WTF Community

🔍 All things Mueller - What we know he has on Trump 'n Co

special-counsel
russia

#241

A must read!

https://www.justsecurity.org/63275/why-its-a-mistake-to-be-a-waitin-the-mueller-report-and-why-you-should-instead-focus-on-two-other-reports/

Last Thursday, the House of Representatives passed a resolution, by a resounding vote of 420-0, calling for Robert Mueller’s Section 600.8© report explaining his prosecution and declination decisions—a report he’s required to submit to Attorney General Barr at the “conclusion of [his] work”—to be released to Congress in “full” and to be released to the public “except to the extent the public disclosure of any portion thereof is expressly prohibited by law.”

In a new Op-Ed in the Washington Post I explain that this so-called “Mueller Report” probably won’t see the light of day . . . but that that’s not as troubling as it might appear at first glance, for two reasons.

First, we’ll already know most of what’s in Mueller’s report to Barr, because the information is already right out there in the public record, in the many grand jury indictments and other court filings that already are, or soon will be, widely available. The only substantive parts of the report that won’t be transparent, then, are Mueller’s explanations of why he chose not to seek indictments of others — possibly including the President.

Second, Mueller’s report to Barr is only one of three or more “reports” that ought to emerge when the Russia investigation ends. And at least two of those other reports, which will be submitted to Congress and parts of which may well become public, are likely to be far more revealing and more significant than the so-called “Mueller Report”:


#242

Very interesting article about what the parameters are for releasing information publicly, and what we can expect. We can not know Mueller’s legal thoughts about how he’s decided to indict or not indict (ex. The President) but we will know via the existing indictments what threads of the investigation are being pursued.

It really feels now that we are on the precipice of something big, in terms of maybe there will be a whole slew of indictments, and then the report (#MyWishfulThinking.)

And the ongoing counter-intelligence findings, how and what the Russians, Chinese did do to infiltrate our election systems and information via hacking must be ongoing.

What Lederman says here…is key.

(ii) It’s likely, however, that the most important “report” of them all will be the briefing that DOJ must provide to the congressional intelligence committees conveying the results of the counterintelligence investigation Mueller has superintended .

and it will be limited…

Of course, the FBI and the intelligence committees rarely disclose the results of counterintelligence investigations to the public, for obvious reasons: In the ordinary case, much of the information is classified because it could reveal sensitive sources or methods and because there’s an interest in not revealing to the foreign subjects of the investigation what our government has learned about their activities.

Thanks for this…I


#243

Follow what Marcy Wheeler (EmptyWHeel.net) is trying to discover with the Michael Cohen affidavit/Search Warrant. She is great at ferreting out details…and narrowing the scope of what Mueller may be looking for.

She mentions some FARA (foreign agent), Google searches (ALL)

And Natasha Bertrand’s take (The Atlantic)


#244

And one more from the Mueller She Wrote group, who follow this intensely as well. re: Cohen’s Warrants unsealed


#245

Article and Cohen’s Unsealed documents within this article


#246

Mueller status report - #I’mOnIt


#247

Richard Blumenthal to @MSNBC: “There are indictments in this president’s future. They’re coming. Whether they’re after his presidency or during it.”


#248

So as the days and hours draw closer to the Mueller Report being dropped into AG Barr’s hands, Rod Rosenstein is making clear that those who have not been indicted, no negative information can go out about them, even if we know they have had some shady dealings. This is meant to protect those not indicted from tarnishing their reputation.

If in fact T is not indicted, from Mueller’s group (controversial and unknown whether there are charges according to Mueller), he can not reveal disparaging information.

Because we’ve been understanding that the SDNY and other courts will certainly bring charges against T, T Org, T Charity, once out of office perhaps (or perhaps not) then T can spout off now that he’s not guilty of Collusion, as we’ve been hearing all along.

Hard to speculate, but this Rosenstein letter helps to clarify what we will be seeing post Mueller Report, post Barr review and what might be revealed to us citizens.

There’s no shortage of speculation on the special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, much of it totally uninformed.

But we don’t need to speculate on the scope – the man who appointed Mueller has already given us a potential road map on what to expect from the special counsel.

The bottom line: Do not expect a harsh condemnation of President Donald Trump or any of his associates if they have not been charged with crimes.

The road map comes in the form a little-noticed 12-page letter written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein last June to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley.

The letter was in response to Grassley’s demands for more information on the special counsel investigation, offers a brief history of special counsel investigations and actually quotes former and future Attorney General William Barr who appointed three special counsels during his time as attorney general under President George H.W. Bush.

