Department on Thursday.

But Mueller declined to charge any of those campaign officials under conspiracy, coordination, or campaign finance laws for their contacts with Russians, because the evidence didn’t reach a prosecutable threshold.

Barr says he has no problem with Mueller testifying before Congress
Pelosi and Schumer call for special counsel to appear before House and Senate

Attorney General William Barr testifies before a House Appropriations subcommittee on the Justice Department’s fiscal 2020 budget request on April 9. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Attorney General William Barr said Thursday he had no problem with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III testifying before Congress about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election or possible collusion with the Trump campaign.

“I have no objection to Bob Mueller personally testifying,” the attorney said at a news conference before the release of Mueller’s 400-page report.

White House braces for Mueller report as obstruction questions linger
Only a ‘bombshell’ would dramatically change public opinion, expert says

President Donald Trump talks with journalists before departing the White House on March 20. He is expected to depart the White House via Marine One on Thursday just hours after a redacted version of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report is released — and possibly take reporters’ questions about it. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images file photo)

The White House is bracing for the public’s first glimpse at some of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s findings, but it likely would take a bombshell to alter President Donald Trump’s approach to campaigning for a second term.

Attorney General William Barr is set to release on Thursday morning a version of the former FBI director’s report — though a substantial portion is expected to be blacked out, redacted that is, for legal and security reasons. White House aides have long echoed Trump’s contention that his 2016 campaign did not conspire with Russians to influence the race, besides mirroring his denials about obstructing justice since taking office.