Mueller’s lead prosecutors: “This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.”

the watchman

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WASHINGTON — Of the few hints to emerge from the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, about evidence of possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia, one of the most tantalizing surfaced almost in passing in a Washington courtroom last week.

Comments by one of Mr. Mueller’s lead prosecutors, disclosed in a transcript of a closed-door hearing, suggest that the special counsel continues to pursue at least one theory: that starting while Russia was taking steps to bolster Mr. Trump’s candidacy, people in his orbit were discussing deals to end a dispute over Russia’s incursions into Ukraine and possibly give Moscow relief from economic sanctions imposed by the United States and its allies.
Pressed by the judge at Monday’s hearing to say why Mr. Manafort’s alleged lies mattered, Mr. Weissmann gave a broad hint about the thrust of the investigation.

“This goes to the larger view of what we think is going on, and what we think is the motive here,” Mr. Weissmann said. “This goes, I think, very much to the heart of what the special counsel’s office is investigating.”
In Closed Hearing, a Clue About ‘the Heart’ of Mueller’s Russia Inquiry

Here is what Mueller was appointed to investigate:



President Donald Trump says the U.S. doesn’t approve of escalating violence “either way” between Russia and Ukraine.

Speaking publicly for the first time after a weekend naval confrontation off the disputed Crimean Peninsula raised tensions anew in the volatile region, Trump is not specifically calling out Russia’s behavior.

Says Trump, “We do not like what’s happening, either way, we don’t like what’s happening and hopefully it will get straightened out.”

His comments come hours after outgoing U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley urged Russia to “immediately cease its unlawful conduct” in the Black Sea.

Trump is set to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of this week’s G-20 summit in Argentina.
The Latest: Trump fails to single out Russia in Ukraine spat

This is was another one of those discussion Trump had with Putin that he wants to keep private.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said that he and U.S. President Donald Trump briefly discussed the recent naval confrontation in the Black Sea between Ukrainian and Russian naval ships.

Putin gave few details of the conversation, which happened December 1 on the sidelines of the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

"We spoke in passing. I replied to his questions about the incident in the Black Sea," Putin was quoted as saying.

"He has his position, I have mine," Putin said, adding that neither had changed as a result of the exchange.

The White House confirmed that Trump and Putin spoke during a dinner with world leaders at the G20 summit.

“As is typical at multilateral events, President Trump and the first lady had a number of informal conversations with world leaders at the dinner last night, including President Putin,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a December 1 statement.
Putin Says He And Trump Briefly Discussed Ukraine Naval Confrontation

And we know that Trump likes to confiscate translator notes when the talks to Putin.
 
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the watchman

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Jul 2011
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All this says to me is that Mueller is pursuing what, from reports in the press, one would think he should pursue.
well, obviously. But, it gets us a tiny bit closer to the "smoking gun" aka "collusion". We now know that Manafort may be the key to establishing evidence of links and/or coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.
 
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