DOJ spying scandal 'reeks' — and is likely to expand: Mueller prosecutor Andrew Weissmann
Jeff Sessions (C-SPAN)

Former Mueller probe prosecutor Andrew Weissmann predicted on Friday that the scandal over the Department of Justice spying on Trump's perceived enemies was likely to expand.

Weissmann was interviewed by MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace on "Deadline: White house."

"So there's no question that to subpoena this kind of information you would need extensive factual predication and you would brief this to the highest levels in the FBI and the Justice Department," Weissman noted. "My educated guess about what's going on here is the reason we're seeing this, I suspect will see more of this, is because these gag orders are running out and that the current Justice Department is not willing to stand behind them when they're not warranted."

"I suspect what's going on is they're shocked about what's going on," he said. "I don't think the response though of going to the inspector general is sufficient, that's going to take years. The inspector general was notably absent during the Trump administration and there has to be a systemic answer to this. I think there can be hearings and I think Congress does have the power to require more out of the executive. So that I have no doubt that Merrick Garland is going to run a clean Justice Department, but that's not the issue. The issue is what do we do when there's no longer a Merrick Garland and somebody more like Attorney General Barr. And Congress can require the Justice Department to make showings that are much, much higher than what they needed to show here, factually, and getting the court more involved so that you have a greater check on the so-called unitary executive, which I think is the heart of the problem here."

"What kind of thing would predicate an extremely broad and sweeping subpoena of records of an unknown number of members of Congress, staffs and children?" Wallace asked.

"It would be -- you would need to have substantial evidence," he replied. "So to me this is something where there's just an unusual failure because it reeks of being a fishing expedition, which is how you get to autocracy," he replied.


Andrew Weissmann