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House panel taps veteran prosecutor to lead Trump probe

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House panel taps veteran prosecutor to lead Trump probe

(Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday it had hired a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan with experience investigating Russian mobsters and white-collar crime to lead its probe into the Trump administration.

FILE PHOTO – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) walk to the microphones to speak to reporters following a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington, U.S., January 4, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young

The hiring of Daniel Goldman is the latest move by the House’s new Democratic majority to add legal firepower to an expanding list of investigations into the affairs of Republican President Donald Trump and his associates.

The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Representative Jerrold Nadler, recently announced that he had retained Barry Berke, a prominent criminal trial lawyer, and Norman Eisen, a former adviser to President Barack Obama, to work on his expansive probe into Trump and other issues.

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced that Goldman joined the panel in February as senior adviser and director of investigations. Schiff also named a new budget director and three other people for various roles.

Goldman, who until recently was a frequent TV commentator on the special counsel’s Russia investigation, said he was “excited” to join the committee’s probe.

“Under Chairman Schiff’s leadership, we intend to run a professional investigation designed to uncover the facts and the truth,” Goldman said in an emailed statement.

The committee’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign has taken on new life since the Democrats took control of the House in November elections. The panel is set to hear testimony from Michael Cohen, the president’s onetime “fixer,” for a second time on Wednesday since he turned on his former boss.

Goldman was an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York for a decade through 2017, serving as the lead prosecutor in the conviction of Las Vegas sports gambler William “Billy” Walters for insider trading.

But likely more relevant to the committee’s probe is Goldman’s tenure as deputy of the Southern District’s Organized Crime Unit, where he oversaw a major Russian mob case against more than 30 individuals for money laundering and racketeering.

Goldman had been working as a legal analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, commenting on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 22-month-old investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia. A spokeswoman for MSNBC confirmed Goldman was no longer an analyst for either network.

Goldman attended last summer’s trial of former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort and was at the December sentencing of Cohen, who is due to start a three-year sentence in May for violating campaign finance laws and other crimes.

In other recent hires by the Democrats, the House Financial Services Committee enlisted the help of Bob Roach, a longtime investigator of complex financial and money laundering issues for the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations.

Russia has denied meddling in the 2016 election. Trump has said there was no collusion between his campaign and Moscow, and has called the Mueller probe a “witch hunt.”

Reporting by Nathan Layne and Mark Hosenball in Washington; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Tom Brown

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Bernie Sanders’ hiring of non-American campaign advisers may violate federal election laws, complaint says

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New spokeswoman for Bernie Sanders won't be able to vote for him in 2020 -- she's an illegal immigrant

Bernie Sanders was hit a complaint this week, claiming his presidential campaign violated federal election laws by employing non-Americans in advisery positions.

A new complaint by the Coolidge Reagan Foundation filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) notes that three members of the Sanders campaign are foreign nationals, which appears to be a violation of federal election laws that prohibit foreign interference.

NEW SPOKESWOMAN FOR BERNIE SANDERS WON’T BE ABLE TO VOTE FOR HIM IN 2020 — SHE’S AN ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT

Maria Belén Sisa, Sanders’ deputy national press secretary who joined the campaign last month, was among the staffers named in the complaint, as first reported by the Washington Free Beacon. Sisa claims to be an illegal immigrant whose residency is protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), an Obama-era program for assisting illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as children.

Sisa recently caused an uproar after invoking an anti-Semitic “dual allegiance” trope of Jewish Americans while defending Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and questioning whether American Jews, including Sanders, were loyal to the United States.

The complaint notes that Sisa not only got a salary from Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, she also contributed money to it and is now serving in “an advisory position” in the 2020 campaign – all of which are “direct and serious violations” of federal election laws.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations,” the complaint reads.

“Senator Sanders and Bernie 2020 is permitting a foreign national, Ms. Sisa, to serve in an advisory position which allows her to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to election-related activities in violation of FEC regulations.”

