Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Super Thread By @JohnWHuber Re Manafort Case--And More!

Undercover Huber has done a deep dive and dug up some remarkable information regarding Team Mueller's tactics in the Paul Manafort case--but with ramifications (which he goes into, as well) for the Flynn and Cohen cases. The thread is quite long, but here's a link to it unrolled.

Why am I dwelling on this past history, when the Russia Hoax is unraveling before our eyes--so it certainly seems--with the revelation of the absurd opening EC for the Crossfire Hurricane case? I think it's worthwhile to take another look at the appalling "legal" tactics that the Left leveled at innocent people in order to take out the President the country had elected. The cynicism and corruption is beyond what most of us could imagine.

Here's the short version regarding Manafort--follow the link for the rest.

Team Mueller decided that if they were ever going to force Manafort to lie about President Trump (NB: he never did) they would need to somehow drag Manafort's attorney in front of their grand jury and force the attorney to testify against his client, Manafort. You read that right. That's exactly what they did, and they used similar tactics in the other cases, as well.

That's a tough trick to pull off, and so they decided that they needed to create a media buzz to play up the idea of Russian "collusion" and what a threat to National Security Paul Manafort was--right before the secret hearing before Judge Beryl Howell. How to do it?

The way Team Mueller seized upon was to leak a fake news story to CNN the day before the first hearing before Judge Howell. How fake was the story? Totally fake. They had CNN publish a story stating that the FBI had obtained a FISA warrant--no, wait, it was actually TWO FISA warrants, because Manafort was that bad of a dude. Here's the bombshell part of the article:

US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman
Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign, according to three sources familiar with the investigation. Two of these sources, however, cautioned that the evidence is not conclusive.

Special counsel Robert Mueller's team, which is leading the investigation into Russia's involvement in the election, has been provided details of these communications.

See how well sourced the story was? Not just one source--three sources! And since it came from a FISA that would mean that the FBI had recorded conversations (or perhaps other communications) of Trump's former campaign manager encourage the Russians--God help us, THE RUSSIANS!--take down our democracy and destroy our way of life, inflicting the Orange Man on an unsuspecting nation.

But it was all BS. Totally BS. But that's the great thing about FISA warrants--they're secret. So how was Judge Howell to know whether any of this was true? But it sure sounded like Team Mueller was hot on the trail of the second most dangerous man in the world. Second only to Numero Uno, the Orange Man, Donald J. Trump, now ensconced in the White House thanks only to that Evil Genius, Vlad "The Impaler of Democracies" Putin. And, of course, the inbred idiots in Flyover Country.

But, to repeat: It was all BS.

Nevertheless, Team Mueller got what they wanted--an order allowing them to force Manafort's lawyer to testify against Manafort. Judge Howell's opinion sounded a bit like the CNN article, beginning with this pompous twaddle:

This is a matter of national importance. The United States, through the Special Counsel's Office ("SCO"), is investigating foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election and potential collusion in those efforts by American citizens.

A nation under siege by interfering foreign powers, with only the intrepid prosecutors of Team Mueller standing between America as we love it and enslavement to the hated Russians!

But of course the charges that were eventually brought against Manafort weren't even remotely related to "Russian collusion." So much for "national importance" and all that jazz.

Did I say that was going to be the short version? Well, my outrage carried me away.

Anyway, here are some excerpts from Undercover Huber's thread that lay out just some of the Manafort related material. I've edited them lightly to fit in here, but nothing of substance has been changed:

