Quantcast
Connect with us

Mueller prosecutor explains why special counsel was scared of being fired by Trump for investigating finances

Published

on

Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller being sworn in (Photo: Screen capture)

In an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, former special counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissmann said that there are a lot of rules and problems that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team faced that Americans were unaware of in the Russia investigation.

“I think the first thing that people need to understand is, for 22 months we were investigating somebody who had an unusual power, and that is he had the power to fire us,” Weissmann explained. “I’ve prosecuted mobsters and Enron executives, and those can be tough cases. But the people you’re looking at don’t have that power to pull the plug on your investigation.”

ADVERTISEMENT

In his recently released tell-all book, Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation, Weissmann recalls a moment the Mueller team issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank to look into any loans that might be underwritten by Russian leaders. The White House called asking if Mueller’s team was doing an investigation into Trump’s finances.

“Usually that’s a red flag,” said Weissmann. “That’s something to look at. Director Mueller had a tough decision to make at that initial stage of the investigation which is, do you risk being fired and thus not continuing an investigation, or do you decide let’s put that off ’til later. And he made the decision to do the latter. And that of course led to all sorts of prosecutions.”

He went on to explain that the Mueller team did clearly uncover what Russia had been doing to interfere in the election for Trump. They also uncovered Paul Manafort giving polling data to a Russian operative and the Russian hack of the Democratic Party.

“So, all sorts of things came out of the investigation,” he explained. “Where I take issue with the decision is that we didn’t revisit it later in the day. And it seemed to me that later on in the investigation after we had proved all those things and proceeded, it was important for us at that point to do the full financial investigation that was warranted by the appointment order of the special counsel.”

Mitchell noted that Americans thought that’s what was happening and that Mueller could ultimately charge Trump with any misdeeds. It was far from reality.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I was very concerned about the precedent that was set in terms of what will the next special counsel do,” Weissmann said. “They will throw back in that special counsel’s face what happened here. But one of the things I do in the book is to try and lay out ways in which I think the special counsel rules can be amended. As you know, Andrea, having — being about my age, you know that these rules have changed over time from Watergate to Ken Starr to what we have now. And I think it would be really good for Congress and the Department of Justice to take a look at the rules under which the next special counsel operates so that the next special counsel Mueller has an easier time of making those decisions and has clear guidance from those rules as to what he’s supposed to do, not the least of which would be the education function.”

He noted that Americans assumed that a sitting president could be indicted, but Mueller had to follow the Department of Justice rules, and he couldn’t come out to explain to Americans how that rule hampered his investigation.

“People thought that we were doing a full financial investigation and our report didn’t clearly lay out what we did and did not do,” Weissmann also explained. “And I think that educational function of the special counsel rules really needs to be enhanced going forward so we don’t have this situation arise again.”

ADVERTISEMENT

See the full interview below:


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

‘Signs of a coming conflict are everywhere’: Why a 2nd Civil War would be quite different from the 1st

Published

on

In 2020, the United States has been rocked by everything from a deadly pandemic and a brutal recession to civil unrest in a long list of cities to fears that violent conflicts will occur either on Election Day or after the election. Journalist Matthew Gault, in an article published by Vice this week, wonders if the political divisions in the United States run so deep that the country is headed for another civil war.

Describing the unrest that has occurred this year, Gault writes, "People are marching in the streets, aligned with two ideologically distinct factions. Many of them, overwhelmingly from one side, are armed, and violence and death has resulted when these two sides have clashed. The signs of a coming conflict are everywhere."

Continue Reading

2020 Election

A fake ‘intelligence staffer’ crafted the groundwork for the Trump conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden

Published

on

It's unclear why President Donald Trump and his allies have chosen to attack Vice President Joe Biden's last living son as a key tenant to the 2020 reelection instead of focusing on his opponent himself. But according to a well-researched NBC News report by Ben Collins and Brandy Zadrozny, the "documents," actually came from a fake person that never existed using a profile photo created by an artificial intelligence face generator.

Months ago, there was a fake "intelligence" document about Hunter Biden that popped up online along with tons of "files" from a supposed laptop. None of it was real and it has all been dismissed by Trump's own associates as fake. But now it's being revealed that the company behind the effort was a fake "intelligence firm" called Typhoon Investigations, researchers and public documents revealed.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

BUSTED: Commerce Secretary was on board of Chinese joint venture — while running Trump’s trade war

Published

on

On Thursday, Foreign Policy reported that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross remained on the board of a Chinese joint venture — even while he was tasked with overseeing President Donald Trump's trade war.

"In Chinese corporate documents obtained by Foreign Policy, Ross is listed as serving on the board of a Chinese joint venture until January 2019 — nearly two years into his term as commerce secretary," reported Isaac Stone Fish. "That joint venture, now called Huaneng Invesco WLR (Beijing) Investment Fund Management Co., is an investment partnership formed in September 2008 between Huaneng Capital Services, the U.S. management company Invesco, and a firm Ross founded, WL Ross & Co. Huaneng Capital Services is an arm of China Huaneng Group, a major state-owned power producer."

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE