Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have filed a new charge against a man they say lied to federal investigators in the Russia probe.
A charging document filed in federal court in Washington on Tuesday accuses Alex Van Der Zwaan of one charge of making false statements. The information was filed ahead of a plea hearing scheduled for later Tuesday.
The court filing says that Van Der Zwaan lied to investigators about his interactions with Rick Gates. Gates, a former Trump campaign aide, was indicted last year on charges of conspiracy to launder money and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.
Mueller is investigating Russian election interference and links between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Schumer calls on HHS Sec. Azar to resign over handling of coronavirus pandemic
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Shumer called for Health and Human Service Secretary Alex Azar to resign over a report that HHS officials tried to modify nonpartisan weekly updates that show how the fight against Covid is going.
Trump claimed he ‘up-played’ the coronavirus, despite being on tape saying otherwise
President Trump told a voter he did not downplay the coronavirus in the early days of his administration’s Covid-19 response — though he’s been heard on tape saying he did — during an ABC News town with undecided voters on Tuesday.
“If you believe it’s the president’s responsibility to protect America, why would you downplay a pandemic that is known to disproportionately harm low-income families and minority communities,” a voter asked Trump.
Trump responded, “Yeah, well I didn’t downplay it. I actually, in many ways I up-played it in terms of action.” The voter appeared to try to follow up and remind the president he acknowledged downplaying the threat of the coronavirus pandemic in a taped interview with journalist Bob Woodward earlier this year.
The town hall, hosted by George Stephanopoulos in Philadelphia, is one of the rare occasions Trump has sat down for questions with a news network other than Fox News. It is also one of the few moments the president has had to interact with undecided voters in a moderated setting.
Trump is in a bare-knuckled re-election battle against former Vice President Joe Biden, the Democratic nominee, while his poll numbers sagging as he continues to get low marks from voters for how he handled the response to the virus.
Trump’s about-face on his administration’s coronavirus response comes as taped interviews with journalist Bob Woodward were recently released in which the president acknowledged downplaying the threat, according to an account of Woodward’s new book.
“I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic,” Trump said in a March 19 call with Woodward, according to an audio clip posted Wednesday on The Washington Post’s website. The newspaper obtained a copy of the book, “Rage,” which was released this week.
In the same interview, Trump also acknowledged that the disease was more deadly than he publicly admitted.
“Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. But just today, and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old, older,” Trump said, according to an audio clip, and then added, “young people, too, plenty of young people.”
Israel signs historic diplomatic deal with UAE and Bahrain at White House
The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are the first Arab nations to recognize Israel since 1994. President Trump called the deal the beginning of “a new Middle East,” but the agreement leaves out Palestine.
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