Not strictly Russiagate, but since Michael Avenatti is a Russiagate figure trying to run for President on the Russiagate issue, I figure this counts. Via Stacy McCain: Grassley Refers Creepy Porn Lawyer and His Lying Client for FBI Investigation
Don’t mess with Chuck Grassley:
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley on Thursday referred Julie Swetnick and her lawyer Michael Avenatti to the Department of Justice for a possible criminal investigation over allegations they made false statements to Congress about now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.This guy has overstayed his 15 minute minutes of fame, which might end with his being sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.
“I am writing to refer Mr. Michael Avenatti and Ms. Julie Swetnick for investigation,” Grassley wrote in a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher A. Wray, for potential “materially false statements they made to the Committee during the course of the Committee’s investigation. ”
In a statement, Grassley said, “When a well-meaning citizen comes forward with information relevant to the committee’s work, I take it seriously. It takes courage to come forward, especially with allegations of sexual misconduct or personal trauma. I’m grateful for those who find that courage.”
Grassley continued, “But in the heat of partisan moments, some do try to knowingly mislead the committee. That’s unfair to my colleagues, the nominees and others providing information who are seeking the truth.” . . .
Grassley said that Swetnick had contradicted her own allegations in an interview with NBC, and that the committee spoke with “45 individuals, obtained 25 written statements and reviewed numerous other materials” but could not find “any information to corroborate Ms. Swetnick’s claims.”
“I ask that the FBI investigate whether Mr. Avenatti criminally conspired with Ms. Swetnick to make materially false statements to the Committee,” Grassley wrote. . . .
Swetnick, Avenatti Referred for Criminal Investigation: Providing False Statements, Obstructing Congressional Investigations, and Conspiracy All Violate Federal Law https://t.co/wbfSSCfMfe— Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) October 25, 2018
Reason: Chuck Grassley Asks the Justice Department to Investigate Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick for False Statements. What false statements? These false statements:
As I wrote at the time, Swetnick jumbled the timeline of her decision to come forward, changed her mind about whether she actually saw Kavanaugh spiking girls' drinks, and could not state that Kavanaugh was involved in her own assault. Swetnick provided names of people she believed would back up her account, but these leads did not pan out—alleged witnesses either couldn't be reached, or didn't remember Swetnick at all.And NBC? NBC knew and covered it up: NBC News Hid Information that Would Have Cleared Kavanaugh of Avenatti Rape Allegations
Whether anything will come of this matter remains to be seen. I tend to think false allegations, when made in an official or formal capacity, ought to be punished if they can be definitively disproven. I don't know if that's the case here—and it may be difficult to determine that the things Swetnick alleged absolutely never happened—but we'll see.
To make matters worse, we now know NBC News withheld crucial information that undermined the allegations made by Swetnick, the Avenatti client who accused a high school-aged Kavanaugh of spiking punch bowls at house parties so he and his buddies could engage in serial rapes.Of course, it doesn't matter now that they can't stop Kavanaugh's confirmation.
And we know NBC deliberately withheld this crucial information because NBC is now admitting it had this information all the way back on September 30.
On September 30, a week prior to Kavanaugh’s confirmation, during the most intense days of this scandal, when Kavanaugh’s confirmation was still very much in doubt, here is what NBC did not want the public to know…
If you recall, although he withheld the name, Avenatti tweeted out a sworn statement from a woman who backed up Swetnick’s outrageous rape allegations. In her statement, this second woman swore that she, too, had witnessed Kavanaugh spike punch bowls and take sexual advantage of girls.
Well, unbeknownst to us, NBC interviewed this anonymous witness on September 30, and she recanted! But only now is NBC News bothering to report this bombshell:
. . .
When asked about the total contradiction between his client’s sworn statement and what she told NBC, after it no longer matters, NBC now informs us, “At one point, in an apparent effort to thwart the reporting process, [Avenatti] added in the phone call, “How about this, on background, it’s not the same woman. What are you going to do with that?”
