Report: Coats and Rogers Told Investigators That Trump Asked Them To Publicly State That There Was No Evidence of Russian Collusion

That did not take long.  Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Adm. Mike Rogers met with Special Counsel Robert Mueller to discuss the subjects that they declined to discuss with Congress.  Congress then released the information.  It now appears that congressional briefings from the Special Counsel are proxy press conferences in this increasingly strange process.  As expected, Coats and Rogers admitted that Trump did in fact ask them to tell the public that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.  That was, again, an inappropriate and ill-considered request.  However, the disclosure raises a far more worrisome questions with regard to the role of White House Counsel Donald F. “Don” McGahn II.  The two intelligence chiefs said that they took anticipated the questions over their conversations and asked McGahn if there was an executive privilege assertion. McGahn simply never responded.  That is a highly disturbing account.  Executive privilege is not some tactical toy. It has been defended as a core protection of inherent presidential powers.  No high ranking officials should be sent into a committee without a clear understanding of the status of information or conversations relevant to congressional inquiries.  The non-response was either negligence by the White House Counsel or, more likely and more seriously, a conscious decision to avoid the politically risky decision of either allowing answers or publicly preventing answers.

The failure of the White House counsel to answer the question led to the embarrassing and ham handed responses by Rogers and Coats before the Committee where they did not claim executive privilege but still refused to answer the questions.  I have written that it is not uncommon for witnesses to reserve answers pending review of such questions for either permission to answer or a formal invocation of privilege.  However, the two witnesses in this case clearly raised the issue in anticipation with the White House.  More  importantly, there has been indication that Rogers or Coats or Attorney General Jeff Sessions have indicated that they will inform the Committee on a final answer from McGahn on the status of the information.  Instead, the White House put the witnesses in the untenable position of having to either risk a disclosure of privilege presidential communications or risk the ire (and possible contempt) before the Committee.  Few high-ranking officials would speak without a direct assurance that privilege has been waived.  Frankly, a better approach would have been to say that they had raised the matter with the White House but that the White House had not made any decision on the issue of privilege.

Instead, Rogers testified that “In the three-plus years that I have been the director of the National Security Agency, to the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate, and to the best of my recollection during that same period of service I do not recall ever feeling pressured to do so.” Coats gave a more nuanced answer:   “In my time of service, which is interacting with the President of the United States or anybody in his administration, I have never been pressured — I have never felt pressured — to intervene or interfere in any way with shaping intelligence in a political way or in relation to an ongoing investigation.”  The answer about “feeling pressured” stood out as opposed to a denial of being asked.  It may have not been intended in that way but that is the problem when the White House leaves it to witnesses to free lance in the area of executive privilege.

In the end, the leaked statements do not materially change the profile of the investigation.  Trump still has an obvious defense that would work against an obstruction charge.  He had been told that his subordinates that there was no evidence of collusion. Indeed, before his notorious meeting with Comey, Comey reportedly told Congress that there was no such evidence and Trump was not a target.  Trump could easily say he wanted that information to be disclosed to the public because the swirling rumors were hampering his new Administration.

The more alarming information rests with the process (and failure) of the White House in addressing executive privilege claims.  For Coats and Rogers, the White House put them between a rock and a hard place. The question is whether the hard place is willing push the question of contempt if the rock is refusing to answer the question of privilege.

184 thoughts on “Report: Coats and Rogers Told Investigators That Trump Asked Them To Publicly State That There Was No Evidence of Russian Collusion”

  1. Trump won the True vote; Clinton won the Fraudulent Recorded vote

    Hillary Clinton’s 2.9 million recorded vote margin is a myth. The simple proof is that all elections are fraudulent. THE RECORDED VOTE IS NEVER EQUAL TO THE TRUE VOTE.

    This analysis indicates that Trump actually won the True Vote. Clinton won the Recorded Vote 48.3-46.2% (2.9 million votes). Trump had 306 EV
    The True Vote Model indicates that Trump won by 48%-44% (5 million votes) with 351 EV

  2. What you have here is Trump bartering with the Establishment the day after the election. He believed he could trust them while they were plotting his demise from the moment he won.

    We have traitors within our govt trying to overthrow a rightfully elected Trump. Some call them the Deep State. I prefer to call them traitorous rats guilty of Seditious Conspiracy.

    If I had my way they would all face trial and then hanged by the neck in public.

    1. Btw i do not believe them for a second. They were people that the Establishment pressured Trump into having in his admin. He should have announced Comey was to be fired his first day on the job and he should have declared it Nov 9th.

