U.S. President Donald Trump hosts a tax reform industry meeting at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 31, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
After charges were announced against three former members of the Trump campaign team — campaign manager Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and policy adviser George Papadopoulos — the pShow more

Mueller probe: Legal experts say 'bombshell' charges put Trump presidency at risk



US president Donald Trump went on the offensive on Tuesday as the legal and political storm unearthed by the justice department investigation into alleged Russian meddling in last year's presidential election showed no sign of abating.

After charges were announced on Monday against three former members of the Trump campaign team — campaign manager Paul Manafort, deputy campaign manager Rick Gates and policy adviser George Papadopoulos — the president took to Twitter to call Mr Papadopoulos a "low level volunteer" and "an already proven liar".

"Check the DEMS!," he added, referring to the Democrats.

A 12-count indictment was filed against Mr Manafort and Mr Gates, who surrendered to federal authorities and were charged with “conspiracy against the United States”, financial meddling and money laundering. Mr Papadopolous, meanwhile, was indicted on October 5 on charges directly connecting him to Russia’s alleged attempts to meddle in the election. He has already pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Legal experts who spoke to The National on Tuesday described the events of the last 48 hours as a "bombshell" that puts the Trump presidency at risk and predicted that the White House may try to turn what is a legal investigation into a political one.

Mr Trump watched Mr Manafort turn himself in to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with "rising irritation" on Monday, according to a report by the Washington Post. The president appeared visibly angry "to those who interacted with him, and the mood in the corridors of the White House was one of weariness and fear of the unknown", it added.

______________

Read more:

Russia-linked posts 'reached' 126m Facebook users in America

______________

Ken Gude, a legal expert at the Center for American Progress, a Washington-based think tank, said this reaction was unsurprising.

"[Justice department special counsel] Robert Mueller's actions yesterday are a bombshell that takes the Russia investigation to a new phase and puts the Trump presidency in real jeopardy," he told The National. 

The indictment and plea bargain that Mr Papadopoulos struck with the FBI appears to pose the biggest threat to Mr Trump; what the former policy adviser has told investigators since being arrested on July 27 seems to have become a centrepiece of the Mueller investigation.

Paul Rosenzweig, a former deputy assistant secretary for policy at the department of homeland security and founder of the homeland security consulting company Red Branch Consulting, told The National that "the spectre now looms of an increasing aggressive response by the president". Mr Trump "may try to convert the issue from a legal one to a political one", he said.

Such strategy could score Mr Trump some political points but may fall short of changing the course of the legal process against Mr Manafort and Mr Gates.

“The case against Mr Manafort and Mr Gates is extremely strong and it is very likely that one or both of them will agree to co-operate with Robert Mueller in exchange for a lesser sentence,” said Mr Gude.

Now under house arrest, the 68-year-old Mr Manafort could face 15 years in prison if found guilty.

“It is the reality that Mr Mueller has this leverage and that each new revelation has only added to the picture of a deep connection between the Trump campaign and the Russian influence operation that puts the Trump presidency in peril”, Mr Gude added.

Speaking to Fox News on Tuesday, Mr Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly, suggested that the Mueller investigation would "wrap up soon".

"It would seem that they're toward the end of the witness pile, and I don't know how much longer it could possibly go on. But we're in great hopes that it wraps up,” he said.

The legal experts predicted that the investigation would not be finishing any time soon, however.

Mr Rosenzweig, without mentioning Mr Kelly’s name, described the sentiment as “wishful thinking”.

“The revelations yesterday mean that the Mueller investigation is not going away any time soon.  Expressions to the contrary are just wishful thinking,” he added.

Looking to the foreseeable future, Mr Gude said he anticipated that ”the Trump White House and their allies [would] do everything in their power to sabotage Mr Mueller”, while the special counsel would deliver more indictments and “bombshells”.

Dolittle

Director: Stephen Gaghan

Stars: Robert Downey Jr, Michael Sheen

One-and-a-half out of five stars

SPECS

Engine: 4-litre V8 twin-turbo
Power: 630hp
Torque: 850Nm
Transmission: 8-speed Tiptronic automatic
Price: From Dh599,000
On sale: Now

$1,000 award for 1,000 days on madrasa portal

Daily cash awards of $1,000 dollars will sweeten the Madrasa e-learning project by tempting more pupils to an education portal to deepen their understanding of math and sciences.

School children are required to watch an educational video each day and answer a question related to it. They then enter into a raffle draw for the $1,000 prize.

