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Robert Mueller Gets Off to Fast Start as Special Counsel and More in Politics Today

by Countable | 5.29.17

It’s difficult to stay up-to-date on what’s happening in this country and to break through the clutter, so we’re here to make it easier. Here’s what we at Countable are reading today:

1. Robert Mueller Gets Off to Fast Start as Special Counsel in Russia Probe

Robert Mueller III quickly got to work as special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election: building a team, designing a budget and forcing the Federal Bureau of Investigation to withhold from Congress documents he may be interested in—all in his first full week on the job.

The appointment of Mr. Mueller suggests the investigation is in the early stages, and it could take years to conclude. Clashes between the special prosecutor investigation and parallel inquiries by Congress are likely just beginning.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

2. Trump aides facing perilous stage of Russia probe

Robert Mueller’s special investigation may just be starting, but for President Donald Trump and his aides, it’s already entered one of the most legally treacherous phases.

Now that Trump’s current and former aides and allies officially know a probe exists, they’re responsible for preserving all available information that might be relevant. That’s a task complicated by the rise of auto-delete apps like Confide, Signal and WhatsApp, as well as the move his campaign staffers have made into the White House.

Hanging over them all: Any failure to keep track of emails, messages and other records could expose them to criminal charges down the line.

Read more at Politico.

3. Leaked Documents Reveal Counterterrorism Tactics Used At Standing Rock To "Defeat Pipeline Insurgencies"

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project.

Additional documents, obtained via public records requests, consist of communications among agents from the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Justice Department, the Marshals Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, as well as state and local police. The “Intel Group,” as its members refer to it, closely monitored anti-Dakota Access protests in real time, scooped up information on the water protectors from social media, and shared intelligence.

Read more at The Intercept.

4. VA drug thefts continue despite new efforts

Federal authorities have launched dozens of new criminal investigations into possible opioid and other drug theft by employees at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals, a sign the problem isn't going away despite new prevention efforts.

Data obtained by The Associated Press show 36 cases opened by the VA inspector general's office from Oct. 1 through May 19. It brings the total number of open criminal investigations to 108 involving missing prescriptions, theft or unauthorized drug use. Most of those probes typically lead to criminal charges.

Read more at Fox News.

5. In tweet, Trump recognizes Portland victims for ‘standing up to hate and intolerance’

President Trump tweeted Monday that the attack on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., on Friday that killed two men was "unacceptable." Police say the victims were killed as they confronted a man who was shouting insults against Muslims. Trump recognized the victims for “standing up to hate and intolerance.”

The tweet came from the president's official Twitter account, @POTUS, which is chiefly run by his staff, and not from his personal account, @realDonaldTrump, which he controls. Trump has faced criticism for staying quiet about the attack for so many days, even though he is quick to react to violent acts carried out by Muslim extremists.

Read more at the Washington Post.

— Asha Sanaker

(Photo Credit: Wikimedia / Creative Commons)

Countable

Written by Countable

Leave a comment
(44)
  • Isabel
    05/30/2017
    ···

    Mueller must get to the bottom of Russia interference in our 2016 election. In addition Trumps Taxes must be subpoena I believe he needs to follow the money Mueller needs to connect the dots with Manafort, Flynn, Kushner, Page, Sessions Trump & Putin connections. Trump has been doing business with Russia using their money, selling them property to launder their money through banks, Deutsch , Bank of Cyprus. we need to know if Russia has anything on Trump. Trump has not released his Taxes, his involvement with Russia Oligarch & Russia mob are directly related to Putin. Why is there no transparency what are they hiding? Why does he side with Russia & he puts down own judges, our intelligence & creates hostility toward the media? More importantly. Why are the GOP like Ryan McConnell & others not defending this country. How deep is the corruption?

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  • L
    05/30/2017
    ···

    I hope Mueller's investigation does't take years. Trump cancer could metastasize and kill the country before it is removed.

