Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Little Bit of Russiagate

Former Federeal Prosecutor Andrew McCarthy is still asking Mr. Rosenstein, What Is the Crime? Hang on, hang on, we'll find one real soon! It's McCarthy so you need to read the whole thing.
It is intolerable that, after more than two years of digging — the 16-month Mueller probe having been preceded by the blatantly suspect labors of the Obama Justice Department and FBI — we still do not have an answer to that simple question.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein owes us an answer.

To my mind, he has owed us an answer from the beginning, meaning when he appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller on May 17, 2017. The regulations under which he made the appointment require (a) a factual basis for believing that a federal crime worthy of investigation or prosecution has been committed; (b) a conflict of interest so significant that the Justice Department is unable to investigate this suspected crime in the normal course; and (c) an articulation of the factual basis for the criminal investigation — i.e., the investigation of specified federal crimes — which shapes the boundaries of the special counsel’s jurisdiction.

This last provision is designed to prevent a special counsel’s investigation from becoming a fishing expedition — or what President Trump calls a “witch hunt,” what DAG Rosenstein more diplomatically disclaims as an “unguided missile,” and what Harvard’s Alan Dershowitz, invoking Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s secret-police chief, pans as the warped dictum, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” In our country, the crime triggers the assignment of a prosecutor, not the other way around.
Speaking of the unguided missile, U.S. government admits error in claiming alleged Russian spy offered sex for job
Prosecutors on Friday said they misunderstood text messages they used as the basis of a claim that alleged Russian spy Maria Butina offered to trade sex for political access.

Butina, a 29-year-old U.S.-based Russian woman, was charged in July for conspiring to influence American politics.

The accusation against Butina, that she offered "sex in exchange for a position within a special interest organization," has been disputed by her lawyer.

"I want the government's walk back to get as much coverage, as prominently, as their initial false allegation," said her attorney Robert Driscoll.
. . .
Butina, in jail awaiting trial, has pleaded not guilty and denies any wrongdoing. Both sides are expected back in court Monday.
The basis of their charge seems to be that first amendment rights don't apply to Russina citizens living in the US. What else are they wrong about?

Reuters: Trump open to Russia probe interview 'under certain circumstances'
Rudy Giuliani, an attorney representing the president, told Reuters on Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia probe, wanted Trump to commit to a follow-up interview after providing written answers to questions about possible coordination between members of Trump’s presidential election campaign and Moscow.

“I don’t see how we can do it,” said Giuliani, who has repeatedly expressed concern about the risk of Trump committing perjury.
Put Mueller (and Weissman) under oath, and make them testify to the President on the origins of the probe. At Da Hill Pence ‘more than willing’ to sit down with Mueller and try to convert him?

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