Hitler Finds Out the Mueller Investigation is Over
"Der Untergang" (2004), Robert Mueller, Russian Collusion
Groundhog Day, Robert Mueller
Were 29 Agents with Machine Guns in Body Armor Really Enough?
CNN, FBI, Militarization of Police, Robert Mueller, Roger Stone
Long-time Federal and State Prosecutor George Parry has some comments on the pre-dawn FBI paramilitary operation mounted last Friday to arrest 66-year-old, wealthy, advisor-to-presidents Roger Stone.
Long ago, as a Special Attorney with the Justice Departmentâ€™s Organized Crime and Racketeering Section, I participated in planning and â€” in a handful of instances â€” executing arrests of members of La Cosa Nostra and their associates. From personal observation, I early on concluded that, in apprehending mobsters, one of the primary threats to agent safety was the risk of fratricide, i.e., one amped-up, anxious and heavily armed agent accidentally shooting some other amped-up, anxious and heavily armed agent. The FBI, ATF, and other federal agents with whom I was privileged to work shared that concern. For that reason, they planned operations meticulously and kept the number of arresting agents to the absolute minimum in order to reduce the risk of injury or error.
To that end, I opted whenever possible to avoid arrests altogether by having defense counsel surrender their clients at the marshalâ€™s lock up during regular business hours. From the mediaâ€™s standpoint, the visuals must have been underwhelming. But then, we didnâ€™t much care about meeting the needs of the news media. Having targets surrender was simple, held down down costs, and reduced the risk of harm to one and all.
This is not to say that we never made arrests. Sometimes, we had no choice.
I recall one early morning arrest of a violence-prone mobster. The assigned agents were aware that the target was at a bar with his girlfriend. Since we wanted to take him at his home so that the premises could be searched incident to arrest, the agents parked outside his residence and waited for him to show up.
Around 6:00 A.M., the target arrived and went inside with his girlfriend. Two FBI agents (the total number needed to take down this dangerous felon and conduct the search) knocked on the door. A split second later, the target stepped outside, slammed the door behind him, and announced, â€œOkay, letâ€™s go.â€
By this tactic, he had cleverly defeated our plan to search his residence.
Despite the targetâ€™s extensive criminal record, one of the agents said to him, â€œVinnie [not his real name], if you promise to behave, I wonâ€™t put you in cuffs.â€ The violent felon smiled and said, â€œDeal.â€ Thus, he was transported without handcuffs or incident to the federal building where he was processed.
Thatâ€™s how the old Hoover era FBI rolled.
But today, with the example of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and the FBIâ€™s recent daring dawn raid and arrest of serial false declarant Roger Stone, it is apparent that my ancient generation of federal law enforcement had it all wrong. Team Muellerâ€™s use of 29 agents plus CNN video support elements were confronted with a challenging tactical problem. Despite the fact that Stone has no prior criminal record, he is nevertheless 66 years old. This is an age when people are sometimes cranky and disagreeable. Obviously, those 29 agents were necessary to establish tactical dominance and to quickly subdue this lawless false declarant. Hopefully, the overwhelming show of force prevented Stone from making any further false declarations during the course of his arrest.
And, equally important, the visuals of the assault broadcast by the CNN tactical elements undoubtedly will serve as a deterrent to others who may harbor thoughts of uttering untruths sworn or otherwise.
All of which leads me to shake my wooly gray head and wonder aloud if any of these two-fisted crime fighters who took down the cunning and dangerous Roger Stone are in any way embarrassed by their participation in this vaudeville act.
I mean, come on! 29 agents? Seriously? Once upon a time, you could have invaded a small country with that much firepower much less arrest a white haired gadfly who allegedly lied to the authorities. Is the wimp quotient really that high in todayâ€™s FBI?
Or was there some other reason for this televised silliness? Could it be that Mueller and his team of Hillary Clinton acolytes are trying to fool us with their comedy act? Is this ridiculous armed raid supposed to distract us from the humiliating fact that the Team Mueller elephant has once again given birth to a mouse? Is this an act of misdirection calculated to obscure the fact that Muellerâ€™s Hillary Clinton fan club seems incapable of bringing nothing but process crime indictments devoid of any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion?
