Instant Library - Apr-Jun 2018
USA - Lawyer becomes first sentenced in Russia probe / Former FBI Director Comey compares Trump to mob boss in new book / Ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort seeks dismissal of charges / CIA Nominee: I Wouldn't Follow 'Immoral' Orders / Trump says US tax cuts "unleashed an economic miracle"
Story No.: G12783
Dateline: Jun 29, 2018
Date: 06/29/2018 12:00 AM
Lawyer becomes first sentenced in Russia probe
Washington DC - 3 April 2018
1. Alex van der Zwaan getting out of SUV and walking into court, while man with sign yells at him to lock him up
Washington DC - 8 March 2018
2. Pan of Paul Manafort walking
Former FBI Director Comey compares Trump to mob boss in new book
FILE: Washington DC - 22 January 2017
3. Pan right from US President Donald Trump to James Comey and back to Trump, UPSOUND (English): "So let's, oh and there's James (Comey), he's become more famous than me."
Comey's New Book Bashes Trump
New York - 13 April 2018
4. Various of James Comey's book "A Higher Loyalty"
Ex-Trump campaign chief Manafort seeks dismissal of charges
Washington DC - 19 April 2018
5. Various of Paul Manafort, US President Donald Trump's former campaign manager, arriving, walking into court building
CIA Nominee: I Wouldn't Follow 'Immoral' Orders
Washington - 9 May 2018
6. Various of Senate Intelligence Hearing
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Gina Haspel, CIA Director Nominee: ++STARTS OFF-CAMERA++
"Senator, my moral compass is strong. I would not allow the CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it."
Trump says US tax cuts "unleashed an economic miracle"
Washington DC - 29 June 2018
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Donald Trump, US President:
"Thank you very much everybody. The economy is indeed doing well. (Cheers.) Six months ago we unleashed an economic miracle by signing the biggest tax cuts and reforms, I have to add the word reform, very important word. But the tax cuts is what got us there and that is what is really doing it, the biggest tax cuts in American history.
A Dutch attorney who lied to federal agents investigating former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort was sentenced April 3rd to 30 days in prison in the first punishment handed down in special counsel's Russia investigation. He was also ordered to pay a $20,000 fine.
Alex van der Zwaan's sentence could set a guidepost for what other defendants charged with lying in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation may receive when their cases are resolved. Among them are a former White House national security adviser and a Trump campaign foreign policy aide.
Van der Zwaan had faced zero to six months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines, and his attorneys had pushed for him to pay a fine and leave the country. But U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, citing the need to deter others from lying in an investigation of international importance, said incarceration was necessary.
The criminal case against van der Zwaan is not directly related to Russian election interference, the main focus of Mueller's probe. But it has revealed new details about the government's case against Manafort as well as previously undisclosed connections between senior Trump campaign aides, including Rick Gates, and Russia. The allegations have also opened a window into the intersecting universes of international law, foreign consulting work and politics.
Van der Zwaan admitted in February to lying to federal agents about his contacts with Gates and a person prosecutors have since revealed has been assessed to have ties to Russian intelligence. Though prosecutors did not take a position on whether he should be locked up, they stressed that he had lied "repeatedly" to investigators.
Van der Zwaan's attorneys argued that he had suffered enough already, saying his life had already been destroyed by his "terrible decision" to lie to federal authorities.
The attorneys also pushed Jackson to allow van der Zwaan to return to London as soon as possible where he lives with his wife, who is pregnant with their first child.
James Comey blasts US President Donald Trump as unethical and "untethered to truth" and his leadership of the country as "transactional, ego driven and about personal loyalty," according to a forthcoming book from the former FBI director.
Comey reveals new details about his interactions with Trump and his decision-making in handling the Hillary Clinton email investigation.
He casts Trump as a mafia boss-like figure who sought to blur the line between law enforcement and politics and tried to pressure him regarding the investigation into Russian election interference.
The book adheres closely to Comey's public testimony and written statements about his interactions with the president during the early days of the administration and his growing concerns about the president's integrity. But it also includes surprisingly personal jabs at Trump that appear likely to irritate the notoriously thin-skinned president.
The 6-foot, 8-inch tall Comey describes Trump as shorter than he expected with a "too long" tie and "bright white half-moons" under his eyes that Comey suggests came from tanning goggles. He also says made a conscious effort to check the president's hand size, saying it was "smaller than mine, but did not seem unusually so."
The book, "A Higher Loyalty," is set to be released next week. The Associated Press purchased a copy this week.
Trump fired Comey in May 2017, setting off a scramble at the Justice Department that led to the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation.
Comey writes that he regrets his approach and some of the wording he used in his July 2016 press conference in which he announced the decision not to prosecute Clinton.
But he says he believes he did the right thing by going before the cameras and making the statement, noting that the Justice Department had done it in other high profiles cases before.
Every person on the investigative team, Comey writes, found there was no prosecutable case against Clinton and that the FBI didn't catch her in a lie.
He also reveals for the first time that the U.S. government had unverified classified information that he believes could have been used to cast doubt on Attorney General Loretta Lynch's independence in the Clinton probe.
While Comey does not outline the details of the information - and says he didn't see indications of Lynch inappropriately influencing the investigation - he says it worried him that the material could be used to attack the integrity of the probe and the FBI's independence.
Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort arrived at a US federal courthouse in Washington, on April 19th as he seeks to challenge special counsel Robert Mueller's authority by arguing that Mueller overstepped his authority. Manafort is expected to ask a judge to throw out charges brought against him.
Gina Haspel - who's been nominated to be CIA director - says she wouldn't put in place any presidential order that she thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal.
A Senate committee is holding a hearing on Haspel's nomination, and Virginia Democrat Mark Warner asked whether she'd carry out any order from President Donald Trump that she found morally objectionable.
Haspel said she wouldn't.
My moral compass is strong," Haspel said.
"I would not allow CIA to undertake activity that I thought was immoral, even if it was technically legal. I would absolutely not permit it."
Haspel said the CIA must undertake activities consistent with American values.
U.S. President Donald Trump says he "unleashed an economic miracle" with his tax cuts in 2017.
Trump spoke on June 29th at a White House event marking the six-month anniversary of the $1.5 trillion tax cuts.
The cuts are taking effect in the ninth year of an economic expansion that began under former President Barack Obama.
Trump called the cuts the "biggest" in history. The overhaul ranks behind Ronald Reagan's in the early 1980s and post-World War II tax cuts.
The law provides generous tax cuts for corporations and the wealthiest Americans, and more modest reductions for middle- and low-income individuals and families.
Trump has been enjoying a good week, with two favorable Supreme Court rulings and Justice Anthony Kennedy's plans to retire from the Supreme Court.