So Avenatti’s witness, the woman he brought forward to bolster Swetnick’s serial rape claim, totally recanted to NBC News, and NBC News hid this news until now.
Mueller leaks to CBS: Mueller has evidence suggesting Stone associate knew Clinton emails would be leaked. Which would not necessarily be illegal.
Mueller's investigators have reviewed messages to members of the Trump team in which Stone and Corsi seem to take credit for the release of Democratic emails, said a person with direct knowledge of the emails.But no leaks here: Jeff Mordock, WaEx: John Huber's FBI-Justice Department probe shrouded in mystery
The source and other people familiar with the matter say they have seen no evidence suggesting either man played any role in the hacking or release of the emails. Stone adamantly denies doing anything but passing on information already in the public domain.
Roughly one year after U.S. Attorney John Huber was appointed to investigate whether accusations that the FBI and Justice Department abused their powers during the 2016 election season merit prosecution, his work remains shrouded in mystery.Finger Lake Times? For years, Trump adviser Roger Stone loved notoriety. Now he insists on his innocence. Both can be true.
Likely witnesses tell The Washington Times that they haven’t heard from him, though they are eager to tell what they know. Nor has Mr. Huber kept congressional overseers in the loop on his activities.
“I would just like to know what he’s doing,” Rep. Jim Jordan, Ohio Republican, told The Times. “I’ll take anything. All I know is that we haven’t heard a single thing about what he’s doing.”
Lee Smith, RCP: DOJ Ties a Trump FISA Release to Obstruction. Don't turn on the lights; we don't want to see!
In court filings last week the Department of Justice deployed what could be the nuclear option in its latest effort to prevent President Trump from declassifying information regarding FISA warrants used to spy on his campaign aide Carter Page: It is claiming that such a move would interfere with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.I have grave doubts.
This is the first time the DOJ has explicitly made this argument implying personal peril for the president, since interference could open Trump to charges of obstruction of justice. Until now, the department has argued that declassifying the documents threatened national security.
. . .
By the DOJ’s logic, according to one source, the fact that the investigation is ongoing protects it from scrutiny, including the president’s.
Neither the Department of Justice nor the Office of the Special Counsel would respond directly to this charge.
"The obstruction trap was built into the special counsel," a congressional investigator told RCI, speaking, like the two other sources in this article, only on condition of anonymity. “If Trump fires Mueller, or Rosenstein, or declassifies documents [embarrassing to the FBI] it’s likely to bring an obstruction charge.”
Ed Morrissey at Hot Air: Papadopoulos: I Might Withdraw From Mueller Agreement Over DoJ Misconduct
Is he sure about this? George Papadopoulos got off relatively easy in Robert Mueller’s special counsel probe into Russian collusion, or at least that’s how it seemed. He pled guilty to lying to investigators and ended up serving only a single day in jail. This morning, however, the former Trump campaign adviser tells Fox & Friends that he now has information about government and prosecutorial misconduct profound enough that he’s willing to fight back:WaPo: After Papadopoulos interview, Trump allies say FBI officials should be investigated over Russia probe
But Republicans said they found Papadopoulos to be “very forthcoming” and credible, noting that he offered to share all his communications, including emails and text messages, with the committees.Set up, like a bowlin' pin. Knocked down, it get's to wearin' thin. They just won't let you be, oh no. He should. I want to see him call the Mysterious Mr. Mifsud as a witness.
Meadows and Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-Tex.) emphasized that Papadopoulos said he “never knowingly” met with a Russian government official — though they acknowledged he may have done so unknowingly. They also insisted Papadopoulos’s involvement in Trump’s campaign was “limited.”
“We continue to question why the FBI and the Department of Justice felt that there was probable cause in looking at figures like George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, who had either minimal or nonexistent contacts with the Russian government,” Ratcliffe said.