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Westlake Legal Group > Robert Mueller

The Intelligence Community Should Welcome Bill Barr’s Investigation If They Ever Want Another President to Trust Them

Westlake Legal Group central-intelligence-agency-620x317 The Intelligence Community Should Welcome Bill Barr’s Investigation If They Ever Want Another President to Trust Them stefan halper Russia Probe Robert Mueller Politics joseph mifsud john durham John Brennan james comey James Clapper Government george papadopoulos Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Carter Page bill barr azra turk attorney general bill barr Allow Media Exception alexander downer

FILE – In this March 3, 2005 file photo, a workman slides a dustmop over the floor at the Central Intelligence Agency headquarters in Langley, Va. Senate investigators have delivered a damning indictment of CIA interrogation practices after the 9/11 attacks, accusing the agency of inflicting pain and suffering on prisoners with tactics that went well beyond legal limits. The torture report released Tuesday by the Senate Intelligence Committee says the CIA deceived the nation with its insistence that the harsh interrogation tactics had saved lives. It says those claims are unsubstantiated by the CIA’s own records. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

There was a rather odd story reported in NBC News last week, byline by “Fusion” Ken Delanian which relied upon intelligence sources to criticize the ongoing investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice into the whole Russia Hoax.

READ: 

Flop Sweat Builds As It Sure Looks Like the Barr-Durham Probe Is Now a Criminal Investigation

Durham to Interview James Clapper and John Brennan as he Expands Investigation; Brennan Wonders Why

The investigation, as best we know, is looking at the issue of FISA warrants being issued that would give the incumbent administration the ability to intercept the electronic communications of the Republican candidate (for those still snickering about President Trump’s comment about phones being tapped, while his phone might not have literally been tapped, there is no doubt that the FISA warrants on Carter page and others permitted the eavesdropping on Trump’s cell phone and email conversations via the ‘two-hop’ rule, see Maybe FBI Director Christopher Wray Should Ask John Brennan What He Thinks About Spying). There is no doubt that US and Western intelligence assets were directed at both Page and at George Papadopoulos to create the illusion that he had connections to Russia. Likewise, British intelligence has said, on the record, that they tried to warn the FBi about their concerns with the dossier assembled by Christopher Steele but were rebuffed. And we know that the investigation is now looking at how Mueller’s investigation was conducted. Like, I’m guessing here, how Mueller painted Joseph Mifsud, a western intelligence asset, as a Russian agent of influence but declined to interview him and failed, unlike Bill Barr, to gain possession of the telephones Mifsud used at the time.

Headlined AG Barr expands mysterious review into origin of Russia investigation the article gives a very one-sided view of the Barr investigation.

A review launched by Attorney General William Barr into the origins of the Russia investigation has expanded significantly amid concerns about whether the probe has any legal or factual basis, multiple current and former officials told NBC News.

With Barr’s approval, Durham has expanded his staff and the timeframe under scrutiny, according to a law enforcement official directly familiar with the matter. And he is now looking into conduct past Donald Trump’s inauguration in January 2017, a Trump administration official said.

If Durham is conducting a criminal investigation, it’s not clear what allegations of wrongdoing are being examined. The Justice Department has not detailed any, and a spokeswoman declined to comment for this story.

“I don’t know what the legal basis for this is,” Brennan said, calling the probe “bizarre.”

There are two key points here: Message and Medium.

The message is that Barr’s investigation is illegitimate. We don’t know why beyond unnamed officials and the guy most likely to pick up his soap in the shower in a federal prison, John Brennan, saying there is nothing to investigate. The story repeatedly calls allegations of misconduct “conspiracy theories” and “discredited” and “falsehoods.” These are all words we’ve come to know that the left uses when you’re looking at something that threatens their interests. Right along side that is the message the Barr is a compromised partisan who is merely doing the bidding of a president who is both compromised and unbalanced. Compare and contrast with the past three years of coverage of what an actual investigation of nothing looks like.

The medium is Ken Dilanian. Dilanian is an asset of the US intelligence community who was fired from the Los Angeles Times for letting CIA minders preview his stories and recommend changes. He is also closely affiliated with Fusion GPS and who was the recipient of “scoops” generated by Fusion GPS. Fusion GPS is the opposition research company who recruited Christopher Steele to write his fanciful dossier an which is now publishing a book defending its role in the Russia Hoax.

This leads one to believe that a lot of people are worried.

I am not a lawyer, so they may be right. There may be absolutely nothing illegal here. But there seems to me to be more than ample wrongdoing that requires administrative disciplinary action and changes in policies.

  • Carter Page was the subject of at least four FISA warrants. Three of those were granted after Department of Justice knew, or should have known, that the Steel dossier was bogus.
  • At what point did the FBI and Justice realize that virtually the entire corpus of the Steele Dossier was bullsh** on toast?
  • What role did the FBI and Justice and CIA play in giving some sort of imprimatur to the dossier?
  • Conducting electronic surveillance of a presidential campaign seems like something we don’t want our intelligence agencies involved in.
  • The coordination of Comey’s briefing of President Trump as a hook to allow the media to report of the allegations strikes the untrained observer a problematic.
  • How did the infamous Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, who was barred from entering the US, get special permission to do so and attend the meeting the Trump Tower?
  • What did she and Fusion GPS bigwig Glenn Simpson talk about when they met before and after the the Trump Tower meeting?
  • What role did the US government play in trying to retrieve financial records on Paul Manafort from Ukraine (because we know now that is bad-bad-bad and foreign meddling in our elections)?
  • Why did the FBI and Mueller never interview Joseph Mifsud who is not all that hard to find if you look?
  • Who employed the woman, Azra Turk, dangled in front of George Papadopoulos in an comically inept honey trap operation? If it was the CIA, why was it running an operation against a US national?
  • What was the role of Stefan Halper and Alexander Downer?
  • Who came up with the idea to go after Mike Flynn?
  • Why was his testimony deemed truthful by FBI agents who interviewed him but later deemed false for higher officials? And why were the charges against Flynn so flimsy that a federal judge directed a acquittal in a case using the same facts?
  • Who alerted CNN to Roger Stone’s arrest?
  • Why did the CIA undertake a campaign of leaks against the Trump campaign and administration that appalled even NeverTrump Lothario Peter Strzok?

