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
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:
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.