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With less than a month to go before the midterms, all has been pretty quiet on the Robert Mueller front. The special counsel appears to be taking pains to stick to the Justice Department policy of not taking any public investigative steps that could sway an election. But a few new details have simmered to the surface.

The biggest: after months of negotiations, President Trump’s lawyers are reportedly preparing answers to written questions provided by Mueller’s team. Those inquiries are focused on his campaign’s possible collusion with and ties to the Russian government — not obstruction of justice, according to CNN.

Mueller has also apparently developed an “expanding” and “intense interest” in the late GOP activist Peter W. Smith’s efforts to hunt down emails he believed were stolen from Hillary Clinton’s private server. Federal prosecutors have interviewed several associates of Smith, who committed suicide last year. They’ve also learned that he raised over $100,000 for his email-hunting quest, according to a string of articles in the Wall Street Journal.

One of those reports revealed that Smith first met former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn back in 2015. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Smith claimed to have help from Flynn’s son and consulting firm in his efforts to find the missing emails.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is out of the GOP’s crosshairs for the moment. He shared a cozy Air Force 1 ride with Trump this week, and the President assured reporters that the pair had “a good relationship.”

More surprising is the retreat by House Republicans who were threatening Rosenstein’s impeachment just a few weeks ago over disparaging remarks he reportedly made about Trump. After calling on him to come testify before Congress ASAP, they’ve since postponed their meeting indefinitely.

Former Trump aide Rick Gates is reportedly continuing to cooperate with the Mueller probe. This week, The New York Times reported that Gates was contacted by an Israeli intelligence group during the campaign with an offer to use fake social media accounts to gather information and sway voters.

Gates was also sued by two of his former lawyers for allegedly stiffing them on some $360,000 in bills he accrued before switching representation.

Californian Richard Pinedo was sentenced to one-year imprisonment — six months in prison and six months in home confinement — on identify fraud charges brought by Mueller’s team. Pinedo, who cooperated with the investigation, sold bank account numbers connected to real people that he purchased on the black market; unbeknownst to Pinedo, some of those customers were the Russian trolls allegedly involved in 2016 election interference.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis wants to move forward with sentencing Paul Manafort for the counts he was convicted of in Virginia this summer, despite a plea agreement reached between Manafort and the special counsel postponed such moves based on Manafort’s cooperation.

In brighter news, Stormy Daniels and Michael Cohen exchanged a friendly greeting at LaGuardia Airport. Cohen, Daniels said, looked “happy and healthy.”

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President Trump on Friday doubled down on his belief that he’d be accused of “Nepotism” if he appointed his daughter Ivanka Trump — whose foreign relations experience consists of outsourcing the production of her fashion line to China and being extremely patriotic at the winter Olympics in South Korea — to be the U.S. envoy to the United Nations. But it’s hard to swallow that show of concern for optics from someone whose entire business and political career rests on the principal of rewarding loyalty.

And though Ivanka claims she doesn’t want the job that the President is lobbying her to take, she was reportedly quite interested not long ago.

Since at least last year, there have been whispers in the West Wing, and within Ivanka and Jared Kushner’s inner circles, that Ivanka is angling for the post, which Nikki Haley announced on Tuesday she’d be vacating at the end of the year. About a year ago, friends of the power couple told The New York Times that Ivanka and Kushner were eager to return to New York, and to their former lives among the city’s social elite. As Trump became increasingly open about his vexation with his former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, there was reportedly talk of a musical chairs transition: Haley could replace Tillerson when he got the boot and Ivanka could then snag Haley’s gig at the United Nations.

It’s unclear if that potential scenario was initially circulated by Trump or Ivanka or just advisers and friends close to the family, but the scheme has apparently stuck with Trump and his pundit-allies. As soon as Haley’s departure was reported earlier this week, conservative talking heads began boosting the possibility on television.

Coincidentally, hours later, Trump floated, and quickly shot down, the idea about his favorite daughter while speaking to reporters.

“I think Ivanka would be incredible, but it doesn’t mean I’d pick her,” he said Tuesday. “Because I’d be accused of nepotism even though I’m not sure there’s anybody more competent in the world.”

Ivanka took it upon herself to shut down the possible scheme not long after.

After it became clear that the White House’s darling choice for the position, Dina Powell, had no interest in losing time with her family — or leaving her lucrative role at Goldman Sachs — for the appointment, Trump couldn’t help but tout the possibility again on Friday morning. He claimed “everyone” wants his daughter to replace Haley, while carefully acknowledging it would be a Bad Idea.

The subtlest brand of transparency. 🧐

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