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FBI Raid: Mueller outsources the legal torment of Michael Cohen

FBI Raid: Mueller outsources the legal torment of Michael Cohen

but that doesn’t mean it’s not part of Mueller’s Russian collusion inquisition

The FBI raid on the home and office of Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen reportedly took place after a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The search warrant apparently was obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York.

Not much more than that is known as of this writing. There’s a lot of speculation and anonymously sourced reporting that it had to do with bank fraud, or the payment to Stormy Daniels, or something else. The seizure of records should have followed applicable procedures for searching an attorney’s office records to protect legitimate attorney-client privilege.

Regardless, seizing the records of the personal attorney to the president is extraordinary, and reflects a number of points I’ve been arguing since the day Robert Mueller was appointed.

The process of investigation is the reverse of what it should be. Mueller has identified the targets, being Trump and those around him, and then set out to find the crimes. Being near Trump means you will be subject to scrutiny to find a crime. In some cases that scrutiny may be minimal, in other cases, such as Paul Manafort, it could mean substantial criminal charges that likely never would have been brought but for Manafort being connected to Trump’s campaign for a relatively short time period.

That’s the context to understand what likely happened with Cohen. Assuming the reports are accurate that this was a referral from Mueller and did not originate with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, it means that Mueller subjected Cohen to scrutiny and found something. What that something is we don’t yet know. If it had to do with alleged Russian collusion, or even Russia, it’s likely Mueller would have kept the matter in his investigation, just as he did with Manafort’s Ukrainian connections.

That doesn’t mean Mueller wouldn’t find it helpful for his own investigation. It would be completely consistent (1) for Mueller to understand that whatever Cohen did or had, it was too far removed from Mueller’s appointment to justify Mueller’s team executing the warrant, and (2) Mueller finding it useful to have others in DOJ/FBI put the squeeze on Cohen to flip him against Trump.

Mueller is legally twisting Manafort’s arm so hard to flip him against Trump it may fall off, but will have to outsource the torment of Cohen to others. As so much that has preceded it in the Russia collusion inquisition, this has the appearances of friends of James Comey and Andrew McCabe taking out whatever their agenda is on friends of Trump.

This also could represent a line of attack against Trump by Mueller that Mueller didn’t feel he could take himself. Subjecting business dealings of Trump to criminal investigation as part of the Russia investigation would be a stretch. Again, it’s just as convenient for Mueller to have someone else do that, and in the case of Trump’s past business dealings, even more convenient for Mueller.

Unlike Obama, who took control of the DOJ/FBI apparatus, Trump is fighting for his presidency against the bureaucracy, as John Hinderaker observed:

The answer is that Trump and his appointees do not control the departments they ostensibly run. Liberals tell us that at DOJ, it is critically important that political appointees not interfere with the “career professionals” who do all the work. I say, bullshit. The “career professionals” are just Democratic Party lifers who have risen to the top of the bureaucracy, often by avoiding any actual, risky work. I’m not talking about FBI agents on the street, or the majority of Assistant U.S. Attorneys. (U.S. Attorneys, of course, are political appointees.) I’m talking about career bureaucrats like James Comey, Bob Mueller, Andy McCabe, and so on….

We are witnessing, as Scott [Johnson] says, “a political death struggle with the authorities operating under [President Trump’s] nominal control.” President Trump and his loyal appointees need to assert the powers that the voters have given them.”

We’ll learn more in coming weeks, but this brings to a head a seemingly intractable conflict: Donald Trump was duly elected president and there are a lot of people on Mueller’s team and in DOJ/FBI who still don’t accept that and want it over. Only one of them can win.

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Comments

SESSIONS HAS TO GO

And then fire ALL THE BASTARDS !!!

And NOT in TWO weeks!

TONIGHT !!!

    It is too late for that. I think that is what they are hoping for. President Trump has to fight this smart.

    Connivin Caniff in reply to gonzotx. | April 10, 2018 at 9:50 am

    Before firing Sessions, Trump should publicly advise Sessions and Rosenstein that Mueller is materially obstructing the Presidency, and Mueller has had more than enough time to either indict or file a report about the subject of his special counsel charter, “collusion.” Further, Trump should order that Sessions or Rosenstein must advise Mueller immediately that Mueller has thirty days to either indict or issue a specific report, or Mueller will be relieved of his duties, and all his pending indictments will be referred to U.S. Attorneys of the proper respective venues. (The current indictments have nothing to do with “collusion” anyway.) If such orders are not immediately issued by Sessions or Rosenstein, then fire them. Mueller has no right to be a perpetual free-ranging prosecutor without any fulfillment of his original assignment. Someone has to oversee and stop him.