In the letter, Rosenstein makes it clear he believes the Department of Justice will not – and cannot without violating long-standing Department of Justice policy – include disparaging or incriminating information about anybody who has not been charged with a crime.

“Punishing wrongdoers through judicial proceedings is only one part of the Department’s mission,” Rosenstein wrote. “We also have a duty to prevent the disclosure of information that would unfairly tarnish people who are not charged with crimes.”

Sources familiar with the investigation believe there are no more indictments coming from the special counsel. If Mueller follows the guidance of the man who appointed him and supervised his investigation, he cannot publicly disparage those who have not been charged with a crime.

Rosenstein is emphatic on this point: “In fact, disclosing uncharged allegations against American citizens without a law-enforcement need is considered to be a violation of a prosecutor’s trust.”

Later in the letter, he makes it clear this standard applies to anybody under investigation, even public officials.

No matter who an investigation involves – an ordinary citizen, a local or state politician, a campaign official, a foreign agent, an officer of the federal legislative, executive, or judicial branch – agents and prosecutors are obligated to protect its confidentiality.”

In the letter Rosenstein directly takes issue with the justification then-FBI Director James Comey used to publicly criticize Hillary Clinton in 2016 even as he decided not to charge her with a crime. At the time, Comey justified the break with long-time DOJ practice as an “extraordinary step” necessary because of circumstances so unusual they were comparable to a “500-year flood.”

“It is important for the Department of Justice to follow established procedures, especially when the stakes are high,” Rosenstein wrote.


#249

Worth rereading this story from AP that pieces together the whole story from court documents.

In the backdrop of all this is Trump and his family.

Mueller’s grand jury heard testimony from several participants of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting arranged by Trump Jr., but no charges have been filed.

The mercurial president himself has made no secret of his disdain for the Mueller investigation and his efforts to undermine it. Mueller has investigated whether any of Trump’s actions constituted obstruction of justice, but the special counsel hasn’t gone public with what he found.

And it’s unclear if he ever will.

Sobering, since additional charges won’t be made by the special counsel‘s office.


#250

If Mueller declined to prosecute because there was insufficient evidence, that’s hardly exoneration,” she said. “And if he didn’t indict Trump only because of the (Justice Department) policy against indicting a sitting president, that’s as far from a clean bill of health as you can get.

The only way to get answers, she said, is if Attorney General William Barr turns everything over. Even then, she added, “Trump would do well to remember the ‘collusion’ is not the only crime in the federal code and that there are ongoing investigations, including of his inauguration, his businesses and his foundation, in multiple jurisdictions — he is still ‘Individual 1’ in a (U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York) indictment.

Democrats are just beginning a sprawling set of probes on Capitol Hill, and they are certain to use whatever kernels they can find in the Mueller report and whatever dirt they turn up with subpoenas and oversight hearings to try to convince the electorate that Trump is unfit for a second term.

(…)

If the report clears him — or if he’s able to effectively portray it that way — he will no doubt be emboldened in his dealings with his own Justice Department, other federal agencies and Congress, a scenario that portends even more brutal fights between a president who is already unabashed in his attacks against Washington norms, institutions and political players of both parties.

If you come at the king, you best not miss,” Bonjean said. “Trump is going to be unleashed in a way we haven’t seen before — with a renewed fury.


#251

As many people have pointed out, this doesn’t mean Trump and his kin are out of jeopardy. This NYT piece summarizes a breathtaking number of known investigations, spanning at least four US Attorneys offices plus New York state, but I believe even it is not comprehensive.

All that said, we can anticipate a great deal of what the Mueller report will say by unpacking the lies Trump’s aides told to hide various ties to Russia: The report will show:

  • Trump pursued a ridiculously lucrative $300 million real estate deal even though the deal would use sanctioned banks, involve a former GRU officer as a broker, and require Putin’s personal involvement at least through July 2016.
  • The Russians chose to alert the campaign that they planned to dump Hillary emails, again packaging it with the promise of a meeting with Putin.
  • After the Russians had offered those emails and at a time when the family was pursuing that $300 million real estate deal, Don Jr took a meeting offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” At the end (per the sworn testimony of four people at the meeting) he said his father would revisit Magnitsky sanctions relief if he won. Contrary to the claim made in a statement authored by Trump, there was some effort to follow up on Jr’s assurances after the election.
  • The campaign asked rat-fucker Roger Stone to optimize the WikiLeaks releases and according to Jerome Corsi he had some success doing so.
  • In what Andrew Weissmann called a win-win (presumably meaning it could help Trump’s campaign or lead to a future business gig for him), Manafort provided Konstantin Kilimnik with polling data that got shared with Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs. At the same meeting, he discussed a “peace” plan for Ukraine that would amount to sanctions relief.
  • Trump undercut Obama’s response to the Russian hacks in December 2016, in part because he believed retaliation for the hacks devalued his victory. Either for that reason, to pay off Russia, and/or to pursue his preferred policy, Trump tried to mitigate any sanctions, an attempt that has (with the notable exception of those targeting Oleg Deripaska) been thwarted by Congress.

