Sunday, August 16, 2020

Two Must Read Articles Re Andrew Weissmann

It's well known by now that Andrew Weissmann--widely regarded as the moving force behind the Team Mueller witchhunt--is freaking out over the Clinesmith plea deal. It's likely that he's part of a movement in the Deep State to somehow induce Clinesmith to back out of the deal.

This afternoon we have two major articles about Weissmann and his efforts to somehow derail the Barr/Durham investigation.

First up is the indefatigable--and I do use that word advisedly--Shipwreckedcrew:

There Is A Big “CYA” Footnote In The Mueller Report Seeking to Put Distance Between FBI Attorney Clinesmith and Special Counsel Prosecutors

who gives full credit to CTH for this catch. I can't cover the whole thing, but I urge everyone to read it all.

Basically, there is a footnote in the Mueller Report that insinuates that Kevin Clinesmith never worked for Team Mueller, that at all times he was under the supervision of the FBI:

The Special Counsel attorneys and support staff were co-located with and worked alongside approximately 40 FBI agents, intelligence analysts, forensic accountants, a paralegal, and professional staff assigned by the FBI to assist the Special Counsel’s investigation. Those “assigned” FBI employees remained under FBI supervision at all times; the matters on which they assisted were supervised by the Special Counsel.1
1. FBI personnel assigned to the Special Counsel’s Office were required to adhere to all applicable federal law and all Department and FBI regulations, guidelines, and policies. An FBI attorney worked on FBI-related matters for the Office, such as FBI compliance with all FBI policies and procedures, including the FBI’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide (DIOG). That FBI attorney worked under FBI legal supervision, not the Special Counsel’s supervision.

It is clearly Kevin Clinesmith who is the FBI attorney in question. I'm quite certain that, while it's true that all FBI personnel associated with Team Mueller remained, technically, "under FBI supervision at all times," the reality was that, as long as no problems arose, their nominal FBI supervisors were in hands-off mode. Problems--as in outrageous texts being discovered by IG Horowitz. Then the FBI got involved.

Shipwreckedcrew highlights the IG Horowitz "interim report" dated in June, 2018, which covered the biased IMs that Clinesmith had been discovered to be sending. Those IMs led to Clinesmith's removal from Team Mueller, just as Lisa Page and Peter Strzok had been removed due to their outrageous emailing.

However, he also points out this:'

... the Mueller Report wants everyone to believe that while Clinesmith was assigned to the SCO, he was not “supervised” by the SCO — at all times he remained under the “FBI legal supervision” according to the Report.  What is noticeably missing is any explanation as to how that was possible since the SCO operated independent of DOJ, and all investigative activity — including the work done by Clinesmith while assigned — was done under the authority of the SCO who answered only to the Attorney General — Rosenstein since Sessions was recused.
At the time the Mueller Report was drafted, Weissmann and the others knew what Clinesmith had done.  They knew that the Carter Page FISA — based nearly entirely on the Steele memos — was not supported by sufficient probable cause going all the way back to the initial application in October 2016.  That is why the SCO NEVER publicly claimed to have ever relied on the Steele Memos for any purpose.

What jumped out at me was not simply the obvious bias in Clinesmith's IMs. It's possible that that might have motivated the footnote that tossed Clinesmith overboard. However, I have to suspect that the real motivation is the final FISA renewal that Shipwreckedcrew touches on but then leaves behind. Read it and see what you think.

