Last week, just ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend, Trump reportedly submitted his written answers to questions from the Special Counsel’s office. This raises the question of whether or not Trump and his lawyers shared the answers, or portions of them, with anyone that is a party to Trump’s joint defense agreement. According to Bob Woodward’s book Fear, thirty-seven witnesses in the Mueller investigation are part of a joint defense agreement with the president, allowing them to share details of their interviews with Mueller with one another. The agreement “is created by the existence of a common legal interest” that allows lawyers to share information about their clients without violating attorney-client privilege.
Earlier this month, Americans across the country went to the polls for the first time since the broad-based political attack Russia perpetrated against the United States during the 2016 presidential election. This was the first national test of the electoral infrastructure in a new era of foreign interference. Despite several alarms bells that were sounded ahead of the vote, in terms of foreign interference, the election was largely a success. However, we should not interpret this as a reason to let down our guard. Russia is still targeting our democracy, and there is no reason to believe that it will not interfere in the 2020 presidential election.
Donald Trump just made his move against the Russia investigation. By forcing Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign and then going around the established line of succession at the Department of Justice by appointing a partisan loyalist, Matt Whitaker, to be the acting attorney general—one who will oversee the special prosecutor’s office—Trump has signaled his intent to end the Robert Mueller investigation.
President Donald Trump’s brazen move against the Russia investigation—removing Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replacing him with Matthew Whitaker, a partisan hack who’s repeatedly talked about ending the Mueller investigation—has reportedly left some Trump’s allies “perplexed.” Why would Trump make such a controversial and legally suspect decision that just makes him look guilty? Perhaps because Trump is clearly guilty. As the walls close in, Trump is increasingly willing to do anything to protect himself.
For almost two years, President Donald Trump’s congressional accomplices have done everything they could to impede the vital investigation into Russia’s ongoing attack on American democracy. Now, with the House of Representatives changing hands, they will no longer be able to run interference for the president. Here are 10 big steps the new majority can take with their newfound subpoena power.
Today in Moscow, John Bolton formally invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Washington, D.C. just as Trump’s own administration determined that Russia is actively interfering in the 2018 midterms. This is part of a clear and repeated pattern of Trump turning a blind eye to Russia’s actions against the US, all the while taking steps that actually advance Putin’s foreign policy objectives.