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  • Patricia
    05/30/2017
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    Off to a great start. I worry most days about Russian involvement with this administration- especially after Trump's disastrous European visit. He alienated our democratic ALLIES!! And embraced the suppressive Saudi regime. I have never been so embarrassed to be from the United States. He makes me less safe.

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  • Jack
    05/30/2017
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    Thank God! Also need to appoint a 911 type commission as well. I think that all congress and senate supporting this cover up should be exposed and prosecuted as well.

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  • Rae
    05/30/2017
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    Too little, too late, trump. You emboldened these terrorist racists your hands are bloody with the death of innocents

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  • Valerie
    05/30/2017
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    IF there was any evidence that Russia had any influence in the election it would have been found by now. This bs is nothing but a witch hunt brought to you by the snowflake liberals why can't handle the fact they lost, and lost big time.

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  • Bob
    05/30/2017
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    Robert Mueller is the right guy for the job. America must prepare for the vast authority, that he will exert, turning over every rock, and discovering all of this disposable atrocities, committed against the American people. This is serious stuff and action must be taken immediately to begin to restore America's reputation. Decades of Civil Rights and social policy undone in a mere 127 days. What an horrendous accomplishment. Just shameful.

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  • Patty
    05/30/2017
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    Please support in all possible ways Mr. Mueller's investigation into Russian hacking of our 2016 election

    Like (3)
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  • Monica
    05/30/2017
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    Mr.Mueller, be the hero that the country needs!

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  • Lou
    05/30/2017
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    I am counting on Robert Muller to get to the truth of the matter sooner rather than later. It seems that every day that goes by without any real answers, more issues come to the surface. I really wonder just how deep the ties to Russia this administration is involved in. The old saying, "where there's smoke there's fire", seems more applicable everyday as the smoke is getting thicker and thicker.

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  • Christine
    05/30/2017
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    Sad that Trump believes a tweet is somehow a sufficient way to respond to the killings in Portland. These men , heroes died fighting the hatred and violence Trump himself perpetuates with his words and actions on a daily basis. Sorry but a tweet will not do. He owes an apology to the families of the men who died. I must say I don't think he's capable of a heart felt message to them. It's also wrong that he has such a feeble mind and constitutor that he couldn't send his regrets in anyway while he was on his trip. Clearly multitasking and even the ability to think and understand several things at once are skills he does not possess.

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  • Brian
    05/30/2017
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    It seems to me as if the entire Russia scandal is just trump trying to get rid of the press of a scandal. The hackers who influenced the election were independent hackers that just happened to be from Russia. And everything they released about Hillary was true, the emails, the dnc collusion, all of it was valuable information to have. Then this got turned into a search for organized Russian collusion, a search that trump in in his naive self obsession tried to get to go away. I don't think trump is as much a master criminal as he is a child who doesn't want his presidency ruined. Now we have what's shaping up to be an investigation that's going to run for years and basically ensure the government comes to a standstill for the entirety of it.

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  • Anita
    05/30/2017
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    Work faster...this man is destroying America

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  • Theodora
    05/30/2017
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    Support Robert Mueller let us learn the truth and take appropriate action

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  • Dee
    05/30/2017
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    Please get all the information needed to do a thorough investigation

    Like (1)
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  • Ochoninja
    05/30/2017
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    Mueller seems to be seriously working on this problem in an independent manner. Please support him as much as possible

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  • Frankie
    05/30/2017
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    'Investigation could take years'. How convenient for this president. What an epic mess.

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  • John
    05/30/2017
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    Yes, resolving the Trump-Russia issue is paramount to being able to move this country forward. Getting third party investigations of Hillary and the many issues revolving around the Obama Administration actions are critical to restoring honesty back into our justice system.

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  • Rae
    05/30/2017
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    Mueller needs to get this investigation accelerated before the current administration gets all of us killed

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  • Al
    05/30/2017
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    I want a 9/11 commission to investigate the Russian influence and Russian money that flows through out our politics. There is the Presidential election but there is more. Why did Republicans block all opportunities to see his taxes.

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