By Frances Rice
A shock wave shot across the country when it was revealed that earlier this year Special Counsel Robert Mueller fired Hillary Clinton email investigation Peter Strzok after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.
This bombshell revelation is more evidence, as demonstrated in the below articles, that Mueller and his entire team are anti-Trump and the bogus Russian-collusion investigation should be shut down.
Mueller aide fired for anti-Trump texts now facing review for role in Clinton email probeBy James Rosen
Two senior Justice Department officials have confirmed to Fox News that the department's Office of Inspector General is reviewing the role played in the Hillary Clinton email investigation by Peter Strzok, a former deputy director for counterintelligence at the FBI who was removed from the staff of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III earlier this year, after Mueller learned that Strzok had exchanged anti-Trump texts with a colleague.
A source close to the matter said the OIG probe, which will examine Strzok's roles in a number of other politically sensitive cases, should be completed by "very early next year."
The task will be exceedingly complex, given Strzok's consequential portfolio. He participated in the FBI's fateful interview with Hillary Clinton on July 2, 2016 – just days before then-FBI Director James Comey announced he was declining to recommend prosecution of Mrs. Clinton in connection with her use, as secretary of state, of a private email server.
As deputy FBI director for counterintelligence, Strzok also enjoyed liaison with various agencies in the intelligence community, including the CIA, then led by Director John Brennan.
House investigators told Fox News they have long regarded Strzok as a key figure in the chain of events when the bureau, in 2016, received the infamous anti-Trump "dossier" and launched a counterintelligence investigation into Russian meddling in the election that ultimately came to encompass FISA surveillance of a Trump campaign associate.
The "dossier" was a compendium of salacious and largely unverified allegations about then-candidate Trump and others around him that was compiled by the opposition research firm Fusion GPS. The firm's bank records, obtained by House investigators, revealed that the project was funded by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., has sought documents and witnesses from the Department of Justice and FBI to determine what role, if any, the dossier played in the move to place a Trump campaign associate under foreign surveillance.
Strzok himself briefed the committee on Dec. 5, 2016, the sources said, but within months of that session House Intelligence Committee investigators were contacted by an informant suggesting that there was “documentary evidence” that Strzok was purportedly obstructing the House probe into the dossier.
In early October, Nunes personally asked Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein – who has overseen the Trump-Russia probe since the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions – to make Strzok available to the committee for questioning, sources said.
While Strzok’s removal from the Mueller team had been publicly reported in August, the Justice Department never disclosed the anti-Trump texts to the House investigators. The denial of access to Strzok was instead predicated, sources said, on broad "personnel" grounds.
When a month had elapsed, House investigators – having issued three subpoenas for various witnesses and documents – formally recommended to Nunes that DOJ and FBI be held in contempt of Congress. Nunes continued pressing DOJ, including a conversation with Rosenstein as recently as last Wednesday.
That turned out to be 12 days after DOJ and FBI had made Strzok available to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is conducting its own parallel investigation into the allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.
Responding to the revelations about Strzok’s texts on Saturday, Nunes said he has now directed his staff to draft contempt-of-Congress citations against Rosenstein and the new FBI director, Christopher Wray. Unless DOJ and FBI comply with all of his outstanding requests for documents and witnesses by the close of business on Monday, Nunes said, he would seek a resolution on the contempt citations before year’s end.
“We now know why Strzok was dismissed, why the FBI and DOJ refused to provide us this explanation, and at least one reason why they previously refused to make [FBI] Deputy Director [Andrew] McCabe available to the Committee for an interview,” Nunes said in a statement.
Early Saturday afternoon, after Strzok’s texts were cited in published reports by the New York Times and the Washington Post – and Fox News had followed up with inquiries about the department’s refusal to make Strzok available to House investigators – the Justice Department contacted the office of House Speaker Paul Ryan to establish a date for Strzok’s appearance before House Intelligence Committee staff, along with two other witnesses long sought by the Nunes team.
Those witnesses are FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and the FBI officer said to have handled Christopher Steele, the British spy who used Russian sources to compile the dossier for Fusion GPS. The official said to be Steele’s FBI handler has also appeared already before the Senate panel.
The Justice Department maintained that the decision to clear Strzok for House interrogation had occurred a few hours prior to the appearance of the Times and Post stories.
In addition, Rosenstein is set to testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13.
