Justice department discussed Mueller's findings with White House, report says – as it happened

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Democrats condemn Barr’s handling of report’s release following news it will not come until after press conference

2.11am BST

1.46am BST

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that House Democrats, looking into President Trump’s financial interests, have subpoenaed JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc., Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo & Co., Bank of America, Capital One Financial Corp., Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto Dominion Bank.

Investigators on the House Financial Services Committee and House Intelligence Committee have focused their early efforts on Deutsche Bank, which has said it in engaged “in a productive dialogue” with the committees.

Deutsche Bank’s relationship with Mr. Trump goes back decades. Since 1998, the bank has led or participated in loans of at least $2.5 billion to companies affiliated with Mr. Trump, The Wall Street Journal has reported.

1.36am BST

At a press conference tonight, House Judiciary Chair Jerry Nadler blasted Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the Mueller report release: “The attorney general appears to be waging a media campaign on behalf of President Trump.”

Barr “is trying to bake-in the narrative” to benefit the White House, Nadler said. “This is wrong. This is not the proper role of the attorney general.”

Jerry Nadler: “The Attorney General has taken unprecedented steps to spin Mueller’s nearly two-year investigation … It now appears the AG intends to once again put his own spin on the investigative work completed by the Special Counsel.”
Via CBS pic.twitter.com/XCAPP4uGhY

1.22am BST

The Mueller report was birthed by Comey firing, based on Rosenstein memo, which criticized Comey holding a press conference spinning a Clinton investigation that resulted in no charges. So we have come full circle.

“We do not hold press conferences,” Rosenstein wrote to Trump. https://t.co/PJeO2RKkzn

12.28am BST

The Associated Press is reporting that former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe will not be running for president in 2020.

McAuliffe had flirted with a Democratic presidential run for months, popping up in early voting states late last year and campaigning with candidates in Iowa and New Hampshire, but ultimately decided against mounting a bid, according to the two people, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting McAuliffe’s announcement.

12.19am BST

Looks like the Democrats and House Judiciary chair Jerry Nadler will be speaking out about Attorney General Barr’s handling of the Mueller report release.

Missing from all press conferences? Mueller himself.

NEW: Am told that Nadler and fellow Dems will hold a press conference tonight about the forthcoming Mueller report and Barr’s handling of it. https://t.co/3yOqoDj9Xp

NEW: Neither Mueller nor anyone else from the special counsel’s prosecution team will be in attendance at the Barr press conference, Mueller spokesman Peter Carr told @politico. But Carr said he’ll be there in the role he’s returned to handling press on DOJ criminal matters.

11.56pm BST

Many are expressing frustration with the new timeline for Thursday’s release of the Mueller report:

Sorry but this is not a press conference – it’s an opportunity for Barr to put a spin on the ball or defend himself. No one can ask real questions here. https://t.co/dNTLk95iPX

So there is a press conference for people to ask questions about a report no one has read? https://t.co/9bR1a4rdOx

House Judiciary committee member confirms that they expect to get the report an hour and a half after the Barr presser.

“They are making Al Capone look straight” the member tells me https://t.co/eWIpSZMWNz

Barr news conference at 9:30 am, Mueller report released at 11 am: In the annals of pathetic efforts to spin apparently bad news in Washington, this ranks near the top.

11.36pm BST

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler reacts to the New York Times report that White House lawyers and Justice Department officials discussed the Mueller report before its release. The congressman also provides a new timeline for the report’s release.

I’m deeply troubled by reports that the WH is being briefed on the Mueller report AHEAD of its release. Now, DOJ is informing us we will not receive the report until around 11/12 tomorrow afternoon — AFTER Barr’s press conference. This is wrong. #ReleaseTheReport https://t.co/bR50HhGJ0i

11.21pm BST

The House Oversight Committee has invited one of President Trump’s longest-lasting advisers, Stephen Miller, to testify on Capitol Hill.