Over two and a half years ago, on Sep 18, 2017, CNN ran a "bombshell” article alleging that the FBI team investigating Russian "Collusion" had a FISA warrant on Paul Manafort. 
The core of the story - that the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane team sought and obtained an FISA warrant on Manafort - isn’t just wrong, or false. It's totally fake. 100% made up. 
IG Horowitz emphatically stating in his report that not only did the FBI's Crossfire team not seek a FISA on Manafort, they never even “seriously considered” FISA surveillance of Manafort. 
Aug 18, 2017: The SCO issued a subpoena to Manafort's lawyer to testify against him to the Grand Jury. Manafort's lawyer refused, and the Special Counsel filed a motion to compel the Attorney to testify as a witness. 
The Chief Judge in D.C. overseeing the case (Beryl Howell) then held a hearing on Sep 19, 2017 (and two others on Sep 20 & 26). 
These hearings were crucial to the SCO’s case: they needed Manafort’s own lawyer to testify against him, to ensure they could get the charges about FARA violations to stick.  
Sep 18, 2017: one day before those court hearings, this CNN story exploded all over the media. The takeaway - Manafort was considered such a Russian "Collusion" threat, that the FBI even got a FISA warrant, and the SCO has copies of the communications obtained under the FISA!  
Oct 2, 2017: Judge Howell ruled against Manafort (in a non-public sealed opinion), ultimately piercing Attorney/Client privilege and forcing his lawyer to testify against him about the preparation of those FARA filings. Big win for the SCO. 
The Grand Jury testimony of Manafort's lawyer sought by the SCO helped secure Manafort's indictment on Oct 27, which was made public on Oct 31, 2017 following his arrest. 
Now it's admittedly speculative that the CNN story influenced Judge Howell, but the introduction to her order justifying forcing the lawyers testimony looks ridiculous in retrospect drawn right from the CNN narrative: a case of "national importance" about Manafort's "Collusion”! 
Despite Judge Howell's solemn tone about "national importance" and "Collusion" involving Manafort, in reality, Manafort eventually stood trial for crimes like tax evasion, bank fraud and false FARA filings, committed long before he was ever associated with the Trump campaign. 
And prior to Manafort's trial, the SCO even admitted in response to Brady motions to his trial lawyers that the US government had *no surveillance intercepts* of Manafort AT ALL. Zip. (CNN didn’t report this, or update/retract their original story either)


  1. "The cynicism and corruption is beyond what most of us could imagine."
    But not what those, with long experience with post-modernist types, could imagine.

  2. I wonder if Sidney Powell, even, is surprised by this.

    1. After her experience in Sullivan's courtroom ...

  3. Severed heads on pikes - left for the flies & to rot - in front of DOJ/FBI bldngs.

    This is heinous.

  4. The question will there be any repercussions for this behavior?

    1. Possible, but most likely in the context of impeachment at a trial.

    2. Impeachment of Comey and the rest of the IC/SCO cabal or Judge Howell? I'd like to see both.

      I know the FBI investigated Manafort's dealings with Ukraine and found them not worth pursuing about 10 years ago. I was concerned when they dusted off their prior investigation and tried again. Weissman? Sounds like him.

      The conduct of Judge Howell toward Paul Manafort was the most frightening I've ever heard of. The only thing she didn't do was put a bag over his head in the courtroom to continue his solitary confinement outside his cell. I'm sure she was grinding her teeth when Manafort was released to home confinement due to CV-19.

      These people are not human. They are an entirely different species.

    3. Amy Berman Jackson is the judge that put him in solitary and did the trial--Howell is on the DC Circuit. It's sometimes hard to tell inhuman liberal one from the other.

    4. My bad! Got my comic book villains confused!

    5. @ Mark

      I'm not sure whether it was Jackson or Howell who put Manafort in solitary, and haven't checked, but, just for the record, Judge Howell is a district court judge. She is Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

    6. I do agree that they are hard to tell apart.

    7. Ah, I was wondering about that but was in too much of a hurry to look it up. I knew that the chief of the Circuit has an Indian name.

  5. So Team Mueller knowingly and deliberately implied by way of the usual useful idiot media suspects that it had certain communications, but later ...

    "the SCO even admitted ... that the US government had *no surveillance intercepts* of Manafort AT ALL. Zip."

    .......... Oh, sorry, I was just waiting for somebody to tell me to move on, that there's nothing to see here.

  6. If you are in the government’s crosshairs and they compel your attorney to give GJ testimony, are you billed for their time in that interview?

    Thinking about this as it related to Flynn’s state of mind, Nov Dec 2017.

  7. we are left to conclude that a federal judge issued a ruling "piercing Attorney/Client privelege" based on...CNN reporting?

