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Lobbyist for Russian interests says he attended dinners hosted by Sessions

Jeff SessionsAn American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign, apparently contradicting the attorney general’s sworn testimony given this week.

Sessions testified under oath on Tuesday that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. But Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.

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Mueller probe now includes investigation of Trump for obstruction of justice

Trump under investigationAn investigation that President Donald Trump tried to contain by firing James Comey from atop the FBI now appears to include the president himself.

What started as a probe of Russian interference of the 2016 election turned into a special counsel-led investigation of whether Trump associates colluded with Russia. Now the inquiry is reportedly examining whether Trump himself tried to obstruct justice — a development that became public on the night of Trump's 71st birthday.

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Special counsel is investigating Trump for possible obstruction of justice, officials say

Bob MuellerThe special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation, which until recently focused on Russian meddling during the presidential campaign and on whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. Investigators have also been looking for any evidence of possible financial crimes among Trump associates, officials said.

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Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

Russian hackers hit 39 states' electoral systemsRussia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously reported.

In Illinois, investigators found evidence that cyber intruders tried to delete or alter voter data. The hackers accessed software designed to be used by poll workers on Election Day, and in at least one state accessed a campaign finance database. Details of the wave of attacks, in the summer and fall of 2016, were provided by three people with direct knowledge of the U.S. investigation into the matter. In all, the Russian hackers hit systems in a total of 39 states, one of them said.

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Deputy AG Rosenstein says he hasn't seen any reason to fire Mueller

Rosenstein: No reason to fire MuellerThe Justice Department official overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe says he would ignore calls to fire Mueller unless he considered them “lawful and appropriate.”

“I’m not going to follow any orders unless I believe they are lawful,” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a Senate hearing amid media reports that President Donald Trump has been weighing whether to oust Mueller, possibly in an attempt to halt the politically sensitive investigation.

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Russia Probe: Trump allies turn fire on Mueller

Bob MuellerProminent conservatives including former Speaker Newt Gingrich fired off salvos at special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday, insisting that the man leading the probe into allegations of links between the Trump campaign and Russia is out to damage the president.

But the wave of criticism sparked other Republicans to warn that any concerted push against the special counsel could be politically disastrous for the White House.

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Jeff Sessions Subpoenaed in Trial of Trump Soul Mate Joe Arpaio

jeff Sessions called as witness in Arpaio trialAlong with testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee this week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions can expect a subpoena from lawyers for a former Arizona lawman who has been called Donald Trump’s political soul mate.

The soul mate is 84-year-old former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was Trump’s sidekick in championing the birther nonsense about President Obama and in raising the specter of criminals and rapists pouring across our southern border.

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