I want to eventually see perp walks, by Mueller, his team and certain members of the FBI. This is becoming a constitutional crisis.

Hillary Clinton transmitted Top Secret, Sensitive Compartmented Information in the clear over her bathroom server and the FBI laughed, and said… no big deal. It is a big deal (In the past, I had a TS/SCI clearance) It’s the kind of big deal that can get an ordinary person thrown in the federal penitentiary over a mistake. Regardless of what the idiots in the media say, it was and is a huge freaking deal. So big, it makes every accusation against Trump look like jaywalking and he’s their focus? That tells you all you need to know about the FBI.

Sessions needs to go and they need to put someone in as AG who isn’t afraid to take a flame thrower to the FBI leadership. As long as the Clinton/Obama cronies remain, the FBI should be viewed as utterly corrupt.

    Awing1 in reply to Sanddog. | April 9, 2018 at 10:23 pm

    Can you cite a single case of a civilian being thrown in federal prison for mistakenly transmitting TS/SCI in the clear?

      Icepilot in reply to Awing1. | April 9, 2018 at 11:05 pm

      What do you mean “mistakenly’?
      A reporter asked Clinton whether she was “ever specifically briefed on the security implications of using your own email server and using your personal address to email with the president?”
      Her answer was emphatic: “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.”
      Then she went on: “I’m certainly well aware of the classification requirements and did not send classified material.”
      Also, the SecState is the Original Classification Authority (OCA) for the Dept, the official who establishes the Classification level of Intelligence, like TS/SCI & TS/SAP. OCAs receive training & that training is signed & documented.
      Hillary Clinton is one of the smartest people in the world, doncha know.

        Awing1 in reply to Icepilot. | April 9, 2018 at 11:19 pm

        Number one, it was the word used by the author of the comment I was replying to. Number two, how would someone’s emphatic denials that they did something prove that they did it intentionally? That’s a really weird inference to make.

          4th armored div in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 12:14 am

          it is irrelevent what the intention was – juat AK THE AUBMARINE DUDE WHO WAS THROWN IN PRISON BECAUSE OF A PHOTO TO HIS MOM!

          BTW Huma and Anthony also needs the perp walk – Classified on wieners laptop.

          guyjones in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 6:32 am

          What about a Secretary of State declining to use official e-mail services and instead going to the extraordinary lengths of time, financial expense and effort in contracting with a hired party to set up a private e-mail server outside of official government channels do you seriously contend doesn’t represent a transparently knowing, intentional and volitional act to circumvent said official communication protocols and methods?

          Please — stop, already — you’re embarrassing yourself with your myopia and infantile contentions.

          Arminius in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

          “…Number two, how would someone’s emphatic denials that they did something prove that they did it intentionally? That’s a really weird inference to make.”

          Ok, I’m beginning to understand why you don’t get what my minor nieces and nephews can get. How often do you imagine criminals readily admit to a crime? The police can arrive at the scene of a murder, with the murderer standing over the body with the smoking gun still in hand, and he’ll deny having anything to o with it.

          Prosecutors use people’s emphatic denials to prove their guilt all the time, because emphatic denials are what they have to work with. If someone has accomplices, then you interview the accomplices separately.

          This is another fact that demonstrates the fix was in from the start. When the feds finally got around to interviewing Clinton they allowed Cheryl Mills to be in the room as her lawyer. Cheryl Mills was Hillary Clinton’s chief of staff and already identified as a witness. So basically by allowing her in the room the FBI knowingly was allowing two parties to the conspiracy get their stories straight (they would never do that for anyone not named Clinton).

          Second, Hillary Clinton’s “emphatic denials” were demonstrable lies. They evolved over time, and each time they turned out to be lies, so she constantly had to come up with new lies to fit the evolving situations. Because as more information came out the most recent lie was clearly past it’s due date.

          Seriously, what are you, 10?

      maxmillion in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 12:03 am

      It was intentional.

        Arminius in reply to maxmillion. | April 10, 2018 at 9:37 am

        I don’t see why everyone doesn’t understand that. Sure, I get why leftists are pretending not to understand that. But as a legal matter this was dripping with intent.

        It would be as if Comey was assigned to investigate the murder of a wealthy husband of someone named Clinton. Mrs. Clinton takes out a $10 million life insurance policy a month before her husband is murdered. Two weeks before her husband is murdered she pays a man the FBI later to determines to be the gunman $150k, and marks the the personal check in her name “downpayment.” After the insurance company pays off on the policy she wires $1 million to an offshore account that the FBI later determines belongs to the gunman. After a painstaking investigation the FBI finally identifies an locates the gunman, who insists he was paid by Mrs. Clinton in return for a lesser sentence.

