The Latest: Intel panel postpones hearing with Trump adviser




  • In Business
  • 2019-03-25 21:50:28Z
  • By Associated Press
 

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Latest on Congress and the special counsel's Russia investigation (all times local):

5:45 p.m.

The House intelligence committee is postponing an open hearing with a Russian-born former business adviser to President Donald Trump as Democrats seek more information about special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The panel was scheduled to interview Felix Sater on Wednesday. He is a former business adviser to Trump who worked on an unsuccessful deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow.

Intelligence committee spokesman Patrick Boland said Monday that the panel is instead focusing this week on bringing in Justice Department officials to better understand Mueller's report.

A four-page letter from Attorney General William Barr announced Mueller's main findings, including no evidence of collusion by Trump's 2016 campaign with the Russian government.

Democrats say the letter is not enough and are looking for the full report.

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5:15 p.m.

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer is trying to quickly pass a resolution urging the public release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report, but he's being blocked by Republicans.

Schumer said Monday that since President Donald Trump supports releasing the report, "there's no good reason for anyone to object."

Shortly after the Senate opened, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to Schumer's request. He says the Justice Department needs more time to wrap up Mueller's two-year probe.

The House unanimously approved the resolution last week.

Trump said earlier Monday that the release of Mueller's report "wouldn't bother me at all."

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4:10 p.m.

The special counsel's office is handing off a court fight over a subpoena issued to an unidentified company that refused to turn over information demanded in Robert Mueller's investigation.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller's office, said Monday that the matter was being handed off to federal prosecutors in the District of Columbia.

Mueller concluded his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election without additional charges Friday. His office has been handing off lingering issues to other offices in the department to see through to the end.

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal from the company. The unidentified company, which is owned by an unidentified foreign government, has been racking up fines of $50,000 a day for not complying with a subpoena for documents.

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1:40 p.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he told President Donald Trump that the late Sen. John McCain "deserves better" than the president's harsh criticism.

The South Carolina Republican said Monday that Trump blames McCain for the Russia investigation. The former Arizona senator had turned over to the FBI a salacious dossier he received about Trump's activities in Russia. McCain died last year.

Says Graham: "Trump believes it was the McCain people who spread this."

But Graham says he told Trump, "it was not John McCain."

Graham and McCain were dear friends, but parted ways over Trump. Graham is now close to Trump and spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club.

Graham said McCain did "exactly what he should have done" in giving the dossier to authorities.

Trump publicly criticized McCain last week.

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1:10 p.m.

Kentucky's Republican senators say special counsel Robert Muller's investigation vindicated President Donald Trump, but a home-state, Democratic colleague in the House says many questions remain after the summary of Mueller's report was made public.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said the special counsel's conclusions confirmed Trump's account that there was no effort by Trump's campaign to conspire or coordinate with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Paul told reporters in Louisville on Monday that the nearly two-year investigation was a "colossal waste of money and time."

Rep. John Yarmuth said Attorney General William Barr's summary of Mueller's conclusions "leaves many questions unanswered."

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1:01 p.m.

President Donald Trump is accusing those responsible for launching the special counsel investigation of "treason" and says they "will certainly be looked at."

Trump did not specify who he's referring to, but told reporters Monday, that "There are a lot of people out there that have done some very, very evil things, very bad things. I would say treasonous things against our country."

Trump adds that, "Those people will certainly be looked at" and says: "I've been looking at them for a long time."

The comments come a day after the attorney general told Congress that special counsel Robert Mueller found no evidence Trump or his associates conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Asked about the possibility of issuing pardons, Trump also says: I "haven't thought about it."

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12:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the release of special counsel Robert Mueller's report "wouldn't bother me at all."

Trump says he's glad Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling is over and wishes it could have gone quicker. Trump says "we can never let this happen to another president again."

Asked Monday whether Mueller had acted honorably, Trump responded: "Yes, he did."

Attorney General William Barr has told Congress that Mueller found no evidence Trump or his associates conspired with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Trump was asked about Mueller's report as he spoke to reporters along with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo).

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12:35 p.m.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team told the attorney general about three weeks ago it would not be reaching a conclusion about whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. That's according to a Justice Department official who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations.

The official says the news from Mueller's team to Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was "unexpected."

In releasing a summary of Mueller's findings on Sunday, Barr said Mueller had drawn no conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice. Instead, his report laid out the evidence on both sides of the question.

Barr told Congress that he and Rosenstein decided there wasn't enough evidence to prove Trump had committed that crime.

- Associated Press writer Eric Tucker

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12:05 p.m.

A close ally says President Donald Trump felt a sense of relief after learning special counsel Robert Mueller's report had cleared him of conspiring with the Russian government.

South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham flew home from Florida with Trump after spending the weekend awaiting Mueller's findings. On Sunday, Attorney General William Barr told Congress Mueller did not find evidence that Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia during the 2016 election.

Graham says that on the flight home Trump conveyed a "sense of relief" that there was now the "legitimacy" of his presidency where there had been questions before.

Trump has declared the findings a total vindication, but Mueller reached no conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice. Barr says Mueller's report presents "evidence on both sides" of that question.

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11:45 a.m.

Sen. Lindsey Graham says President Donald Trump came out of the Russia investigation stronger. But he is warning Trump not to pardon any associates convicted during special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The South Carolina Republican, who spent the weekend with Trump, told reporters on Monday that "if President Trump pardoned anybody in his orbit, it would not play well."

He's referring to figures such as Paul Manafort, Trump's former campaign chairman. Manafort has been convicted in Washington and Virginia of crimes related to years of Ukrainian political consulting work.

Mueller's report, turned over to Friday to Attorney General William Barr, did not find evidence that Trump's campaign "conspired or coordinated" with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election. Mueller reached no conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice.

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11:35 a.m.

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says his panel will "unpack the other side of the story" of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe into President Donald Trump and his campaign.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who spent the weekend with Trump in Florida, said his committee will investigate the actions of the Justice Department in the Russia investigation, including the FBI's use of a dossier compiled by British spy Christopher Steele.

Graham spoke Monday after Attorney General William Barr reported to Congress on Mueller's findings. Barr said Mueller found no evidence that Trump or his associates conspired with Russia. Mueller did not make a determination on whether Trump obstructed justice.

Graham said he will be speaking with Barr at noon and wants him to testify before his committee.

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