NEW: House Oversight Committee has invited White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller to come testify on May 1. pic.twitter.com/bd6QR4Qvxp

11.11pm BST

The New York Times is reporting that the White House lawyers don’t have to wait until Thursday like everyone else to see the redacted Mueller report:

Justice Department officials have had numerous conversations with White House lawyers about the conclusions made by Mr. Mueller, the special counsel, in recent days, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. The talks have aided the president’s legal team as it prepares a rebuttal to the report and strategizes for the coming public war over its findings.

A sense of paranoia is taking hold among some of Mr. Trump’s aides, some of whom fear his backlash more than the findings themselves, the people said. The report might make clear which of Mr. Trump’s current and former advisers spoke to the special counsel, how much they said and how much damage they did to the president — providing a kind of road map for retaliation.

10.36pm BST

Possibly adding yet another candidate to an already very crowded field, former Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe is set to appear on CNN tonight to “end months of speculation”.

New: Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will announce whether he will run for president in 2020 during an exclusive interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo at 9 p.m. ET. on Wednesday https://t.co/Ab7k8NrLq9

10.23pm BST

More on the imminent release of the redacted Mueller report:

JUST IN: DOJ alerts Roger Stone and the judge in his case that it intends to make a version of the Mueller report WITHOUT certain redactions available to certain members of Congress and their staff “in an appropriate setting.” 1-2

If those lawmakers ask for copies of this version of the report, “such that there exists a reasonable likelihood that the info related to the charges set forth in the indictment in this case may be available to media. Justice Department will seek guidance from the Court” before.

10.14pm BST

Hey everybody, Vivian Ho on the west coast taking over for Erin Durkin. Hope everyone is having a nice Wednesday.

10.00pm BST

9.50pm BST

Beto O’Rourke said the US should not break up Amazon and other big tech companies, opposing a plan put forth by his rival Elizabeth Warren.

“I think we need to do more to ensure dynamism in our economy and address corporate concentration,” O’Rourke said Wednesday at a campaign event in Virginia, Business Insider reported. “I don’t know that breaking up Amazon is the way to do that.”

9.36pm BST

Attorney General William Barr has scheduled a 9:30am press conference to discuss the Mueller report, per AP.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Department: Attorney General William Barr to hold 9:30 a.m. Thursday news conference on Mueller’s Russia report.

AG Barr will hold a press conference on the Mueller report at 9:30am Thursday morning, per DOJ spox, @LauraAJarrett reports.

Barr will take questions. Rosenstein will be in attendance as well.

9.21pm BST

Attorney General William Barr will hold a press conference Thursday after the Mueller report is released, Donald Trump said in a radio interview with WRAL.

Trump said he may also have his own press conference.

NEW: Trump tells @WMALDC‘s @LarryOConnor Barr will do a press conference tomorrow.

Trump says he may do one afterward.

9.00pm BST

Herman Cain will not withdraw from consideration for the Federal Reserve board, the Wall Street Journal reports.

“I don’t want an out,” he told the paper.

“What Kudlow was doing was giving me an out, and I appreciate that, but I don’t want an out. I don’t want an out,” Mr. Cain said.https://t.co/GaKLaxdjDg

8.51pm BST

Immigration advocates are denouncing Attorney General William Barr’s order to prevent some asylum seekers from being released from detention on bail.

#BREAKING: Immigrant Rights Advocates Denounce AG Barr’s Decision to Punish, Intimidate Asylum Seekers ⬇️ full release here ➡️ https://t.co/7pLG39HGSZ #AsylumIsALegalRight pic.twitter.com/iah3ooMhMx

8.31pm BST

This quiz from the New Orleans Times Picayune, comparing the statements of Louisiana Senator John Kennedy and cartoon chicken Foghorn Leghorn, is much harder than you might guess.