        Comey refuses to even check out the information, and goes on national TV to declare that there just isn’t any evidence linking Mrs. Clinton to the murder of her husband.

      Dumbass:

      U.S. Intelligence Analyst Arrested in Wikileaks Video Probe
      https://www.wired.com/2010/06/leak/

      Feds Charge NSA Contractor with Taking Top Secret Documents
      https://www.wired.com/2016/10/nsa-contractor-arrested-taking-top-secret-documents/

      Trump DOJ Arrests and Charges Woman Who Allegedly Leaked Top-Secret Information About Russian Election Interference
      https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/trump-doj-arrests-and-charges-woman-who-allegedly-leaked-top-secret-information-about/

      Edward in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 8:02 am

      Check your dictionary for a comparison of “can” and “has”.

      While you are at it, check out 18 USC 793(f) and make special note of the fact that intent is not an element of the crime. Even if Comey is correct that “nobody uses” this statute, it is still a valid criminal statute which is available for any Assistant US Attorney (AUSA) to have a Grand Jury charge as a count in an Indictment, or include as a count in an Information.

      Arminius in reply to Awing1. | April 10, 2018 at 9:07 am

      There is no such thing as “mistakenly” transmitting classified information on an unclas system. There are three separate systems that have no physical connection with each other. The unclassified system, the general service or GENSER system which handles confidential and secret information, and then the third system which handles TS/SCI information.

      To move either the the GENSER information or TS/SCI information to Hillary’s unclas homebrew email system you have to physically move it. Typically when people plan on disregarding information security or INFOSEC procedures they’ll simply take classified notes (of course ignoring the fact that their notes are required to be marked as classified, secret, or TS) and then send the excerpted information on the unclas system.

      It’s quite a bit of work. There is nothing “mistaken” about what Hillary and her henchmen did. The fact that she set up her server before being installed as SecState and then refused to use DoS equipment demonstrates planning. This was deliberate.

      I have a hard time understanding why people like you don’t get it. Maybe you can explain it to me, Awing1. Everybody who has ever held a TS/SCI clearance, and those of us who were responsible for INFOSEC procedures (I was an SSO in the Navy) knows Comey and the rest of the Obama administration lied through their teeth to let Hillary and her cabal get away with a massive conspiracy to endanger US national security.

      Actually, it appears they weren’t just protecting Hillary. Obama was also using an alias to communicate with Hillary on her clintonmail.com system. We know this from released emails.

      But that aside, what’s so difficult to understand about the deliberate nature of the very real crimes Hillary Clinton. My nieces and nephews who are barely old enough to drive understand this. Why can’t leftists?

    walls in reply to Sanddog. | April 11, 2018 at 12:02 am

    That …. and then using BleachBit to render her drives unreadable. That alone is obstruction of justice. Maybe her palsy episodes … I see that as karma … are the only justice we’ll see.

Impeach Mueller. Fire Sessions, fire Rosenstein. Indict Hillary. Evacuate all of the Obama holdovers from any level of function in the federal government and assign them, as required, to ICE.

Save Bill Clinton for the back-burner. The impeached misogynist has his own trail to trial.

This is taking on all of the trappings of a 21st Century version of the Dreyfus Affair.

Also the Progs are salivating over show trials once Mueller has finished his investigation which may be set for release either before the 2018 election season or held over for 2020.

The Progs and MSM are perpetuating a constant campaign of government if not social instability to tie up the country so tight as to be non-functional.

It is so poisoned that I do not know if any semblance of repair of the country can occur. The legal system is being weaponized .

    tom_swift in reply to alaskabob. | April 10, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Well, the Dreyfus Affair did involve an actual crime. The scandal was that the crime hadn’t been committed by Captain Dreyfus.

    Here, they don’t even have a crime yet.

Donald Trump himself personally interviewed Berman for the job before appointing him US Attorney for SDNY. Berman would have had to personally sign off on the warrant application. Get a grip.

DINORightMarie | April 9, 2018 at 10:26 pm

This, my friends, is what a peaceful coup, a junta, looks like.

No bullets. No armies coming in, per se. no generals declaring they are now the dictator.

Just Mueller’s guerrillas, law-fare cronies, and willing minions, doing the dirty work, using their positions of power to destroy the Presidency, the Constitution, the nation as it was founded.

Scary times, my friends.

Now we know. Mueller is sleazy.

    4th armored div in reply to Valerie. | April 10, 2018 at 12:20 am

    but, but, but he is a REPUBLICAN (#NeverTrump).