    The judge allowed this sacred relationship to be violated and didn't demand to see the supposed communications that established the grave peril to our nation justifying this extreme measure?

    I trust that judge Howell has since recognized that she lacks the judgment to be entrusted with high office and has since resigned. Right?

    Is there any chance in Hades that the judiciary will start holding DoJ and FBI to some sort of standard?

    1. It's very disturbing. And the fact is that the upper reaches of the legal establishment is quite clubby, dominated by the liberal elites who don't indulge in second guessing of themselves or each other. You also see the revolving door between government, academia, top connected firms, the bench. It's not exclusive, but when you get into political cases you see it come out. The overall lockstep of the legal elites and the savaging of the few who break ranks is indicative of an overall corrupt culture.

    2. Nah, Howell and Sullivan meet for lunch to discuss the merits of excessive, unwarranted deference to the government and how judicial activism can save the republic.

  8. I was reading this story about Howell, CNN and Mueller and the thought came to me, Democracy Dies in Darkness. As everyone knows, that's the Washington Post tagline.

    As somebody here, or maybe Joe DiGenova observed, it seems to be projection of themselves onto others. The media are certainly not self-aware. Or, maybe they are at a subconscious level.

    1. Beginning in 2016 the MSM consciously committed itself to becoming a propaganda arm of the Deep State. Somebody else remarked, when you see the MSM flacking for the CIA and FBI you know there's a problem that runs very deep.

    2. I wish Durham makes the MSM unindicted co-conspirators.

      Rob S

  9. The MSM has been left-leaning for a long time. Cronkite opined against the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s. Over time, they started dropping the mask. More and more, especially when W. was elected. Then they carried water for Obama for eight years. They lost their sanity when Donald was elected.

    If it wasn't so tragic, the way they lie, it'd be hilarious. It's tragic because we need an honest, independent press.

  10. But wait, there's more...

    "It's bad enough that Judge Sullivan is refusing to dismiss the case against Flynn. It's even worse that his decision was influenced by a WaPo opinion column written by David O'Neil. O'Neil is the lawyer for Sally Yates - who witnessed/participated in the effort to oust Flynn."

    "To summarize the circus: Gleeson and O'Neil are in the same firm. O'Neil represents Yates - who faces serious allegations of misconduct w/r/t Flynn. Gleeson and O'Neil ask the Court to exceed its authority and sentence Flynn. Gleeson gets appointed amicus."

  11. I did not realize that FBI Director Christopher A. Wray had supervised Andrew Weissman, when he went after Enron, Arthur Andersen and the put four people from Merril Lynch in jail, by withholding exculpatory evidence. And Wray worked under James Comey on Enron. And Weissman on Enron also pierced the client / attorney privilege.

    Sidney Powell on Hanity

    More on Weissman:

  12. Earlier. I think it only became very obvious in 2016 due to Trump.

    Trump has this amazing ability to force his opponents to show their true selves / faces / biases.. He has done this with the elites, that he ran against, including the press (msm), eGOP, Democratic Party, Chamber of Commerce, etc.

    >mark wauckMay 21, 2020 at 8:36 AM
    >Beginning in 2016 the MSM consciously committed itself >to becoming a propaganda arm of the Deep State

    1. @Ray

      "Trump has this amazing ability to force his opponents to show their true selves / faces / biases"

      So true.

      Its one of the reasons I am able to overlook Trump's many flaws. What he brings to the game is simply unique. No one else can do it. So you take the good of the extraordinary with the bad of the flaws. So what if he talks about himself too much.

      I have exclaimed in the past that Trump is some kind of gift to the American experiment...even if millions of Americans don't yet see it. Its like 'The Emperor's New Clothes'.

      I also don't know where we would be without him. Some place not good.

    2. When you strip away the P.T. Barnum aspects of Trump's persona what you find is an essentially honest man. Since it is impossible for anyone suffering from Narcissistic Obsessive Compulsive Authoritarian Disorder to understand what this even means, much less how it can be successfully applied as a political tactic, the folks you mention are left utterly flummoxed as to a riposte.
      Tom S.

    3. @Tom

      "what you find is an essentially honest man"

      I agree. Although there are many aspects of the Trump persona which I find it not possible to admire, I agree.

      The following has been said before, by many, but bears repeating.

      After decades in the not infrequently legally challenged real estate industry, and in the similarly challenged casino industry, and in the similarly challenged entertainment industry, Trump has never been credibly accused of, let alone charged with, any illegal acts.

      Although his critics love to disparage his several bankruptcies, bankruptcy is not a crime. Nor is it especially disgraceful. I'm sure Trump and his creditors went into every risky venture that ultimately failed with their eyes open.

      I have also read that back in the day Trump regularly stiffed his vendors, which is generally not a nice thing to do. But I have also learned over the years that vendors are often as 'opportunistic' as their clients and there are usually two sides to every story. I'm not sure every former vendor who the MSM dredges up to complain about Trump doesn't have another side of the story to tell.

      During this whole time Trump made and lost and made again hundreds of millions of dollars and paid tax and took deductions, some of which carried forward under applicable law, and filed tax returns all over the country. Presumably dozens of which have been audited. No word of tax evasion or other wrongdoing.

      And if there were even a whiff of anything untoward in Trump's tax returns is it remotely conceivable that Obamalings in the IRS would not have leaked it over the past few years?

      And even in respect of Trump's dealings with women both inside and outside his marriages, has there been a credible allegation of wrongdoing? Not of straying, but of dishonest wrongdoing?

      ...I am tempted to say: Let he who is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone. But I also acknowledge that Trump is an imperfect vessel. I think this is part of the miracle that he is.

      Who would have thought: an egomaniacal thrice-married billionaire real estate developer from Queens with orange skin and a weird hairdo who can't speak in fully formed sentences in his native language...would come along and over and over, for anybody with eyes to see, expose the corruption of our elite Ivy League educated meritocratic political class?

      Who would have ever thought.

  13. A new joke is born:

    Mueller, Weissman, Howell, and Sullivan walk into the Bar Association and are treated as members in good standing.

    How they treat American jurisprudence and the Constitution is the punchline.

    Explain again why we Rubes should honor, respect, or defer to elite institutions?
    Tom S.

    1. @Tom S

      FWIW, last year, after 42 years of membership in the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, which I once fervently believed to be the pinnacle of enlightened leadership of the American legal establishment, I submitted my letter of resignation. The final straw for me was the Bar's decision to present Loretta Lynch with an honorary membership before the extent of her role in the illegal actions of the DoJ during her tenure is fully understood. But it was just the final straw.

      I assume Mueller, Weissmann, Howell, and Sullivan are still members in good standing. Parting of the ways, although in their infinite arrogance, I know they could care less.

    2. I have a better joke: What do you call Mueller, Weissman, Howell, and Sullivan at the bottom of the ocean. Answer: a good start.

      Rob S

    3. I will never fully understand people like Howell and Sullivan who can blithely go through life without a shred of self-respect (self-importance is not the same thing) or a sense of shame.
      Tom S.

  14. Once again, the bigger story in this tale of corruption is not about the singular persecution of Manafort, but rather the bigger picture of the transformation of the Federal Government under the leadership of the Obama Administration.

    Large sectors of the Executive Branch, and hundreds of it's employees, were seduced into becoming de facto criminal enterprises that succeeded in doing tangible and significant harm to this country and it's citizens.

    This harmfulness included numerous felonies and thuggish atrocities like the SWAT raids on Manafort and Stone. And this crime wave has now played out for over a decade, and neither the Congressional nor Judicial Branches interceded to discovery it or stop it.

    Individuals like Flynn, Manafort, Papadopolous, and Stone may have been maimed, but our Constitutional framework of governance was murdered in cold blood and the perpetrators were legion.

    1. Not coincidentally, you can trace the underlying attitudes back to the Clinton years.

    2. The Obama administration didn't have any scandals.

      It was a scandal.

  15. Weissmann is doing an online fundraiser Moderated Chat for Biden on June 2nd.