As someone who basically covers @SenJohnKennedy‘s quotable comments for a living, getting 8 out of 18 here is shocking defeat –> https://t.co/QatF4la4fD

8.27pm BST

Beto O’Rourke called Donald Trump’s attacks on Rep. Ilhan Omar “racist” and “hateful.”

“He’s trying to incite hatred, Islamophobia and, I would argue, violence against her and other Muslims in this country,” O’Rourke said at the College of William & Mary in Virginia, Fox News reported.

7.53pm BST

National Security Adviser John Bolton denounced Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as the “three stooges of socialism” as he announced new sanctions on the Latin American countries.

The US will now cap how much money families in the US can send to relatives in Cuba at $1,000 per person per quarter, the Associated Press reported. The administration is also ordering new restrictions on travel to Cuba by US citizens, except for trips to visit family.

7.38pm BST

Ivanka Trump said her father asked her if she was interested in the job of running the World Bank, but she passed.

She told the Associated Press her father raised the job with her as “a question” and she told him she was “happy with the work” she’s doing as an adviser at the White House.

7.27pm BST

The Trump administration is tightening restrictions on travel and remittances to Cuba, the Miami Herald reports.

Travel to Cuba will only be allowed for family visits, restricting the educational visits that had been allowed under the Obama administration.

6.51pm BST

Anti-gay protesters dressed as Satan and Jesus appeared at Pete Buttigieg’s Iowa campaign event today, according to images posted by reporters on scene.

Oh my god. The protester has a fake @PeteButtigieg whipping Jesus on a cross. I have no words. pic.twitter.com/VxeqXbfAIs

Protesters at @PeteButtigieg meet and greet — this time it involves actors dressed as Jesus, Satan and the mayor.

75+ people gathered here in Marshalltown, waiting to hear from the mayor.

“Seeing these protesters inspires me to support Pete even more,” one attendee told me. pic.twitter.com/obbrwqFg22

6.48pm BST

Senator Ron Johnson, the chair of the Homeland Security committee, is preparing legislation to make asylum rules more restrictive, the Washington Post reports.

The Wisconsin Republican told the Post his bill would aim to more quickly and rigorously judge the claims of asylum seekers, and keep them detained longer so they can be quickly deported if their claims are denied.

6.37pm BST

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US will not make a trade deal with the UK if Brexit leads to new hostilities in Northern Ireland.

“Let me be clear: if the Brexit deal undermines the Good Friday Accords, there will be no chance of a U.S.-U.K. trade agreement,” Pelosi said in a Wednesday address to the Irish parliament, the Hill reported.

6.19pm BST

Senator Kamala Harris expressed regret that an anti-truancy law she championed was used by some California prosecutors to jail the parents of kids who chronically missed school.

“My regret is that I have now heard stories where in some jurisdictions, DAs have criminalized the parents. And I regret that that has happened, and the thought that anything I did could have led to that. Because that certainly was not the intention, never was the intention,” Harris said in an appearance on Pod Save America.

Some news: @KamalaHarris tells me she would not support the truancy law she championed as Attorney General, and regrets that other DAs in CA used it to arrest and jail some parents.

Her entire answer on the truancy program she pursued as SF DA is worth listening to. https://t.co/OqHOcL37bi

5.44pm BST

Jared Kushner urged a group of ambassadors on Wednesday to keep an “open mind” about the White Houses’s forthcoming Middle East peace plan, Reuters reports.

The presidential adviser and son in law’s remarks came after the new Palestinian prime minister declared the peace plan Kushner is working on “born dead.”

5.34pm BST

Another entry from the Time 100: Senator Elizabeth Warren writes on Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

“A year ago, she was taking orders across a bar. Today, millions are taking cues from her,” Warren wrote. “She reminds all of us that even while greed and corruption slow our progress, even while armies of lobbyists swarm Washington, in our democracy, true power still rests with the people. And she’s just getting started.”

5.32pm BST

Senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar will participate in a Fox News town hall on May 8, per a Newsday reporter.

The network said its town hall with Bernie Sanders got 2.6 million viewers, the highest rated town hall of the election cycle so far.