      Milhouse in reply to 4th armored div. | April 10, 2018 at 1:38 am

      Is he a Republican? We keep getting told so, but on what foundation? In 2001 the WaPo reported that he was registered that way, but that’s a poor basis for deciding how someone actually identifies. People register to vote based on the primary they want to vote in, which is not necessarily how they vote in the general election. In any case the same report says he was really “apolitical”:

      Mueller, 56, is a registered Republican, yet a striking number of people describe him as apolitical. A Justice Department senior staff meeting went quiet this year when Mueller ran through a list of people he considered qualified for top temporary jobs, most of them Democrats. It had never occurred to him that Democrats and the new Republican administration might not mesh.

      This was at a time that Democrats were still openly resisting the legitimacy of the election result, and declaring “not my president”. That sounds to me like someone who even then would toe the Democrat line whenever it became relevant.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Valerie. | April 12, 2018 at 11:10 am

    Mueller is probably just as sleazy as that hooker, and while on the topic of the hooker, why hasn’t she been arrested for extortion?

Im assuming any incriminating evidence found at Trump’s attorneys home is not admissible.

If I’m wrong, and Mueller can just raid the house and offices of the lawyer representing the defendant he’s investigating they just hang tight while I get my shotgun.

This is bs. And so are the intimidation tactics with the morning raids.

Hey Muller you corrupt fuck. This it going to come back on you. No doubt that’s why you’re being so aggressive – you were head of the FBI when The rot began to set in. You’re probably just as dirty as Comey and the others. You sure aren’t comporting yourself as an objective and honest servant of the law.

Mueller understands that is uses trumped-up charges or perjury trap to launch a soft coup on America, his two girls are forfeit.

He gets that right, I know sometimes DC can make you tunnel blind. But he’s not playing by some silly 18th century code where he gets to corrupt the justice system and overthrow a duly elected government and then just go home to his wife and kids as it’s just another day in the FBI.

If you put everything on the table then everything is in play.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | April 9, 2018 at 11:44 pm

    “Mueller understands that is uses trumped-up charges or perjury trap to launch a soft coup on America, his two girls are forfeit.”

    More of Little Bill’s murder fantasizes.

    Go for it, Killer.

    Fen: Mueller understands that is uses trumped-up charges or perjury trap to launch a soft coup on America, his two girls are forfeit.

    Seriously? Did you really just threaten the children of the Special Counsel?

    Fen: he’s not playing by some silly 18th century code where he gets to corrupt the justice system and overthrow a duly elected government and then just go home to his wife and kids as it’s just another day in the FBI. If you put everything on the table then everything is in play.

    Seriously. You just threatened the family of a U.S. prosecutor.

      Milhouse in reply to Zachriel. | April 10, 2018 at 7:55 pm

      Legally that’s not a true threat. First, it’s conditional on Mueller doing something which he hasn’t yet done. Second, in its context it’s obvious hyperbole, not an actual threat to personally do something to them. Basically it’s no worse than announcing to an anti-draft rally that if you are drafted and given a gun, the first person you will shoot will be the president. Which the Supreme Court ruled is protected speech.

Agreed, this changes everything.

The Southern District of NY? Isn’t that Comey’s former domain? The more we see, the clearer it becomes that Mueller is throwing Comey under the bus. Fake news. Comey.

I think Trump should do nothing. At this point.

Another yawner (albeit a noisy one) dressed up to look like a cliffhanger.

Mueller’s been looking for a Trumpian crime for a year. He has nothing. There’s no indication that he’s on the trail of anything. He doesn’t seem to be laying careful groundwork for any kind of Night of the Long Knives. All he has is a lot of nothing.

So, lacking anything with legal teeth, he’ll have to be satisfied with harassment. Hence this move. He may be able to find something embarrassing in the correspondence; nothing of legal utility, and nothing anyone could introduce in court even if useful, but he can still contrive to leak it. Then the D’rats will have more of their trademark paroxysms of feigned shock. None of which will have any effect on anything. Those already outraged by anything even tenuously associated with Trump will still be outraged, and nobody else will give a flip.

    Bucky Barkingham in reply to tom_swift. | April 10, 2018 at 7:53 am

    Is it possible that this latest ploy by Müeller et al is intended to goad Trump into firing Müeller?

      Petrushka in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | April 10, 2018 at 9:23 am

      That’s been my assumption for a long time.

      tom_swift in reply to Bucky Barkingham. | April 10, 2018 at 11:43 am

      There might be several plans, like “fork” attacks in chess. If Mueller isn’t fired, follow Plan A. If he is fired, follow Plan B or Plan C, depending on who exactly does the firing.

