Published: Sun, June 03, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Mueller Runs Up $16 Million Tab in Trump-Russia Investigation

Mueller Runs Up $16 Million Tab in Trump-Russia Investigation

A Justice Department report released on Thursday details how Robert Mueller's Russian Federation collusion probe accumulated almost $17 million in expenses less than a year after his official appointment as special counsel.

After former NY mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani replaced Dowd as Trump's chief lawyer in March, he reopened negotiations with Mueller about forestalling that kind of public battle through a voluntary interview.

The bombshell 20-page letter written by Donald Trump's attorneys to special counsel Robert Mueller early this year and obtained by The New York Times Saturday includes an intriguing revelation.

A court battle is likely if Mr. Trump's team argues that the president can't be forced to answer questions or be charged with obstruction of justice.

The letter is dated January 29 and addressed to Mr Mueller from John Dowd, one of Mr Trump's lawyers at the time who has since resigned from the legal team.

"I hesitated to say that $17 million is chicken feed in Washington, but in terms of the government it actually kind of is", Fox News contributor Byron York said during an interview on FOX Business' "After the Bell" program on Friday.

They asserted that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who is now supervising Mueller's probe, "actually helped to edit" Trump's letter terminating Comey and "actively advised the President accordingly". And on Wednesday, Trump tweeted that he wished that he had chosen someone else to run the Justice Department. Trump, for his part, has a few times lambasted Mueller's investigation, calling it "witch hunt". "So bad for our Country", he tweeted.

Trump himself commented on the issues on Twitter, asking: "Is the Special Counsel/Justice Department leaking my lawyers letters to the Fake News Media?"

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On Thursday, Kim also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who invited the young leader to Moscow. Trump has not yet revealed what was written in the letter, but he sure seemed happy to get it.

It was another front on which Mr. Trump's lawyers have argued that the President can't be subpoenaed in the special counsel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

Comey's firing has reportedly been a key element of Mueller's probe into obstruction of justice, but in the letter released Saturday, Trump's lawyers argue his exchange with Holt was "misreported and mischaracterized".

In the letter, the lawyers note the importance of the presidency itself.

In April, Trump hired former NY mayor Rudy Giuliani and two other former federal prosecutors to join his legal team.

The lawyers also seem to hold out the possibility of a pardon for former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In the June 23, 2017 letter from Marc Kasowitz, one of Trump's longtime personal attorneys, he makes numerous same points, arguing there was no basis for an obstruction charge and the president, as Comey said, has the power to fire anyone when he so chooses.

In recent weeks, they have also begun a public-relations campaign to discredit the investigation and in part to preempt a potentially damaging special counsel report that could prompt impeachment proceedings.

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