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Tag Archives: Robert Mueller

Barr Promises if Confirmed As AG to Allow Mueller to Finish Probe

“On my watch, Bob will be allowed to finish his work,” Attorney General nominee Robert Barr said during testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday.

Is that a good idea? I don’t think so, but it may be he had to say this in order to get confirmed. But how does this conform to the rule of law? What if Barr decides that Meuller is abusing his power? Isn’t this a green light for Mueller to do so?

When is it ever a good idea to tell an employee, which is what Mueller is with respect to the Justice Department, that he or she can’t be fired??

Strzok and Page’s Texts: The Mueller Coverup?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired two FBI lovers from his investigation because they were clearly biased against the subject of the probe, President Donald Trump. And yet, instead of retaining evidence of whatever “collusion” they may have been involved in together, he failed to preserve evidence of their contacts. Why?

That’s what Byron York wants to know in this piece in the Washington Examiner:

It’s a little complicated, but it appears the Justice Department’s inspector general, Michael Horowitz, has uncovered a serious problem relating to the anti-Trump texts exchanged by two former top FBI investigators, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. Here is what Horowitz lays out in a new report:

Shortly after being appointed in May 2017, Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller hired Strzok and Page. When he did so, he issued them work iPhones. A short time later, Horowitz, who was investigating the department’s Hillary Clinton probe, discovered that Strzok and Page, using their old FBI phones, had exchanged virulently anti-Trump text messages. Horowitz told Mueller, who thought the situation serious enough to remove Strzok and Page. Yet it appears the Mueller office stripped Page’s iPhone of all data without ever checking on its contents, and they stripped Strzok’s iPhone after a perfunctory check that may or may not have taken note of the content of its text messages. When Horowitz asked for and (belatedly) received the phones, he could recover nothing from them.

The iPhone affair leaves some real questions. How did Mueller not see the need to examine the Strzok and Page iPhones after Mueller learned of the anti-Trump texts they had sent with their FBI phones? If the texts were serious enough to fire Strzok and Page, were they not serious enough to warrant a search of the phones? How did Mueller not see the need to immediately hand the phones over to Horowitz, who originally informed Mueller about the Strzok-Page text issue? And what did the special counsel’s declaration of “no substantive texts” on Strzok’s phone mean, given that the Justice Department had earlier withheld many relevant Strzok-Page texts from congressional investigators? Finally, what does Mueller’s behavior in the text situation say about his willingness to submit to oversight, even by the Justice Department’s own inspector general?

How Trump is Being Vilified for Something that Helps Exculpate Him

Everyone’s talking about a New York Times story suggesting that White House Counsel Don McGahn may have been seeking to protect himself and harm President Trump by spending 30 hours talking to special counsel Robert Mueller.

A fifth column! Rats abandoning the sinking ship!

As the Wall Street Journal points out today, maybe just the reverse.

The thesis of the New York Times story is that Mr. McGahn cooperated in a way that could hurt Donald Trump in order to protect himself and because he doesn’t trust the President. This fits the media narrative that Mr. Trump is covering up his collusion with Russia and his obstruction of justice, and thus Mr. McGahn must be scrambling to save himself.

Yet lost in the resulting tempest is a crucial fact that appears to contradict this spin: Mr. Trump had to waive executive privilege for Mr. McGahn to cooperate with Mr. Mueller . . .

This in turn meant that Mr. McGahn would have to answer all of Mr. Mueller’s questions. Once privilege is waived, Mr. McGahn couldn’t decide to answer, say, what Mr. Trump told him about Attorney General Jeff Sessions but refuse to discuss the President’s state of mind when he fired James Comey at the FBI. Without invoking privilege there is no legal basis for Mr. McGahn to refuse to answer a question.

This isn’t what you’d expect if Mr. Trump is leading a coverup. Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton fought extensive legal battles with prosecutors over executive privilege. Mr. Clinton invoked privilege to block aides Bruce Lindsey and Sidney Blumenthal from testifying to Ken Starr’s grand jury.Yet when Mr. Trump doesn’t invoke privilege for his White House counsel, he gets no credit.

Exactly. Because the media have a particular storyline they are following. And Trump doing good things, or anything that might suggest he’s innocent, is not part of the story.

Mueller Offers to Limit Questions He Would Ask Trump

According to the Washington Post:

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III indicated this week that he is willing to reduce the number of questions his investigators would pose to President Trump in an interview, renewing negotiations with Trump’s lawyers about a presidential sit-down after an extended standoff, according to two people briefed on the negotiations.

The latest proposal by the special counsel comes as Trump has stepped up his attacks on his investigation and Mueller personally.

For months, Mueller has been seeking to question the president as part of his investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 campaign, which is also examining whether Trump has sought to block that probe.

In a letter sent Monday, Mueller’s team suggested that investigators would reduce the number of questions about potential obstruction of justice they would ask in person and instead seek some answers in written form, according to one person.

Trump’s attorneys should continue to advise him to answer all questions in writing. Mueller will ask questions designed to create a perjury trap. Remember, even someone as careful as Bill Clinton, an attorney and literally lifelong politician, was impeached in part because of perjury committed under questioning from the independent counsel. Trump is far more careless about what he says than Clinton.

Understandably, Trump wants to personally clear his name. According to the New York Times:

President Trump pushed his lawyers in recent days to try once again to reach an agreement with the special counsel’s office about him sitting for an interview, flouting their advice that he should not answer investigators’ questions, three people briefed on the matter said on Wednesday.

Mr. Trump has told advisers he is eager to meet with investigators to clear himself of wrongdoing, the people said. In effect, he believes he can convince the investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, of his belief that their own inquiry is a “witch hunt.”

