Giuliani bubbles over House getting secret Russia docs—and suggests Trump’s team will get them too

BEDMINSTER TOWNSHIP, NJ - NOVEMBER 20: (L to R) President-elect Donald Trump and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani talk to each other as they exit the clubhouse following their meeting at Trump International Golf Club, November 20, 2016 in Bedminster Township, New Jersey. Trump and his transition team are in the process of filling cabinet and other high level positions for the new administration. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Check out what he’s telling reporters about the documents the House will be allowed to see:

Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani said the documents requested by Trump will “indicate what the informant found.” He also said the memos “should be made available to us on a confidential basis,” he added. “We should be at least allowed to read them so we know this exculpatory evidence is being preserved.” It’s unclear if there were any arrangements made for the White House to view the documents.

So Rudy’s pretty clear that he expects the document request to reveal what the alleged informant “found”, when he made contact with several Trump campaign aides that counterintelligence officials had discovered to have suspicious contacts with Kremlin-tied persons during the Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election on Trump’s behalf.

But it’s also clear that he expects “we”, meaning Rudy Giuliani and the rest of Trump’s defense team, will be somehow getting their own look at the classified documents that, at least according to all prior information, would be provided only to House investigators.

Giuliani predicted the Justice Department would place redactions on some parts of the material.“But as long as they turn over the vast majority of it it gives you a real sense” of what the FBI was doing. “The question is what are the justifications for it? Did the justifications continue? Did they pick up anything valuable? That’s the most important thing to do. We think they didn’t.”

It would be unheard of for a White House to be presented with evidence from an ongoing investigation into their own members: Unless Rosenstein and the FBI have completely capitulated to that seemingly illegal order, Rudy seems to believe that Rep. Devin Nunes and his allied House Republicans getting that classified information will naturally result in Rudy Giuliani and the rest of Trump’s legal team being given the details of what’s in those documents. How very informative.

Getting “a real sense” of what the FBI was doing, and whether they “picked up anything valuable”, would certainly be invaluable information to any in the Russia investigation looking to cover their tracks. Knowing what, exactly, prosecutors have been able to find found out gives both foreign actors and Trump’s top campaign advisers, both indicted and not, a clearer picture of what they might have to admit to and what evidence might still be worth destroying. It’s not often that a criminal enterprise or a foreign intelligence operation gets a front-row seat to view the secret evidence investigators have assembled against them, but none of those prior defendants had a sitting president, a House Speaker, and a Senate Majority Leader all working in concert to provide it.

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Richard Painter says there is more evidence against Trump than there was against Nixon

Last Updated May 21, 2018 10:32 PM EDT
In an interview with CBSN’s Elaine Quijano, former White House chief ethics counsel Richard Painter said that there is “far more evidence of abuse of power and obstruction of justice” against President Trump than there ever was against President Richard Nixon.  “We’re well beyond that point and yet the House and the Senate won’t do anything at all,” he said on Monday’s “Red & Blue.”  Painter says that there appears to be “very strong evidence” that Mr. Trump violated the Emoluments Clause through his company’s business dealings with foreign governments and potential violations of the First Amendment through his attempted travel ban.  “Going after President Trump’s abuse of power and violations of the constitution needs to be the number one priority,” he said.

Painter served in the Bush administration from 2005 to 2007 and is now running for U.S. Senate as a Democrat in Minnesota against Sen. Tina Smith, who replaced former Sen. Al Franken after his resignation in January.  He called Mr. Trump’s behavior “unprecedented even in the most conservative circles of the Republican Party” and called on congressional Democrats to be more assertive in calling out the president.  “I think this president is a great risk to our democracy and he has shown that since he was elected,” he said.  Painter said he personally believes that Mr. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence should be removed from office. He also said the president’s “abuse of power in office, his violation of the constitution, his rhetoric … borders on fascist.”

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Pence threatens Kim with regime change, death if he doesn’t cooperate

10:19 a.m. ET  Taking a page from National Security Adviser John Bolton’s playbook, Vice President Mike Pence threatened North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with regime change and a violent death if he does not cooperate with U.S. demands in his upcoming talks with President Trump.

If Kim does not make a deal, Pence said, U.S.-North Korea conflict will “end like the Libya model ended.” In Pence’s telling, this is not a “threat” so much as a “fact,” but it is unlikely Kim will hear it that way. His regime views Libya as a negative object lesson for cooperation with Washington, as after voluntarily relinquishing his nuclear weapons program, Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi was deposed with U.S. help and brutally killed. Bonnie Kristian

 

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