There was obviously no justification whatsoever for that pre-dawn raid, which was clearly a flagrant abuse of power and authority intended to cow and humiliate the arrested ally of a political adversary.
Donald Trump is President of the United States, and he should tolerate neither this kind of official misconduct nor a Special Counsel and a Federal Police Agency waging war against himself and his Administration under color of the Law.
Trump should pardon Roger Stone, Michael Flynn, Paul Mannafort, and everybody else on Mueller’s list of indictments, fire Mueller, announce that he is firing everyone currently employed by the FBI and CIA, abolishing those two current agencies, and creating a new replacement of the latter Intelligence Service. There never should have been a Federal United States Secret Police in the first place. Trump should then announce a new investigation aimed at prosecuting people misusing offices and laws of the United States to attack an elected president for treason.
The Hypocrisy of the Trump Hunt
Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, Paul Mannafort, Robert Mueller, Russian Collusion
An unknown commenter wrote:
. .But the charges against Cohen, like those on which Paul Manafort was also convicted on Tuesday, have nothing to do with Russian meddling or with collusion between the Kremlin and Trump’s campaign. The Mueller investigation is still what its critics have always claimed: an attempt to bring down the duly elected president of the United States by any (legal) means possible.”
“The most significant lesson of the Trump era in American politics is that no one actually cares about so-called ‘norms’ or ethics or hoary phrases like ‘separation of powers.’ The same people who feign outrage when the president directs his attorney general to consider investigating the conduct of Obama-era officials would have no problem with Attorney General Kamala Harris prosecuting Trump under any imaginable pretext. The elaborate machinery of our judicial system â€” prosecutors, indictments, hearings, judges, verdicts â€” is simply an extension of the ruling party’s authority. It cannot be directed against the head of that party, as we were shown during the Clinton administration.”
The Mueller Witch Project
Donald Trump, Michael Ramirez, Robert Mueller, Witchhunt
They’ve Got a Warrant
Donald Trump, FBI, Robert Mueller
SNL Mocks Robert Mueller
Donald Trump, Impeaching Trump, Robert Mueller, Saturday Night Live
2016 Election, Robert Mueller, Russia, Social Media, The Law
13 guys posting opinions on social media successfully interfered with the lawful functioning of an American presidential election overruling the wishes of 127+ million voters? Wow!
Advice for Trump: Call in a Ratcatcher
Anti-Trump Coup, Donald Trump, FBI, Robert Mueller, Rudolph Giuliani
Billy, the celebrated Rat Killing Dog, London, circa 1823
Peter Ferrara, at the America Spectator, says don’t fire Robert Mueller. Instead, fire and replace his boss with just the right personality.
Now there is one master stroke left for Trump to play to drive the stake through the heart of this attempted fascist coup against America, led today by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the only barely still functioning corporal in the fascist army.
Muellerâ€™s boss, who originally recommended him for appointment, is Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who seems to be at the center of the fascist coup today. Trumpâ€™s essential master stroke would be to fire Rosenstein and appoint Rudy Giuliani as Deputy Attorney General in his place.
Giuliani would then be Muellerâ€™s boss, with first-hand knowledge of whatever Mueller is doing, right or wrong. Giuliani would effectively be a Super Special Counsel, but operating within the Justice Department, in accordance with Americaâ€™s Constitutional framework.
Giuliani knows what laws apply to professionals at the FBI and at Justice. After many years as the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, which covers Manhattan, Wall Street, and New York City, he knows how to proceed with preservation and collection of evidence, and prosecution of crimes. Expect an immediate exodus of all the Fascist coup co-conspirators, like cockroaches all scurrying about when the light is turned on in the dark basement downstairs.
Giuliani could also fire and replace Obama/Hillary co-conspirator Christopher Wray, current head of the FBI. Bring in former FBI Assistant Director James Kallstrom to replace him, a true patriot committed to restoring the integrity of the FBI.
Giuliani would know how to cooperate professionally with Trumpâ€™s appointed AG Jeff Sessions. He would actually be a great aid to AG Sessions, helping him to keep on top of the entire Department. Giuliani would know what materials can and should be released to the public, and how to do it legally.
History would record this one move as the beginning of the end of the fascist coup against America, and of the Trump resistance. The only question left would be what did Obama know, and when did he know it. Giuliani has the background to know how to uncover that as well.
