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As the Mueller leaks turn: Manafort wiretapped during and after election

As the Mueller leaks turn: Manafort wiretapped during and after election

So was Trump right after all?

It has been a short while since we checked in on how the Prosecutors In Search of a Crime, aka Mueller Special Prosecutor, was doing.

A 17th attorney was added, inching Team Mueller closer to the size of the entire U.S. Attorney’s Office for the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations.

Tonight CNN dropped a bombshell. Of course, CNN bombshell’s have been duds in the past, so take that into account.

The bombshell is that Paul Manafort was wiretapped before the election, though it’s not clear if it included while he was Trump’s campaign manager. Manafort also was wiretapped after the election, at a time he was known to communicate with Trump.

What these two pieces of information mean is that there is a possibility — not definitive — that the U.S. government spied on a presidential campaign and post-campaign transition. That’s what Donald Trump once claimed and he was roundly excoriated for saying it.

CNN reports:

US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election, sources tell CNN, an extraordinary step involving a high-ranking campaign official now at the center of the Russia meddling probe.

The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.

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.

Meanwhile, the NY Times reports that Team Mueller is playing quite the bully. It’s not unusual for prosecutors to be bullies, but this is no normal prosecution; this is a prosecution in search of a crime.

The Times reports that Manafort has been told he’ll be indicted, and Mueller is moving quickly to bring the hammer down:

Paul J. Manafort was in bed early one morning in July when federal agents bearing a search warrant picked the lock on his front door and raided his Virginia home. They took binders stuffed with documents and copied his computer files, looking for evidence that Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, set up secret offshore bank accounts. They even photographed the expensive suits in his closet.

The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, then followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him, said two people close to the investigation.

The moves against Mr. Manafort are just a glimpse of the aggressive tactics used by Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors in the four months since taking over the Justice Department’s investigation into Russia’s attempts to disrupt last year’s election, according to lawyers, witnesses and American officials who have described the approach. Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses and potential targets of the inquiry.

Mr. Mueller has obtained a flurry of subpoenas to compel witnesses to testify before a grand jury, lawyers and witnesses say, sometimes before his prosecutors have taken the customary first step of interviewing them. One witness was called before the grand jury less than a month after his name surfaced in news accounts. The special counsel even took the unusual step of obtaining a subpoena for one of Mr. Manafort’s former lawyers, claiming an exception to the rule that shields attorney-client discussions from scrutiny.

Not a good look so far for Team Mueller. But not unexpected.


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“The special counsel even took the unusual step of obtaining a subpoena for one of Mr. Manafort’s former lawyers, claiming an exception to the rule that shields attorney-client discussions from scrutiny.”

Seems this is a bit of an overreach, to say the least. I would think a judge would squash that subpoena like a bug, even a liberal judge from DC.

    Where were the DOJ and FBI when Hillary’s lawyers directly participated in the destruction of evidence? An attorney committing a crime with his/her client is certainly not covered by attorney-client privilege.

    Oh, I forgot. The DOJ and FBI were and are, in effect, Hillary’s lawyers.

    Ragspierre in reply to georgfelis. | September 19, 2017 at 9:58 am

    There is no attorney-client privilege to commit crimes or even torts.

    Nor would any of us want there to be.


      You should have informed FBI Director Comey of that when he let Cheryl Mills sit with Hillary during her FBI interrogation. Cheryl Mills was a suspect along with Hillary but he let her act as Hillary’s counsel during that interrogation.
      Can you say dirty cop and the fix was in?

      Cheryl Mills and her Lawyer, Walked Out
      Posted on May 10, 2016 by Denise Simon

        Ragspierre in reply to kctaz. | September 20, 2017 at 8:38 am

        You don’t understand what you’re talking about. Attorney-client privilege can be invoked during a deposition or in other discovery instruments. That invocation has to be addressed for its validity before the court.

        It isn’t automatic. It’s legal procedure.

It is becoming impossible to believe anyone in the elected class when they claim the power of government can be kept curtailed or even controlled.

