Posts Tagged ‘President Trump’s legal team’

Trump’s Lawyer in Russia Probe Ty Cobb Steps Down

May 2, 2018

Ty Cobb, the lawyer leading President Trump’s legal team in the special counsel’s Russian investigation, is retiring and Trump is planning on hiring an attorney who represented Bill Clinton during his impeachment as a replacement, a report on Wednesday said.

​“It has been an honor to serve the country in this capacity at the White House. I wish everybody well moving forward,” Cobb told the New York Times, adding that he informed the president weeks ago that he planned on retiring.

He said he would remain on the job until the end of the month to help Emmet Flood’s transition, the report said.

Trump’s legal team has seen some major changes in the past couple of months.

Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a longtime confidant of the president, joined the legal team last month, and John Dowd, then the lead attorney representing Trump in Robert Mueller’s probe, quit In March.

Cobb’s departure comes as reports revealed that Mueller told Trump’s lawyers in March that he would use a grand jury subpoena to force the president to answer questions in the Russian investigation.

The report cautioned that Flood’s hiring has not been made final and noted Trump’s practice of changing his mind at the last moment on personnel decisions.

New York Post

https://nypost.com/2018/05/02/trumps-lawyer-in-russia-probe-is-retiring/

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Donald Trump Jr. Arranged Meeting Between Father’s Campaign, Russian Lawyer

July 9, 2017

Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has been linked to the Kremlin, met with Paul Manafort, others in June 2016 in New York

Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president of The Trump Organization, spoke at Trump Tower in New York on June 5. In June of last year, members of President Donald Trump’s campaign met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin, at a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr.

Donald Trump Jr., executive vice president of The Trump Organization, spoke at Trump Tower in New York on June 5. In June of last year, members of President Donald Trump’s campaign met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer linked to the Kremlin, at a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. PHOTO: KATHY WILLENS/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Donald Trump Jr. , the president’s eldest son, arranged a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top campaign aides and a Russian lawyer who has been linked to the Kremlin, according to Mr. Trump and a lawyer for  Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser who also attended the meeting.

The meeting, in New York, was also attended by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s campaign chairman at the time who resigned about two months later amid reports of his connection to pro-Russian political forces in Ukraine. Investigators are currently examining whether Mr. Manafort’s work for foreign interests violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act and related laws.

Mr. Manafort’s spokesman has said he is taking the “appropriate steps” to respond to guidance from federal authorities about his FARA disclosures.

The Trump aides met with the Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, on June 9, about a month after Mr. Trump effectively clinched the Republican nomination. The New York Times first reported the meeting on Saturday.

The U.S. intelligence community has concluded that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in Mr. Trump’s favor, and a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department earlier this year is investigating whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia in that effort. Mr. Trump has denied that there was any collusion and has said he doubts the intelligence community’s assessment, saying earlier this week, “No one really knows for sure.”

On Friday, Mr. Trump met face-to-face with Mr. Putin at the Group of 20 leading nations summit, where he told the Russian leader that Americans are upset about Russia’s actions and want them to stop, according to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Mr. Putin denied that Russia played a role, and the leaders opted not to “relitigate” the past, Mr. Tillerson said.

Russia’s account of the exchange differed from that of the Americans. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who was also in the meeting in Hamburg, told reporters afterward that said Mr. Trump accepted Mr. Putin’s contention that Russia didn’t interfere in the campaign.

The younger Mr. Trump, who has been charged with running the family company together with his brother, Eric, while his father is in office, in a statement described the sit-down with Ms. Veselnitskaya as a “short introductory meeting” focused on a Russian adoption program that was halted by the Russian government.

“I asked Jared and Paul to stop by,” Donald Trump Jr. said in the statement. “We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at that time and there was no follow up.”

He added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Mr. Kushner disclosed the meeting earlier this year in a required form to obtain a security clearance, according to a statement by his attorney, Jamie Gorelick.  Mr. Kushner initially filed a disclosure that didn’t list any contacts with foreign government officials, but the next day submitted a supplemental disclosure saying that he had engaged in “numerous contacts with foreign officials.” Mr. Kushner has since submitted information about “over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, most of which were during transition,” Ms. Gorelick said.

“Mr. Kushner has submitted additional updates and included, out of an abundance of caution, this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr.,” Ms. Gorelick said. “As Mr. Kushner has consistently stated, he is eager to cooperate and share what he knows.”

Ivanka Trump, right, and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, arrived in Hamburg on July 6 for the Group of 20 summit. Mr. Kushner, along with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, attended the meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya that was set up by his brother-in-law.

Ivanka Trump, right, and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner, arrived in Hamburg on July 6 for the Group of 20 summit. Mr. Kushner, along with then-campaign manager Paul Manafort, attended the meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya that was set up by his brother-in-law. PHOTO: BERND VON JUTRCZENKA/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Two previously disclosed meetings Mr. Kushner held with key Russians—the head of a state-run bank that has faced U.S. sanctions and Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the U.S.—had already drawn the interest of agents conducting a counterintelligence investigation to determine the extent of those contacts. Mr. Kushner agreed earlier this year to speak to the Senate Intelligence Committee, becoming the first White House official to do so.

Ms. Veselnitskaya counts among her clients state-owned companies and family members of top government officials and her husband previously served as deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region. As a lawyer, she has campaigned against the Magnitsky Act, which targets Russian human-rights abusers, and the Russian accountant for whom the measure was named. Sergei Magnitsky was jailed and died in prison after he uncovered evidence of a large tax-refund fraud.

Ms. Veselnitskaya raised the Magnitsky Act in the meeting at Trump Tower, according to a person familiar with the conversation. The person said the meeting ended shortly afterward. The president didn’t become aware of the meeting until recent weeks, the person said.

In a move seen as retaliation to that law, Mr. Putin in 2012 signed a law banning adoption of Russian children by American families.

In postings on her social media accounts, Ms. Veselnitskaya appeared critical of former President Barack Obama and the Democratic Party. Last July, she shared an article posted by another page and highlighted the quote, “Liberalism is a f—ing mental disorder.” She has also appeared to cheer some of Mr. Trump’s top achievements, such as the confirmation earlier this year of Neil Gorsuch, Mr. Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court.

Write to Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com

https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-jr-arranged-meeting-between-fathers-campaign-russian-lawyer-1499558446?mod=e2fb

Related:

See also: Reuters —  Trump Jr., Kushner met with Russian lawyer: New York Times

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-idUSKBN19U019

Donald Trump Jr. approach by Russian in 2016 — Suspected election-year opposition effort aimed at creating the appearance of improper connections between Trump family members and Russia

July 9, 2017