Donald Trump, Impeaching Trump, Robert Mueller
Unpacking Yesterday’s Charges
Andrew C. McCarthy, Paul Mannafort, Robert Mueller, Russia
I was hoping somebody would take the time to read Mr. Mueller’s charges. Andrew C. McCarthy kindly did.
On first glance, Muellerâ€™s case, at least in part, seems shaky and overcharged.
Even though the Ukrainian money goes back to 2006, the counts involving failure to file FBARs (Counts Three through Nine) go back only to 2012. This is likely because the five-year statute of limitations bars prosecution for anything before then. Obviously, one purpose of the conspiracy count (Count One) is to enable prosecutors, under the guise of establishing the full scope of the scheme, to prove law violations that would otherwise be time-barred.
The offense of failing to register as a foreign agent (Count Ten) may be a slam-dunk, but it is a violation that the Justice Department rarely prosecutes criminally. There is often ambiguity about whether the personâ€™s actions trigger the registration requirement, so the Justice Departmentâ€™s practice is to encourage people to register, not indict them for failing to do so.
It may well be that Manafort and Gates made false statements when they belatedly registered as foreign agents, but it appears that Muellerâ€™s office has turned one offense into two, an abusive prosecutorial tactic that flouts congressional intent.
Specifically, Congress considers false statements in the specific context of foreign-agent registration to be a misdemeanor calling for zero to six monthsâ€™ imprisonment. (See Section 622(a)(2) of Title 22, U.S. Code.) That is the offense Mueller charges in Count Eleven. But then, for good measure, Mueller adds a second false-statement count (Count Twelve) for the same conduct â€” charged under the penal-code section (Section 1001 of Title 18, U.S. Code) that makes any falsity or material omission in a statement to government officials a felony punishable by up to five yearsâ€™ imprisonment.
Obviously, one cannot make a false statement on the foreign-agent registration form without also making a false statement to the government. Consequently, expect Manafort to argue that Mueller has violated double-jeopardy principles by charging the same exact offense in two separate counts, and that the special counsel is undermining Congressâ€™s intent that the offense of providing false information on a foreign-agent registration form be considered merely a misdemeanor.
Finally, the money-laundering conspiracy allegation (Count Two) seems far from slam-dunk. For someone to be guilty of laundering, the money involved has to be the proceeds of criminal activity before the accused starts concealing it by (a) moving it through accounts or changing its form by buying assets, etc., or (b) dodging a reporting requirement under federal law.
Now, it is surely a terrible thing to take money, under the guise of â€œpolitical consulting,â€ from an unsavory Ukranian political faction that is doing the Kremlinâ€™s bidding. But it is not a violation of American law to do so. The violations occur when, as outlined above, there is a lack of compliance with various disclosure requirements. Mueller seems to acknowledge this: The money-laundering count does not allege that it was illegal for Manafort and Gates to be paid by the Ukrainian faction. It is alleged, rather, that they moved the money around to promote a scheme to function as unregistered foreign agents, and specifically to avoid the registration requirement.
That seems like a stretch. To be sure, the relevant money-laundering statute includes in its definition of â€œspecified unlawful activityâ€ â€œany violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.â€ (See Section 1956(c)(2)(7)(D) of Title 18, U.S. Code.) But the prosecution still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the money was the proceeds of unlawful activity in the first place. Moreover, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Manafort and Gates (a) knew the money was the proceeds of illegal activity and (b) transported the money the way they did with the specific intent of avoiding having to register as foreign agents. This count will thus fail if there is any doubt that the Ukrainian money was illegal under American law, that Manafort and Gates knew it was illegal, that they knew the work they were doing required them to register as foreign agents, or that it was their intention to promote a failure-to-register violation.
Even from Paul Manafortâ€™s perspective, there may be less to this indictment than meets the eye â€” itâ€™s not so much a serious allegation of â€œconspiracy against the United Statesâ€ as a dubious case of disclosure violations and money movement that would never have been brought had he not drawn attention to himself by temporarily joining the Trump campaign. From President Trumpâ€™s perspective, the indictment is a boon from which he can claim that the special counsel has no actionable collusion case.