Monday, April 9, 2018

Russiagate Going Off the Rails

Sort of an odd lot today: Impeachment For Rod Rosenstein? Rep. Mark Meadows Says It’s Possible 
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein could soon be held in contempt of Congress or even impeached if he fails to produce Russia- and Clinton-related records to Congress, a top Republican lawmaker said Saturday.

“I think that if he does not turn over the documents, that there are a growing number of us on Capitol Hill who believe that someone else needs to do the job. And what happens there is, constitutionally, we have some things that we can do,” North Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Meadows said to Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro in a Saturday night interview.
Which leads right into Scott Johnson's question at Power Line:  What is the FBI hiding?
Apparently declining to produce an unredacted copy of the EC to the committee, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd engages in indirection. He beats around the bush, saying the department has sought to act in a “manner consistent with relevant legal precedents“ with respect to certain documents. “To date, that accommodation has occurred through briefings and numerous in camera reviews of classified materials,” the letter states, referring to response to the committee’s “legitimate oversight inquiries.” Now they will go one step beyond with respect to the FISA documents, but Boyd tacitly draws the line at the EC.

When a lawyer refers to “legal precedents,” he is usually talking about case law. I am quite sure that is not how Boyd is using the term. I infer that he means “past practice.”

Here, however, we are dealing with unique circumstances involving an investigation reaching into a presidential campaign. Indeed, Boyd himself cites “unique facts and circumstances” supporting the “extraordinary accommodation” involved in making the FISA documents available to the committee for review. The same rationale would equally support full disclosure of the EC to the committee. Past practice (without more) can hardly justify withholding an unredacted copy of the EC from the committee’s review in this matter.
Whatever they're hiding, it's bad for both the FBI and the DOJ. Politico piles on with How Paul Manafort could put the FBI on trial
Manafort, a criminal defendant fighting two separate cases, is uniquely positioned to try to dredge up information on bias or potential overreach by FBI and Justice Department officials who have played roles in special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Whether Manafort will seek to uncover and spotlight disparaging details about federal officials, potentially including an FBI agent dismissed from Mueller’s team last year, has become the subject of speculation and anticipation by lawyers involved in the Russia investigation.
. . .
“The degree to which he can show broader FBI misconduct in his investigation can lay a foundation for a pardon,” said George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley. “Thus far, Manafort has not been able to benefit from the controversy surrounding the FBI. To the extent he can make himself part of that narrative, it can only help him — certainly with the president.”
. . .
Judges often reject defense discovery requests related to suspected misconduct, but Turley said the Mueller probe is unusual given that “there are already matters in the public record raising concerns about political bias and influence.”

“Having said that, judges tend to be leery of opening this door because they’re never sure when they can shut it,” he added.
That door needs to be blown off its hinges. James Comey placing himself in 'perjury trap position' with upcoming book, says ex-FBI agent Trouble brews for James Comey as he prepares to break silence with book tour
An ex-FBI supervisory special agent put it bluntly on Saturday when he said he has no issue with Comey, now a private citizen, selling books and charging $1,000 for tickets for people to hear him speak, but that the timing of the media blitz was the issue.

"There are two major consequential probes going on right now. The Russia probe ... and with the findings not being released yet, James Comey is putting himself into a perjury trap position. He will be talking about things – meaning his interactions with the president – he had nine separate interactions either on the phone or in person with the president, and he's going to set himself up to purposefully or unwittingly saying something that is not consistent with what he's going to have told the special prosecutor," James Gagliano said during an interview on CNN, referring to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Live by the perjury trap, die by the perjury trap. Trump has a thousand good reasons to fire Comey, Mueller is trying to invent a bad one.

Another "Why Being Named a “Subject” in Mueller’s Probe is Reason for Trump to Worry–Not Celebrate" story.  Michael Goodwin thinks it's Time for Mueller to lay it all out

The violent swings of the leaky pendulum make this an excellent moment to call timeout on the Mueller probe. What does he have, where is he going and when is he going to get there?

Those are basic questions that need to be answered. The American people deserve facts instead of waters muddied by partisanship, innuendo and special access to biased big-media companies.

Mueller’s team includes some active Democrats, and whether they are behind the anti-Trump leaks is, for the moment, beside the point. The point is that the leaks are creating a reality all their own about the investigation and the president.

It’s time to clear the air of rumor and speculation and put the facts on the record. It’s not as if the public has been impatient.
. . .
Given the stakes, the public has a right to know at this point what it all adds up to. If Mueller won’t speak for himself, his handler, Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general who created Mueller, should speak for him.

A concise report about where the probe stands would be enough. Mueller could make a statement, or Rosenstein could testify to Congress.

Rosenstein, because he alone decided a special counsel was needed, bears responsibility for keeping the probe focused and accountable. The recent revelation that he wrote a secret memo last August expanding Mueller’s jurisdiction illustrates what’s wrong with the secretive process.

Even at this late date, about two-thirds of the memo was redacted.

The blackout reeks of arrogance, as if Mueller and Rosenstein believe that whatever they decide will be passively accepted by the public. They act oblivious to the fact that most of the country is suspicious of the FBI because of the clear politicization of law enforcement during the 2016 election. And the stonewalling of Congress over documents only adds to the distrust.
On the lighter side Things Are Getting Pretty Kooky Over At MSNBC
The news these days often sounds pretty wild and far fetched. But, over at MSNBC's AM Joy, host Joy Reid and the gang speculated the possibility of federal marshals placing the commander in chief in handcuffs and hauling him before special counsel Robert Mueller, should President Donald J. Trump choose to ignore a subpoena in the ongoing Russian interference probe. But, Joy Reid wondered, what would happen if President Trump became a recluse at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and refused to leave the White House?

Upon the possibility that the Donald would refuse to testify, guest attorney Nicholas Akerman dreamt a scenario in which federal marshals apprehend President Trump.

Of course, there is no indication that President Trump has any plans to lock himself in the White House to avoid Robert Mueller. CNN reported exclusively yesterday that President Trump is supposedly preparing for an interview with special counsel Mueller.
If it weren't for wishful thinking, they'd have no thinking at all.

No comments:

Post a Comment