Some turds from the Deep State Swamp…
Andrew C. McCarthy: Why All the Secrecy?
It’s time to level with the public about the basis for Mueller’s investigation.
‘How do you know Trump’s not a suspect?”
I’ve been hearing that question a lot these days. News reports indicate that Special Counsel Robert Mueller may try to coerce President Trump’s testimony by issuing a grand-jury subpoena if the president does not agree to a “voluntary” interview. That has sparked a public debate over the question of whether Mueller, an inferior executive officer, has such authority to strong-arm the chief executive — the official in whom the Constitution reposes all executive power, including the power that Mueller exercises only as long as the president permits it.
I don’t think he does.
To be clear, there is no question that Mueller, as a special counsel, is a federal prosecutor who has the authority to issue grand-jury subpoenas. But everyone who works in the Justice Department has a boss, including the attorney general (who answers to the president). As special counsel, Mueller answers to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the so-called Russia investigation). That means Mueller has the authority to issue a subpoena to the president unless Rosenstein — or the president — tells him not to.
Before we come to whether the deputy AG should clip the special counsel’s wings, let’s address one point of confusion…
It has become ludicrous. The question of whether a prosecutor should be permitted to interview a president hinges on whether the president is a suspect. There is no public evidence that President Trump is. This raises the patent objection that he should not be asked to be interviewed under those circumstances. What we hear in response is, “How do you know he’s not a suspect?” But the reason we don’t know — other than the lack of evidence after two years — is that Mueller won’t deign to tell us, and Rosenstein won’t deign to comply, publicly, with regulations that required him to outline the basis for a criminal investigation.
That is not acceptable. In every other independent-prosecutor investigation in modern history — Watergate, Iran-Contra, Whitewater/Lewinsky — the president and the public have known exactly what was alleged. The prosecutor was able to investigate with all the secrecy the law allows, but under circumstances in which we all understood what was being investigated and why the president was suspected of wrongdoing.
After two years, we are entitled to nothing less. The president should direct Rosenstein to outline, publicly and in detail, the good-faith basis for a criminal investigation arising out of Russia’s interference in the election — if there is one. If he can’t, Mueller’s criminal investigation should be terminated; if he can, Mueller should be compelled to explain (unless Rosenstein’s disclosure makes it clear) why he needs to interview President Trump in order to complete his work.
If Rosenstein and Mueller are reluctant to do that, it can only be because they’ve decided that not only their investigation but also their desire for secrecy take precedence over every other consideration, including the president’s capacity to govern domestically and conduct foreign policy in a dangerous world. But secrecy is not the nation’s top priority. It’s long past time to lay the cards on the table.
Sharyl Attkisson: For Mueller, a question of three conflicts
Judge to Mueller’s Team in Manafort Case: “Come On, Man,” You’re Just Trying to Railroad Manafort to Get to Trump
“You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,” Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s “prosecution or impeachment,” Ellis said.
“That’s what you’re really interested in,” said Ellis, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.
Ellis repeated his suspicion several times in the hour-long court hearing…
“We don’t want anyone in this country with unfettered power. It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants,” Ellis told Dreeben. “The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power.”
When Dreeben answered Ellis’ question about how the investigation and its charges date back to before the Trump campaign formed, the judge shot back, “None of that information has to do with information related to Russian government coordination and the campaign of Donald Trump.”
In other words, how can an authorization of power written in 2017 to investigate crimes that supposedly happened in 2016 reach back to include 2005 crimes? How can 2005 crimes be said to have “arisen” out of the 2017-2018 investigation?
Catherine Herridge, Alex Pappas: House Intel report: Comey testified FBI agents saw no ‘physical indications of deception’ by Flynn
Un-Redacted House Intel Report: Comey DID Tell Lawmakers FBI Agents Saw No Signs of Deception in Flynn
Newly unredacted portions of the House Intelligence Committee Republican report on the Trump-Russia investigation resolve the discrepancy between what fired FBI director James Comey and House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI) Republicans have been saying about the Michael Flynn investigation. Not to put too fine a point on it, but one party should probably read the transcript before he does any more media interviews while on his book tour.
As PJ Media reported earlier this week, Republicans have long been alleging that when Comey went to Capitol Hill in March of 2017 to brief lawmakers on the Russia investigation, he told them that the agents who questioned Flynn did not believe he had lied.
Comey, on the other hand, has been insisting in numerous interviews that he said no such thing…
“Did you tell lawmakers that FBI agents didn’t believe former national security adviser Michael Flynn was lying intentionally to investigators?” asked Baier.
“No,” said Comey.
“You did not—” said Baier.
“And I saw that in the media,” Comey said. “I don’t know what — maybe someone misunderstood something I said. I didn’t believe that and didn’t say that.”
But according to the briefing transcript, Comey did tell members that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn “saw nothing that indicated to them that [Flynn] knew he was lying to them.”
Then-deputy director Andrew McCabe also said FBI agents saw no signs of deception in Flynn, but he called the case a “conundrum,” because Flynn’s statements didn’t quite match up with what the FBI knew he said in a wiretapped conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2016…
FBI’s James Baker, Lisa Page Resign
Embattled FBI Lawyer Lisa Page Has Resigned
FBI Has Not Requested Anti-Trump Agents’ Personal Email Records
The FBI says it has not requested information from the personal email accounts of Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, the two bureau officials who exchanged anti-President Donald Trump text messages while working on the investigation into possible Trump campaign collusion with Russia.
The disclosure was made in a letter sent May 2 to Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Grassley, a Republican, questioned why the bureau has not sought Strzok and Page’s personal email records, noting they referred to using private email accounts to conduct government-related business.
“FBI has not requested from Ms. Page or Mr. Strzok any information from their personal email accounts, nor has the FBI conducted searches of non-FBI issued communications devices or non-FBI email accounts associated with Mr. Strzok or Ms. Page,” Charles A. Thorley, the acting assistant director at the FBI’s office of congressional affairs, wrote to Grassley.
Strzok and Page worked closely on both the Trump-Russia investigation and the Clinton email probe. Their politically biased texts were discovered as part of a Justice Department inspector general’s investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
The Justice Department has provided Congress with thousands of text messages Strzok and Page exchanged during the course of both investigations.
VP Mike Pence”s Doctor Resigns Amid Fallout Over Her Instigation in Dr. Ronny Jackson Kerfuffle
Vice President Mike Pence’s physician, Army Dr. Jennifer Pena, has resigned from the White House, investigative journalist Sara Carter reported Friday, citing several senior administration officials. Pena is the source behind the spurious allegations that led White House physician Rear Admiral Ronny Jackson to withdraw his nomination for secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs last week.
Pena apparently violated protocol by bringing a number of serious allegations to the attention of Democrats on the Committee on Veterans Affairs, including charges that Jackson created a hostile work environment, drank on the job, improperly handed out prescription drugs, and wrecked a government vehicle after leaving a Secret Service party…
Several White House officials told Carter on Monday that Pena had a longstanding grudge against Jackson and was jealous of his continuing promotions inside the West Wing. Pena began her career at the White House during the Obama administration. Last week, someone leaked three of her personal memos regarding an incident involving Second Lady Karen Pence and Jackson to CNN…
NSA collected 534,000,000 US calls, texts in year…
DOJ inspector general’s testimony postponed, amid new leads in Clinton case review
Judicial Watch: New Clinton Emails Reveal Classified Docs, Clinton Foundation Connections
Kerry quietly seeking to salvage Iran deal he helped craft