.@amyklobuchar to hold @FoxNews town hall on May 8, network announces in release that also notes @BernieSanders was highest-rated town hall of the election cycle to date, attracting nearly 2.6M viewers

5.22pm BST

Donald Trump says he just spoke to Pope Francis to express condolences over the fire that burned Notre Dame cathedral in Paris.

“I offered the help of our great experts on renovation and construction,” he said in a tweet.

….in my conversation yesterday with President @EmmanuelMacron of France. I also wished both Pope Francis and President Macron a very Happy Easter!

5.19pm BST

Most Americans believe that Donald Trump obstructed justice and think Congress should continue to investigate his ties with Russia, according to a new poll.

In the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, six in ten Americans said they believe Trump obstructed justice. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, expected to be released with redactions on Thursday, did not reach a conclusion on that question.

4.57pm BST

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton is likely to announce a presidential bid on Monday, New Hampshire’s WMUR News 9 reports. Moulton is scheduled to speak at the Politics and Eggs breakfast next Wednesday, by which time he’s expected to be an official candidate.

Sources close to @sethmoulton tell @WMUR9 that by the time Moulton speaks at Politics and Eggs on Wednesday, he is expected to be a candidate for president. Separately, we understand an announcement is likely Monday. #fitn #nhpolitics #WMUR https://t.co/5yYFC4urqt

4.52pm BST

Beto O’Rourke says he actually gave more to charity than the low numbers reflected in his tax returns.

O’Rourke’s taxes list $1,166 in gifts in 2017, which has drawn criticism.

Beto O’Rourke added that he welcomes scrutiny of his taxes, including the WSJ flagging that he underpaid in 2013 and 2014 — a mistake his campaign says is being corrected. That scrutiny “should be part of anyone’s candidacy for the highest, most important office in the country.”

4.45pm BST

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, criticized Donald Trump’s budget in an op-ed today for the New York Times.

Ridge, now the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, wrote that after Trump reversed his proposal to eliminate funding for the Special Olympics, the budget is “still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.”

4.27pm BST

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell kicked off his 2020 re-election bid Wednesday with a video touting his torpedoing of Barack Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland, the Washington Post reports.

McConnell refused to allow the Senate to even consider the nomination, an unprecedented and controversial move Democrats are still fuming about. The campaign video includes footage of him saying, “It is the president’s constitutional right to nominate a Supreme Court justice, and it is the Senate’s constitutional right to act as a check. The next president may also nominate somebody very different.”

4.20pm BST

Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell authored the tribute to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people list, getting in a shot at “unhinged partisanship” that he says was behind the judge’s confirmation battle.

“The country saw his resilience and commitment to public service. We saw his loyal devotion to family and friends,” McConnell wrote.

3.49pm BST

A day after launching a Republican primary challenge to Donald Trump, former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld said he believes many independents and even Democrats will take Republican ballots to vote for him.

“My job is to make sure Millennials, Gen Xers, suburban female voters who might not buy all of Mr. Trump’s dog food take that Republican ballot,” Weld said on CNN’s “New Day,” adding he had also heard from Democrats who now plan to vote in the Republican primary. “They want to cast a vote directly against Mr. Trump.”

Former Massachusetts @GovBillWeld is challenging President Trump for the GOP nomination in 2020.

“My job is to make sure Millennials, Gen Xers, suburban female voters who might not buy all of Mr. Trump’s dog food take that Republican ballot.” https://t.co/hvxU4BjS5r pic.twitter.com/3Ozc0vCaa1

“The whole damn thing should be made public except for classified information. … I find it telling that the dominant emotion in Washington appears to be fear of the President’s wrath,” says former @GovBillWeld, Mueller’s ex-boss, ahead of the release of the redacted report. pic.twitter.com/MoaEn4SQup

3.22pm BST

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton might be taping an announcement video in a photo obtained by the Boston Globe, which might mean he’s planning to jump into the 2020 presidential Democratic presidential race.