This is only a partial list of potential malfeasance in the Russia Hoax. I don’t know if any of these specific items are illegal or if there is a law against trying to perpetrate a coup against a sitting president but i’m sure some steely-eyed federal prosecutor can answer that question.

The answers to these questions are important to us and they should be important to the intelligence community.

For a president to rely upon the judgement of the intelligence community he has to believe he is not being set up for failure. A few months ago, Colonel Rob Maness wrote an article at our sister publication, Townhall, titled Politicized Intelligence Agencies in which he decried the way the intelligence agencies have been carrying out political attacks on President Trump:

As we can all see now, the specific approval and release of these politicized intelligence agency documents led this nation through more than two years of a counterintelligence investigation against the Trump campaign (CrossFire Hurricane), incessant accusations (he’s a Russian Asset) against the duly elected President United States of America, appointment of a special counsel (Mueller) to criminally investigate the entire administration, his campaign team, his family, and his associates.

In my opinion, based on more than three decades of national security experience, this insertion of politics into the legislative, judicial, and executive branches of our government has caused extremely grave damage to our nation’s ability to defend itself, make and keep treaties, and for our citizens to have confidence that the Nation’s justice system is equally applied to all Americans.

From the role of the IC in the Steele Dossier, to orchestrated leaks of personal conversations between President Trump and world leaders and insinuations of mishandling of classified information by the President, his has been abundantly clear that the IC is at war with this President. Even as Washington was shaking from the Trump-Zelensky phone call, another leak was crowing about how Erdogan had rolled Trump on Syria.

In the IC, as cureently constituted, seems to be an amalgam of Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracies:

Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people”:

 First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. Examples are dedicated classroom teachers in an educational bureaucracy, many of the engineers and launch technicians and scientists at NASA, even some agricultural scientists and advisors in the former Soviet Union collective farming administration.

Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. Examples are many of the administrators in the education system, many professors of education, many teachers union officials, much of the NASA headquarters staff, etc.

The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

and O’Sullivan’s First Law of Politics:

All organizations that are not actually right-wing will over time become left-wing.

All of the IC are not flaming liberals, but, over time, employing the strategy of Gramsci’s Long March Through the Institutions, the people in the IC who are devoted to the institutional prerogatives, or ‘equities’ in today’s bureaucratic lexicon, are fairly fervent leftists. They meddled and interfered in the US political system the way no foreign power would ever dare. They worked directly with the media to undermine and discredit the President and any advisors  perceived as loyal to him. They sabotaged policies. They worked to create the reason for a special counsel which they hoped would result in either impeachment or a single term of a harmless and emasculated Trump.

I think we’ve reached a point in the current administration where they would be idiots to rely upon very much that the intelligence community offers as legitimate advice and to view every action by the intelligence community as a potential act of sabotage or insubordination. How do you speak freely if you know your words will be in the Washington Post tomorrow? How do you accept analysis and advice, particularly when it conflicts with your gut instincts, if the people giving that advice and counsel are people you know who are trying to have you impeached? You can’t afford to. While you “may” make a bad call following your gut, the odds of that happening area lot less than listening to people who are your sworn enemies.

There is no way of knowing what Barr will find, but what we know with mathematical certainty is that any Republican president would be ill-advised to rely upon the current IC for advice. It has shown that it is relentlessly partisan and will not scruple at using it information and resources to damage a candidate or president it dislikes. Democrats should not be terribly sanguine about this. A President Sanders or President Gabbard would be treated just as harshly as President Trump.

Regardless of what Barr uncovers, there needs to be a thorough-going purge of the policy and management ranks with the IC and safeguards instituted to ensure that this never, ever happens again. The IC is not a branch of government. It should have no politics. If it is to have any value it is to serve all presidents loyally because only by being trusted by the president will it be able to carry out its primary mission of keeping the nation safe. And unless the IC can show that it shares that view, then we might as well shutter the place and start afresh.

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The post The Intelligence Community Should Welcome Bill Barr’s Investigation If They Ever Want Another President to Trust Them appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group central-intelligence-agency-300x153 The Intelligence Community Should Welcome Bill Barr’s Investigation If They Ever Want Another President to Trust Them stefan halper Russia Probe Robert Mueller Politics joseph mifsud john durham John Brennan james comey James Clapper Government george papadopoulos Front Page Stories Featured Story donald trump democrats Carter Page bill barr azra turk attorney general bill barr Allow Media Exception alexander downer   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Hmmm: Durham expanding scope of Operation Crossfire Hurricane probe to include … Mueller?

Westlake Legal Group mueller-congress Hmmm: Durham expanding scope of Operation Crossfire Hurricane probe to include … Mueller? The Blog Special Counsel Robert Mueller Michael Horowitz john durham fox news Federal Bureau of Investigation donald trump crossfire hurricane

If the previous big news on Ukraine-Gate turned out to be a disappointment, another pair of Fox News reports on Russiagate seem a little more promising. Fox reported late yesterday that the US Attorney assigned in parallel to an inspector-general investigation of the Justice Department’s actions in the Russia-collusion probe has expanded his scope to include actions taken in 2017 as well. “Based on what Durham is finding,” John Roberts said, “he has added staff and agents,” while pushing his timeline out to include the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

And that’s not a coincidence, Roberts says:

John Durham, the U.S. attorney reviewing the origins of the 2016 counterintelligence investigation into Russia and the Trump campaign, is probing a wider timeline than previously known, according to multiple senior administration officials.

