As Robert Mueller prepares to testify in Washington, John Solomon has an explosive story in The Hill: “How Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann’s offer to an oligarch could boomerang on DOJ.”
Solomon reports that just two weeks after Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel, his deputy Andrew Weissmann reached out to lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with a proposal to secure dismissal of criminal charges against Firtash in exchange for dirt on President Trump:
The ink was still drying on special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment papers when his chief deputy, the famously aggressive and occasionally controversial prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, made a bold but secret overture in early June 2017.
Weissmann quietly reached out to the American lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with a tempting offer: Give us some dirt on Donald Trump in the Russia case, and Team Mueller might make his 2014 U.S. criminal charges go away.
At the time, pressure was building inside the DOJ and the FBI to find smoking-gun evidence against Trump in the Russia case because the Steele dossier — upon which the early surveillance warrants were based — was turning out to be an uncorroborated mess. (“There’s no big there there,” lead FBI agent Pete Strzok texted a few days before Weissmann’s overture.)
Likewise, key evidence that the DOJ used to indict Firtash on corruption charges in 2014 was falling apart.
According to a defense memo recounting Weissmann’s contacts, the prosecutor claimed the Mueller team could “resolve the Firtash case” in Chicago and neither the DOJ nor the Chicago U.S. Attorney’s Office “could interfere with or prevent a solution,” including withdrawing all charges. “The complete dropping of the proceedings … was doubtless on the table,” according to the defense memo.
Prosecutors in plea deals typically ask a defendant for a written proffer of what they can provide in testimony and identify the general topics that might interest them. But Weissmann appeared to go much further in a July 7, 2017, meeting with Firtash’s American lawyers and FBI agents, sharing certain private theories of the nascent special counsel’s investigation into Trump, his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Russia, according to defense memos.
For example, Firtash’s legal team wrote that Weissmann told them he believed a company called Bayrock, tied to former FBI informant Felix Sater, had “made substantial investments with Donald Trump’s companies” and that prosecutors were looking for dirt on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.
Weissmann told the Firtash team “he believes that Manafort and his people substantially coordinated their activities with Russians in order to win their work in Ukraine,” according to the defense memos. And the Mueller deputy said he “believed” a Ukrainian group tied to Manafort “was merely a front for illegal criminal activities in Ukraine,” and suggested a “Russian secret service authority” may have been involved in influencing the 2016 U.S. election, the defense memos show.
Firtash’s lawyers, who now apparently have shared their memos with Solomon, turned down the Mueller team’s overture.
The Mueller “investigation” is a scandal in itself, a continuation of the Deep State’s effort to drive President Trump from office and thereby frustrate the will of American voters. Mueller should be cross-examined harshly by Republican Congressmen.