Sunday, September 13, 2020

In Defense Of Lindsey Graham

While we're on the subject of compelled testimony ...

We regularly hear how worthless Lindsey Graham is because he doesn't haul Russia Hoax malefactors--people we know did wrong--before the Senate and force them to come clean.

Shipwreckedcrew just put out a new post expanding a bit on the whole issue of compelled testimony and the trouble a prosecutor can get it into if he even inadvertently uses it at trial. In doing so, he offers two examples that have nothing to do with OIG, but which are nevertheless quite relevant to what's going on in DC these days. One has to do with testimony compelled by a foreign sovereign--the UK. We can dispense with that one. However, the other example has to do with testimony compelled by the United States Senate. Testimony compelled by the Senate cannot be used against a defendant and may taint the entire prosecution--and that hits home.

The excerpt below begins with a reference to Andrew Weissmann. Weissmann was part of the prosecution team in the UK related case, and thought he might be able to pull a fast one. It didn't work, but it was typical of his "style." That's not the real point. The real point follows:

Weissmann knew this was the law at the time — this is the EXACT basis upon which Oliver North and John Poindexter’s convictions were thrown out after Iran-Contra.  North and Poindexter were both subpoenaed to testify before Congress, and both were compelled to testify by a grant of immunity.  Had they refused they would have been in Contempt of Congress.  After they were convicted at trial by Iran-Contra prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, their convictions were reversed because Walsh could not establish to the satisfaction of the Court that none of Walsh’s witnesses had watched or read North and Poindexter’s compelled testimony in which they admitted to certain conduct that later formed the basis of the criminal charges brought by Walsh.  Thus, all Walsh’s evidence at trial was presumed to have been “tainted” by the compelled testimony given by North and Poindexter, and their convictions were thrown out on appeal. 
You know who else knows that — a guy named Michael Bromwich, who was one of the prosecutors in the North and Poindexter trials.  Bromwich represents Andrew McCabe. 
THIS is the reason why Durham must be slow and deliberate.  He must be able to show that the evidence relies [sic] on in any criminal case is not “tainted” by evidence obtained by the IG’s investigation through compelled testimony. 
The Allen case shows you exactly what happens on appeal when those issues are not dealt with and resolved BEFORE an indictment is returned.

This is why I keep saying that I'm sure that Senator Graham is coordinating with Bill Barr. It's because he doesn't want to screw up any potential prosecution for a few minutes of grandstanding that would be forgotten within 24 hours. Yes, he could subpoena Comey, for example, but Comey would simply take the Fifth. What would be the point?


  1. "Weissmann thought he could pull a fast one." After reading Powell's "License to Lie" and the accounts of numerous witnesses/victims subpoenaed by the SCO, I'd say that statement should serve as the epitaph for his entire legal career. Hopefully, it may be applied with finality before the coming year is out.

  2. O/T, but Levin now has Anton on Fox, talking about the prospects for post-election BS.

  3. Another step forward on the Flynn Trial Kabuki:

    1. As Powell said, "predictable and meaningless". I started reading it when it came out but, as I commented to a friend, it read like a tendentious op-ed.

    2. I just watched the Rachel Maddow interview w/Andrew Weissmann regarding this recent decision. OMG; so one-sided of course. Comments were quite amusing too.

    3. This is third world banana republic judicial conduct. I could never have imagined it in the U.S.. It's astonishing. But it's how liberals roll, so at the same time it's unsurprising.

    4. Changes would require a real mandate from the electorate. I agree--I was contemplating writing a blog yesterday titled "We're in serious banana republic territory."