Bad idea. Mueller likely has nothing with which to prosecute Trump. During an interview, the hunt for a perjury charge will be on. He has to justify the millions that have been spent somehow.

Giuliani Caves to His Client, Will Allow Mueller to Interview Trump

President Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani is reversing himself and now support allowing Special Counsel Robert Meuller to interview Trump, according to the Washington Post.

He made it obvious that this idea, which is not a smart one, was Trump’s not his.

“I guess I’d rather do the interview,” Giuliani said. “It gets it over with, it makes my client happy. The safe course you hear every lawyer say is don’t do the interview, and that’s easy to say in the abstract. That’s much harder when you have a client who is the president of the United States and wants to be interviewed.”

Trump understandably wants his name cleared and thinks he can do that by showing everyone that he withstood Mueller’s interrogation. But the danger of a perjury trap is so severe – particularly with someone like Trump,  who says what he thinks – that questions should be answered in writing if at all.

As all of you know, saying what you think with attorneys around is a bad idea.

White House contacted Mueller’s office and received this reply.

Giuliani Says Mueller Told Trump Lawyers President Can’t be Indicted

According to Fox News:

President Trump’s attorney, Rudy Giuliani, told Fox News on Wednesday that special counsel Robert Mueller has told the president’s legal team he will follow Justice Department guidance and not seek an indictment against Trump.

Giuliani, himself a former federal prosecutor and mayor of New York City, also told Fox News that Mueller’s investigators have not responded to five information requests from the president’s team. That has forced Trump’s legal team to push off making a decision about whether the president will sit for an interview with the special counsel — a decision they had hoped to reach by Thursday.

The precedent that federal prosecutors cannot indict a sitting president is laid out in a 1999 Justice Department memo. Giuliani told Fox News that Mueller has no choice but to follow its guidance.

“This case is essentially over,” Giuliani said. “They’re just in denial.”

No, they’re not in denial. They are building a case for House Democrats to impeach Trump, and for the Senate to possibly convict him. That’s the goal here. A Democratic House would impeach Trump for waking up in the morning. But the Senate would only convinct him if there is serious evidence of a crime. And God knows, Mueller is looking for a crime, any crime.

Federal Judge Accuses Mueller of Pursuing Manafort to Get Trump

Yes, that’s right. A prosecutor with unlimited power, time and money to go after anyone to get Trump. That’s a problem.

From the Washington Post:

A federal judge in Virginia on Friday accused the office of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III of pursuing a fraud case against President Trump’s former campaign manager to pressure him to “sing” and provide evidence against the president.

The comments from Judge T.S. Ellis III came during a hearing in Alexandria federal court, where attorneys for Paul Manafort argued that bank- and tax-fraud charges against him are outside the scope of the special counsel’s authority.

“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis told prosecutors at the morning hearing. “You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment.”

Ellis said the government wanted Manafort, “the vernacular is, to sing.” The judge put it another way, saying the special counsel set out to “turn the screws and get the information you really want.”

Trump noticed.

Judge Raises Doubts About Whether Mueller Can Probe Whatever He Wants

There once was something called in “independent counsel.” The problem with that was that the independent counsel could just run amock and investigate anything and everything forever.

So they let the law authorizing independent counsels expire and decided these probes would be done by a “special counsel” who reported to the Department of Justice. Presumably, that would put some limits on the investigation. But not, apparently, under the authority of Rod Rosenstein.

Now a federal judge is wondering what’s up.

Because it seems Mueller will soon be looking for Jimmy Hoffa and investigating the Kennedy assassination.

According to Politico:

A federal judge raised doubts Thursday about the scope of the order used to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to probe alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

During a two-and-a-half hour hearing in one of Mueller’s criminal cases against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson questioned whether Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s directive appointing Mueller granted him more authority than Justice Department regulations appear to permit.

Manafort’s lead defense attorney, Kevin Downing, noted that the May 17 order appointing Mueller grants him authority to pursue the Trump-Russia probe as well as other issues that “may arise” from that investigation. Downing said that was at odds with Justice’s rules, which say a special counsel must be told of the “specific factual matter” in his or her mandate.

“That’s a fair point,” Jackson said, adding later: “I don’t think that, as good as he is, that the deputy attorney general can see into the future.”

Rosenstein Told Trump He’s Not a “Target” of Mueller’s, But it Doesn’t Matter

One of the big stories circulating this afternoon is that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his mysterious White House meeting with Donald Trump last week informed the president he is not a “target” of Robert Mueller’s investigation. According to Bloomberg: Rosenstein, who brought up the Mueller probe himself, offered the assurance during a meeting… Continue Reading

Video || Grassley: Firing Mueller “Would Be Suicide”

“It looks like a dead end,” Grassley said of the Russia collusion investigation. “Maybe Mueller would appreciate being fired so he would have an excuse for getting out of it and the Democrats would have a good issue in this upcoming election.” A lot of Republicans would be unhappy if Trump fired Mueller. Remember, it… Continue Reading

Mueller May Be Trying to Induce Trump to Testify With “Not a Target” Assurance

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has told the White House that President Trump is not a “target” of his investigation, a fairly meaningless assertion that seems designed to lull Trump into a false sense of comfort and get him to testify. The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that Trump is a “subject” of the probe but not a… Continue Reading

Former Trump Campaign Advisor Close to a Plea Deal With Mueller

The dude is getting his ducks in a row, hoping they’ll all sing. Or start quacking. According to CNN: Former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates is finalizing a plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, indicating he’s poised to cooperate in the investigation, according to sources familiar with the case. Gates has already spoken… Continue Reading