Saturday, June 30, 2018

A Touch of Russiagate

A friend guesses at the answer: Because Glenn Simpson, he speculates, is officially designated as an FBI informant, and so the FBI lawyer is telling him he can't answer.
Over at Da Caller a Congressman thinks Rosenstein Is Spying On Me. No, that's the NSA. If the FBI wants your stuff, they'll get it from them.
Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert believes government personnel working for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein are spying on his office, he told WMAL’s “Morning on the Mall” Friday.

“I don’t doubt for a minute that he has people who have been looking into my background. I’ve been told as much by some other folks,” Gohmert told WMAL host and Daily Caller editorial director Vince Coglianese.

Gohmert continued, “I’ve had people who work for the government saying they know everybody that comes in your office.”

The congressman caveated that he did not believe any such operation was overseen by Rosenstein personally but that it was people who worked for him. “There’s always deniability,” he said.
Like the man said, he has 100,000 some odd people working for him. Even he doesn't know what they're all doing.

U.S.News: Manafort Assistant Gave FBI Access to Storage Locker: Testimony
A personal assistant to Paul Manafort granted the FBI access to a storage locker, allowing the government to secure evidence that President Donald Trump's former campaign manager is trying to suppress, according to testimony on Friday in a federal court hearing in Virginia.

FBI special agent Jeff Pfeiffer made the disclosure at a hearing to consider whether evidence from the locker and a separate search of Manafort's home, both in the Washington, D.C., suburb of Alexandria, could be used in a Manafort trial set for July.

Manafort's lawyers have sought to suppress the searches as part of a broader attempt to discredit the investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is probing whether Trump's campaign worked with Russia to sway the election. Manafort, who is now in jail, has been charged mainly for financial crimes not related to the campaign.

Pfeiffer testified that the FBI initially learned about the storage locker from reporters for the Associated Press who met with FBI and Justice Department officials in April 2017 to discuss their reporting on Manafort's business activities.

Lauren Easton, director of media relations at the Associated Press, confirmed that the agency's journalists met with Justice Department officials "in an effort to get information on stories they were reporting, as reporters do." She said they asked the officials about a locker but never identified its location.

Pfeiffer said that Manafort's personal assistant, Alex Trusko, had signed papers leasing the storage unit so had the authority to let the FBI view inside the locker on May 26, 2017 without a search warrant.

Pfeiffer said the FBI did not look at the contents of boxes in the locker until getting a search warrant on May 27, 2017.

Manafort's lawyers have argued that Trusko was not authorized to open the locker for the FBI because Manafort effectively controlled the unit.
It sounds to me like the search should be deemed illegal, but my guess is it won't. Don't ever let you assistant sign your leases.

Mueller still not willing to take his hooks out of General Flynn: Mueller prosecutors still not ready to see Flynn sentenced
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is asking a federal court to continue postponing setting a sentencing hearing for Michael Flynn, the former Trump national security adviser who pleaded guilty last year to a felony count of making false statements in the course of an FBI investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

“Due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation, the parties do not believe that this matter is ready to be scheduled for a sentencing hearing at this time,” prosecutors and defense attorneys wrote in a one-page report filed on Friday with U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan.

The delay suggests that Flynn is still actively cooperating with Mueller’s office, that prosecutors believe his testimony could be useful at some future trial, or that the sentencing process might disclose some aspect of the investigation that Mueller still wishes to keep secret.

Each routine deadline in the case triggers considerable speculation and anticipation, particularly on the part of Flynn’s supporters, who contend that he was railroaded or tricked into pleading guilty through deception perpetrated by the FBI or others. Some, including Republican lawmakers, have suggested that FBI reports on Flynn’s interview with agents may have been altered.
Trump should pardon Flynn on the grounds that it was a process crime created by the investigation that even Peter Strzok didn't think occurred, but somehow Mueller managed to force a confession through financial pressure on Flynn's family. If Mueller has anything else, make him show it.

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