Fox News previously reported that Durham would be reviewing the days leading up to the 2016 election and through the inauguration.

However, based on what he has been finding, Durham has expanded his investigation adding agents and resources, the senior administration officials said. The timeline has grown from the beginning of the probe through the election and now has included a post-election timeline through the spring of 2017, up to when Robert Mueller was named special counsel.

According to Roberts, Durham’s team has concluded that Mueller was “not being truthful” about his disinterest in the open FBI director position after James Comey got fired. Bret Baier and Jake Gibson also reported that for Fox News separately at the same time:

Multiple administration officials tell Fox News that when Robert Mueller met with President Trump in May of 2017, Mueller was indeed pursuing the open post as the director of the FBI – something the former Russia probe special counsel denied under oath during congressional testimony this summer.

These officials also told Fox News government documents showed Mueller was pursuing the job as a candidate himself.

It came as emails released this month through a Freedom of Information Act request by the conservative group Judicial Watch seemed to indicate Mueller knew there was a real possibility he could be named special counsel if he wasn’t chosen as the next FBI director.

“The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions,” then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an email to Mueller on May 12, 2017. Rosenstein’s boss was then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia probe, meaning the president would not have known either.

Hmmm. Perhaps this part of the expansion is merely to settle the question for good. Trump has claimed repeatedly that his meeting with Mueller on May 16th was a job interview to replace Comey. Mueller has denied this in his congressional testimony, which puts him at some theoretical legal risk if Durham can prove otherwise. It does seem odd, however, that a 73-year-old man with twelve years previously on that job would be asking for another ten-year gig running the FBI, especially in the explosive political environment of that moment. Not impossible by any means, but perhaps a bit improbable. 

So it’s possible that Durham’s expanding the scope merely to dispense with that issue, but that wouldn’t require additional staff. Nor would it seem necessary to expand the staff to corroborate that allegation. If Durham’s scope now includes the whole Mueller probe right up through 2019, however, that would be yuuuge — and would create an immediate backlash. Special counsels are no longer entirely independent, so the DoJ has authority to investigate them, but it certainly would put a damper on the next special counsel that gets appointed.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. Politically controversial in this environment, though? You betcha.

This scope expansion might not be tracking in Mueller’s direction at all, of course. It seems more likely that Durham might have taken an interest in what the FBI did after the election, perhaps in its handling of the Christopher Steele dossier, and how top officials had been leaking information out to the press. Could that expansion have more to do with James Comey’s use of his pal as a cutout to leak classified material to the New York Times? That seems much more likely than a closing of the Mueller-application loop.

Of course, Inspector General Michael Horowitz has also been looking at some of the same issues in Operation Crossfire Hurricane, and has reportedly completed his report. Roberts leads off his story by teasing out the release time frame and the robustness of the public report to come:

A senior administration official tells FOX News exclusively, that the investigation into the genesis of the Russia probe is expected to be released later this month and that its findings will be detailed. The Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz has been looking into whether there were abuses of the FISA system to begin surveillance of Trump campaign officials that ultimately led to the Mueller investigation.

This morning, Fox & Friends spoke with former House Oversight chair Jason Chaffetz, who says that the Durham expansion is “really bad news” for John Brennan and James Clapper. Chaffetz expects more damage from the Horowitz report, however much it has to be redacted. “The Horowitz report is going to be a bombshell,” Chaffetz predicts.

The post Hmmm: Durham expanding scope of Operation Crossfire Hurricane probe to include … Mueller? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group mueller-congress-300x162 Hmmm: Durham expanding scope of Operation Crossfire Hurricane probe to include … Mueller? The Blog Special Counsel Robert Mueller Michael Horowitz john durham fox news Federal Bureau of Investigation donald trump crossfire hurricane   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Mueller Was Pursuing FBI Director Job When He Met With Trump, Contrary to What He Testified to Congress, Admin Officials Say

Westlake Legal Group mueller-house-hearing-2 Mueller Was Pursuing FBI Director Job When He Met With Trump, Contrary to What He Testified to Congress, Admin Officials Say Robert Mueller Mueller Investigation Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post FBI donald trump Congress Allow Media Exception

Former special counsel Robert Mueller, is sworn in before he testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

This latest report could spell big trouble for former Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Fox is reporting that multiple administration officials are saying that when Mueller met with President Donald Trump in May 2017, he was in fact pursuing the job as FBI Director.

Problem with this?

Mueller denied this under oath when he testified before Congress this year about his investigation. When he testified on July 24, Mueller claimed he thought that he was just being asked by Trump about what was needed in a candidate for the job. “My understanding was I was not applying for the job,” Mueller testified on July 24. “I was asked to give my input on what it would take to do the job.” Mueller had served as FBI Director under Barack Obama and under George W. Bush.

According to the officials talking to Fox, there are government documents, however, showing he was seeking the job.

There’s more.

According to emails obtained by Judicial Watch, it appears that he may have known he was also being considered for the Special Counsel position if he didn’t get the job as the FBI Director.

“The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions,” then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in an email to Mueller on May 12, 2017. Rosenstein’s boss was then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia probe, meaning the president would not have known either.

A source close to Rosenstein confirmed to Fox News that he had confidential conversations with Mueller about whether he would be willing to serve in the event he needed to appoint a special counsel. These conversations began on May 12, 2017, prior to Mueller’s meeting with the president on May 16, 2017, the source acknowledged.

Trump has said repeatedly that Mueller interviewed for the job, didn’t get it and therefore it was a conflict for him to be Special Counsel.

According to Fox, Trump has also indicated that there were other witnesses to the meeting including the Vice President, Mike Pence.