Shipwreckedcrew also links to a terrific article by Jonathan Turley:

Mueller Aide Weissmann Calls On DOJ Attorneys Not To Help On Investigations

This is a wide ranging article and, much like Sidney Powell, Turley makes no bones about the fact that he has followed Weissmann's career and finds it highly disturbing. To give you a flavor:

... Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has derided the Clinesmith plea while actually calling on Justice Department attorneys to refuse to help on ongoing investigations that could implicate aspects of his own prior work. 
I was among those who expressed concern when Mueller selected Weissmann due to his history of controversial prosecutorial decisions, including a pattern of prosecutorial overreach in the Enron litigation. 
Weissmann’s recent statements (made before the release of his new book on the Russian investigation) have only served to reaffirm those concerns.
Recently, Weissmann wrote an extraordinary and disturbing New York Times op-ed (with former Defense Department special counsel Ryan Goodman). In the column, he appeared to call on Justice Department lawyers to undermine the Durham investigation as well as the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Bash’s investigation into the “unmasking” requests by Obama administration officials. They wrote “Justice Department employees in meeting their ethical and legal obligations, should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.”
Consider that line for a moment.  Weissmann is openly calling on attorneys to refuse to help on investigations that could raise questions about his own decisions. 

Then Turley takes out after Weissmann's recent tweet storms (Shipwreckedcrew also promises to address that):

The tweets reveal more about Weissmann than Clinesmith or this guilty plea. 
First, Weissmann is completely distorting both the law and the facts to disregard the significance of this guilty plea. The fact that Page was a source for the CIA is not disputed. The Horowitz investigation and various congressional investigations have confirmed that the CIA made clear to Clinesmith that Page was working for United States intelligence, a fact that critically undermined the basis for the original application for secret surveillance. The statement that “no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA” is bizarre. The charge is that Clinesmith made this false statement to the court and there is a wealth of evidence to support that charge. It was clearly enough to prompt Clinesmith to take a plea and enter into what appears a cooperative agreement with prosecutors. 

Which makes Clinesmith's lawyer's statement just as bizarre.

Second, the claim that “Clinesmith gave the complete and accurate email to DOJ” would not negate the charge. It was the false information that he gave to the court that mattered. Prosecutorial misconduct often involves telling courts something different from what is known or discussed by prosecutors.  Moreover, the implications of such a contrast adds to the need for the investigation that Weissmann has sought to hinder.  If other DOJ attorneys and investigators knew that the court was being given false material information, the concerns are magnified not reduced for the Durham investigation.  Indeed, it means that this investigation dragged on for many months despite other attorneys knowing that the original claims of Page being a Russian assets were directly contradicted by American intelligence and never disclosed to the Court. 
What is astonishing is that the FISA court itself as well as Horowitz have flagged this as a serious matter of false or misleading information. Weissmann however is actively seeking to convince Justice Department lawyers to refuse to help on the investigation. 
Weissmann also misrepresents the law and the position of the Justice Department in Flynn.  I have been one of the most vocal critics of the plea.  It is true that Flynn gave false answers to the investigators.  However, he fought the allegations until the Mueller team drained him of his savings and threatened to prosecute his son.

And there's quite a bit more. Do check it out.


  1. It's almost as if Weissmann is laying out a roadmap for Clinesmith to back out of his plea deal, in order for him to NOT implicate Weissmann in criminal wrongdoing while at SCO.

    Naaaa; Weissmann would never do something as self-serving as that, would he?

    To paraphrase Forrest Gump: "Desperate is as desperate does."

    < /sarcasm mode>

    1. related tweet:

      >> <<

      Essentially accuses Weissmann of tiptoeing up to witness tampering with his tweets

  2. Mark, you are on FIRE!!! Thank you so much. I am not of a legal background, but I try to live by two rules:

    1. Be part of the force of good.
    2. Give more than you take.

    I guess that’s a pretty serious distillation of the Ten Commandments, but I find it is useful in explaining all of this convoluted nonsense to the well-intentioned neophytes who can’t comprehend the magnitude of the scandal that has been laid upon our public doorstep.

    Altering official documents? That violates rule #1.

    On a personal note, I continue to appreciate your guiding me through the legal morass of all of this. For instance, the use of basic English words such as stand, standing, material, materially - inside the legal profession - take on an entirely different meaning. A new vernacular I really need to know, but do not.

    May the ever-fired coals and embers Burn in our direction.

    Thank you and may God fill you with the energy, eloquence, and patience I think you are going to bed.

    We have just begun to cut the nut. FINALLY!

