Friday could prove a huge day for the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, as deadlines arrive for Special Council Robert Mueller to drops more documents on two former Trump allies.
At the same time, former FBI Director James Comey is scheduled to testify in front of Congress in a closed-door interview he has nonetheless secured permission to speak about in public, and Mueller
Comey, who was fired by Trump in May 2017, is at the center of investigations into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the special counsel investigation, and Mueller is said to be investigating whether Trump was obstructing justice by firing Comey as he oversaw the Russian probe.
Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to submit several important filings related to the Russia probe to meet a deadline on Friday December 7.
The documents detail the cooperation of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and what his team describes as lies told to them by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, which led to the collapse of his plea deal.
Mueller is expected to submit his sentencing recommendation for Cohen, whopleaded guilty in November to financial crimes and lying to Congress about a Russian real estate project Trump pursued during the 2016 presidential campaign. Trumpmaintains that Cohen is lying.
The team will also disclose what they say are the “crimes and lies” of Manafort. They claim he lied to the FBI and Mueller’s office, which led to the cancellation of his plea deal.
Mueller has not yet disclosed what Manafort allegedly lied about, but said in November that he lied “on a variety of subject matters” and would provide further information in a later filing.
The Wall Street Journal reported in November that Mueller believes Manafort lied about his lobbying income and meeting with a Russian-Ukrainian political operative
It is possible, however, that Mueller’s filings will be heavily redacted, as was the case with Mueller’s sentencing memo for former national security adviser Michael Flynnreleased on Tuesday.
Trump continues to lash out at the investigation. He repeated his common refrain of “witch hunt’ in a series of tweets on Friday morning, which followed a firestorm of tweets on Thursday night.
Trump has previously also falsely accused Mueller of coercing people to “flip and lie” and said that he might pardon Manafort.
As well as the Mueller filing, more information may come out against Trump on Friday as Comey testifies to the House Judiciary Committee. The testimony will take place in private, but, under a deal struck with the committee, Comey will be free to speak about the questioning after the interview. A transcript will also be released.
Comey is discussing the FBI’s handling of the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as the FBI’s investigations into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
Trump has said on national television that “this Russia thing” had been a factor in his decision for firing Comey.
Trump tweeted on Friday morning that “Robert Mueller and Leakin’ Lyin’ James Comey are Best Friends” and claimed it was a “conflict of interest” for Mueller.
Comey has previously described attempts by the president and his circle to draw him into his confidence as like a mob boss, and said that Trump was known for “lying about all things” and had a need for “complete control.”