“It has been reported that Robert Mueller is saying that he did not apply and interview for the job of FBI Director (and get turned down) the day before he was wrongfully appointed Special Counsel” Trump tweeted the day of Mueller’s Capitol Hill testimony. “Hope he doesn’t say that under oath in that we have numerous witnesses to the interview, including the Vice President of the United States!”

According to Fox, John Dowd, the president’s attorney, blasted Mueller, calling his conduct “most dishonorable” he had “ever witnessed” because he knew as he was being interviewed that if he didn’t get the job he was going to investigate Trump.

Mueller has gone back into private practice, rejoining his old firm, WilmerHale.

But it will be interesting to see what if anything Congress does in response to this report.

The post Mueller Was Pursuing FBI Director Job When He Met With Trump, Contrary to What He Testified to Congress, Admin Officials Say appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group mueller-house-hearing-2-300x153 Mueller Was Pursuing FBI Director Job When He Met With Trump, Contrary to What He Testified to Congress, Admin Officials Say Robert Mueller Mueller Investigation Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story Featured Post FBI donald trump Congress Allow Media Exception   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

New Docs Include Rosenstein Email to Mueller: ‘The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions’

Westlake Legal Group ap-rod-rosenstein-620x413 New Docs Include Rosenstein Email to Mueller: ‘The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions’ Special Counsel Russia Rod Rosenstein Robert Mueller President Trump Mueller Investigation Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020

Deputy Attorney General-designate, federal prosecutor Rod Rosenstein, listens on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, March 7, 2017, during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

Watchdog group Judicial Watch released 145 pages of former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s communications on Thursday. No one will be surprised to learn that he was indeed a creature of the deep state.

Over a year ago, Judicial Watch filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request seeking, “Any and all e-mails, text messages, or other records of communication addressed to or received by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein between May 8, 2017, and May 22, 2017.”

Here is a timeline of events from that period:

May 8, 2017: Rosenstein wrote the memo in which he made the case for then-FBI Director James Comey to be fired.

May 9, 2017: President Trump fired Comey.

May 12, 2017: Rosenstein sent an email to then future Special Counsel Robert Mueller telling him, “The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions.” This email tells us all we need to know, and had long suspected, about their relationship.

May 16, 2017: Rosenstein  emailed former Bush administration Deputy Attorney General and current Kirkland & Ellis Partner, Mark Filip writing, “I am with Mueller. He shares my views. Duty Calls. Sometimes the moment chooses us.

May 17, 2017: Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller to the Special Counsel.

During this time, Rosenstein was “in direct communication with reporters from 60 Minutes, The New York Times and The Washington Post. In an email exchange dated May 2017, Rosenstein communicated with New York Times reporter Rebecca Ruiz to provide background for this article about himself. Ruiz emailed Rosenstein a draft of the article, and he responded with off-the-record comments and clarifications.” Judicial Watch reports:

In an email exchange on May 17, 2017, the day of Mueller’s appointment, Rosenstein exchanged emails with 60 Minutes producer Katherine Davis in which he answered off-the-record questions about Mueller’s scope of authority and chain of command:

Rosenstein: “Off the record: This special counsel is a DOJ employee. His status is similar to a US Attorney.”

Davis: “Good call on Mueller. Although I obviously thought you’d be great at leading the investigation too.”

On May 17, 2017, in an email exchange with Washington Post journalist Sari Horwitz and the subject line “Special Counsel” Rosenstein and Horwitz exchanged:

Rosenstein: “At some point, I owe you a long story. But this is not the right time for me to talk to anybody.”

Horwitz: “Now, I see why you couldn’t talk today! Obviously, we’re writing a big story about this. Is there any chance I could talk to you on background about your decision?”

Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said, “These astonishing emails further confirm the corruption behind Rosenstein’s appointment of Robert Mueller. The emails also show a shockingly cozy relationship between Mr. Rosenstein and anti-Trump media reporters.”

Last month, Judicial Watch obtained a copy of a two-page memo written by then acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on May 16, 2017. This memo was McCabe’s “contemporaneous recollection” of the infamous meeting held in then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s office during which Rosenstein had allegedly proposed wearing a wire to record the President. McCabe wrote:

As our conversation continued the DAG proposed that he could potentially wear a recording device into the Oval Office to collect additional evidence on the President’s true intentions. He said he thought this might be possible because he was not searched when he entered the White House. I told him that I would discuss the opportunity with my investigative team and get back to him.

In September 2018, The New York Times reported on this meeting. Their article said this group had allegedly discussed the possibility of invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. In addition, Rosenstein said he knew of one or two members of Trump’s cabinet who might be on board with such a plan.

Rosenstein has publicly maintained that he was being sarcastic when he made this comment. But nothing in McCabe’s memo suggests this to be true. Rather, McCabe wrote he told Rosenstein that he would “discuss the opportunity with my investigative team and get back to him.”

I’ve never understood why Rod Rosenstein, who has played such a pivotal role in the investigation of President Trump has received so little scrutiny. The matter of whether or not he volunteered to wear a wire is only part of what he must answer for. He needs to be asked why he appointed a Special Counsel when the FBI had no evidence that Trump had colluded with Russia in May 2017. We know this for a fact because, during her Congressional testimony last summer, FBI attorney Lisa Page admitted it.

So, why did Rosenstein do it? He needs to be questioned under oath.

Why did he allow Mueller to expand the scope of the investigation? What, if any, evidence did Rosenstein require from Mueller to expand the scope? Was there ever a Mueller request that Rosenstein said no to?

It was Rosenstein’s role to supervise the activities of the Special Counsel, and his apparent submission to Mueller suggests that Mueller was actually driving the bus.

