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.
So in case you were wondering why it is that Michael Cohen has turned on President Trump, it appears he is under investigation for possible misdeeds related to $20 million in loans, according to the New York Times.
Federal authorities investigating whether President Trump’s former personal lawyer and fixer, Michael D. Cohen, committed bank and tax fraud have zeroed in on well over $20 million in loans obtained by taxi businesses that he and his family own, according to people familiar with the matter.
Investigators are also examining whether Mr. Cohen violated campaign finance or other laws by helping to arrange financial deals to secure the silence of women who said they had affairs with Mr. Trump. The inquiry has entered the final stage and prosecutors are considering filing charges by the end of August, two of the people said.
Sounds like Cohen may be facing the rest of his life in jail. And so he’s turning on Trump. They’re putting out stories that he felt Trump didn’t treat him well enough, etc. But the bottom line is he doesn’t want to go to jail.
This is what Trump means by a witch hunt. You look around enough, and you find a witch. Most prosecutors aren’t able to conduct an 18-month investigation, which will certainly end up at least a two-year investigation. Special prosecutors have endless means at their disposal. Eventually, they raid peoples homes, they find things, they turn people against each other. They get the results they want.
We’re all guilty of something, even if accidentally. Maybe just something immoral if not illegal. I’m not saying Michael Cohen isn’t a snake. But our justice system is not predicated on the notion that the government should be looking around endlessly in our business so they can find something to charge us with and then use it to turn us against others who are their actual targets.
Bob Mueller, if he tried hard enough, could convict Moses of something. I don’t know, maybe failing to extinguish a brush fire.
According to Politico, Cohen’s lawyer is talking to John Dean for some reason. Now what that means, I have no idea, other than it sounds very dramatic and is probably meant to try to put fear into the White House.
The American people elected a president. Based on no specific evidence of “collusion,” there is an “investigation” of the president for collusion. And whatever else Mueller might find.
I’ll bet Trump spends at least a third of his time on this. That means he’s not spending all the time he should be on the world’s toughest job. And it’s harmful psychologically.
This thing is dangerous for all of us. And for what? Because Democrats didn’t like the results in November, 2016.
When Barack Obama did what President Trump is accused of, trying to influence a Justice Department investigation, there were no calls to impeach him or to prosecute him for obstruction. At least not among “mainstream” analysts.
The reasons, in short, are that Obama is favored by the mainstream media and that he didn’t have a special counsel looking into everything from whether he “colluded” with the Russians to whether he puts out the recycling bin on Tuesdays. But Obama did exactly what Trump did.
As you probably remember, last week Trump got in Big Trouble for calling on Attorney General Session to shut down Special Counsel Mueller’s Russia collusion probe, which seems focused on everything except Russia collusion.
..This is a terrible situation and Attorney General Jeff Sessions should stop this Rigged Witch Hunt right now, before it continues to stain our country any further. Bob Mueller is totally conflicted, and his 17 Angry Democrats that are doing his dirty work are a disgrace to USA!
But Obama repeatedly sought to minimize Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while the Justice Department was investigating it, saying it was just a “mistake” and did not jeopardize national security. Of course, he was more subtle about it than Trump, because he is more subtle than Trump. But it is clear Obama was commenting favorably and minimizing the potential crime of the subject of an ongoing investigation, Hillary Clinton.
According to the FBI inspector general’s report issued in June, this was deeply problematic for investigators. From excerpts assembled by National Review:
Former President Obama’s comments caused concern among FBI officials about the potential impact on the investigation. Former EAD John Giacalone told the OIG, “We open up criminal investigations. And you have the President of the United States saying this is just a mistake. . . . That’s a problem, right?” Former AD Randy Coleman expressed the same concern, stating, “[The FBI had] a group of guys in here, professionals, that are conducting an investigation. And the . . . President of the United States just came out and said there’s no there there.” Michael Steinbach, the former EAD for the National Security Branch, told the OIG that the comments generated “controversy” within the FBI. Steinbach stated, “You’re prejudging the results of an investigation before they really even have been started. . . .That’s . . . hugely problematic for us.” Department prosecutors also were concerned. Prosecutor 4 told the OIG that Obama’s statement was the genesis of the FBI’s suspicions that the Department’s leadership was politically biased. This prosecutor stated, “I know that the FBI considered those [statements] inappropriate. And that it . . . [generated] a suspicion that there was a political bias . . . going on from the Executive Branch.”