The Justice Department maintains that it has been very responsive to the House intel panel's demands, including private briefings for panel staff by senior DOJ and FBI personnel and the production of several hundred pages of classified materials available in a secure reading room at DOJ headquarters on Oct. 31.
Behind the scenes
Sources said Speaker Ryan has worked quietly behind the scenes to try to resolve the clash over dossier-related evidence and witnesses between the House intel panel on the one hand and DOJ and FBI on the other. In October, however, the speaker took the unusual step of saying publicly that the two agencies were "stonewalling" Congress.
All parties agree that some records being sought by the Nunes team belong to categories of documents that have historically never been shared with the committees that conduct oversight of the intelligence community.
Federal officials told Fox News the requested records include “highly sensitive raw intelligence,” so sensitive that officials from foreign governments have emphasized to the U.S. the “potential danger and chilling effect” it could place on foreign intelligence sources.
Justice Department officials noted that Nunes did not appear for a document-review session that his committee’s ranking Democrat, U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., attended, and once rejected a briefing by an FBI official if the panel’s Democratic members were permitted to attend.
Sources close to the various investigations agreed the discovery of Strzok’s texts raised important questions about his work on the Clinton email case, the Trump-Russia probe, and the dossier matter.
“That’s why the IG is looking into all of those things,” a Justice Department official told Fox News on Saturday.
A top House investigator asked: “If Mueller knew about the texts, what did he know about the dossier?”
Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel, said: “Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation.”
Carr declined to comment on the extent to which Mueller has examined the dossier and its relationship, if any, to the counterintelligence investigation that Strzok launched during the height of the campaign season.
James Rosen joined FOX News Channel (FNC) in 1999 and is the network’s chief Washington correspondent.
Judging by Mueller's staffing choices, he may not be very interested in justice
By Sidney Powell
October 19, 2017
Much has been written about the prosecutorial prowess of Robert Mueller’s team assembled to investigate allegations of Russia’s involvement in the Trump campaign. Little has been said of the danger of prosecutorial overreach and the true history of Mueller’s lead prosecutor.
What was supposed to have been a search for Russia’s cyberspace intrusions into our electoral politics has morphed into a malevolent mission targeting friends, family and colleagues of the president. The Mueller investigation has become an all-out assault to find crimes to pin on them — and it won’t matter if there are no crimes to be found. This team can make some.
Many Americans despise President Trump and anyone associated with him. Yet turning our system of justice into a political weapon is a danger we must guard against.
Think back to April 1, 1940, and a world awash in turmoil, hate and fear. Revered Attorney General Robert H. Jackson assembled the United States attorneys. In remarks enshrined in the hearts of all good prosecutors, he said, “the citizen's safety lies in the prosecutor who tempers zeal with human kindness, who seeks truth and not victims, who serves the law and not factional purposes, and who approaches his task with humility.”
Yet Mueller tapped a different sort of prosecutor to lead his investigation — his long-time friend and former counsel, Andrew Weissmann. He is not just a “tough” prosecutor. Time after time, courts have reversed Weissmann’s most touted “victories” for his tactics. This is hardly the stuff of a hero in the law.
Weissmann, as deputy and later director of the Enron Task force, destroyed the venerable accounting firm of Arthur Andersen LLP and its 85,000 jobs worldwide — only to be reversed several years later by a unanimous Supreme Court.
Next, Weissmann creatively criminalized a business transaction between Merrill Lynch and Enron. Four Merrill executives went to prison for as long as a year. Weissmann’s team made sure they did not even get bail pending their appeals, even though the charges Weissmann concocted, like those against Andersen, were literally unprecedented.
Weissmann’s prosecution devastated the lives and families of the Merrill executives, causing enormous defense costs, unimaginable stress and torturous prison time. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the mass of the case.
Weissmann quietly resigned from the Enron Task Force just as the judge in the Enron Broadband prosecution began excoriating Weissmann’s team, and the press began catching on to Weissmann’s modus operandi.
Mueller knows this history. Is this why he tapped Weissmann to target Paul Manafort?
As Attorney General Jackson foretold: “Therein is the most dangerous power of the prosecutor: that he will pick people that he thinks he should get, rather than pick cases that need to be prosecuted.”
Manafort, a Trump associate, is simply a small step in Weissmann’s quest to impugn this presidency or to reverse the results of the 2016 election. Never mind that months of investigation by multiple entities have produced no evidence of "collusion." Mueller’s rare, predawn raid of Manafort’s home — a fearsome treat usually reserved for mobsters and drug dealers — is textbook Weissmann terrorism. And of course, the details were leaked — another illegal tactic.