We know all of these things — save the Stone optimization detail, which will be litigated at trial unless Trump pardons him first — to be true, either because Trump’s aides and others have already sworn they are true, and/or because we’ve seen documentary evidence proving it.

That’s a great deal of evidence of a quid pro quo — of Trump trading campaign assistance for sanctions relief. All the reasons above may explain why Mueller didn’t charge it, with the added important detail that Trump has long been a fan of Putin. Trump ran openly on sanctions relief and Presidents get broad authority to set their own foreign policy, and that may be why all this coziness didn’t amount to criminal behavior: because a majority of the electoral college voted (with Russia’s involvement) to support those policies.


#252

Hot Damn. She makes a good point here. If Trump ran on Russian sanction relief, it does look like his voter base supported that campaign promise and elected him knowing that’s what he’d do in office.


#253

Update:


#254

Ostensibly, but a good point. Remembering that voter base is a a low information gatherer. More like (IMHO), “If T says so, I say so…”


#255

Unfortunately, we are expecting an all-out PR war, war for the base’s support, as T’s lawyers are prepping for a BIG DEFENSE publicly.

I watched Washington Week, and Anita Kumar (Politico) (at 3:13) discusses what the WH lawyers are doing now…“They’ve been working on talking points on all kinds of contingency plans, for every possible thing this report could have.”


#256

I don’t know how you’d prove that in court?

I think it’s only logical to assume his base was entirely aware of Trump’s campaign positions.


#257

You are correct…and I see how it was being used as a Mueller legal consideration.

Base voters want T and know that T wants sanctions relief and are all for it.
T wants to get campaign help and will give sanctions relief to Russians for help.
Mueller sees that T and all his campaign positions were what his voters wanted because they voted him in.

(I just jumped on the fact that T’s voters were just plain for him, no matter the policies he spouted…I was not tracking the argument correctly @Pet_Proletariat :grin:)


#258

No worries. This is also true. :slightly_smiling_face:


#259

100% this :point_down:

That explains the need for Congress to consider establishing an independent, bipartisan blue-ribbon commission to pick up where Mueller leaves off. Mueller was not asked to offer systematic solutions to the danger of foreign election interference. Torn by partisanship, Congress seems unable to deal with the issue itself. But there could be enough agreement in Congress to muster support for legislation to create a commission, likely modeled on the 9/11 commission, to look for concrete solutions to the threat of election meddling. Unlike Mueller, the commission could be given the important assignment of educating the public about exactly what happened in 2016 and resolving whatever questions Mueller leaves unaddressed in his still-secret report. The 9/11 commission’s final report in 2004, after all, was hailed for its gripping, easy-to-understand narrative of the 2001 terrorist attacks and of the rise of global terrorist networks.

Most folks don’t understand the fundamentals of what actually transpired. A lot of folks online seem to conflate the Clinton private server story to the hacking of her campaign. And even more folks don’t understand the basic legality of these types of attacks. I would love to see a 9/11 type commission, we should have centered on this idea two years ago. Our people are grossly misinformed on cyber security in general, seems like it could be a perfect teachable moment.

Plus it has the added bonus of putting our friends across the aisle on the record about the state of our election systems vulnerability and why they have been so negligent in protecting the vote.


#260

Two senior U.S. officials told NBC News on Monday that the FBI is prepared to brief congressional leaders on the counterintelligence findings of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into President Donald Trump, and the letter sent to Congress on Sunday by Attorney General William Barr about the Mueller probe is silent on the question of whether investigators found that Trump or anyone around him might be compromised or influenced by Russia.

The officials said they expect the FBI to brief the so-called Gang of 8 — the leaders of the House and the Senate and the chairmen and ranking members of the intelligence committees — in closed session.

No briefing has been scheduled, a third U.S. official familiar with the matter said, but one of the officials said it could happen within the next 30 to 60 days.