Think about this. For over two years, we’ve been learning information about the activities of the deep state and all of it has corroborated the theory that this group has deliberately sought to destroy first candidate Donald Trump and following his surprise victory, President Donald Trump. No contradictory evidence has been presented. As hard as they’ve tried to cover up their complicity, somehow, albeit painfully slowly, the truth has come out.

The post New Docs Include Rosenstein Email to Mueller: ‘The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions’ appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group ap-rod-rosenstein-300x200 New Docs Include Rosenstein Email to Mueller: ‘The boss and his staff do not know about our discussions’ Special Counsel Russia Rod Rosenstein Robert Mueller President Trump Mueller Investigation Front Page Stories Featured Story FBI and DOJ Corruption donald trump democrats Allow Media Exception Abuse of Power 2020   Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Giuliani: Sure, I’ve consulted with Manafort on Ukraine

Westlake Legal Group giuliani-mtp Giuliani: Sure, I’ve consulted with Manafort on Ukraine Ukraine The Blog Rudy Giuliani Robert Mueller Paul Manafort Hillary Clinton donald trump

Why does this remind me of the famous Ghostbusters admonition never to cross the streams? I’m sure this is all under control and nothing bad could possibly come of it:

In his quest to rewrite the history of the 2016 election, President Trump’s personal attorney has turned to an unusual source of information: Trump’s imprisoned former campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Rudolph W. Giuliani in recent months has consulted several times with Manafort through the federal prisoner’s lawyer in pursuit of information that would bolster his theory that the real story of 2016 is not Russian interference to elect Trump, but Ukrainian efforts to support Hillary Clinton.

The alliance, which Giuliani acknowledged in an interview this week with The Washington Post, stems from a shared interest in a narrative that undermines the rationale for the special counsel investigation. That inquiry led to Manafort’s imprisonment on tax and financial fraud allegations related to his work in Kiev for the political party of former president Viktor Yanukovych.

Well, let’s not oversell that either. Manafort’s prosecution came from another crossing of the streams between Robert Mueller and previous Department of Justice investigations into Ukrainian corruption. Mueller had the Manafort case drop into his lap; the DoJ had already done most of that work before the 2015-16 campaign ever started, to which he added a couple of more recent charges of obstruction. Mueller took it up under the theory that Manafort might connect Trump to Russian intelligence, which turned out not to be the case at all, as Mueller himself later acknowledged in finding “no evidence” that such connections existed.

Still, Manafort committed crimes enough on his own to make those prosecutions a slam dunk. That should make him radioactive to anyone with hopes of maintaining a political career and their attorneys on that basis alone. Furthermore, Manafort worked for some shady people in Ukraine with agendas of their own, so the basis of his expertise in this area would be of questionable value to partisans. (It turned out to be of zero value to Mueller too, for that matter.) Having Trump’s attorney connect with Manafort on Ukraine creates an indirection connection between corrupt convict and the president, even if Trump didn’t intend to have that connection at all. It’s stunning that Giuliani would create that kind of optic for the purpose of making Hillary Clinton look bad three years after her political career came to an end at Trump’s hands.

What possible purpose exists to overcome all of those issues to make Manafort of any value to Team Trump at all? Even if Giuliani got legit information from his dealings with Manafort, how exactly will he sell it with Manafort’s fingerprints on it? He might as well ask Bernie Madoff to dish up dirt on the Clinton Global Initiative for all the good it would do, and for all the relevance this has. (Note: That’s a joke, folks — Madoff had no connection to the Clintons.)

Still, here’s Giuliani talking all about it:

Giuliani joined Trump’s legal team in April 2018 to help defend the president against special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe, and the former mayor said he launched his own investigation into Ukraine late last year, which led him to consult with Manafort. He said he has not spoken directly to Manafort in two years.

“It was that I believed there was a lot of evidence that the [Democratic National Committee] and the Clinton campaign had a close connection to Ukrainian officials,” Giuliani said, noting that he wasn’t seeking to lay the groundwork for a pardon of Manafort. “It was all about Trump. I don’t think I could exonerate Manafort.”

That should put a spike through any talk of pardoning Manafort, too. Imagine if Giuliani came up with dirt on Hillary or on Joe Biden after this, and then Trump pardoned Manafort out of the blue. It would be Marc Rich on steroids, only this time with a hostile national media.

Currently, Giuliani insists that he doesn’t have to talk to Congress and is busy strategizing ways to protect Trump’s attorney-client privilege. That’s a smart idea. Maybe Giuliani can start by keeping his mouth shut in public. He’s not doing his client any favors by speaking out.

The post Giuliani: Sure, I’ve consulted with Manafort on Ukraine appeared first on Hot Air.

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Judge Dismisses Conviction in Mueller-Related Case and That May Aid Mike Flynn

Westlake Legal Group hammer-802301_1280-620x465 Judge Dismisses Conviction in Mueller-Related Case and That May Aid Mike Flynn Special Counsel Robert Mueller Politics Front Page Stories Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) Featured Story fara donald trump democrats Bijan Rafiekian bijan kian Allow Media Exception

Image by succo from Pixabay

When Robert Mueller’s goons forced Mike Flynn into pleading guilty to some tenuous bullsh**, they used Flynn to target his business partner Bian Kian or Bian Rafiekian. Eventually, he was indicted for violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, specifically that he was acting as an agent of Turkey despite zero proof in that regard. In fact, the court ruled that the prosecutors could argue neither a conspiracy existed nor that Turkey funded any of the work done by Flynn Intel Group. Because OrangeManBad as much as any evidence presented, Rafiekian was convicted on two counts: that he lied to federal agents and that he violated FARA.

Rafiekian’s lawyers had filed motions on three separate occasions asking for the judge to direct acquittal (filed at the end of the prosecution and the defense presentations) and that the judge overturn the guilty verdict (after the verdict was returned). Today the judge, in a rather blistering ruling, threw out the verdict. In fact, the order sounds a lot like what a non-lawyer would characterize as a malicious prosecution.