Weissmann is intent on indicting Manafort. It won’t matter that Manafort knows the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Weissman will pressure Manafort to say whatever satisfies Weissmann’s perspective. Perjury is only that which differs from Weissmann’s “view” of the “evidence” — not the actual truth.
We all lose from Weissmann’s involvement. First, the truth plays no role in Weissmann’s quest. Second, respect for the rule of law, simple decency and following the facts do not appear in Weissmann’s playbook.
Third, and most important, all Americans lose whenever our judicial system becomes a weapon to reward political friends and punish political foes.
It is long past the due date for Mueller to clean up his team — or Weissmann to resign — as a sign that the United States is a nation of laws that are far more important than one Weissmann.
Sidney Powell was a federal prosecutor in three districts under nine U.S. attorneys from both political parties, then in private practice for more than 20 years. She is a past president of the Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit and of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. A veteran of 500 federal appeals, she published "Licensed to Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice."
Mueller probe: Meet the lawyers who gave $$ to Hillary, now investigating team TrumpBy Brooke Singman
July 24, 2017
President Trump’s tough criticism of Special Counsel Robert Mueller signals a renewed effort to challenge his investigators’ credibility over their track record of pro-Democratic political donations and other associations.
There is no shortage of examples to fuel the president's case.
Of the 15 attorneys currently on staff for Mueller, at least seven have donated to Democratic candidates and campaigns, including Trump's 2016 rival Hillary Clinton. The rest have not made political donations, according to federal records; and none of the attorneys on Mueller’s roster donated money to Trump.
“This is just a witch hunt—it’s all a hoax,” White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway told “Fox & Friends” last week after Trump criticized Mueller in a New York Times interview. “People should know what folks’ past motivations, and their political motivations are—these weren’t minor donations, these were significant donations by members of that team.”
Conway said the donations are “relevant information for people to have.”
Multiple reports in recent days have detailed a special counsel investigation digging deep into Trump associates’ dealings, prompting a range of public responses from the Trump administration. The president went so far over the weekend as to declare he has “complete power to pardon.” But in the near-term, expect to hear more about the political affiliation of Mueller’s attorneys.
“They clearly wanted the other person to win. Now, whether that prejudices them in one way or another remains to be seen, but it is relevant information for people to have,” Conway said.
Here’s a snapshot of some of the attorneys on Mueller’s team and their political contributions:
Quarles is a former partner at WilmerHale and former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate Special Prosecution Force. According to data compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics, Quarles had made significant donations to Democratic candidates, including former President Barack Obama and Clinton. Most recently, in October 2016, Quarles donated $2,700 to Clinton’s presidential campaign. Quarles also donated over $7,000 to Obama over the last decade. Quarles did, however, donate $2,500 to former Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, in 2015.
Rhee is a former partner at WilmerHale who also served in the Office of Legal Counsel and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia. At WilmerHale, Rhee focused on representing people in government investigations including white-collar criminal probes and criminal and civil fraud matters. Rhee donated a total of $5,400 to Clinton, combining donations from 2015 and 2016. Rhee also donated a combined $4,800 to Obama in 2008 and 2011. Rhee also has contributed smaller amounts of money to the Democratic National Committee and other Democrats running for Congress.
Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann (C) is flanked by FBI agents as he speaks to the press outside the federal courthouse in Houston, Texas about the latest round of indictments stemming from the collapse of Enron, May 1, 2003. Also Lea Fastow, wife of Enron Chief Financial Officer Andrew Fastow, is expected to be indicted on tax and mail fraud. REUTERS/Jeff Mitchell JM/ME - RTRMRJX
Federal prosecutor Andrew Weissmann in 2003 at a press conference in Texas about the latest round of indictments stemming from the collapse of Enron. (Reuters)
Weissmann served as general counsel at the FBI and was an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Weissmann is a veteran Justice Department prosecutor. He was the deputy, and then leader, of the department’s task force that investigated and prosecuted Enron executives in the energy giant’s collapse. Weissmann donated a combined $2,300 to Obama’s campaign in 2008. In 2006, Weissmann contributed at least $2,000 to the DNC.
Goldstein is an attorney on detail from the Southern District of New York, where he had worked under U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara—until Bharara was fired along with other U.S. attorneys by Trump.