    5. Judicial issues that bother me:

      - police lying
      - Over criminalization - 3 felonies a day is a terrifying book
      - fbi not recording interviews
      - 95% federal conviction rate
      - Lois Lerner / Irs scandal - getting away with it
      - press lies on Michael Brown and the “white hispanic Zimmerman
      - Assange charged
      - Fisa court findings and response
      - Aswan Brothers spying and getting away with it
      - Anthony Webber’s laptop
      - fbi slow walking releasing and anti Mueller information
      - state department slow walking any anti Hillary releases
      - use of third parties to search nsa database
      - weaponizing of government against tea party
      - being able to predict a judges decision based on who appointed them
      - nation wide injunctions
      - Supreme Court decisions on census, Obamacare, transsexuals, and condemning private property
      - use of lawfare and settlements under democratic presidents to change laws
      - channeling of settlements to democratic causes
      - use of donation information to dox political opponents
      - Soros funded DA’s
      - over charging of criminals
      - prosecutional immunity, including government workers. Police immunity I’m having mixed feelings on, I was against, but after what is being done by Keith Ellison in Mn...
      - centralizing of the fbi Leadership under Mueller.

      List is a lot longer than I expected, when I started my reply.

    6. Great list, Ray

      Might also add as judicial/legal/legislative/admin issues:

      Mail in election/voter registration/election law issues
      Sanctuary cities and immigration law nullification
      Government officials conflicts of interest
      Regulating influence of special interests on Congress
      Right to life/abortion issues
      Second amendment/gun registration

      Its interesting (to me) to observe that many of the issues on your list preceded Trump and were simply ignored or accepted by the Uniparty. And its hard to imagine that any other possible candidate of either party in 2016 would have (dared) address them.

  4. Perhaps another list that warrants some attention.

    I have posited that the Democrats are actually trying to lose the upcoming election in an overwhelming fashion in order to shake things up and force out the old guard. Now I ask, do any of the following positions make sense if you were actually trying to win over the undecided middle voting block?

    Use the COVID panic to impose Draconian restrictions that destroy thousands of small businesses in your state.

    Ditto for shutting down public schooling until after the election, and thereby force working parents to pay for daycare instead.

    Ditto for releasing thousands of hardened criminals from prison and watching while they commit heinous felonies when back on the street.

    Also, defunding police departments, criminalizing every arrest that results in harm to a black man, and then using such tragedies as political props.

    How about coercing all the sports leagues into viscerally disrespecting the National Anthem and US Flag.

    Or nominating a dementia patient for president and then injecting him with drugs to keep him marginally lucid for public appearances.

    Did I forget that Di Blasio is directly responsible for thousands of dead seniors via his nursing home policies. That's really going to win over the voters aged 70+.

    And Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia is a very catchy campaign slogan if ever I heard one.

  5. OH, I forgot to include the best one in my list.

    In California, they actually want to decriminalize child rape and pedophilia.

    How can that possibly fail at winning over all the swing voters? Trump is doomed.

    1. When will people realize that when you vote Dem that's the shit you're voting for?

    2. I don't understand how anyone with children or grandchildren can possibly vote for these people.

    3. All of that—and then some—is the real face of the Left. The mask has been slipping a lot lately. They believe the time is now, that the country has been moved sufficiently to where it needs to be to accept—or at least surrender to—their insanity. Probably doesn't help that they actually believe their own BS that's broadcast 24/7 by their propaganda department more commonly referred to as the "mainstream media".

    4. You forgot to add Google, Facebook, Twitter, et. al., and most National Agencies, spreading/amplifying rumors and misinformation while blocking the opposition. Could be the Masters have determined that the time for elections are over. Making a winner impossible to determine, on top of everything else, could well permanently break the system.

      Classic Color Revolution.

  6. Totally OT, but for anyone with some to time to blow, a read of Fool Nelson’s thread today combined with a Scott Ritter piece from last September provide a whole lot of insight into what John Brennan’s probable alibi is with respect to how he justified the ICA of 2016 and how the collusion story first really got going.

