- The Trump administration indicated on Monday that it would not seek to impose new sanctions against Russian operatives for the country’s meddling in the 2016 US election.
- President Donald Trump signed into law in August a bill designed to curb billions of dollars in Russian defense sales. The US State Department says the effects of that law are “beginning to become apparent,” and thus new sanctions against the Kremlin “will not need to be imposed.”
- Political observers viewed the move as a sign Trump may be unwilling to punish Russia’s US-election meddling. He has publicly expressed doubt about the activity, instead viewing investigations around the meddling as a domestic attempt to delegitimize his presidency.
- Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Wednesday, but refused to answer questions about events that took place during the campaign and his conversations with President Donald Trump since then.
- Lewandowski is the latest official to stonewall the committee as it probes Russia’s election interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.
- Lewandowski was present during a number of critical events that investigators are keenly focused on.
- Special counsel Robert Mueller subpoenaed former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to appear before a grand jury as part of the Russia investigation.
- News of the subpoena came on the same day that Bannon testified before the House Intelligence Committee about what he witnessed when he worked on the Trump campaign between August 2016 and November 2016.
- Bannon was a central figure in the latter part of the campaign and in the beginning months of the Trump presidency.
- Democratic members of the House Intelligence Committee said their Wednesday interview with Donald Trump Jr., was unhelpful to their ongoing investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
- Rep. Jackie Speier told CNN her takeaway was that Trump Jr. “has a very serious case of amnesia,” and said he was “pretty non-responsive” during the meeting.
- The interview covered several topics including Trump Jr.’s contacts with WikiLeaks and an infamous June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that landed the president’s eldest son in hot water during the summer.
A former FBI agent with more than two decades of service told Business Insider in a recent interview that they believed Fran Townsend, President George W. Bush’s homeland security adviser, would be a great choice for the bureau’s next director.
The former agent, who spoke on background to provide their candid thoughts on the fallout of President Donald Trump’s bombshell firing of FBI Director James Comey last week, said Townsend would check off a lot of boxes for Trump.