Tag Archives: obstruction of justice

William P. Barr should not be confirmed by the Senate for Attorney General

William P. Barr, who faces a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing this week, should not be confirmed by the Senate due to his past and present sins against the rule of law and constitutional democracy.

Past Sins

William Barr was previously the Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush when he advocated that the president issue a blanket pardon to everyone charged in the Iran-Contra Affair just as independent prosecutor Lawrence Walsh was focused on obstruction of justice by President Bush himself. Barr thus was an architect of the cover-up of the Iran-Contra Affair in which no one was ever brought to justice for their crimes, establishing the perverse precedent that IOKIYAR. See, Bush Pardons 6 in Iran Affair, Aborting a Weinberger Trial; Prosecutor Assails ‘Cover-Up’ (December 24, 1992):

Six years after the arms-for-hostages scandal began to cast a shadow that would darken two Administrations, President Bush today granted full pardons to six former officials in Ronald Reagan’s Administration, including former Defense Secretary Caspar W. Weinberger.

Mr. Weinberger was scheduled to stand trial on Jan. 5 on charges that he lied to Congress about his knowledge of the arms sales to Iran and efforts by other countries to help underwrite the Nicaraguan rebels, a case that was expected to focus on Mr. Weinberger’s private notes that contain references to Mr. Bush’s endorsement of the secret shipments to Iran.

In one remaining facet of the inquiry, the independent prosecutor, Lawrence E. Walsh, plans to review a 1986 campaign diary kept by Mr. Bush. Mr. Walsh has characterized the President’s failure to turn over the diary until now as misconduct.

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Obstruction of justice in pain sight: a ‘slow-motion Saturday night massacre’ at DOJ

I have previously explained that President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker is unconstitutional and illegal. That unlawful act is being challenged in court, and the Legal challenges to Matthew Whitaker appointment are now before the Supreme Court.

The Court’s had better act quickly because this highly unethical individual who is currently under FBI investigation for his company that allegedly scammed customers out of $26 million, is now planning to take control of the Mueller investigation despite a DOJ ethics opinion recommending his recusal. Acting Attorney General Whitaker Won’t Recuse Himself From Russia Inquiry:

Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general, has decided not to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, despite being advised otherwise by a career ethics official, according to a Justice Department letter sent to Senate leaders. Mr. Whitaker will now have final say over any major developments made in that inquiry.

Read the letter.

The deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who has been overseeing the investigation while Mr. Whitaker spoke with ethics lawyers, will continue to manage it day to day, according to a senior department official, who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Mr. Whitaker has not yet been briefed on any aspect of the investigation, although one of his advisers has been briefed on major developments, according to the senior department official. That adviser has not shared information with Mr. Whitaker, and it is not clear when the acting attorney general will have his first briefing.

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A White House Under Siege (Updated)

The cascade of investigations into the Trump crime family of grifters accelerated late last week with the Wall Street Journal reporting that the Trump Inauguration Committee is under investigation, Trump Inauguration Spending Under Criminal Investigation by Federal Prosecutors (subscriber content), and the New York Times following up to add that a Trump Super PAC is also under criminal investigation. Trump Inaugural Fund and Super PAC Said to Be Scrutinized for Illegal Foreign Donations:

Federal prosecutors are examining whether foreigners illegally funneled donations to President Trump’s inaugural committee and a pro-Trump super PAC, Rebuilding America Now, in hopes of buying influence over American policy, according to people familiar with the inquiry.

The inquiry focuses on whether people from Middle Eastern nations — including Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — used straw donors to disguise their donations to the two funds. Federal law prohibits foreign contributions to federal campaigns, political action committees and inaugural funds.

The line of questioning underscores the growing scope of criminal inquiries that pose a threat to Mr. Trump’s presidency.

The inquiry into potential foreign donations to the inaugural fund and the super PAC is yet another front being pursued by multiple teams of prosecutors.

MSNBC put together a graphic for the burgeoning number of  investigations.

Screen Shot 2018-12-16 at 3.17.05 PM

The Washington Post attempts to summarize all of the current investigations that are known. Mounting legal threats surround Trump as nearly every organization he has led is under investigation:

Two years after Donald Trump won the presidency, nearly every organization he has led in the past decade is under investigation.

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It’s Mueller Time!

Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff reports that Mueller is preparing endgame for Russia investigation:

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors have told defense lawyers in recent weeks that they are “tying up loose ends” in their investigation, providing the clearest clues yet that the long-running probe into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election may be coming to its climax, potentially in the next few weeks, according to multiple sources close to the matter.

The new information about the state of Mueller’s investigation comes during a pivotal week when the special counsel’s prosecutors are planning to file memos about three of their most high profile defendants — former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

A Flynn sentencing memo is due Tuesday, and memos about Manafort and Cohen are slated for Friday. All three documents are expected to yield significant new details on what cooperation the three of them provided to the Russia investigation.

There has been much speculation that Mueller might file his memo in Manafort’s case under seal in order to prevent public disclosure of the additional crimes his office believes Manafort committed when he allegedly lied to prosecutors and broke a plea deal after agreeing to cooperate.

But Peter Carr, spokesman for the special counsel, confirmed to Yahoo News on Monday that the Manafort memo “will be public,” although he added there could be some portions that are redacted or filed as a sealed addendum. The Manafort memo has been requested by the federal judge in his case so that prosecutors could, for the first time, spell out what matters they believe Manafort has lied to them about.

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Michael Cohen pleads guilty to lying to Congress about being a back channel to Putin’s Russia

President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen pleaded guilty today to an additional count of making false statements to Congress about a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow during the 2016 presidential election. Criminal Information (.pdf) and Plea Agreement (.pdf). Cohen now admits that he was a back channel between the Trump organization and Putin’s Russia.

Three quick observations. First, this is Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s counterpunch to President Trump and his his shyster lawyer Rudy Giuliani crowing this week about their criminal conspiracy to obstruct justice through former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort acting as their “mole” to impede the Special Counsel’s investigation. They won’t be so cocky when they face criminal charges.

Second, Cohen’s Criminal Information today is Robert Mueller showing only one of the cards that he is holding, and this card hints that more criminal indictments are in the offing.  Cohen identified Donald Trump as “person 1” in open court, and his felon cohort Felix Sater appears to be “person 2” from the   context of the Criminal Information. Cohen briefed Trump family members about the Trump World Tower Moscow Project, potentially implicating them as well.

Cohen has also been cooperating with the Southern District of New York and the Attorney General of New York regarding the Trump Foundation and Trump business interests. He knows everything, and the Special Counsel has all of his files, phone records, emails and secretly recorded conversations.

Finally, this is a warning shot across the bow to other witnesses who have made false statements to Congress, in particular, that smarmy Donald Trump, Jr., and others who have lied to the FBI or Special Counsel including Jerome Corsi, Randy Credico and Roger Stone. Their “time in the barrel” is coming.

“It’s Mueller Time.”

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