— The complaint

BERNIE SANDERS AIDE DEFENDS OMAR WITH TERM SEEN AS ANTI-SEMITIC, APOLOGIZES

According to the FEC rules, foreign nationals, who aren’t lawfully admitted permanent residents, cannot directly or indirectly participate in political campaigns. Such individuals are also barred from making political contributions.

The complaint also names two other foreign nationals on the Sanders’ 2016 campaign, immigration activists Erika Andiola and Cesar Vargas, who worked as the campaign’s national Latino outreach strategist and press secretary for Latino outreach, respectively.

“Due to the high profile of Cesar Vargas, Erika Andiola, and Maria Belén Sisa as leading activists in the undocumented community, there is reason to believe that respondents are ‘foreign nationals’ within the meaning of 52 U.S.C. § 301219b)(2), and in violation of 11 C.F.R. § 110.20 (i) and A.O. 2004-26, directly or indirectly participated in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2016,” the complaint continued.

“There is reason to believe, having previously employed Ms. Sisa, that Bernie 2020 is currently, and knowingly, permitting a ‘foreign national’ … to directly or indirectly participate in the decision-making process of persons with regard to the election-related activities of Bernie 2020.”

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The complaint calls on the FEC to investigate both the 2016 and the current presidential campaigns and take action to curb the violations.

“The Commission should determine and impose appropriate sanctions for any and all violations,” the complaint read. “Further, the Commission should enjoin respondents from any future violations and impose any necessary and appropriate remedies to ensure respondents’ future compliance with the Federal Election Campaign Act.”

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Democrats vow to keep investigating Trump despite Mueller's conclusions, no new indictments

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Congressional Democrats vowed Friday to keep investigating President Trump, his family, and associates despite Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapping up his Russia investigation with no new indictments.

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‘There needs to be a reckoning’ for those who spread Russia collusion narrative: Mollie Hemingway

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MSNBC’s Chris Matthews livid over Mueller report: ‘How could they let Trump off the hook?’

Those who spent the last two years pushing the narrative that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia during the 2016 presidential election need to be held accountable, the Federalist senior editor Mollie Hemingway argued Friday.

Earlier in the day, the office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed in its report on the Russia investigation to the Department of Justice and it was announced that no new indictments would be forthcoming.

During Friday’s All-Star panel segment on Fox News’ “Special Report with Bret Baier,” Hemingway — along with Washington Free Beacon editor-in-chief Matthew Continetti and Reuters White House correspondent Jeff Mason — weighed in on the breaking news that reverberated throughout Washington.

MUELLER SUBMITS LONG-AWAITED RUSSIA PROBE REPORT TO JUSTICE DEPARTMENT

Hemingway began by noting that the “Russia narrative” predates the Mueller probe, having begun circulating during the 2016 election after the creation of the infamous Clinton campaign-funded Steele dossier, which pushed the theory that then-Republican candidate Donald Trump was a “Russian agent.”

“We have, for the last three years … frequently [witnessed] hysteria about treasonous collusion with Russia to steal the 2016 election,” Hemingway told the panel. “The fact [is] that there are no more indictments coming and the fact [is] that all of the indictments that we’ve seen thus far have been for process crimes or things unrelated to what we were told by so many people in the media was ‘treasonous collusion’ to steal the 2016 election.”

“If there is nothing there that matches what we’ve heard from the media for many years, there needs to be a reckoning and the people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government who were not critical and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable,” she added.

“The people who spread this theory both inside and outside the government … and who did not behave appropriately need to be held accountable.”

— Mollie Hemingway, senior editor, the Federalist

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Mason told the panel that there’s likely “some relief” in the White House, particularly from Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and top adviser. And while he insisted it was “too early” to draw major conclusions, he later added that those who attacked Mueller’s credibility throughout his investigation will have to walk back their hostility if he concludes that there was no collusion, including President Trump.

Meanwhile, Continetti suggested that the Mueller report could be the “greatest anticlimax in American history,” and that the entire investigation could be “for nothing” because it was “an investigation without a crime.” He did, however, insist that the “battle will continue” as the White House will fight Congress on transparency of the Mueller findings.

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