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.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., International, Justice, Law Enforcement, personality cult of Trump, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged abuse of power, accessories, conspiracy, constitutional crisis, Department of Justice, FBI, Impeachment, obstruction of justice, rule of law, Special Counsel, witness intimidation, witness tampering
Despite their feigned lack of concern at the White House, Team Trump’s butts are puckering this morning. Robert Mueller has caught another witch in Donald Trump’s “witch hunt,” and is now closing the circle around the Trump crime family.
The New York Times reports, Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel, Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges:
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, agreed on Friday to cooperate with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a deal in which he pleaded guilty to reduced charges. See, Superceding Criminal Information (.pdf).
.Appearing in United States District Court in Washingon, Mr. Manafort entered guilty pleas on two charges. Andrew Weissmann, the lead prosecutor, told Judge Amy Berman Jackson that there was a cooperation agreement with Mr. Manafort.
Additional reporting from The Washington Post:
Prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said at the beginning of Friday’s plea hearing that Manafort has agreed to cooperate with investigators.
Speaking at the hearing before U.S. District Court judge Amy Berman Jackson, Weissmann said the 17-page plea agreement (.pdf) included the terms of Manafort’s expected cooperation.
It was not immediately clear what information he might be providing to prosecutors or how the plea agreement might affect Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and related questions about possible collusion by the Trump campaign and obstruction of justice by Mr. Trump.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged civil forfeiture, conspiracy, criminal forfeiture, money laundering, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel, Tax Evasion, witness tampering
Permanent musical accompaniment: I Fought The Law (And The Law Won), by the Bobby Fuller Four (1966).
The Special Counsel and U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson sent President Trump a clear message today: tamper with witnesses, and you will be going to jail; you can share a cell with your former campaign manager. Paul Manafort ordered to jail after witness-tampering charges:
A federal judge ordered Paul Manafort to jail Friday over charges he tampered with witnesses while out on bail — a major blow for President Trump’s former campaign chairman as he awaits trial on federal conspiracy and money-laundering charges next month.
“You have abused the trust placed in you six months ago,” U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson told Manafort. “The government motion will be granted, and the defendant will be detained.”
The judge said sending Manafort to a cell was “an extraordinarily difficult decision” but said his conduct — allegedly contacting witnesses in the case in an effort to get them to lie to investigators — left her little choice.
“This is not middle school. I can’t take away his cellphone,” she said. “If I tell him not to call 56 witnesses, will he call the 57th?” She said she should not have to draft a court order spelling out the entire criminal code for him to avoid violations.
“This hearing is not about politics. It is not about the conduct of the office of special counsel. It is about the defendant’s conduct,” Jackson said. “I’m concerned you seem to treat these proceedings as another marketing exercise.”
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Campaigns, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Election Integrity, Elections, Ethics, GOP War On..., Justice, Law Enforcement, President, Russian Affair, Scandals, War
Tagged Cyber Crime, Cyber War, obstruction of justice, Special Counsel, suborning perjury, witness tampering
When former U.S. President Richard Nixon sat down for an interview with British journalist David Frost in 1977, Nixon asserted a broad interpretation of executive authority:
Frost:…Would you say that there are certain situations – and the Huston Plan was one of them – where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation, and do something illegal?
Nixon: Well, when the president does it, that means it is not illegal.
Frost: By definition.
Nixon: Exactly, exactly. If the president, for example, approves something because of the national security, or in this case because of a threat to internal peace and order of significant magnitude, then the president’s decision in that instance is one that enables those who carry it out, to carry it out without violating a law. Otherwise they’re in an impossible position.
You should note the context: If the president orders someone in the federal government to do something for a national security or domestic security reason, those individuals carrying out the president’s order “are not violating the law.”
Donald Trump and his shyster lawyers have taken Nixon’s assertion “[W]hen the president does it, that means it is not illegal,” and extended this to a blanket assertion of presidential immunity from (1) being subpoenaed in a criminal investigation, and (2) being indicted for criminal activity while president. It is a novel theory that the president is above the law, and a bold rejection of the bedrock foundational American principles that we are a nation of laws and that no man is above the law.
Posted in AZBlueMeanie, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Courts, Crime, Ethics, International, Justice, Law Enforcement, Party Politics, President, Russian Affair, Scandals
Tagged conspiracy, Impeachment, indictment, obstruction of justice, Presidential Pardons, Special Counsel, suborning perjury, subpoena, witness tampering