  3. I´m not sure your reasoning holds up Prof. Turley, or you have to spell it out more with the legal backing. The argument that DT was told that there wasn´t evidence to support the investigation, and therefore he wanted to stop the damage to his Administration does not mean that he did not attempt to obstruct the investigation- just that he thought that it ultimately would not reveal anything. Isn´t this akin to interfering in the arrest of a man ultimately found innocent? The individual who interferred is still guilty.

  4. Russian Collusion is a ‘side show’ trying to divert attention from America’s real problems;


    America needs the prosecution of prominent members of the political, military, judicial, media and other economic leadership of the U.S. Government & Israel, who planned, carried out, or otherwise participated in the U.S / Israeli war crimes.



  5. Lee Harvey Oswald deserved to die without a trial. He was in collusion with the Russians. Maybe our own CIA too. How was I to know: he was with the Russians too?

  6. There is a song which is relevant to the Collusion BS:

    (low chanting)
    In the bad bad lands of Australia many years ago
    The Aborigine tribes were meeting, having a big pow-wow
    (low voice): We’ve got a lot of trouble, Chief, on account of your son Mac!
    (midrange voice): My boy Mac, what’s wrong with him?
    (high-pitched voice, young prince): My boomerang won’t come back!
    (low voices): Your boomerang won’t come back
    (prince): My boomerang won’t come back
    My boomerang won’t come back
    I’ve waved the thing all over the place
    Practiced till I was black in the face
    I’m a big disgrace t’ the Aborigine race
    My boomerang won’t back
    I want a kangaroo (yeah yeah)
    Make kangatoo stew (yea yeah)
    But I’m a big disgrace t’ the Aborigine race
    My boomerang won’t back

    They banished him from the tribes’ lair & sent him on his way
    He had a hapless boomerang, so here he could not stay
    (shrieks of animals)
    (prince): This is nice, isn’t it? Getting banished at my time in life. What a way to
    Spend an evening. Sittin’ on a rock in the middle of the desert with me boomerang in me
    Hand. I should very likely get bushwhacked. (animal shriek) (prince): Get out of here,
    Nasty bushwhackin’ animal! Think I’ll make a nice cup of tea. (boing boing boing)
    (prince): Good gracious! There goes a kangaroo! I must have practice with me boomerang.
    Hey, right behind the left elbow, then slowly back… (kangaroo): If you throw that thing
    At me, I’ll jump right on your head! (laughs) (prince): Ain’t it marvelous! In a land
    Full of kangaroos I might not get that one!

  7. “Justice Department officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have investigated the university run by the wife of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders — and may still be investigating it — over the possibly fraudulent acquisition of nearly $7 million in tax-exempt bonds when she was the president of Burlington College.”

    If the DOJ and FBI can investigate Bernie Sanders’ wife, why can’t they investigate Hillary?

    If the DOJ and FBI can investigate the books at Burlington College, why can’t they investigate the books at the Clinton Foundation which was funded by Hillary’s pay-for-play at the State Dept.?

    Why aren’t the DOJ and FBI investigating the criminals in America?

    The DOJ and FBI are not investigating the criminals in America

    because all of those investigations will lead to Obama.

    1. They can investigate all things Hillary but they choose not to which has me scratching my head over Session’s non action

      1. Possibly for the same reasons they could investigate and prosecute W, Chaney, Rumsfield, et. al. Of course they won’t.

  8. “Please leak fairly to Republicans” is not a request that will ever be granted so I don’t see the problem with seeking to balance all the partisan leaks with a partisan disclosure of accurate information.

  9. “Report: Coats and Rogers Told Investigators That Trump Asked Them To Publicly State That There Was No Evidence of Russian Collusion”

    The charge of “collusion” didn’t quite work out so now the “deep state” ruling class is investigating “obstruction” – “obstruction” of a crime that did not happen.

    This false investigation is covering up the corruption of the Obama administration.

    Jeh Johnson stated that Debbie “Hit Man” Schultz denied FBI access to DNC servers. She did this to hide the connection to Hillary’s e-mails which were held on her private servers to hide her receipt of “contributions” from foreign entities she charged “pay-for-play” as Secretary of State and desperately endeavored to keep off of official governmental and State Dept. servers in order to protect Obama who knew all about her scheme.

    America is investigating Trump for being President.

    All roads lead to Obama.

    The criminals are getting away.

    1. Ah but DWS and Donna Brazile both claim that Jeh Johnson completely perjured himself – every word out of his mouth under oath was a lie. Sad.

    2. All roads lead to Obama. Snort.

      A black man as president melted a lot of American’s brains.

      1. An ineligible son of a foreign citizen violated the constitutional requirement for a candidate to be a “natural born citizen.”

        The Jay/Washington letter of July, 1787, raised the requirement from “citizen” to “natural born citizen” to place a “strong check” against foreign allegiances by the commander-in-chief.

