Trump appoints special counsel to deal with Russia 'heat'

| Updated: Jul 16, 2017 09:03 IST

Washington [USA] July 16 (ANI): The United States President Donald Trump has appointed federal prosecutor Ty Cobb as White House special counsel to oversee the legal and media response to the investigation into Russian meddling in last year's election and alleged collusion by the Trump campaign, reports CNN. Cobb is a partner in the investigations practice of the law firm Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C., and a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He earned a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center and attended Harvard University as an undergraduate. The appointment assumes significance after Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign. He accepted the meeting on the premise that he would be offered damaging information about Hillary Clinton, according to emails Trump Jr. posted on Twitter earlier this week. Friday news broke that the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with Trump Jr., Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort included at least eight people, sources familiar with the meeting told CNN. Trump Jr.'s explanations of the reason for the meeting evolved after The New York Times published several stories about the meeting in recent days. The United States Intelligence Community has concluded with high confidence that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) stated that Russian leadership preferred presidential candidate Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton, and that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered an "influence campaign" to harm Clinton's electoral chances and "undermine public faith in the US democratic process". Several investigations about Russian influence on the election have been underway: a counter-intelligence investigation by the FBI, hearings by the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, and inquiries about possible links and financial ties between the Kremlin and Trump associates. (ANI)

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