PUTIN STAYS FIRM: NO KREMLIN INVOLVEMENT IN THE US ELECTIONS




Hatim Khan – 11.03.2018 Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an interview with NBC News has said, “I couldn’t care less” if Russian citizens were caught for meddling in the 2016 US elections through which Trump assumed his role as President of the United States of America. He further added, "It's all the same to me. To me it absolutely makes no difference because they do not represent the government”.

He said this in relation to “Special Counsel Investigation” led by special counsel, Robert Mueller who was appointed by the United States Department of Justice.  Robert Mueller, the former director of the FBI was responsible to oversee the investigation and find if there was any involvement or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the election campaign of the current US President, Donald Trump. 

On February 16th of this year, the Special Counsel who had begun criminal proceedings against 19 individuals ended up indicting them for illegal involvement in the 2016 presidential elections. As 13 of these individuals were Russian citizens, Kremlin stood firm on its stance that Russia had absolutely no involvement and dismissed the charges. Dmitry Peskov, the Russian President’s spokesperson speaking to CNN days after the indictment said, "no indications that the Russian state could have been involved” are proven through these charges.

In the ongoing investigation by Mueller and his investigators, Sam Nunberg, a former advisor to Trump was also investigated last Friday. Nunberg, who was questioned for a "a long time" by the investigators said that he does not believe that it is a “Witch Hunt” as has been claimed by the US President on a number of occasions. He then further added that, "There’s a lot there, and that’s a sad truth”.

In related news, The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday that President Trump’s lawyers are contemplating to agree for their client to be interviewed by special counsel Mueller provided that he agrees to wrap up the part of the investigation dealing the President directly within an agreed period of time or agree to limit the scope of the questions to be asked to the President. Experts say that these are unlikely deals to be accomplished as chances are that Mueller will not agree to them. A professor at Harvard law school Alex Whiting said, "The premise of this approach by Trump's lawyers seems to be that they have bargaining leverage because Mueller wants Trump's testimony. But it's more likely the other way around, and Mueller knows it."