There’s a battle going on between the Hill and Robert Mueller, and the nation can only wonder—who will blink first?
Earlier this summer, Mueller’s team of lawyers asked the Senate intelligence committee for the transcript of the Senate’s interview with Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman. The request was blocked.
It’s a case of they said, they said, where Manafort’s lawyers claim that Mueller’s team wasn’t authorized to access the transcript, and Mueller’s team insists they were. Investigations into Russia meddling in the election may not be new, but CNN sources suggest that the tension surrounding this investigation may amp up in the next few months.
Mueller’s team may have attained evidence during a raid on Manafort’s home that the search warrant didn’t cover. They want Congress to interview witnesses in a public session, but lawmakers have thus far scheduled private interviews—sessions coming up in the next month include Donald Trump Jr. with both the Senate intelligence committee and the Senate Judiciary committee.
The Senate Intelligence committee is, according to what sources told CNN, seeking new information surrounding Peter Smith, who allegedly attempted to obtain Russian-hacked emails from Clinton’s servers.
Mueller’s team is also likely to investigate plans for a Moscow Trump Tower project. Additionally, a memo in which President Trump justified firing of former-FBI Director James Comey is in Mueller’s hands, but the House intelligence committee may need it to come not through Mueller, but through the White House.
With so many inquiries and requests for information, the investigation—and the relationship between Mueller’s team and the Hill—is becoming more complex. Mueller’s team is reportedly meeting with the three committees investigating Russia’s involvement in hopes of simplifying the investigative process.
This week, each of those three committees will be briefed and determine next steps and leads to investigate. The House and Senate both expect to meet with Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Felix Sater—a Russian-American businessman shortly regarding a Trump Tower project in Moscow. Additionally, they expect to call back Jared Kushner, and Roger Stone will be meeting with the House committee as early as this month, then the Senate down the road. The Senate is interested also in Matt Tait, a cyber security expert whom Smith contacted.
Image Source: By Bjoertvedt (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons