Of course it did, you'll say--after all that's exactly what Rod Rosenstein said in his letter authorizing the formation of Team Mueller. The only quibble is that Rosenstein didn't use the codeword investigation name. What he did was describe the Crossfire Hurricane investigation. Here's how I described it all in Mueller's "Enterprise" Witchhunt:
in Deputy Attorney General (DAG) Rod Rosenstein's letter of May 17, 2017, in which he appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel (SC), Rosenstein's authorization closely tracks Comey's testimony:
There are several important bits of information that we need to take special note of in this.
- First, Mueller is not starting up a new investigation--he's taking over an already existing investigation, the same one that was confirmed by Comey two months earlier.
- Second, and very importantly, Mueller's investigation is not authorized as a general investigation into Russian "active measures" (i.e., interference, meddling) in the 2016 campaign but instead is rather narrowly focused on "coordination between people associated with the Trump campaign and the Russians."
In other words, Rosenstein did not authorize Mueller to investigate coordination between people associated with the Clinton campaign and the Russians--only the Trump campaign.
The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of Donald Trump; ...
What's important to remember, however, is that the personnel remained essentially the same, as well. This of course is something that sundance has stressed--the Small Group.
Now sundance is doing what he does best, constructing a timeline for the appointment of Mueller. Commenter Yancey Ward will be pleased with the results of that timeline.
Sundance draws on the questioning of Mueller by Congressman Andy Biggs and points especially to the sequence that begins at 2:26:
Here's the bottom line of what we learn from all this--and go to CTH for all the details (Rod Rosenstein Contacted Mueller About Special Counsel 14 Hours After Comey Fired):
Within 15 hours of James Comey being fired, in the evening of May 9, 2017, Rosenstein was on the phone with Robert Mueller, and less than a day later McCabe had opened an obstruction investigation on Trump. Not only that, but it appears that that phone call to Mueller was simply the first phone call in a series of contacts between Rosenstein and Mueller over the next week, culminating in the appointment of Mueller as Special Counsel.
1. Those calls weren't coincidental, and Rosenstein undoubtedly had discussions with other Small Group members--McCabe, Tashina Gauhar, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok, James Baker, Andrew Weissmann, Aaron Zebley. Those are a few of the names that come to mind. The point is that Comey's firing triggered frenzied activity on the part of Rosenstein (and others) to get everything in place for a Special Counsel.
2. Therefore there can be no doubt whatsoever that the firing of Comey is what led to Rosenstein appointing Mueller as Special Counsel. And yet, as we pointed out earlier today in Obstruction--And Barr's Strategy, there was no rational predication for such an action. A president is legally allowed to fire an FBI Director. Exercising his lawful powers is not obstruction, and that is the official position of the DoJ. Moreover, Andy McCabe himself testified on May 11, 2017, in response to a question from Senator Marco Rubio:
RUBIO: “[H]as the dismissal of Mr. Comey in any way impeded, interrupted, stopped, or negatively impacted any of the work, any investigation, or any ongoing projects at the Federal Bureau of Investigation?”
McCABE: “So there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date."
And yet, a Special Counsel was appointed to attempt to pin an obstruction charge on the POTUS for having fired the FBI Director. To say that this was unlawful and tantamount to a coup, except for the use of armed force, is no more than accurate description. This is the Deep State, the Establishment, attempting to remove a president based on policy/personnel differences, without legal justification.
It's worth quoting sundance's conclusion:
This investigative ‘small group’ are the people inside Main Justice (DOJ) and FBI headquarters who redacted the Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text messages; removed messages and communication antithetical to their goals; kept key documents and information away from congress; stalled any effort to expose the unlawful aspects of “SpyGate’ and the fraudulent foundation behind the Carter Page FISA application; and undermined any adverse discoveries in the leak investigations (James Wolfe) writ large.
This investigative small group didn’t change when Mueller arrived, they just retooled the focus of their effort based on new leadership and new objectives. Those who created the Trump-Russia collusion/conspiracy case of 2016, evolved into creating the Trump obstructing justice case of 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Everything Mueller and Rosenstein were doing in late 2017 and throughout 2018 was intended to drag-out the Russia conspiracy narrative as long as possible, even though there was no actual Trump-Russia investigation taking place.
It was always the “obstruction” investigation that could lead to the desired result by Mueller’s team of taking down President Trump through evidence that would help Pelosi and Nadler achieve impeachment . The “obstruction case” was the entirety of the case they were trying to make from May 2017 through to March 2019.
Sundance goes too far in saying that the obstruction case "was the entirety of the case they were trying to make from May 2017 through to March 2019." We understand the point he's making, the centrality of the false obstruction narrative, but the truth of it is clearly visible in the indictments that Team Mueller managed to eak out. This Team or Small Group was quite willing to frame anyone based on the false Russia narrative, and to that end they worked it tirelessly. However, the fact remains: no Comey firing, no Team Mueller, and that was based on a false obstruction narrative.
The bad news for the Small Group is as I stated it earlier today: Nobody knows all this better than Bill Barr. And he wants to get to the bottom of it because lawless investigations, investigations initiated without predication simply to target someone for political reasons, undermines all semblance of Rule of Law.
Since CH flowed seamlessly into Team Mueller, the only logical conclusion is that to get to the bottom of the Russia Hoax means that Team Mueller must be thoroughly investigated.
Investigate the investigators!
ADDENDUM: BTW, for an amusing read--especially the second half: The Over-Hyped Rise & Sudden Fall Of 'Superhero' Robert Mueller.
I know I have brought this up before, but I will just repeat it here- Rosenstein got cold feet sometime in the Summer of 2018. It might well have been Barr's memo that caused that change of heart. What we do know is that Mueller restarted the Roger Stone/Wikileaks investigation in September of 2018, almost coincidental to McCabe outing Rosenstein as one of the coup plotters as far back as the week after Comey's firing.ReplyDelete
I would love to have a recording of the first Mueller related meeting Rosenstein had with Barr following Barr's swearing in ceremony. I can't imagine that was a happy meeting for Rosenstein considering the sh*t sandwich Barr made him eat on the turning over of the report.
Interesting. Yes, I can see that he may have got cold feet--but way too late. There would have to be a price to pay and, IMO, there still is. That sandwich can only have been the down payment.Delete
Was the meeting over lunch? The scene practically writes itself: 'I'll order for both of us Rod. Rod here will have the Sh*t Sandwich appetizer, and for an entrée he'll have the Southern Fried Crow and Waffles, that comes with bread and water, right? And for dessert, I'm not sure? Is the Tapioca-a-la-penitentiary fresh? Ok, he'll go with that. And for me, I'll just have the Professional Satisfaction Salad with Zesty Republic dressing and Justice garnish.Delete
Now down to what I know your dying to tell me Rod, I'm all ears.'
Okay, that was funny. No one can hear me laughing, but I promise everyone, I'm laughing ;^>Delete
Here's a thought. Mickey Kaus pointed out that in the kerfuffle about Comey not being charged, Trump tweeted ... nothing. Maybe he knows more than we do?Delete