Saturday, July 13, 2019

Briefly Noted: Devin Nunes On The GOP Strategy For Questioning Mueller

I'm pleased that Nunes appears to be on the same page with my recommendation for questioning Mueller. Nunes was on Hemmer Time with Bill Hemmer earlier this week, and Hemmer led off with questions about how the GOP would approach the Mueller testimony. Nunes' response was that he was advising all the GOP members to "keep it simple," don't give speeches that would allow Mueller to respond with his own counter-speech. Instead, confine yourselves to very specific "yes or no" questions. And he gave an example:

Did you know that Andrew Weissmann was briefed on the "dossier" in the summer of 2016? That's an easy one to start with. ... If an attorney is involved in the chain of custody of the evidence he shouldn't be involved in the investigation itself. I'm not a lawyer myself but all the lawyers around me ... say that's like in the 101 handbook of what not to do as a prosecutor.

There are plenty of other simple, binary type questions of that sort. Now that Judge Dabney Friedrich has slammed half of the "collusion" narrative, I strongly recommend--as have various commenters here--that the GOP members focus on the other half: the claim of Wikileaks and Russian involvement in the DNC "hack." Again, just simple questions regarding the failure to take custody of the physical evidence and yet conduct investigations and prosecutions that relied on third party claims (by Crowdstrike) about that evidence.

The whole half hour interview is fairly interesting.


  1. Curve Ball

    Off topic, but Andrew McCarthy has just published his opinion that Epstein can successfully argue double jeopardy against a new indictment in the SDNY.

  2. Thanks. I've wondered about this. I'll be interested to read McCarthy's reasoning. My supposition had been that since Epstein pleaded to a state charge of prostitution, these federal charges--while based on the same factual situation--constitute a different offense that the feds can go after him on. Obviously, this will have been considered by the prosecutors in McCarthy's old stomping grounds, the SDNY. Interestingly, we haven't heard about this from Epstein's lawyers, yet. Also, I would think they could go after him on child porn charges as well.

    1. I hasten to add that I'm aware that the plea to state charges was part of the federal plea deal, which is why I was wondering about double jeopardy. But I've assumed that new facts will be alleged, such as his continuing activity, possession of child porn, perhaps a violation of some term of the prior deal. Just don't know, so will read with interest. I have to believe these have been thought through.

    2. Cassander, I've made coffee and am about to begin reading. :-) While making coffee I was wondering whether the failure of Acosta to fulfill the terms of the CVRA would play into this. We'll see. I claim no expertise in DJ issues.

    3. I've read McCarthy, and I've also read Jonathan Turley, whom McC cites: Jeffrey Epstein forces Washington to deal with embarrassing connections. McC makes strong arguments, but he leaves out something that I hope will be important--and should be if the interests of justice are to furthered. Here's my hope.

      As McC recognizes, this case is a travesty of justice. My hope is that, as I mentioned above and as Turley also mentions, since Acosta violated the CRVA--the provisions of which bear directly on any plea deal process--courts will decide to void it and allow federal prosecution. I think this would be the better solution, rather than jiggering with DJ itself.

      Turley also points out what I did:

      "The fact that there are only two counts in the new federal indictment this week may indicate that New York prosecutors are looking for crimes not covered by the earlier agreement, including new charges connected to photos of allegedly underaged girls that were reportedly found in the safe of Epstein."

      BTW, Turley explains Barr's recusal, which I don't agree with but which is probably SOP:

      "Barr has recused himself from an ongoing review of the plea agreement under the Southern District of Florida because his old law firm, Kirkland and Ellis, represented Epstein, although Barr himself had no role in the case."

  3. One of the dirty little secrets of jurisprudence is that if there is a will, there is a way. In other words, if a law enforcement organization wants to exact justice in any particular case, they have a huge array of weapons to bring to bear if circumstances warrant. Yes, this is often unethical, and can be beaten back if sufficient defense resources are brought to bear, but the capacity of the DOJ is limited only by it's budget, which is measured in the billions of dollars.

    So my question is . . . if DOJ was willing to participate in an attempted coup against a duly elected president, but now lacks the will to fully prosecute a recidivist child predator, what good is DOJ and why should we keep it around?

    1. I tend to agree. I believe the means are there to get around the non-pros agreement--as indicated. Federalist questions can be messy, but this is one of the situations that cries out for a solution. If the legal establishment wants to, they can do it without upsetting any theoretical applecarts. If the don't ...