This is the full ruling

Rafiekian Dismissal Memo by Techno Fog on Scribd

A lot of this ruling seems germane to the Flynn case as his FARA violation is pretty much the same as that of Rafiekian.

I doubt that this will be the last Mueller related case to blow up. The ongoing action against Concord Management has been a dumpster fire since Day One and was an object lesson about just how incompetent Mueller’s team was when facing someone with the resources to fight them.

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The post Judge Dismisses Conviction in Mueller-Related Case and That May Aid Mike Flynn appeared first on RedState.

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Michael Flynn’s Legal Team Throws Down the Gauntlet

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller listens to committee members give their opening remarks before he testifies before the House Intelligence Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Wednesday, July 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The case of Michael Flynn’s plea deal, which he made after being strong armed by Robert Mueller’s virtuous troop, continues to drag out. This time, Flynn’s lawyers are back in court and they are going hard at the DOJ’s conduct.

As the Washington Examiner Reports, Flynn’s legal team is presenting their case to the presiding judge that the DOJ continues to hide evidence that could exonerate Flynn.

Mike Flynn’s attorneys said the government is hiding evidence that could help President Trump’s former national security adviser.

Sidney Powell, the head of Flynn’s new legal team, claimed in court Tuesday the Justice Department withheld evidence related to Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, James Comey, Flynn’s FBI interview notes, and more.

“There never would’ve been a plea to begin with” if Flynn knew how much information DOJ was hiding, Powell said. Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 for lying to investigators about conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, who is presiding over the case, gave Powell an unusual amount of leeway as she argued the government withheld information from her client to pressure him into accepting a guilty plea, which he never would’ve done had he been aware of all the facts. Flynn’s sentencing has been delayed for a year as he cooperated with the government.

When you look at how Flynn was entrapped, it’s obvious the FBI/DOJ are hiding something here and want to save face. We know Flynn did nothing illegal by participating in the phone call with the Russian Ambassador during the 2016 transition period. We know the agents who interviewed Flynn did not think he was lying. We also know Flynn was strung along by Andrew McCabe and James Comey, who presented the interview as just a friendly chat, without revealing he was under any kind of investigation.

But more things are being exposed now. Namely, that the DOJ knew Flynn had not violated the Logan Act, but still used it to threaten and force him into a plea deal.

She claimed documentation exists that shows then-FBI deputy director McCabe ruled out Logan Act charges against Flynn in January or February of 2017, yet DOJ “egregiously” held the possibility of being charged under the 18th-century statute over his head during plea negotiations anyway.

Powell said the defense still hadn’t been given access to all the interview notes from Flynn’s discussions with FBI agents, including one written by agent Joe Pientka that the government claims it no longer has.

I can hear the rebuttals now. “Well, it’s his fault for taking the plea.” Nonsense. When you have Robert Mueller, with unlimited resources, bringing the entire weight of the federal government down on your head and financially destroying you, you take the plea to the lesser charge. There’s also been much talk that Mueller threatned to go after Flynn’s son as well.

None of this happened on the up and up. Mueller wanted a scalp and Flynn was one of the few he could take while still bandying a “Russian collusion” story line, even though the phone call itself turned out to be nothing.

For the DOJ’s part, they argue they did give Flynn the text messages in question.

Brandon Van Grack, formerly of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team who now heads up DOJ’s FARA unit, told the judge that “following the court’s standing Brady order has always been the guideline the government has pursued.” The prosecutor said that, before Flynn’s plea deal, Flynn had been made aware of the Strzok-Page texts “before the public knew they existed.”

“The government has never alleged that Mr. Flynn was an agent of Russia,” Van Grack said. “He pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about particular issues related to Russia, not about being an agent of Russia.”

Again, this is nonsense. Flynn only pleaded out because the government were threatening him (and his son) with FARA and Logan Act violations. Now the DOJ wants to claim they were never worried about Flynn being a Russian agent. That’s some serious spin by the government. You can’t use something to beat someone into a decision and then claim that something was never relevant to the decision being made. Of course it’s relevant, going all the way back to whether Flynn had all the information necessary to make the right choice on taking the plea deal.

This kind of game playing by the DOJ and Mueller is exactly why no one trusts these agencies anymore. If Flynn had evidence hidden from him, the plea should be vacated. As it stands though, it doesn’t appear Judge Sullivan, who’s more than shown his bias in this case, wants to do that. Instead, the more likely scenario here is that Flynn isn’t sentenced to any jail time.

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9/11 Victims: Robert Mueller Allegedly Covered Up Role Of Saudi Government In Attacks

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Real Clear Investigation’s Paul Sperry interviewed 9/11 survivor Sharon Premoli about the 9/11 victims’ lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over their role in assisting the hijackers prior to the attacks. (Premoli is a plaintiff in this lawsuit.) The lawsuit claims that Robert Mueller, who was the FBI Director at the time of the attacks, allegedly acted to cover up evidence of the Saudi government’s involvement.

Sperry reports that “the record shows he [Mueller] covered up evidence pointing back to the Saudi Embassy and Riyadh — and may have even misled Congress about what he knew.”

Premoli, who was pulled out of the World Trade Center rubble alive on that fateful day, told Sperry that, “He was the master when it came to covering up the kingdom’s role in 9/11…In October of 2001, Mueller shut down the government’s investigation after only three weeks, and then took part in the Bush [administration’s] campaign to block, obfuscate and generally stop anything about Saudi Arabia from being released.”

Sperry has also interviewed several FBI agents who worked on the case. He learned that “Mueller threw up roadblocks in the path of his own investigators working the 9/11 case, while making it easier for Saudi suspects to escape questioning. Then he deep-sixed what evidence his agents did manage to uncover, according to the 9/11 lawsuit against the Saudis.”

