Trump at work on obstructing justice; French Hill dodging questions | Arkansas Blog

Friday, July 21, 2017

Trump at work on obstructing justice; French Hill dodging questions

Posted By on Fri, Jul 21, 2017 at 8:01 AM

Today's bombshell from the Washington Post:

Some of President Trump’s lawyers are exploring ways to limit or undercut special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation, building a case against what they allege are his conflicts of interest and discussing the president’s authority to grant pardons, according to people familiar with the effort.

Trump has asked his advisers about his power to pardon aides, family members and even himself in connection with the probe, according to one of those people. A second person said Trump’s lawyers have been discussing the president’s pardoning powers among themselves.
They do act like there's a lot to hide, don't they?

I just hope Robert Mueller gets around in this probe to asking Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill about the meeting he reportedly had in Russia with two key players in the meetings between the Trump camp and Russian interests.

Politico reported that a congressional aide friendly to Russia introduced Hill to the lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and the lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin, a former Soviet intelligence officer, whose contacts with Donald Trump Jr., along with Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, are now at the center of questions about whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia.

Two months before the two met in the now infamous session in Trump Tower, Politico said the two pitched to Hill their deal: Lift the sanctions on Russia and Russia will resume allowing adoption of Russian children.

SILENCE: From French Hill's new communications director, Caroline Thorman, on Russian questions.
  • SILENCE: From French Hill's new communications director, Caroline Thorman, on Russian questions.
I asked Hill's office repeatedly for a reaction to the story. Many questions. Was it true? What was his response? Where does he stand on Russian sanctions today? Did he report this encounter to anyone? What's his view of the president's fitness to serve given the growing Russian allegations.

I got no response from Hill's new communications director, Caroline Thorman, not even a no-comment. Looks like the Tom Cotton approach to the Arkansas Times has been adopted by the office of my own congressman. No publicly financed services for you, bub.

I did initiate the effort for an answer through the office's constituent e-mail portal and said I wanted a response. Perhaps in a few weeks, I'll get a form letter. Here's a link if you've a mind to try for answers, too. Warning: They don't make it easy. You have to fill in a 9-digit ZIP code.

Who knows. Mueller has asked, CNN is reporting, that the Trump team retain all documents about its meeting with the Russian representatives at Trump tower.

Mueller sent a notice, called a document preservation request, asking White House staff to save "any subjects discussed in the course of the June 2016 meeting" and also "any decisions made regarding the recent disclosures about the June 2016 meeting," according to the source, who read portions of the letter to CNN.

The letter from Mueller began: "As you are aware the Special Counsel's office is investigating the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump. Information concerning the June 2016 meeting between Donald J Trump Jr and Natalia Veselnitskaya is relevant to the investigation."
Might the French/Natalie meeting also be relevant to Russian activities in 2016?

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