Robert Mueller

On Mueller’s appointment

Featured image Steven G. Calabresi is the Clayton J. and Henry R. Barber Professor of Law at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law. In an intriguing column for The Hill this week, Professor Calabresi gives a glimpse of “The mess Rod Rosenstein made.” I was surprised by Rosenstein’s noncompliance with the Department of Justice’s own (very simple) regulations on the appointment of Special Counsel at the time he originally appointed Robert Mueller. »

More Mueller madness

Featured image Today’s big New York Times deep dive into Mueller mania reports on the latest wedge of the investigation. This one involves a meeting three months before the election of Donald Trump, Jr. with Joel Zamel, an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation, and George Nader, an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes, from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The Times story by Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, and David »

Mueller indicts a ham sandwich

Featured image In “Robert Mueller would prefer not to” we took a look at Special Counsel Mueller’s reluctance to proceed with criminal case he has brought against Concord Management, one of the three Russian entities he has indicted. There I noted that Mueller appeared not to anticipate that any of the defendants would appear in court to defend against the charges. Rather, Mueller seems to have obtained the indictment to serve a »

More Mueller mania

Featured image Of the Mueller investigation there is no end. Chuck Ross collects the latest media reports suggesting that Mueller is investigating donations to Trump’s inauguration. Now this is the kind of report that I ignore until we have the ocular proof. I find it hard to believe. I am incredulous. Buck Sexton takes it at face value and comments via Twitter (below). Just remember when Mueller starts investigating whether Trump recycles- »

Mysteries of the probe (2)

Featured image In his National Review column “Outrageous redactions to the Russia report,” Andrew McCarthy looks at the now unredacted portions of the House Intelligence Committee report that we posted here on Friday night. About those now unredacted redactions graciously approved by the FBI: “[W]hat we find out is that they were concealing their own questionable judgments and conflicting explanations for their actions; their use of foreign-intelligence and criminal-investigative authorities to investigate »

Mysteries of the probe (1)

Featured image What is the basis of Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel? The regulations provide that the appointment of Special Counsel rests in part on the determination that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted (28 CFR § 600.1). The jurisdiction of the Special Counsel is established by the Attorney General or his surrogate and the Special Counsel is to be provided with a specific factual statement of the »

Mueller would prefer not to [With Comment by John]

Featured image This past February Special Counsel Robert Mueller brought the dramatic indictment against Russian actors allegedly responsible for interference in the 2016 presidential election. The Department of Justice has posted the indictment online here. Politico covered the indictment in a good story by Michael Crowley and Louis Nelson. The indictment charged three Russian companies and 13 Russian individuals with election related crimes. I don’t think anyone (including Mueller) anticipated that any »

Mueller’s got a secret (2)

Featured image The transcript of the hearing before Judge Ellis on Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss the indictment pending against him in the case transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia has been posted online here and probably elsewhere. I was prompted to look for it by Brit Hume’s tweet referring readers to a linked thread on the hearing and declaring it “an interesting read.” Clicking on the tweet below should take »

Judge Ellis is on the case

Featured image Tim Ellis was a young partner at the law firm I started with when I left the government in the early 1980s. I worked with him briefly on a pro bono matter. The matter wasn’t active long enough for me really to get to know Ellis, but there was no doubting his inquisitiveness, thoroughness, doggedness, and strong sense of justice. I don’t think Ellis would have won any popularity contests »

Mueller’s got a secret

Featured image Senior United States District Judge T.S. Ellis III has been assigned one of the pending criminal cases — the one transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia — brought by the Special Counsel against Paul Manafort. In a hearing on the motion brought by Manafort to dismiss the charges as beyond the authority of the Special Counsel, Judge Ellis unloaded. As James Freeman puts it in his Best of the »

Caputo debriefed

Featured image Following up on his testimony and statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, former Trump campaign aide Michael Caputo was interviewed by one of the prosecutors and two FBI agents working on the Mueller Switch Project yesterday. After his sitdown with the Mueller team, Caputo appeared for a short debriefing by Tucker Carlson on FOX News last night (video below). The Carlson interview was compelling television full of quotable »

More Mueller madness

Featured image Earlier this week the New York Times published the list of questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller reportedly wants answered by President Trump. Timesmen Matt Apuzzo and Michael Schmidt quote the questions verbatim with their own annotations here; Schmidt’s story on the questions is published under the headline “Mueller has dozens of inquiries for Trump in broad quest on Russia ties and obstruction.” Let me emphasize that Apuzzo and Schmidt expressly »

Sessions won’t recuse himself from Cohen probe

Featured image Soon after the raid of Michael Cohen’s office, home, and hotel room, I suggested that Attorney General Sessions now has a role in Trump-related DOJ investigations. This was my analysis: [Sessions] recused himself from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.” This covers the payment made by Cohen to Stormy Daniels during the campaign, even though »

Mueller’s warning–and Hanson’s

Featured image Last week I linked to the McClatchy story by Peter Stone and Greg Gordon reporting that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has evidence that Michael Cohen — President Trump’s personal lawyer — visited Prague in the summer of 2016, just as it says right there in the dodgy Steele Dossier. Cohen to the contrary notwithstanding via Twitter (below), the response to this story among political journalists and other observers was nigh »

By pardoning Libby, Trump sends a message

Featured image President Trump has pardoned Scooter Libby, vice president Cheney’s former chief of staff. Libby was found by a jury to have committed perjury and obstruction of justice, and to have made false statements, in connection with an investigation by special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald. It could hardly be more obvious that Trump’s pardon of Libby is designed to send the message that he is prepared to pardon those charged with (and »

Do the Cohen searches open the door for Jeff Sessions?

Featured image To obtain clarity on the raid of Michael Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room plus the seizure of attorney-client material, I turned to this article by Andy McCarthy. As usual, Andy delivers plenty of clarity. I recommend reading his entire article. I want to make just one point. Andy writes: There had to have been [Southern District of New York U.S. Attorney’s Office]–Main Justice consultations [about the raid] because Justice »

Should Trump sit down with Robert Mueller. . . [UPDATED]

Featured image and tell him he’s fired? That would be cool. Mueller shows for the moment of his lifetime — interrogating the U.S. president — but instead is told to hit the road. President Trump then walks out of the room. That’s some mighty fine reality TV. After today’s raid of Michael Cohen’s home and office, I think it’s fair to consider whether Trump should fire Mueller. However, it’s premature to reach »