Goldstein’s old boss has become a prominent Trump critic since his firing and has been particularly outspoken over concerns that Trump may be gearing up to get Mueller fired. In a tweetstorm last week, Bharara openly wondered, “If Mueller is fired, how much obscene & horses-t character assassination will Trump & allies level against this honored military vet?” He added if that happens, “do Trump & allies realize he will forever appear guilty of a crime even if the Special Counsel may not have found one?”
Bharara also praised Goldstein as “Best of best in every way. Fair, tough smart,” after he was brought on by Mueller.
Goldstein contributed a combined $3,300 to Obama’s campaigns in 2008 and 2012.
Prelogar is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General. Prelogar donated $250 to Clinton in 2016 and $250 to Obama in 2012.
Brandon Van Grack
Van Grack is an attorney on detail from the National Security Division of the DOJ. Van Grack donated $286 to Obama in 2008.
Atkinson is an attorney on detail from the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section of the DOJ. Records show that Atkinson donated $200 to Clinton’s campaign in 2016.
Ahmad is a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of New York. She has worked extensively on counterterrorism cases. Records show that Ahmad has not made any political donations.
U.S. Deputy Solicitor General Michael Dreeben departs the U.S. Justice Department in traditional morning coat on his way to argue his one-hundredth case before the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, U.S. April 27, 2016.
Michael Dreeben departs the U.S. Department of Justice on April 27, 2016 on his way to argue his one-hundredth case before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Reuters)
Dreeben is an appellate attorney on detail from the Office of the Solicitor General. Records show he has made no political donations. Dreeben has represented the federal government in a range of cases -- including on the police use of GPS tracking to monitor potential suspects, and whether former Republican Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell crossed the line in performing favors for a wealthy supporter who provided gifts to McDonnell and his wife.
Jed is an appellate attorney on detail from the Civil Division of the DOJ. Records show he has made no political donations.
Jed’s notable casework includes arguing in defense of then-secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in 2014 in the Supreme Court case of Little Sisters of the Poor v. Sebelius. The case challenged the contraceptive insurance requirement under ObamaCare. Jed also argued, before the Supreme Court, to strike down the definition of marriage between a man and a woman in the Defense of Marriage Act in the United States v. Windsor.
Zebley is a former partner at WilmerHale, who previously served with Mueller at the FBI as chief of staff. Zebley served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia. Records show he has made no political donations.
Zelinksy is an attorney on detail from the District of Maryland. Records show he has made no political donations.
Greg Andres: Latest lawyer appointed to join Robert Mueller's Russia investigation team has background in foreign bribery
By Karen Freifeld
August 2, 2017
Legal experts say his appointment suggests the Russia probe will continue well into 2018
A former US Justice Department official has become the latest lawyer to join special counsel Robert Mueller's team investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election, a spokesman for the team confirmed.
Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team, said Josh Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel.
Legal experts not involved in the case said his appointment suggested the Russia probe would continue for months or possibly years.
Most recently a white-collar criminal defence lawyer with New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Mr Andres, 50, served at the Justice Department from 2010 to 2012.
He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery.
Mr Mueller, who was appointed special counsel in May, is looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election, among other matters. Congressional committees are also investigating the matter.
That Mr Mueller continues to expand his team means the probe is not going to end anytime soon, said Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration.
"It's an indication that the investigation is going to extend well into 2018," said Ray. "Whether it extends beyond 2018 is an open question."
The special counsel last month asked the White House to preserve all of its communications about a June 2016 meeting that included the President's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Russian officials have denied meddling in the US election, and Mr Trump denies any collusion by his campaign.
Among the cases Mr Andres oversaw at the Justice Department was the prosecution of Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford, who was convicted in 2012 for operating an $8bn Ponzi scheme.
Before that, Mr Andres was a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn for over a decade, eventually serving as chief of the criminal division in the US attorney's office there. He prosecuted several members of the Bonanno organised crime family, one of whom was accused of plotting to have Mr Andres killed.
A graduate of Notre Dame and University of Chicago Law School, Mr Andres was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin from 1989 to 1992.
He is married to Ronnie Abrams, a US district judge in Manhattan nominated to the bench in 2011 by former President Barack Obama.
Others on the special counsel team include Andrew Weissmann, chief of the Justice Department's fraud section; Andrew Goldstein, former head of the public corruption unit at the US Attorney's Office in Manhattan; and James Quarles, who was an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation that helped bring down President Richard Nixon.
