Thursday, September 6, 2018

UPDATED: Why Andrew Weissmann?

This past Tuesday, August 27th, Bruce Ohr, the demoted former Associate Deputy Attorney General testified before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees. Among the newsworthy items that have emerged, a few stand out. One of course is that his wife Nellie began working for Glenn Simpson's opposition research outfit, Fusion GPS, back in 2015--adding fuel to the speculation that she was involved as an FBI contractor in illegally mining NSA databases for information on GOP presidential candidates. Another item, which Chuck Ross highlighted at The Daily Caller, was that Ohr kept a number of FBI and DoJ colleagues "in the loop" regarding his highly irregular contacts with Christopher Steele, the "former" MI6 spook. Specifically:

Sources familiar with Ohr’s testimony before the House Judiciary and House Oversight Committees told The Daily Caller News Foundation that Ohr informed Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page about his interactions with Steele and Simpson. He also informed Justice Department prosecutor Andrew Weissmann about his dossier-related work.
Weissmann is now serving as right-hand man to Robert Mueller at the special counsel’s office.

It seems to me that the question that needs to be asked is: Why Andrew Weissmann? Why was Ohr keeping Weissmann, who was at the time head of DoJ's Criminal Fraud Section, in the loop on what to all appearances was a Counterintelligence investigation? If Ohr kept Weissmann in the loop out of friendship, that still breaks the first rule of conspiratorial operations: need to know. Unless ... Weissmann was contributing or could potentially contribute something of value to the conspiracy.

What Weissmann's contribution to the Russia hoax might have been is suggested by his previous career.

Weissmann is best known as a hard charging prosecutor, but one with a reputation for being willing to take ethical shortcuts to make the big case. This led, in 2005, to the US Supreme Court unanimously overturning the conviction in his biggest case: the Enron Case. The criticism of Weissmann's "intimidating" "scorched earth" tactics that arose from the Enron Case made Weissmann a hot potato in the legal world, but fortunately for him he landed on his feet--as Special Counsel to a friend and former colleague, FBI Director Robert Mueller.

This was Weissmann's first gig at the FBI, and lasted probably less than a full year while he looked for a more lucrative position--by the end of 2005 Weissmann went into private practice at Jenner and Block in New York. But in 2011 Weissmann returned to the FBI and his mentor Mueller, serving as General Counsel under Mueller until the end of Mueller's term in September, 2013. He continued at the FBI under James Comey until January, 2015, when he returned to DoJ as head of the Criminal Fraud Section. His final career move, to date, was his reunion with Mueller, joining Mueller's Special Counsel team in June, 2017.

What was Weissmann doing as General Counsel at the FBI? According to DoJ,

"The General Counsel of the FBI is ultimately responsible for all of the legal affairs of the FBI. ... The General Counsel interacts regularly with all of the elements of the FBI, the Justice Department, the U.S. Intelligence Community, a range of other government agencies, foreign partners, ..."

You get the drift. During his four years as General Counsel at the FBI Weissmann would have been interacting on a daily basis with FBI management at the very highest levels, certainly including the Director (Mueller, then Comey) and Deputy Director--with additional contact with the highest levels in all important Divisions. Beyond that, however, he would have been developing contacts throughout the Intelligence Community and with "foreign partners"--prominently including the British intelligence agencies. The appeal of having Weissmann "in the loop" of the Russia hoax is obvious--he would be a trusted contact with the top levels of the FBI and would have a wide range of other useful contacts.

But Weissmann's connections to the FBI would not have been the end of his usefulness. Weissmann was well known to be a Hillary Clinton partisan, and even attended the Clinton election night celebration--which turned into a wake. Just how extensive were Weissmann's contacts with the Clinton campaign? Here the waters are murky. Nevertheless, Weissmann is known to have had contacts with Mary Jacoby, the wife of Glenn Simpson, as well as with Simpson himself. Further, others in the Clinton circle also had contacts. Aaron Klein has detailed remarkable new information involving contacts of Edward Lieberman with the Russians involved in the famous Trump Tower meeting on the days surrounding that meeting--including the very day of the meeting. Edward Lieberman is a lawyer and an associate of Madeline Albright whose expertise involves “multi-billion dollar privatizations of oil and gas assets in Eastern Europe, Central Asia and Russia.” He was also the husband of the late Evelyn Lieberman, a Deputy Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House.

Was Bruce Ohr "in the loop" regarding the Trump Tower meeting--which I regard as a clear attempt to set up Donald Trump Jr. and/or Jared Kushner in a quid pro quo arrangement for supposed "dirt" on Hillary Clinton? If Ohr knew of this attempted setup of the Trump campaign, there would seem to be little to no doubt that Weissmann also knew. Further, since both would have known of the connection of Fusion GPS to the Clinton campaign, was there possibly a more direct connection to the Clinton campaign, through Weissman?

Finally, when it came time to select a Special Counsel, would not Weissmann have been a logical person to sound out Mueller on returning to government--or should we say Deep State--work? It's telling that Weissmann jumped on board the Mueller train as soon as the Special Counsel was established. Had there been preliminary discussions?