Here is a list of incidents these agents have related to Sperry: (via The New York Post)

1. Time and again, agents were called off from pursuing leads back to the kingdom’s embassy in Washington, as well as its consulate in Los Angeles, where former FBI Agent Stephen Moore headed a 9/11 task force looking into local contacts made by two of the 15 Saudi hijackers, Moore testified in an affidavit for the 9/11 lawsuit. He concluded that “diplomatic and intelligence personnel of Saudi Arabia knowingly provided material support to the two hijackers and facilitated the 9/11 plot.” Yet he and his team were not allowed to interview them, according to the suit.

2. In Washington, former FBI Agent John Guandolo, who worked terror cases out of the bureau’s DC office, said then-Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar “should have been treated as a terrorist suspect” for giving money to a woman who funded two of the 9/11 hijackers. But he was never questioned either, Guandolo said.

3. Instead, Mueller obliged what Guandolo called an “outrageous request” from Bandar within days of the attacks to help evacuate from the country dozens of Saudi officials, including at least one Osama bin Laden relative on the terror watch list. Mueller assured their safe passage to planes, using agents as personal escorts, according to FBI documents obtained by Judicial Watch. Agents who should have been interrogating the Saudis instead acted as their bodyguards.

4. In 2002, Mueller prevented agents from arresting the Saudi-sponsored al Qaeda cleric who privately counseled the Saudi hijackers, said Raymond Fournier, an agent with the Joint Terrorism Task Force in San Diego at the time. “He was responsible for vacating the arrest warrant for Anwar al-Awlaki for passport fraud,” Fournier said. He even ordered agents who detained the fiend at JFK to release him into the custody of a “Saudi representative,” Fournier said. The FBI closed their investigation of Awlaki, who was allowed to leave the US on a Saudi plane. “Shortly thereafter, the Fort Hood shooting occurred and Awlaki’s fingerprints were all over that incident,” said former FBI Agent Michael Biasello, who helped work the Texas terror case.

5. At the same time, Mueller removed a veteran agent from investigating a tip that an adviser to the Saudi royal family had met with some of the Saudi hijackers at his home in Sarasota, Fla., effectively killing the case, according to the lawsuit. The home was suddenly abandoned two weeks before 9/11.

6. Mueller even tried to shut down a congressional investigation into the Saudi hijackers and their contacts in LA and San Diego, said Bob Graham, who led the joint inquiry as Senate Intelligence Committee chair. “The strongest objections” to his staff investigators visiting FBI offices there came from the FBI director himself, said Graham, in a 2017 interview with Harper’s magazine. Among other things, Mueller refused their demands to question a paid FBI informant who roomed with the hijackers and even moved him to a safe house where they couldn’t find him, Graham said. Mueller, with the White House, redacted 28 pages detailing Saudi-9/11 ties from the congressional report.

7. He also gave testimony to Congress that was, at the very least, misleading. In an October 2002 closed-door hearing, Mueller claimed he found out about Saudi-9/11 connections only as a result of the joint inquiry’s investigative work: “[S]ome facts came to light here and to me, frankly, that had not come to light before.” Only, Moore said he gave Mueller “daily” briefings on such connections in 2001. Mueller also testified the hijackers “contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States,” even though the FBI’s own case files showed they had contact with at least 14 terrorist suspects and sympathizers in the US prior to 9/11, including some working for the Saudi government. (In later testimony, he tried to walk this back, insisting he “had no intent to mislead.”)

Several of the agents said Mueller was “merely following White House orders.” Former Agent Mark Rossini told Sperry, “Any letting the Saudis off the hook came from the White House. I can still see that photo of Bandar and Bush enjoying cigars on the balcony of the White House two days after 9/11.”

And a former US counterintelligence official said, “Bottom line is, Mueller did not do an investigation on people involved in the 9/11 attacks who were connected to the Saudi government. Maybe if they were Russians, he would be interested. But he was not interested in investigating [Saudi] terrorists who murdered Americans.”

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Breaking: DoJ loses special-counsel FARA case on Craig

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It didn’t take long for a jury to dispense with one of the few cases from the special counsel investigation into Russiagate to make it to trial. A few minutes ago, the jurors acquitted Greg Craig of violations of the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA) and allegations that he deliberately misled investigators:

Former Obama White House counsel Gregory Craig was acquitted Wednesday of giving false information to federal authorities about his work on behalf of the Ukrainian government amid a new crackdown on illicit foreign influence.

The case against Craig, a high-powered Washington lawyer, was one of a handful of investigations that grew out of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Craig was acquitted after more than two weeks of testimony followed by less than five hours of deliberation. Craig faced trial in federal court for falsifying and concealing information about his work for the government of former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. Americans who work on behalf of foreign governments within the United States are required to register with the Justice Department.

It looked like Mueller and the Department of Justice had a case against Craig, at least on paper. Craig and his firm Skadden Arps worked with the Russia-friendly government in Ukraine at the time, as did Paul Manafort and Rick Gates. They hired Craig and his law firm to conduct a “review” of the trial of Yulia Tymoshenko to push back against the commonly held perception that it was a political hit job. The report noted that Tymoshenko’s rights had been violated but that the evidence supported a conviction anyway, and Craig later leaked the report to the New York Times.

The purpose of that leak was one of the key points of Craig’s trial. Prosecutors argued that he leaked it to the Times to promote the Viktor Yanukovych government’s propaganda against Tymoshenko, and therefore acted illegally as a foreign agent. Prosecutors also alleged that Craig concealed the fact that his efforts were funded by Russia-friendly oligarch and Yanukovych crony Viktor Pinchuk, who gave $4 million to Skadden Arps. (Skadden Arps settled its case for $4.6 million.) However, Craig argued that he leaked it to make sure the derogatory information about the Yanokovych government got out:

Craig has insisted that he never lied to or sought to mislead the government and that he genuinely did not believe he needed to register as a foreign agent. The argument is based in part on what Craig contended was an acrimonious and distrustful relationship with Manafort and with a firm Ukraine hired to publicize the report, FTI Consulting.