  3. "no allegation that Clinesmith lied about the fact Page was not a source."

    Weissmann is trying to argue that Page was not an active CIA source at the time CIA was asked. He's trying to take cover behind the definition of "is". How'd that work out for Slick Willy?

    I think Weissmann had some involvement in altering the CIA memo.

    1. kinda worked out great for Clinton.

      What was important to him? Staying in power and building wealth.


    2. Not su sure it worked out well for Slick Willy...that was them moment when everyone, even his most ardent supporters, knew the whole story was true. The thing that did work out well for Slick Willy was he was viewed as some type of a lovable rogue by a lot of people on both sides of the aisle who figured he had a really tough upbringing and just couldn't help himself. When he did lie after that, it was kind of with a big wink, like he knew he was lying, and he knew you knew, but it was kind of the Eddie Haskell "let's pretend" so I don't get my butt kicked by that old battleax HRC." The "definition of is," though, was parsing just a little bit too fine....haha

  4. If I were Durham, I would be monitoring all of Weissmann's communications for efforts to obstruct justice--Weissmann has made it publicly known that that is precisely what he seeks from other DOJ attorneys.

    1. Speaking of which, how do we know that Clinesmith's attorney's jawing in public wasn't orchestrated with Durham precisely to bait Weissmann into incriminating himself -- especially in his private comms with other co-conspirators? IOW, assume part of the plea deal is Clinesmith ratting out Weissmann's role -- enabling Durham to get a warrant to monitor Weissmann's phone, emails, computer comms, etc.

      It's a bit of a wild theory, but I don't see why it couldn't be part of the "plea bargain" we haven't yet seen....

    2. I was thinking about that earlier today, but didn't want to say anything.

  5. Weissmann has just written his own indictment. He doth protest too much. He can be prosecuted and convicted based just on his op-ed for obstruction of justice.

    Why would write such an op-ed if he didn't believe he committed a crime; or MANY of them. He can no longer claim he didn't intend to commit crimes.

    Can't wait for this sleazeball to go to prison, along with Mueller.

  6. If Clinesmith is thinking about not going through with the plea deal, it starts to make me wonder for whom his attorney is now working.

    We know damn sure Flynn's first attorneys were working against him and for the prosecutors; and maybe for Sullivan and the Deep State. Would love to see the emails exchanged between Flynn's former lawyer sand the prosecutors; and maybe even Sullivan.

    1. Presumably Clinesmith asked for an attorney recommendation among those of his ilk.

  7. I don't know anything first-hand about this case, but what happens a lot in "conspiracy" situations is the first couple guys think they're smart and they'll cop a deal, but just give the "bare minimum" (think: the cheap car insurance commercials) and get the best of both worlds. Wise guys, eh? Anyway, at some point, when they see the actual documents the USA wants, that require total, honest cooperation ( or the deal is void, even if it becomes known far in the future), and any possible co-conspirators start sending them articles about Epstein...well, they see they really do need to pick sides and there's no cutting it down the middle. Human drama at its toughest... Real serious come to papa moment for these guys, and it may take a little while to resolve. They have to pick a horse and ride it, and the horses arent standing still waiting for them!

  8. I have read the entirety of Weissmann's recent writings today- the impression I get is that he, Weissmann is, in some way, involved in Clinesmith's alteration of the document, and that it might not be the only one they altered- it is the only one we know about from the Horowitz report.

    Clinesmith only came clean with Horowitz because Horowitz had a secondary source for the original e-mail- there was no other option but to give over Clinesmith's own copy.

    1. Possibly. It would make sense if there was someone to at least point them in the right direction. OTOH, they are extremely painstaking, although that's a mountain of documents to compare.

  9. I'm surprised if Weissmann is freaking out now. Surely he knew when the IG report came out, that this would be happening. He's had more than 8 months to prepare his defenses. What's his game plan with this - simply whipping up public frenzy?

  10. Did Turley really write: "It is true that Flynn gave false answers to the investigators"?


    1. He's said that before. I have no idea where he's coming from with that stuff.