We now know that Weissman was a more integral part of the Russia Hoax/conspiracy than previously suspected--probably from the very beginning. The question is, just how extensive was his involvement? Did it extend to contact with the Clinton campaign itself? Did it extend beyond the election to strategizing with FBI efforts to ensnare and use George Papadopoulos? Did it extend to reaching out to his mentor Mueller during the early months of the Trump administration, planning for a Special Counsel?

The answers to these questions should be of pressing concern to Congressional investigators.

UPDATE: In a letter to Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, dated 9/10/18, Rep. Mark Meadows detailed FBI and DoJ collusion to release leaks to the press to harm the Trump Administration. Specifically, Meadows noted

For example, while Strzok and Page texted about media leaks on April 10-12, 2017 — during the same timeframe as FBI and DOJ officials were having conversations with reporters — the Washington Post broke a story on the Carter Page FISA application on April 11, 2017, setting off a flurry of articles suggesting connections between President Trump and Russia. Other documents indicate DOJ officials, specifically Andrew Weissmann, participated in unauthorized conversations with the media during this same period. Evidence suggests senior officials at the FBI and DOJ communicated with other news outlets beyond the Washington Post, as well.

"During this same period" means Weissmann was illegally colluding in anti-Trump leaks two months before joining the Mueller Russia Hoax team.

Paul Mirengoff at Powerline, The FBI’s anti-Trump “leak strategy”, further notes:

Weissmann is now a key member of Robert Mueller’s team of anti-Trump partisans. Before Mueller was appointed, Weissmann, then a high ranking DOJ official, met met with reporters from the Associated Press in April 2017, just one day before their explosive story on Paul Manafort’s dealings with Ukraine officials.

This meeting of Weissmann with AP reporters has long been public knowledge--as is the fact that it has been the subject of investigation by IG Horowitz. That means that SC Mueller has long been aware of it.

Moreover ...

Mirengoff points out that the apparent result of the AP reporters' meeting with Weissmann was an "explosive story on Paul Manafort's dealings with Ukraine officials." The subject of Paul Manafort has been a special focus of Glenn Simpson for years--it's not too much to say that Simpson is one of the world's great experts on Paul Manafort. Given Weissmann's background at the FBI as outlined above, it would not be unusual for him to be aware of Manafort, but the possibility that Simpson provided Weissmann with more detailed information to feed to the AP reporters should not be discounted. This would be one more connection between Weissmann and Simpson's Fusion GPS.


  1. Mark, love your work. I follow you like

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Mike. I try to confine my blogs to takes on the situation that aren't covered elsewhere, so the blogging is spotty.

  3. Mark, would you give us your thoughts on Sessions. From what I can figure out, he is hands off on anything to do with HRC or Russian hoax. You would think if he was a good man/patriot, it would be eating him seeing what's going on and not joining the fight against it.

  4. Mike, like most people I was elated when Sessions was nominated and, eventually, confirmed. My elation was based on his well known policy positions. Should Sessions have recused himself? I tend to agree with Andy McCarthy that recusal was unnecessary (also see here). Like McCarthy, I find it hard to accept that Sessions was somehow blindsided by the political theater that erupted over the Russia hoax. However, while McCarthy faults Trump and his team for failing to question Sessions on the issue of recusing himself, I place the lion's share of the blame on Sessions for failing to pro-actively inform the President what he intended as his first significant official act as AG. Sessions certainly intended recusal to be essentially his first act, and IMO owed it to Trump to inform him--that was too major and far reaching a decision to have kept it to himself. I feel strongly enough about this to speculate whether Sessions, in the course of his confirmation effort, may have made some sort of political bargain with certain Senators (Democrats, NeverTrump Republicans, both?) by which he agreed to recuse himself. If so, that was an egregious injustice to the President.

    Beyond the questions re Sessions, however, I would very much like to know how Rosenstein--with all his conflicts regarding the Clintons--became the nominee for DAG. We know that Rosenstein brought in Wray, another tragic appointment.

  5. Mark the more I read of the machinations of the Mueler Investigation the more I believe that this whole charade is part of a Clinton cover up. The Clintons are experts in this sort of calculation from Whitewater, Chinese money you name they are usually three steps ahead. Mueller et al are all Clintonistas. Rosenstein. Comey, and the FBI top brass too. Maybe we are looking at this whole thing through the wrong lens, thinking they are out to get Trump. An excellent deflection. We are all trying to connect dots to a set up of Trump and the campaign while we are missing the Clinton connection staring us in the face.

  6. Anon, I believe your theory works just fine with what I've been writing. There is no reason, based on the mandate provided by Rosenstein, that Mueller couldn't pursue the very obvious Clinton connections to the whole Russia Hoax narrative--starting with Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS. The connections are so obvious that any reasonable person has to ask: Why hasn't he done so? The answer is to protect the entire establishment's involvement in attempting to steer the election to Hillary. And that's what needs to be concealed by the outrageous Russia Hoax narrative.

  7. Thanks for that link, Mike--I hadn't been aware of it. More and more dots getting connected. I think you have to assume that investigators have been poring over phone/email/text records for most (all?) of these players. When you look at the big picture this turns out to be pretty obvious stuff. Another assumption might be that there is a bi-partisan effort to slow the investigations down, limit them--I refer especially to the Senate side. Ten years from now there should be one helluva big book on this.