    Ritter’s piece is LONG, but the first 2/3 or so basically lays out who Oleg Smolenkov is and how he came to be a CIA asset. The tldnr version is that the CIA got Smolenkov -the guy who supposedly told CIA that Putin had ordered the DNC hacking and that he favored Trump’s election- as a low-level guy but that he eventually made his way up a little higher but never to where he’d have access to any of the really good stuff. All during his rise (Obama years, fwiw), Russia was schooling the CIA by being two steps ahead of them whenever they tried recruiting Russians to our side, adding support to the speculation the Russians had turned him to their side, either from the start or at least sometime before the collusion thing got going.

    So if one takes that info and starts way on down with the paragraph that begins “Meanwhile, Moscow Station,” things get good from there. It’s too much to summarize, but the 15 minutes or so spent, along with the Fool Nelson thread, make for good reading for whoever might have the time.

    1. Thanks, Brad, I'll check it out. News has been a bit scanty.

    2. Sure thing. And I meant to include that the Ritter piece is part of Fool Nelson's thread. It's his find, not mine.

    3. I'm still working with the FN thread. There may be some useful stuff. He's confirming what I've been saying--don't get too excited about an illegal CIA task force.

    4. Right. Knowing what we know, it's sketchy, but not illegal. Or so my non-lawyer brain sees it.

    5. Re the Ritter article...which, based on the first half which I've now read, is heavily detailed and has the apparent ring of truth...why is 'Smolenskov''s name spelled (at least) three different ways: 'Smolenskov', 'Smolenko', and 'Smolensky'...

      To this old-fashioned traditionalist, correct spelling supports a conclusion that a written piece was rigorously prepared. Incorrect spelling...well, maybe the intellectual content is questionable, as well...

      Or is this simply a defensible inconsistency based on translations of Russian/Cyrillic to English/Latin?

    6. Nope, not defensible inconsistency. Like you, I find it convincing in general. I'm currently trying to write some stuff up using that.

    7. However, if indefensible, it may at least be explicable as carelessness or writer's fatique. "Smolenko" simply drops the last letter, and happens 1x. "Smolensky" also only happens 1x. "Smolenkov" occurs 135 times.

    8. Here is a a better link:

      The Spy Who Walked Away by Scott Ritter, published by Consortium News on September 14, 2019

    9. That's why we have proofreaders! Er, why we used to have proofreaders...

    10. @ Mike: I'm nearing completion of the new post. I know you've done a lot of reading re Smolenkov, so you'll want to assess it.

    11. From Tass (yes they're still in business) today re Smolenkov:

    12. Actually, from a year ago today.

    13. So you're a year behind reading Tass. Lots of catching up to do. :-)

    14. Whoops! I confess I would make a terrible agent! I have a compulsive need to tell the truth!

      And the years are flying by!

  7. Interesting article on the George Floyd case - Ellison’s prosecution of the four officers - from Scott Johnson, PowerLine:

    1. Off topic, but I will bite ...

      Overcharged, yes. Get a fair trial, doubtful.

      This would have been vastly different if they just called the medics when he first complained.

      Charges would have been filed at large, ie, with a warrant. He might even be alive due to getting medical care prior to the drugs affecting his heart and breathing, but maybe not.

      No matter what, you, the patrol officer is now indemnified. You did your best to not only uphold the law, but protect life.

      Just saying from a surviving beat cop.

      - TexasDude

    2. @Bebe: Just read Scott Johnson's article. was apprehensive at first figuring it might be about Police angle or something but was pleasantly surprised by the topic. That being said, in his final paragraph where Johnson references the "Ox-box incident" is exactly spot on.

      Ellison's the man to pull this together now being on the reverse as in "being the law and order". Watching the video too those people are ready to skin those cops. They'll never get a fair trial, Ellison will have to save face, and 4 men will go down in flames with their lives ruined. All because of a drug loser.

  8. Regarding the latest Media (Fox) outing by Senator Graham, if the likes of Agent Strzok and Deputy Director McCabe "walk", one is left with the desire to wheel on the assembled establishment and implore 'what did you do!?' Only a trumping awfulness allows our malfeasants a pass - Mr Wauck, if you have the time and interest, what kinds of scenarios might fit this tragic picture?