Sep 25, 2019

Judge overturns guilty verdict of Michael Flynn's ex-business partner

President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn leaves court in Washington, D.C., in June. Photo: Alex Wroblewski/Getty Images

A federal judge overturned a jury's guilty verdict Tuesday against Bijan Rafiekian, a former business associate of ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn and a member of the Trump transition team, citing insufficient evidence.

Why it matters: Rafiekian's prosecution was one of 11 cases transferred by former special counsel Robert Mueller to other jurisdictions over the course of his investigation. Per the New York Times, the judge's decision "delivered a potentially fatal blow to the government’s efforts to prosecute [Rafiekian] in a case that had already suffered other setbacks."

  • CNN notes that the ruling may be a boost for Flynn, who's yet to be sentenced after pleading guilty in December 2017 to lying to the FBI about the nature of his conversations with then-Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

The big picture: Rafiekian, also known as Bijan Kian, was found guilty in July of acting as an unregistered foreign agent for the Turkish government and lying about it to the Justice Department.

  • Flynn cooperated with prosecutors over the Mueller investigation and was due to testify about the role of Rafiekian in hiding Flynn Intel Group's illegal lobbying on behalf of the Turkish government. But the deal fell apart in July as a result of a dispute between prosecutors and Flynn's new attorneys, per Politico.

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House Judiciary alleges Trump may have lied in Mueller report

Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Lawyers for House lawmakers have suggested they believe President Trump may have lied to former special counsel Robert Mueller about his knowledge of his campaign's connections to WikiLeaks, according to a court filing obtained by Politico Monday.

The big picture: The filing forms part of the House Judiciary Committee's efforts to obtain Mueller's grand-jury documents, which are currently secret. The House alleges redacted parts of the Mueller report could be detailed by the documents and potentially show that Trump knew of his campaign's contacts with WikiLeaks.

Go deeperArrowOct 1, 2019

NYT: Rudy Giuliani under federal investigation for Ukraine deals

Rudy Giuliani on Fox Business' "Morning with Maria" on Sept. 23. Photo: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

New York federal prosecutors have launched a criminal investigation into President Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani to determine if he "broke lobbying laws in his dealings in Ukraine," the New York Times reports.

Driving the news: Two foreign-born Trump donors who helped connect Giuliani with Ukrainian officials in his efforts to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son were arrested on Wednesday night on campaign finance charges.

Go deeperArrowOct 12, 2019

Timeline: The major developments in the college admissions scandal

Actress Lori Loughlin exit the Boston Federal Court house after a pre-trial hearing with at U.S. courthouse in Boston on Aug. 27. Photo: JOSEPH PREZIOSO / Getty Images

In what Department of Justice prosecutors have called the biggest admissions scam in U.S. history, parents allegedly bribed coaches and paid for forged standardized tests in a conspiracy to get their children into elite American colleges.

Driving the news: A former college exam proctor accused of accepting bribes to allow cheating on college entrance exams pleaded guilty on Nov. 13 to a racketeering charge. Prosecutors claimed Igor Dvorskiy accepted about $200,000 in bribes to assist 20 students. That same day, Toby Macfarlane, a California-based insurance executive, was sentenced to six months in prison after admitting to conspiring with Rick Singer on behalf of his two children.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Nov 13, 2019