Dispensing with the plodding pace typical of many white-collar investigations, Mr. Mueller’s team has used what some describe as shock-and-awe tactics to intimidate witnesses

He wouldn’t need that if the plodding investigation was getting anywhere. In other words, it sounds like he’s turned up nothing useful, and knows it.

Just a ironical note…

NYT used extensively as THE source, along with CNN.

Never mind…

    kenoshamarge in reply to Ragspierre. | September 19, 2017 at 9:56 am

    While it is true that neither NYT nor CNN are credible sources they have, from time to time, produced some actual “news” based on actual “facts”. Where this is one of those time only time will tell.

    I am holding fire until then. Why are people downing you comment for simply stating the facts? Silly and petty.

      Ragspierre in reply to kenoshamarge. | September 19, 2017 at 10:03 am

      Yes. The NYT and any news outlet CAN provide valid and even very valuable content. You have to evaluate material from any source.

      I’ve been saying that for years, and I get called names for stating a truism by people with tightly shut minds. Living in a bubble has some very high rent.

      iconotastic in reply to kenoshamarge. | September 19, 2017 at 11:02 am

      I am reminded of the blind squirrel joke here

Why does this jerk still have an office? Recent reports have shown that the data leak was too large and transfer rate to be a Russian Hack. It could only have taken place by being downloaded onto a USB port or external hard drive. Which means someone inside the Clinton campaign leaked it.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

regulus arcturus | September 18, 2017 at 10:32 pm

Contrast Mueller’s behavior with Comey’s treatment of Hillary in the email (lack of) “investigation.”

Or the Awan prosecution.

Curious. Wouldn’t it be poetic justice if flawed and fraudulent Trump dossier used to get first warrant and everything else and further warrants all fruit of the original poisoned tree and must be suppressed ? Wonder how likely crim Law experts think this could be?

Did the wiretapping start before Manafort resigned from the campaign?

Shades of John Doe. If Walker were president I think he would have known how to deal with this, having gone through it once before.

Who does this asshat think he is? Stalin running the KGB?

    kenoshamarge in reply to Granny. | September 19, 2017 at 10:02 am

    Evidently the answer to that question is yes. Those on the left know they can rely on the media to protect their over-reach because of the rabid Trump hate that permeates the “newsrooms” of this country.

    Even many on the right who would ordinarily be having a conniption fit are staying quiet because it’s Manafort. Not liking him or Trump seems a good enough reason for them to stay silent as Mueller bullies anyone he wants to bully.

    Also in may circles there is still some believe that Mueller is an honorable man. I suspect as honorable as his buddy Comey was once reported to be.

So, here’s what we know for sure:

The Obama administration went to FISA to get a warrant on Trump, personally, and all his campaign staff claiming Russian “collusion” with the campaign. Their “proof” of this was the “dodgy-dossier” – oppo research that they had the FBI buy from Trump’s political opponents. Every bit of which has either been conclusively disproved, or cannot be proved/disproved.

FISA, which allows no opposition counsel to argue against, and which approves some 99.99% of surveillance requests, actually turned them down – because Trump was POTUS candidate and the evidence was lacking (to say the least).

So, the Obama administration revised its request to exclude Trump himself, while still including most of his advisers including his campaign manager. Surveillance began – DURING the campaign – using the federal government’s professional apparatus.

Obama then changed the rules as to who was allowed access to this information, resulting in hundreds of people having access, including his own political appointees. Several of whom “unmasked” those being wiretapped. Others leaked details of the information obtained to the press.

So, essentially, Obama and his minions, the DNC, Hillary, the legacy Liberal press, had access to literally anything any of Trump’s closest advisors said on a phone or emailed to anyone.

DURING the campaign.

This is infinitely worse than anything Nixon ever dreamed of doing.

If you read the Leftist media on this, all they’re talking about is how this supposedly is yet more “smoke” that supposedly proves the existence of a “fire” regarding the Trump/Russia collusion hoax.

NONE of them are talking about the blatant violations of numerous laws by the Obama administration, including by Obama himself, and the fact that such activity undermines the integrity of the election, and therefore undermines the very existence of our Republic.

Fire this a-hole. No one of any consquence will care.
Then indict clinton.