Investor's Business Daily
October 26, 2017
Trump-Russia Collusion Is Fake News — Fire Mueller, And End This Bogus Investigation
Russian Scandal: Special Counsel Robert Mueller has a tough job. After all, how can you prove allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials to influence our 2016 presidential election when, from all evidence after a year and a half of investigation, it didn't happen?
Naming Mueller to head the investigation was a huge error. His investigation should be shut down and Mueller sent home.
This week's stunning revelation that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee funded the fake Trump/Putin dossier, filled with outright lies, exaggerations and misleading information, is the final straw.
For it shows that not only were Hillary Clinton, the DNC and her lawyer, Marc Elias, lying when they denied any involvement in the phony dossier, it showed that they — not Trump — were deeply, perhaps criminally, compromised by collusion with Russian officials.
In Hillary's case, in 2009 she promised the Russians a "reset," and then over the next two years proceeded to help them build their own mini-Silicon Valley with U.S. funding and expertise, and approved the sale of Uranium One, a Canadian company that controls 20% of U.S.-based uranium supplies, to Russia's state-owned nuclear monopoly, Rosatom.
If that isn't dizzying enough, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her husband former President Bill Clinton, and their Clinton Foundation charity took in millions of dollars from Russian entities and the grateful executives of Uranium One, who were taken over by the deep-pocketed Russians. It was a classic example of illegal pay-for-play, and yet neither President Obama's Justice Department nor his FBI found anything wrong with it.
Fast forward to 2016, and Hillary and the DNC retained Fusion GPS to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Fusion then hired former British spook Christopher Steele, a man who, as former head of the Moscow desk for Britain's MI6 intelligence agency, has deep espionage ties in Russia, to do "research" on Trump. What they got instead was innuendo, half-truths, distortions, exaggerations and just plain gossip — much of it from Russian "sources."
And yet, this phantasmagorical bit of research became the basis for a full-blown investigation of the Trump campaign's supposed ties to Russian officials and their interference in the 2016 presidential election.
With each new revelation in recent weeks, it has become ever clearer that the collusion that took place wasn't on the part of Trump, but Hillary Clinton and the Democrats, who have been playing a double-game with the Russians since at least Obama's first term. That's the real collusion here. Typical of how the progressive left works, they have accused their opponent of the very thing they are guilty of: colluding with a possible enemy.
This is where Robert Mueller comes in. Mueller himself was head of the FBI from 2001 to 2013. But from 2009 to 2013, all sorts of alarms were going off over the apparent influence peddling by Hillary Clinton while serving as secretary of state. The Justice Department, headed by die-hard leftist lawyer and Obama loyalist Eric Holder, did nothing. Nor did Mueller.
Fast forward to 2016. Mueller's successor at the FBI, James Comey, did do something: He paid Fusion GPS, which received funding from Russian sources, for its bogus "research" on Trump. That research also became the basis for the equally bogus investigation headed by Mueller.
Yet, as we said earlier in the week, it's now clear that the real Russian collusion was among Hillary and Bill Clinton, their Clinton Foundation, the DNC, Democratic operatives and bagmen John and Tony Podesta, Fusion GPS and James Comey. Not Trump and his campaign confederates.
When a legal mistake of this magnitude is made, it must be undone. That's just what Congress is doing right now.
In recent days, both houses of Congress have unveiled investigations into the Uranium One deal and possible pay-for-play deals at Hillary Clinton's State Department and her family Clinton Foundation.
Just Thursday, Sen. Chuck Grassley, the Iowa Republican, called for naming a special counsel for the Uranium One deal and the related financial shenanigans. He's on solid ground here: In a new Rasmussen poll, 51% of likely voters said they believe "it's likely that Bill and Hillary Clinton or their close political associates broke the law in their dealings with Russia."
In the meantime, however, the purely political investigation of Trump led by Mueller since the start of this year has gone nowhere. It should be ended immediately, and not just because they've found nothing or that the original basis for the investigation has been tainted by being funded by the Democrats, FBI and Russians.
We have nothing personal against Mueller, who led the FBI's shift toward counterterrorism in the immediate years after 9/11. But as special counsel, Mueller has conflicts all over the place, including his personal ties to Comey (who was Mueller's favorite to succeed him at the FBI in 2013) and by the fact that he headed the FBI during the time that Hillary was engaged in soliciting donations, selling access to the office of the secretary of state, and officially approving the highly questionable Uranium One deal.