Craig’s defense alleged that the relationship grew so strained that in dealing with Sanger and other journalists, he was trying to counteract or preempt an aggressive spin job Manafort was overseeing to make the report sound like a ringing endorsement of the controversial prosecution of Tymoshenko.

Looks like the jury bought Craig’s explanation — or at least thought it was one reasonable explanation. It’s unclear why prosecutors thought it wouldn’t be.

That makes Mueller/DoJ 2-1 on FARA trials out of the Russiagate probe, but one of the wins comes with an asterisk. The DoJ had a premade case on Manafort long before the 2016 election, which Mueller revived in order to pressure Manafort and Gates into flipping on Donald Trump. It turned out that they didn’t have any dirt to dish, but Mueller’s team still scored easy wins on the case. They also convicted Bijan Rafekian in July, a former partner of Michael Flynn, who is presently appealing the verdict.

The Washington Post’s Spencer Hsu writes that this might force Congress to revamp FARA:

The acquittal marks a high-profile setback for a Justice Department crackdown on foreign lobbying in the United States, exposing flaws in a difficult prosecution that was handed off among several offices before Craig’s April indictment. Before the trial began, a judge dismissed a count against Craig directly involving the registration requirements, saying the rules seemed vague as applied to Craig’s circumstances.

The verdict is likely to stir debate over whether to clarify or strengthen provisions of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, which requires Americans paid by foreign governments or politicians to influence U.S. policy or opinion to register with the Justice Department.

Maybe, but perhaps a big part of this was the fact that the DoJ has only recently taken this 80-year-old law seriously. It’s tough to expect juries to do the same, especially in an instance where there’s no other apparent fraud alleged. Manafort operated a complex scheme to enrich himself, but Craig was more or less doing his job, albeit for unpleasant characters. The sudden embrace of FARA as sole grounds for criminal prosecution no doubt had something to do with the jury’s decision-making.

The post Breaking: DoJ loses special-counsel FARA case on Craig appeared first on Hot Air.

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Hyper Partisan FEC Chairwoman Loses Her Crap After Her Conspiracy Hoax Is Rejected

One of the many side alleys of the mainstream Russia Hoax was the idea that Russia was funneling cash into the NRA so the NRA could support Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. This was a baldfaced attempt to bootstrap the hoax aimed at removing President Trump from office into a way of neutering the influence of the nation’s major gun rights organization.

This leftwing fantasy began as a McClatchy article published on January 18, 2018. The article was by Greg Gordon and Peter Stone who have a rather sordid record of being in the middle of a lot of the controversial reporting on the Russia Hoax. They reported that Michael Cohen’s cell phone had been detected in Prague (false) and that the FBI was looking into how Breitbart and InfoWars were helping the Russians help Trump (also false).

One of the battalion of liberal “watchdog” groups, American Democracy Legal Fund, filed an FEC complaint on Jan. 31, 2018 citing this article as its only proof.

A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then. Most notably the Mueller report found nothing at all about this nonsense and the woman at Ground Zero, Maria Butina, pleaded guilty to failure to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. All in all, this was a transparent smear. One that seems to have been hatched by Glenn Simpson’s merry band of cretins at Fusion GPS because Simpson pushed the story to his go-to guy in Justice, Bruce Ohr. In fact, those allegations kicked off an investigation of the NRA by the FBI.

On May 28 of this year, the career lawyers in the FEC’s office of legal counsel recommended dismissing the case because it was vague, based on a single newspaper article, and provided zero details of the alleged offense.

On July 9, the FEC voted to drop the investigation. The FEC chairwoman, an anti-Trump Democrat named Ellen Weintruab, went ballistic.

Some allegations are too serious to ignore. Too serious to simply take Respondents’ denials at face value. Too serious to play games with. Yet in this matter, my colleagues ran their
usual evidence-blocking play and the Commission’s attorneys placed too much faith in the few facts Respondents put before us.

As a result, this agency barely lifted a finger to find out the truth behind one of the most blockbuster campaign finance allegations in recent memory.

In this matter, the complaint credibly alleged that a significant violation of the Act may have occurred. It was based upon a news report from a reputable news source that led with this
striking paragraph:

The FBI is investigating whether a top Russian banker with ties to the Kremlin illegally funneled money to the National Rifle Association to help Donald Trump win the presidency, two sources familiar with the matter have told McClatchy.

You can read the whole screed here.

Bottom line, this high performing imbecile or low rent Democrat apparatchik (those Venn diagrams are largely the same, but, for the sake of fairness you can choose which description you think best describes Weintraub) demanded that the FEC launch an investigation based on a single article by a couple of McClatchy writers who have a tendency to grossly misrepresent the facts. And by misrepresent I mean “totally make up.”

The mischief this sort of policy would create should be obvious to anyone. It means that a single article by virtually anyone would meet the threshold for kicking off an FEC investigation even thought the career staff thought it was bogus.

What makes Weintraub’s panty wetting episode all the more egregious is that everything she wishes to investigate has already been investigated and nothing was found. Not a huge surprise as at the time of the alleged influx of Russian cash, the NRA was expecting, like the rest of us, a Hillary Clinton presidency and a highly politicized Justice Department climbing up their butt. Her play here was simply an attempt to create another corrupt investigation to replace Mueller’s, but one without any supervision by anyone. And when that failed, she’s trying to dirty up her Republican colleagues as stooges hiding Russian influence.

So shameful. So typically Democrat.

But, at least Rachel Maddow now has a reason to live

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