Yes very much like how a cheater at the poker table will call his own fouls the New York Times and CNN occasionally print the truth. The intent is to set you up for the big play.

Be smarter.

Those organizations are purely Democratic propaganda machines. Quit playing into them.

    Mac45 in reply to Fen. | September 19, 2017 at 11:55 am

    While this could be a setup, I think that it is more likely an attempt, by CNN, to justify its own continued Trump/Russia collusion meme. CNN has been beating that drum since before the election. Unfortunately, for CNN, it has proven to be impossible to obtain any solid proof of any such collusion. And, due to its horrendous, glaring political bias, it is dying. It has to do something to salvage its relevancy. And, trying to point to stale news in order to say, “See? We told you so”, is about all that they have left.

      Maybe. But I think that whatever the reason it was because their hand was forced. This is the kind of information they usually censor, so there must be a good reason they felt forced to print it.

Let’s just state the obvious, and without equivocation:

Obama used the apparatus of the government to spy on political opponents. He got around the usual protections by pretending the spying was related to “internal security,” which is ironically the same excuse every tin pot dictator uses.

Supposed safeguards like judicial review, when present, were no obstacle at all to obtaining warrants. Judicial review is a rubber stamp.

The Obama Administrations got caught conducting improper, and even illegal, electronic surveillance on a number of people, including journalists, during Obama’s tenure. It was so bad, that the courts admonished the Administration and told it to stop. Evidence has come to light that the practices were NOT stopped, but continued.

As I have mentioned previously, this is HUUUGGEEE. It is nothing more than a sitting President using official assets of the government of the United States against his political enemies. And, it was not limited to electronic surveillance. It also included official, and covert, actions against opposition groups and people by such agencies as the IRS. Also, given the fact that Obama was known to be a micro-manager, it is next to impossible to believe that he did not have knowledge of these operations, as they made the national news on multiple occasions.

Again, I have stated my opinion that nearly everything being done by the Establishment apparatus, including the media, switched from attempting to bring Trump down, to protecting the Obama “legacy”, when the claim that a year’s worth of investigation had not turned up a single shred of evidence to support any claim of Trump/Russian collusion. Everything since the Comey firing has been designed to focus attention away from the action of the Obama administration and to put extra-legal pressure on Trump through the Mueller witch hunt. Russian collusion has sunk beneath the waves. White supremacy charges are not even a blip on the radar. The impeachment “movement” is dead in the water. No one is currently making ANY even remotely reasonable charges against Trump.

regulus arcturus | September 19, 2017 at 11:40 am

So, what to make of this –

Is the Sessions DOJ flatly lying, to maintain the narrative that Trump wasn’t surveilled, or is this semantic gymnastics, using including Obama in the denial, knowing full well that he may not have ordered it, but he was definitely in on it (plausible deniability, see IRS, etc.).

It would be interesting to subpoena Sessions about this, and haul him before Congress in between naps.

    From your link,
    “The FBI and the Justice Department’s National Security Division “confirm that they have no records related to wiretaps as described” by tweets from Trump posted on March 4, the department said in a court filing in Washington.”

    Reuters is so eager to believe this. “As described” could well be they were gathering information via electronic surveillance, not via the old-fashioned wiretap.
    The fact is that we know they surveilled Flynn. They were snooping somehow, weren’t they? Flynn was unmasked, too, which is illegal as their excuse was that they were surveilling the Russians and caught him, an American citizen on American soil without, we assume, any judge giving them permission to do so.

    The Reuters item is a string of weasel words; it’s all Clinton-level hairsplitting. “As described” is probably the major giveaway.

    “No, Your Honor, I don’t care what the witnesses say, I didn’t touch a hair on his head … [sotto voce] I shot him through the liver.”

    Slippery as a catfish in Vaseline.

This Special Council, et al, Mueller & Co , need to be fired and told to quit wasting taxpayer money, because HRC wants her revenge & a “juvenile,” ” Do Over.”

This Special Council, et al, Mueller & Co , need to be fired and told to quit wasting taxpayer money.

I’m reminded that ABC sat on the Lewinsky story for months and only reported it after Drudge scooped them.

So the government that was attempting to influence the election was……the U.S. government!!!