3.01pm BST

There’s a bit of debate after Senator Bernie Sanders appeared in a Fox News town hall, and Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s team said he was in talks to have one as well.

Some critics have said candidates would do better to shun the conservative network, as the Democratic party is doing for primary debates. Buttigieg’s spokeswoman this morning pushed back on that idea.

If I recall correctly, @BarackObama gave an exclusive post-Super Bowl interview to Bill O’Reilly. And that’s ok!

It’s also ok to reach out to @PodSaveAmerica, @intercept, @foxnews, @TMZ listeners & viewers at the same time and meet them where they are. https://t.co/DN4dln5TTC

2.50pm BST

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard says Donald Trump is turning the country into a “prostitute of Saudi Arabia,” after he vetoed a bill to end US assistance in Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.

By vetoing War Powers Act, Trump again proves he’s the servant of Saudi Arabia—the theocratic dictatorship spending billions spreading the most extreme & intolerant form of Islam around the world, supporting al-Qaeda & other jihadists, & waging genocidal war in Yemen w/ US help pic.twitter.com/XsBy3EjhvW

2.48pm BST

Senator Elizabeth Warren’s prodigious policy proposals have brought her a fundraising bump, the Boston Globe reports.

Warren is lagging other top-tier Democratic presidential candidates on cash after swearing off high-dollar fundraisers. But each of her policy rollouts has generated a small fundraising spike, according to the Globe’s analysis:

When she proposed providing affordable child care to all, 102 larger donors chipped in, compared to just 58 the day before. And when she vowed to break up big tech companies, she saw double the number of donations from the day before. Those proposals usually came with a fund-raising e-mail, and by the end of the quarter, her team was urging people to donate simply to keep Warren’s ideas in the race…

Ironically, the policy rollout that appeared to attract the most donations is also the one that likely cost Warren the most in lost fund-raising potential. Near the end of February, Warren announced to her supporters that she was swearing off high-dollar fund-raisers and would not even call wealthy donors to ask for money. That day, 255 larger donors contributed nearly $38,000 to her campaign, the most since her official announcement in Lawrence several weeks earlier.

2.19pm BST

The new Palestinian prime minister declared that the Middle East peace plan being worked on by Jared Kushner will be “born dead.”

“There are no partners in Palestine for Trump. There are no Arab partners for Trump and there are no European partners for Trump,” Mohammad Shtayyeh told the Associated Press.

2.09pm BST

Celebrity donors have been kicking in contributions to 2020 Democratic hopefuls, and the Associated Press reports on where the money is going.

Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, and Pete Buttigieg are all popular with the Hollywood set, according to the report:

1.54pm BST

Donald Trump weighs in again this morning on the Mueller investigation.

Wow! FBI made 11 payments to Fake Dossier’s discredited author, Trump hater Christopher Steele. @OANN @JudicialWatch The Witch Hunt has been a total fraud on your President and the American people! It was brought to you by Dirty Cops, Crooked Hillary and the DNC.

Democrats in Congress must return from their Vacations and change the Immigration Laws, or the Border, despite the great job being done by Border Patrol, will only get worse. Big sections of Wall now being built!

1.54pm BST

Hillary Clinton has penned a tribute to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for Time magazine’s 100 most influential people issue.

Hillary Clinton on Nancy Pelosi, who was named one of TIME’s 100 Most Influential People: “Speaker Nancy Pelosi is living proof that when it comes to getting the job done, more often than not, it takes a woman.” https://t.co/MGPiIdj1Jm

1.33pm BST

With the release of a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation report expected tomorrow, Donald Trump has at least a dozen lawyers and staffers lined up to pour through it and prepare a rapid response, USA Today reports.

Each aide will have a designated section of the report to digest and summarize.

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Source: russia
Link : Justice department discussed Mueller’s findings with White House, report says – as it happened

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