In addition, the very premise of the Russian investigation has been proven faulty, based almost entirely (at least initially) on a politically motivated opposition-research operation run by the Democrats against Trump, and later picked up by the FBI's Comey. Based on this, it's time to let special counsel Robert Mueller go, and dismantle the Russian investigation he leads.
Witch Hunt: The Getting of the President
By Jeffrey Lord
Robert Mueller, the Swamp, and the lawyers tasked to run a Silent Coup.
Yes, it’s a witch hunt. With the witch hunters having not just obvious but massive conflicts of interest.
The Wall Street Journal is concerned. And correctly so.
In a Friday editorial, the not-always-friendly-to-Trump paper headlined:
Robert Mueller’s Mission
The special counsel needs to rise above his Comey loyalties.
The editorial read in part:
That didn’t take long. Barely a week after James Comey admitted leaking a memo to tee up a special counsel against Donald Trump, multiple news reports based on leaks confirm that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the President for obstruction of justice. You don’t have to be a Trump partisan to have concerns about where all of this headed.
After cautioning the President against firing Mueller because among other things it would create Christmas for his political opponents, the editorial continued:
… There are nonetheless good reasons to raise questions about Mr. Mueller’s investigation, and those concerns are growing as we learn more about his close ties to Mr. Comey, some of his previous behavior, and the people he has hired for his special counsel staff. The country needs a fair investigation of the facts, not a vendetta to take down Mr. Trump or vindicate the tribe of career prosecutors and FBI agents to which Messrs. Mueller and Comey belong.
Start with the fact that Mr. Comey told the Senate last week that he asked a buddy to leak his memo about Mr. Trump specifically ‘because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.’ Did Mr. Comey then suggest Mr. Mueller’s name to Mr. Rosenstein? He certainly praised Mr. Mueller to the skies at his Senate hearing.
The two former FBI directors are long-time friends who share a similar personal righteousness. Mr. Mueller, then running the FBI, joined Mr. Comey, then Deputy Attorney General, in threatening to resign in 2004 over George W. Bush’s antiterror wiretaps.
There’s more, including a very interesting tale revolving around Mueller’s role in a 2006 investigation of a Democratic Member of Congress in which he resisted a White House effort to instruct on the basis of separation of powers. The concern in that story is Mueller’s charge into the legislative branch without proper acknowledgment of the basic constitutional role of the executive and the legislative. He instead got on his high horse and accused the Bush White House of protecting a corrupt Democratic House member, a laughable charge on its face, particularly when Republican Bush was acting at the request of then-Republican House Speaker Denny Hastert who was furious over the FBI’s role in the affair. The affair was finally settled only with a push from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals which “later ruled that the (Mueller-led) FBI raid had violated the Constitution’s Speech or Debate Clause.”
Also on Friday, by coincidence, The American Spectator ran this piece by Daniel Bonevac, a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Texas at Austin. Bonevac headlined:
Investigate the Investigators
The Mueller operation already needs a special counsel of its very own.
Among his other points Professor Bonevac said this:
Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who is to guard the guardians themselves?
… On Wednesday the Washington Post reported that five unnamed officials had said that the President is now under investigation for obstruction of justice for his firing of FBI Director James Comey. A day later, similarly unnamed sources said that the President’s adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is also under investigation. Let’s be clear: These leaks are immoral and probably illegal. They are serious violations of professional codes of ethics. They seem to have no purpose other than inflicting political damage on the administration. And they are coming from multiple sources connected to the Special Counsel’s investigation.
But this is only the beginning.
Professor Bonevac has it exactly right.
There is a reason the one-time Independent Counsel law, once so popular in Washington, was eventually done in.
Over here at PBS is a short history of the Independent Counsel Law that came to be in the Watergate scandal and was finally dispatched by a bipartisan consensus of Congress in 1999. This followed over two decades of abuse that essentially featured out-of-control prosecutors expanding their own jurisdiction into endless investigations fueled by staffs of eager-beaver lawyers anxious for presidential scalps or at a minimum the scalps of those around the president. The PBS history, written by Jim Mokhiber and published in 1998, one year before Congress pulled the plug, says among other things this:
By the time Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, Archibald Cox and his successor Leon Jaworski had carved out a new space in the public mind for the special prosecutor’s role in reining in official corruption.
