Mueller meets with House leaders amid Trump-Russia probe

US intelligence agencies have concluded Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a hacking and disinformation campaign aimed at helping Trump’s candidacy. Public perception aside, being the subject of an investigation is also debilitating because of the time it takes to defend oneself, the financial burden of retaining lawyers (and, for a public official, retaining press agents who can deal with the media frenzy), and the anxiety that makes it hard to focus on one’s job and other responsibilities.President Donald Trump, whose combative instincts are to lash out and never retreat, appears to be shaping a legal team in his own image. The Washington Post has reported that in that meeting, Trump – having already chose to fire Comey – demanded that Rosenstein memo as a rationale.Although administration officials downplayed the situation and said they “would not be concerned” about a back channel, national security experts expressed alarm at the development, pointing out that while back channels are indeed normal, it was not normal to ask to use the facilities of a hostile foreign power to conduct such communications. ADVERTISEMENTLast week, multiple reports said special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 elections has expanded to include allegations that Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey, who had been leading the investigation.One reason cited for the change is that Kusher’s current outside counsel, Jamie Gorelick, is a former law partner of Robert Mueller.Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who has oversight authority over the special counsel investigation, has told colleagues he may have to recuse himself.In addition to Kushner, the firm also represents the interests of Ivanka Trump and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. “Good luck trying to represent him”.While Pence hasn’t been implicated in any potential wrongdoing, he is tied to the Mueller investigation in two main ways. That may be an understandable approach in such a high-profile matter, though not always an advisable one.In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, Rosenstein pledged that Mueller would maintain his independence and said he would not follow orders to fire the special counsel unless he believes “those are lawful and appropriate orders”. Abbe D. Lowell, a prominent trial attorney who represented Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a 2005 corruption scandal and is now representing NJ Sen. “We have not received nor are we aware of any investigation of the president of the United States, period”, Sekulow says.So far, Kushner’s main legal liability appears to be his meeting with a Russian banker under USA sanctions, and his failure to disclose the meeting.