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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

Russian woman kept in custody as feds allege covert political work for Moscow

  • 3:47 pm Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

A federal judge on Wednesday refused to release a 29 year-old Russian woman who pleaded not guilty to illegal political activity in the United States, as federal prosecutors alleged that Mariia Butina was working “as part of a covert Russian influence campaign” in 2016 and 2017, which was aided by at least one American.

“Because Butina has been exposed as an illegal agent of Russia, there is the grave risk that she will appeal to those within that government with whom she conspired to aid her escape from the United States,” prosecutors said in new court documents filed on [More]

Trump again contradicts U.S. Intelligence on Russia

  • 1:10 pm Wednesday, July 18th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

For the second time this week, President Donald Trump publicly went against the findings of the U.S. Intelligence Community with respect to Russian efforts to undermine election activities in the United States, as the President shot down a question about whether Russia was still engaged in activities like their 2016 interference in the U.S. elections.

“Is Russia still targeting the U.S.?” a reporter asked, as the President wrapped up a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

“Thank you very much. No,” President Trump said firmly as he shook his head, giving an answer that again runs counter to what American intelligence agencies [More]

Trump says he misspoke at Putin summit on Russian interference

  • 3:49 pm Tuesday, July 17th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

A day after publicly siding with Vladimir Putin over U.S. Intelligence on the question of whether Moscow had interfered in the 2016 U.S. elections, President Donald Trump defended his efforts to improve relations with Russia, even as he back tracked slightly to say that “I accept” the conclusions of intelligence officials on Russian meddling.

In remarks to reporters at the White House, the President said he had simply misspoke, dropping the word “not” in a sentence about his view on Russian responsibility for election interference in 2016.

“I need to make a clarification,” Mr. Trump said, reading from a prepared script before [More]

Russian woman arrested, charged with illegal political activities in U.S.

  • 7:40 pm Monday, July 16th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Hours after President Donald Trump publicly sided with Vladimir Putin over questions of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, the Justice Department announced the arrest of 29 year old Maria Butina, alleging that the Russian citizen violated U.S. law by engaging in a series of political activities involving members of one major political party and a U.S. gun rights organization.

“Butina worked at the direction of a high-level official in the Russian government,” the Justice Department said in a statement, charging she was tasked with “developing relationships with U.S. persons and infiltrating organizations having influence in American politics, [More]

Russia probe looms over Trump-Putin summit meeting

  • 5:43 pm Sunday, July 15th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

As President Donald Trump flew to Helsinki, Finland for his Monday meeting with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, Democrats in Congress demanded that Mr. Trump scrap the summit, pointing to last week’s federal indictments of a dozen Russian Intelligence officers as part of the sweeping investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election.

“Donald Trump must press Putin hard on the issue of election interference,” said Senate Democratic Leader Charles Schumer on Sunday, as Democrats made clear they want tough words from the President on the Russia investigation relayed directly to the Putin.

The President’s schedule said Messrs. Trump and Putin [More]

Trump blames Obama in wake of latest Russia indictments

  • 7:24 pm Saturday, July 14th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

A day after the Special Counsel looking into Russian interference in the 2016 elections returned a new series of indictments against specific Russian intelligence agents, and just before his first summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump on Saturday blamed the Obama Administration for not doing enough to stop Russia’s cyber meddling during his bid for the White House two years ago.

“The stories you heard about the 12 Russians yesterday took place during the Obama Administration, not the Trump Administration,” the President tweeted from Scotland, where he is spending the weekend at his Turnberry golf resort.

“Why didn’t Obama [More]

Prosecutors get more evidence from FBI raid on President Trump’s ex-lawyer

  • 11:23 am Saturday, July 14th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

The former federal judge assigned to go through evidence seized in an April 9 raid on Michael Cohen, the former personal attorney for President Donald Trump, has now turned over a second large tranche of evidence to federal prosecutors, delivering another 883,634 items, bringing the total to over 2 million.

“A release of 883,634 items that were not designated Privileged, Partially Privileged or Highly Personal by the Plaintiff, Intervenors or Special Master was made to the Government today,” Special Master Barbara Jones wrote in a submission made late on Friday to a Federal Judge Kimba Wood.

Under an agreement involving [More]

Partisan tensions boil over in Congress on Strzok, Russia probe

  • 10:25 pm Thursday, July 12th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

The extreme political divide over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump boiled over in Congress on Thursday, as a top FBI official who led the initial Russia investigation battled with Republicans for nearly ten hours, with lawmakers repeatedly shouting and screaming at each other during a tense hearing by a pair of House committees.

“This investigation is not politically motivated,” said Special Agent Peter Strzok, who was booted off the probe of Special Counsel Robert Mueller after text messages emerged that showed Strzok expressing repeated negative views about [More]

Fireworks erupt as Strzok denies bias in Trump-Russia probe

  • 1:08 pm Thursday, July 12th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

Lawmakers on a pair of U.S. House committees openly battled over the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections on Thursday, as FBI official Peter Strzok denied that his personal texts with an agency lawyer demonstrated bias against President Donald Trump, making the case that the FBI never leaked information about the investigation during the Presidential campaign.

“This information had the potential to derail and quite possibly defeat Mr. Trump, but the thought of expressing that, or exposing that information never crossed my mind,” Strzok told lawmakers, as he staunchly defended the Russia probe.

“This investigation is not politically motivated. It [More]

Senate vote signals strong opposition to Trump steel, aluminum tariffs

  • 1:19 pm Wednesday, July 11th, 2018 by Jamie Dupree

A day after the Trump Administration threatened to add $200 billion in new tariffs against China in an escalating trade dispute, the Senate showcased bipartisan displeasure with Mr. Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and the European Union, approving a non-binding motion indicating strong opposition to the President’s trade actions.

“Let’s be clear, this is a rebuke of the President’s abuse of trade authority,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), as a number of GOP lawmakers denounced the President’s trade actions in blunt terms on the Senate floor.

“This is an abuse of Presidential authority,” said Sen. Bob Corker [More]