That is exactly what happened. Over time, however, the realization of the constitutional Frankenstein Congress had created began to dawn. One President after another was confronted with “Independent” Counsels who strangely seemed not so-so-independent when it came to satisfying their own prosecutorial whims. Reagan alone had seven of them to contend with. Fed up, he okayed a constitutional challenge to be taken to the Supreme Court. Alas, Reagan’s arguments lost even with the Court, which ruled 7-1 against the challenge. Only the as-always prescient and constitutionally wise Justice Antonin Scalia correctly put his finger on the problem. As Mokhiber notes, Scalia wrote in part (bold print supplied by me for emphasis):
More specifically, Scalia contested the majority’s conclusion that independent counsels were “inferior officers” who remained under the executive’s ultimate control. An independent counsel, he suggested, actually possessed some powers and advantages that even the Attorney General did not. Scalia worried that an overzealous, unaccountable independent counsel could pick his or her targets, and then prosecute them for even the most minor or technical offenses. Moreover, Scalia wrote, a partisan Special Division might appoint a committed foe of the administration or the individual under investigation. “Nothing is so politically effective,” he wrote, “as the ability to charge that one’s opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive, ineffective, but, in all probability, ‘crooks.’” Scalia prophesied that the majority’s decision would weaken the Presidency, and expose the head of the executive branch to “debilitating criminal investigations” — an opinion that has earned Justice Scalia new and unexpected admirers in recent days.
Exactly. So the law, after burning the Clinton administration badly, was given the axe in 1999.
What we now see is a “special prosecutor” who is appointed under the authority of the Attorney General — or in this current case since Attorney General Jeff Sessions has recused himself, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Yet even with that change, what do we see?
There is and remains zero evidence of candidate Trump colluding with Vladimir Putin to win the 2016 election. Instead, as revealed in Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, we find that once the 2016 campaign had ended with, for Team Clinton, a shocking loss, an angry Hillary Clinton looked to blame anyone other than herself for her defeat. Authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes write that in lieu of their candidate accepting responsibility for her own defeat, “In Brooklyn, her team coalesced around the idea that Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign…”
And thus the birth of a storyline for Hillary allies. Never mind that the candidate didn’t go to Wisconsin because she thought she had it in the bag. Never mind that she had campaigned in the coal states of Pennsylvania and Ohio on a platform of getting rid of coal — and hence coal jobs. No, the real reason Hillary lost was that the Russians colluded with Trump and the election was stolen.
It’s one thing to build political myths to soothe a losing candidate and her supporters. It’s quite another to successfully get a “special prosecutor” to investigate a crime that never happened — and stock the prosecutors staff with partisan lawyers who contributed to her campaigns or even, in one case, actually worked for the Clinton Foundation. And then start looking for all kinds of “crimes” that were never in evidence when charged with investigating a crime that turns out not to be. This is the classic of how the Whitewater investigation of Bill Clinton became the Monica scandal. Now we are apparently moving from the phony Russian-Trump collusion charge to “obstruction of justice” and Jared Kushner’s finances. Neither of which are tied to the collusion story.
Again, the WSJ editorial:
Meanwhile, Mr. Mueller’s staff appointments suggest that he is preparing for a long prosecutorial campaign. One unusual choice is Michael Dreeben, a highly regarded Deputy Solicitor General whose expertise is criminal law and the Constitution. He is not a prosecutor or counter-intelligence expert. Is Mr. Dreeben on hand to make a legal case for impeachment?
The special counsel has also recruited Andrew Weissmann, who oversaw the Enron Task Force and led the prosecution of the Arthur Andersen accounting firm. The Supreme Court unanimously overturned Andersen’s conviction, though too late for Andersen’s 28,000 U.S. employees.
Mr. Weissmann has donated to Hillary Clinton’s political campaign, but more relevant for this case he was highly criticized for his legal conduct over the years by the New York Observer newspaper. “In Andrew Weissmann, The DOJ Makes a Stunningly Bad Choice for Crucial Role,” said one headline in January 2015. The owner of the Observer at the time? Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son in law and now a White House aide.
With that history, can Mr. Weissmann fairly judge the actions of the Trump family and campaign? And knowing that history, why would Mr. Mueller choose Mr. Weissmann for his prosecutorial team when the appearance of fairness is crucial to public acceptance of the result?
Then there is this 2015 Politico report about depositions and the Clinton Foundation. Wrote Politico:
In a filing last month, Clinton Foundation attorneys Jamie Gorelick and Jeannie Rhee called Klayman’s allegations “fatuous” and legally defective.