“We are targeting everyone who wants to learn. This will be $1,000 for 1,000 days so there will be a winner every day for 1,000 days,” said Sara Al Nuaimi, project manager of the Madrasa e-learning platform that was launched on Tuesday by the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, to reach Arab pupils from kindergarten to grade 12 with educational videos.  

“The objective of the Madrasa is to become the number one reference for all Arab students in the world. The 5,000 videos we have online is just the beginning, we have big ambitions. Today in the Arab world there are 50 million students. We want to reach everyone who is willing to learn.”

PRISCILLA

Director: Sofia Coppola

Starring: Cailee Spaeny, Jacob Elordi

Rating: 3/5

SPECS

Engine: Two-litre four-cylinder turbo
Power: 235hp
Torque: 350Nm
Transmission: Nine-speed automatic
Price: From Dh167,500 ($45,000)
On sale: Now

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The specs

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed

Power: 720hp

Torque: 770Nm

Price: Dh1,100,000

On sale: now

What is a black hole?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

1997: Amazon goes public at $18 a share, which has grown about 1,000 per cent at present. Its highest closing price was $197.85 on June 27, 2024

1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

2003: Amazon turns in an annual profit of $75 million, the first time it ended a year in the black

2005: Amazon Prime is introduced, its first-ever subscription service that offered US customers free two-day shipping for $79 a year

2006: Amazon Unbox is unveiled, the company's video service that would later morph into Amazon Instant Video and, ultimately, Amazon Video

2007: Amazon's first hardware product, the Kindle e-reader, is introduced; the Fire TV and Fire Phone would come in 2014. Grocery service Amazon Fresh is also started

2009: Amazon introduces Amazon Basics, its in-house label for a variety of products

2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

2018: Amazon's market cap briefly crosses the $1 trillion mark, making it, at the time, only the third company to achieve that milestone

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SAUDI ARABIA RESULTS

Main card
Middleweight:

Robert Whittaker defeated Ikram Aliskerov via knockout (Round 1)
Heavyweight:
Alexander Volkov def Sergei Pavlovich via unanimous decision
Middleweight:
Kelvin Gastelum def Daniel Rodriguez via unanimous decision
Middleweight:
Shara Magomedov def Antonio Trocoli via knockout (Round 3)
Light heavyweight:
Volkan Oezdemir def Johnny Walker via knockout (Round 1)
Preliminary Card
Lightweight:

Nasrat Haqparast def Jared Gordon via split decision
Featherweight:
Felipe Lima def Muhammad Naimov via submission (Round 3)
Welterweight:
Rinat Fakhretdinov defeats Nicolas Dalby via split decision
Bantamweight:
Muin Gafurov def Kang Kyung-ho via unanimous decision
Light heavyweight:
Magomed Gadzhiyasulov def Brendson Ribeiro via majority decision
Bantamweight:
Chang Ho Lee def Xiao Long via split decision

SPEC SHEET: SAMSUNG GALAXY S24 ULTRA

Display: 6.8" quad-HD+ dynamic Amoled 2X, 3120 x 1440, 505ppi, HDR10+, 120Hz

Processor: 4nm Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, 64-bit octa-core

Memory: 12GB RAM

Storage: 256/512GB / 1TB

Platform: Android 14, One UI 6.1

Main camera: quad 200MP wide f/1.7 + 50MP periscope telephoto f/3.4 with 5x optical/10x optical quality zoom + 10MP telephoto 2.4 with 3x optical zoom + 12MP ultra-wide f/2.2; 100x Space Zoom; auto HDR, expert RAW

Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60/120fps, full-HD@30/60/240fps, full-HD super slo-mo@960fps

Front camera: 12MP f/2.2

Battery: 5000mAh, fast wireless charging 2.0, Wireless PowerShare

Connectivity: 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC

I/O: USB-C; built-in Galaxy S Pen

Durability: IP68, up to 1.5m of freshwater up to 30 minutes; dust-resistant

SIM: Nano + nano / nano + eSIM / dual eSIM (varies in different markets)

Colours: Titanium black, titanium grey, titanium violet, titanium yellow

In the box: Galaxy S24 Ultra, USB-C-to-C cable

Price: Dh5,099 for 256GB, Dh5,599 for 512GB, Dh6,599 for 1TB

THE BIO: Martin Van Almsick

Hometown: Cologne, Germany

Family: Wife Hanan Ahmed and their three children, Marrah (23), Tibijan (19), Amon (13)

Favourite dessert: Umm Ali with dark camel milk chocolate flakes

Favourite hobby: Football

Breakfast routine: a tall glass of camel milk


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos

View from DC

The inside scoop from The National’s Washington bureau

      By signing up, I agree to The National's privacy policy
      View from DC