        The Law of Nations, which Franklin wrote was “…continually in the hands of the Members of our Congress, sitting,” stated, in its definition of “natural born citizen,” a requirement that “…the father must be a citizen…”

        Obama will never be eligible for the presidency.

        Obama’s father was the very personification of that which Jay and Washington legislated against – foreign allegiance. His absent, deadbeat father was an anti-colonialist, anti-American, radical, extremist, activist who was jailed by the British for six months and who died in his third car “accident” after a day of drinking in Nairobi.

        Your half-white fraud was not the legitimate officeholder but an empty suit imposter ensconced to be the poster boy for affirmative action in the antithetical and unconstitutional 1984-esque multicultural welfare state.

  10. I find this both amusing and scary. Of course those two never felt pressure to do anything illegal–there’s nothing they do that they feel is illegal. There’s the Constitution and then there’s deep state “law’, meaning whatever they want it to mean. It’s like the whole plutocracy is full of people who believe in unicorns and act accordingly! Their statements are as meaningless as Trump’s! How ridiculous this govt. is!

    As to evil Ruskie influence on our elections–most of the people with iron clad ties to Ruskies are in the Clinton camp. I agree, as a liberal, with the conservatives here–this is BS and please get on to things which matter about our govt. But, I don’t see that happening. Here’s a good examination of why it won’t happen:

    Nobody Wants Trump in Office More Than Democrats

    It’s Unicorn Law in the US!!!.

  11. “Trump did in fact ask them to tell the public that there was no evidence of collusion between his campaign and the Russians.” Did Trump ask them to release their own findings that there was no evidence of collusion, or did he ask them to lie?

    So far, all accounts have indicated that the current information indicates that there was no evidence of collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians. Comey has admitted that Trump was not even under investigation.

    In fact, Russia created a dossier on Trump to damage him, and Hillary Clinton “colluded” with the Russians to sell 1/5 of our Uranium in exchange for hefty speaking fees for Bill as well as massive donations to her foundation/money laundering organization.

    So, what I do not yet understand is how was Trump’s request that such information be made public so shocking? The Democrats are claiming that he is a Russian Manchurian Candidate. He is trying to defend himself from those accusations. It would be odd if he didn’t ask the intelligence community what they could do to help. If he asked for anything inappropriate, it is theirjob to tell him no, or report him if he tried something criminal such as blackmail.

    I do agree that there should not be any more one on one meetings with the President. Considering his inflammatory rhetoric combined with the repeated coup attempts by the DNC, who refuse to accept the results of the election, and countless defeats in subsequent state and local elections, there should always be at least one witness.

    1. The dossier was not created by the Russians. The main author was a former British MI6 agent.

      The hold the Russians have on Trump has to do with amount of money he has borrowed from them. He may yet be outed as up to eyeballs in money laundering for the Russian oligarchs. Watch for t he information on his Soho building.

      1. “The dossier was not created by the Russians. The main author was a former British M16 agent.”
        The SOURCES for the contents of the dossier are mostly Russians, or people from former Soviet republics.
        I don’t think that the nationality of Christopher Steele, the Brit who compiled the dossier, is the main issue.
        He evidently started compiling the dossier over a year ago, and was in contact with the FBI, Democratic operatives doing opposition research, and (early on) Trump’s Republican primary opponents.
        Some contents of the dossier were leaked by Steele to at least one publication on late October, c. 2 weeks before the election.
        I don’t know if Steele is still in contact with the FBI, or with any media outlets.
        Congressional committees from both houses, and committee members from both parties, have repeatedly asked for testimony from Steele.
        One committee chairman offered to travel to England to meet with Steele.
        The most recent news that I’ve seen is that Steele has refused all requests to testify.
        I’m not sure what kind of consequences Steele, or others, expected after knowledge of the dossier became public.
        Did he anticipate that “Gee, maybe I might be questioned about the allegations in the dossier?”.
        Or did he feel that he could selectively and anonymously pass on the dossier, go into hiding, and not be bothered with key questions about the dossier?
        I realize that those who have already concluded that “the Russians have a hold on Trump” or “Trump is up to his eyeballs in money laundering for the Russian oligarchs” probably can’t be bothered with details (like verification of allegations).
        If an allegation is accepted at face value, we can skip all of these little details like investigating the sources or accuracy of the allegations.
        This “BettyKath” standard” of
        verification could save
        everybody a lot of time,
        but I think that Steele
        either comes forward
        to back up his
        accusations, or he can sell the dossier to the National Enquirer as gossipy tidbits.

    2. Isn’t it a Saul Alinsky tactic to accuse your opponent of what you are doing?

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