Note the name “Jeannie Rhee,” identified as a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation? Fast forward to current news and one finds this over at Breitbart:
A more controversial pick of Mueller’s was former prosecutor and WilmerHale partner Jeannie Rhee.
Yes, you read that right. A lawyer who worked for the Clinton Foundation is now on the Mueller team. In attorneys Weissmann and Rhee alone — Weissman who was a target for intense criticism by Jared Kushner’s then-newspaper and Rhee a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation — their involvement in investigating both Kushner and the President who defeated Hillary Clinton is a massive conflict of interest.
Let’s cut to the chase. This isn’t an investigation. It’s the Washington Swamp going on offense. It is exactly what Justice Scalia foresaw so long ago:
“Nothing is so politically effective,” he wrote, “as the ability to charge that one’s opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive, ineffective, but, in all probability, ‘crooks.’” Scalia prophesied that the majority’s decision would weaken the Presidency, and expose the head of the executive branch to “debilitating criminal investigations.”
Justice Scalia had it right.
This investigation isn’t an investigation. The President is right: It’s a witch hunt.
New York Post
By Paul Sperry
October 26, 2017
Hillary Clinton’s campaign didn’t just pay for the Kremlin-aided smear job on Donald Trump before the election; she continued to use the dirt after the election to frame her humiliating loss as a Russian conspiracy to steal the election.
Bitter to the core, she and her campaign aides hatched a scheme, just 24 hours after conceding the race, to spoon-feed the dirty rumors to an eager liberal media and manufacture the narrative that Russia secretly colluded with her neophyte foe to sabotage her coronation.
But it was Hillary who was trying to kneecap Trump, even after he licked her, fair and square, in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other blue states.
Exhibit A is the book “Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes. In light of this week’s revelation that Hillary’s campaign funded the dirty anti-Trump “Steele” dossier, the book takes on a new significance. It reveals:
“Within 24 hours of her concession speech, [campaign chair John Podesta and manager Robby Mook] assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.”
The plan, according to the book, was to push journalists to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign,” and it succeeded to a fare-thee-well. After the election, coverage of the Russian “collusion” story was relentless, and it helped pressure investigations and hearings on Capitol Hill and even the naming of a special counsel, which in turn has triggered virtually nonstop coverage.
A new Media Research Center study finds that, since the inauguration, major TV news networks have devoted an astonishing 1,000 minutes out of a total 5,015 minutes of Trump administration coverage discussing speculation that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Moscow in hacking Clinton campaign emails, “which means the Russia story alone has comprised almost one-fifth of all Trump news this year.” In contrast, they so far have devoted just 20 seconds to the more substantive scandal of Hillary and her husband possibly trading US uranium rights for Russian cash.
MRC analysts also found that more than a third of the networks’ Russia “scandal” coverage was based on anonymous sources who worked in the Obama administration, including Hillary’s State Department.
Though some of that coverage has proved erroneous, leading to retracted stories and fired reporters, the damage is done. Trump’s approval ratings have suffered, and the Russia investigation has distracted the administration.
Which was also part of Hillary’s plan.
In March, former Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri summed up the post-election strategy in a Washington Post column comparing “Russiagate” to Watergate and encouraging the press and other Democrats to “turn the Russia story against Trump.”
“If we make plain that what Russia has done is nothing less than an attack on our republic, the public will be with us. And the more we talk about it, the more they’ll be with us,” she advised. “Polls show that voters are now concerned about the Russia story and overwhelmingly support an independent investigation.”
In short, Hillary couldn’t beat Trump with the political dirt she secretly purchased during the campaign, so she tried to cripple his presidency with help from an overwhelmingly anti-Trump media. Framing Trump as some sort of modern-day KGB plant was an easy sell, since the pro-Democrat media were also searching for a scapegoat to rationalize the crushing defeat of their shared liberal agenda at the polls.
The irony is, it may have in fact been Hillary who came closer to colluding with the Russians in smearing Trump as a Russian traitor than anything Trump did in trying to beat Hillary. The information in the dossier she bought for millions came from Russian intelligence sources, and her lawyers brokered the deal with a Kremlin-tied lobbyist. When it failed to stop Trump, the Russia paymaster turned into the Russia spinmeister.
Now we really know “What Happened.”
Paul Sperry is the author of several books, including the bestseller “Infiltration.”
Paul Sperry is the author of several books, including the bestseller “Infiltration.”