Attorney general Loretta Lynch didn’t like it either.
She told the OIG that she did not think the President should have made the comment on 60 Minutes. She stated, “I don’t know where it came from. And I don’t know, I don’t know why he would have thought that either, to be honest with you. Because, to me, anyone looking at this case would have seen a national security component to it. So I don’t, I truly do not know where he got that from.”
And don’t think that Obama was necessarily just protecting Hillary out of the goodness of his heart. By communicating with her on an unsecured email system, which he did, he too may have engaged in misconduct.
In fact, this is in some ways worse than what Trump did. Obama is trying to influence a probe that is going on within his own Justice Department. That’s a lot easier to do than to have an effect on an investigation being conducted by a special counsel, who has a much greater degree of independence.
What’s more, Sessions can’t even shut down the probe. He’s recused himself. I’ve heard some suggest Trump is uninformed or mistaken because the person he should be targeting is Deputy Attorney General Rod Sessions, who actually oversees Mueller.
But maybe Trump knows exactly what he is doing. Because how do you accuse someone of trying to obstruct justice when he’s trying to “influence” the wrong person?
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.
Former Trump attorney and all-around fixer and hatchet man Michael Cohen is alleging to the Mueller gang that President Trump knew about a meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. to get dirt on Hillary Clinton from a Russian government-connected source.
Trump denied it Friday morning.
…..I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!
Look, let’s be frank. This is was a seriously dumb move. I mean, was nobody thinking? Go to the Russians to try to get dirt on Hillary Clinton? Were there no adults around to stop this?
There is no evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians. But this is evidence that on at least one occasion, they tried. Fortunately for Trump, failure can sometimes be a good thing.
The allegation by Cohen, a veteran liar who is out to save his skin, is meaningless unless he can back it up with emails or some other tangible evidence. Or if he tells Mueller other people were aware that Trump knew, and then Mueller puts the squeeze on them.
Let’s be frank about another thing. This is exactly the problem with a prosecutor given endless time to compile a case. Everybody does dumb things. I doubt the Trump people knew this would be illegal. They were just looking for dirt wherever they could find it.
You sic a special prosecutor on any presidential campaign – and my God, particularly those run by the Clintons – and you’ll find some illegal behavior or attempts at it.
The Russia collusion allegations and the special prosecutor are effectively an effort to reverse the results of the election. The investigation is not fair play. If a special prosecutor investigated Mother Theresa, Nelson Mandela, and Martin Luther King long enough, they’d all wind up in jail.
President Trump Tuesday said the Russians will attempt to influence the 2018 midterm elections – on behalf of the Democrats.
I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats. They definitely don’t want Trump!
President Trump is exploring “mechanisms” for revoking the security clearances of former CIA Director John Brennan, former FBI Director James Comey, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former National Security Agency Michael Hayden, former National Security Adviser Susan Rice, and former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said certain officials have “politicized and in some cases monetized their public service and security clearances” and made “baseless accusations” against Trump concerning Russia.
Of course, she’s right. These people are writing books and serving the Democrats. Why do they have access to our secrets to bash Trump with them? And why do they even need such access?
President Trump Monday suggested that he might take Russian President Putin at his word that Russia did not interfere in the 2016 election.
Trump was asked whether he blieved U.S intelligence agencies or Putin.
[Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me. They said, they think it’s Russia. I have President Putin, he just said it’s not Russia. I will say this, I don’t see any reason why it would be . . . I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.
I dunno. Michael Cohen doesn’t, you know, impress me as the most ethical attorney around. Wait a second, I don’t want to get sued. I’m not saying he’s unethical. Just not the most ethical, okay? My gosh, call of your dogs! Let’s face it Mr. President, you hired a shark because you needed an attorney… Continue Reading
After three tweets Tuesday morning about the Russia probe and the need for further investigation of Hillary Clinton, President Trump sought to get his mind off the subject. Sorry, I’ve got to start focusing my energy on North Korea Nuclear, bad Trade Deals, VA Choice, the Economy, rebuilding the Military, and so much more, and not… Continue Reading
This video below addresses one of the great mysteries of the week. We keep hearing in the media that there was no evidence that the Trump campaign was spied on. And whatever was, DON’T CALL IT SPYING. Of course there’s evidence, laid out by the liberal media itself, about surveillance of indviduals associated with the… Continue Reading
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,… Continue Reading