      I can’t guess at D’rat plans any more than I can guess at motivations—both are as alien to me as, say, the thought processes of child molesters. I can’t understand them, and can’t predict them. I can, however, see what actually happens. And with the Mueller Affair, what I see actually happening is a lot of non-action. Plenty of superficially menacing maneuvering, but little useful result.

Yipe, I think it is going no where and we are going to see a lot more of this before the IG shoe drops. The louder the noise, the closer the worst the IG report is going to be for the scheme team. Have you noticed, we have not heard from Adam Schiff in awhile.

BierceAmbrose | April 10, 2018 at 1:14 am

I wonder if the lesson is getting through. This is a 100 year problem.

The substrate built up over the last 100 years will take chipping away, one particle at a time. It’ll take about 100 years.

So, Muller tossed his harassment campaign over to perhaps the most politicized federal attourney’s office outside DC. Because he could.

There is no silver bullet. Not even an orange one.

What I don’t get is, judges and attorneys usually try to go out of their way to show us normies that there are no conflicts of interest or even the appearance of them. I’m thinking this is unheard of… politically… raiding the attorney of a sitting US President and hauling off his records… and at home too.

Nothing short of a imminent threat to life warrants this kind of raid, just for the political implications. This is insanity and corrupt. Is there no judge that is a little uneasy about this?

Is is such a stretch to say that the FBI and the DOJ, much less Mueller, have almost no credibility ? I mean, this is bad. I could never sit on a jury with FBI testimony… they do not deserve the default of being honorable or professional in my eyes. Nope. That ship has sailed.

Hey lawyers on here…. what happens when a good portion of normal folks completely refuse to play in your system any more because it’s been perverted in plain sight… and the legal system just sat on their hands? Wow. Incredible day… mostly not b/c of what transpired , but the deafening silence of our legal folks.

    But it’s not the point. It’s just not.

    Cheryl Mills, a former employee of the State Department during Hillary’s tenure as Secretary of State, got away with claiming she was Hillary’s private attorney for purposes of declaring parts of the email investigation, and the softly-softly interviews at the end of it, off-limits to the FBI, with the DoJ’s full and enthusiastic blessing.

    The Manafort example is one of the very, very few state prosecutor violations of privilege that any normal person could point to. The late Lynne Stewart, attorney for the Blind Sheikh convicted for the first World Trade Center bombing, is another example. The only other equivalents are mob attorneys, and most of them are treated with more respect and care than this.

    Trump is a minor issue at this point. Even the bias is a minor issue. It is that this violation of a core tenet of the practice of law has become routine.

      Ragspierre in reply to JBourque. | April 10, 2018 at 6:24 am

      “The only other equivalents are mob attorneys, and most of them are treated with more respect and care than this.”

      Well, take Roy Cohn, T-rump’s mob lawyer for decades as an example.

      Generally, he was smart enough to NOT pay $130,000 directly to a principal in a scandal, and certainly smart enough not to admit it.

      But, in those days, his client was muzzled to the point where HE wouldn’t admit the underlying acts, even by backing into the admission.

      Cohn was, additionally, representing a corrupt New York real estate developer, and didn’t have to deal with Federal campaign law. A much simpler world.

      Now, this is not to say this is Stormy related. Nobody knows that.

      What it IS to say is that Cohen became MUCH too much a “family member” of Duh Donald’s, and let slip many of the barriers that a professional attorney just normally maintains.

      It’s also interesting to note that if you changed one term here…substituting Hellary…none of this (or very, very little) hyperbolic nonsense would appear here.

      There is no violation of the 4th Amendment. And the due process regarding this whole deal has only started.

      Watch and see.

        Petrushka in reply to Ragspierre. | April 10, 2018 at 9:26 am

        What lawyer has ever paid an expense without invoicing it of being reimbursed, and if it was reimbursed, it is not a gift or a contribution. And how long has the lawyer had to invoice the expense?

This is so bad that I’m hoping that we just are not seeing the full picture. Is there a whiff of the “art of the deal” going on here?

Is it possible that Trump worked out an agreeable conclusion to players behind closed doors? Those that cooperated get to retire or stay on the payroll and the corrupt are removed from positions of power? I still don’t understand how all of the evidence that goes beyond Russia collusion, won’t be considered fruit of the poison tree, giving immunity from what is collected.

I don’t know what to think. If this is what it appears to be, it’s a sad day for the rule of law that no one should be celebrating.

THIS IS ALL ON SESSIONS. HE’S IN ON THE PLAN.

WHAT A F—–G TRAITOR.

Alan McIntire | April 10, 2018 at 5:41 am

I suspect that this outrageous violation of the fourth amendment is a DELIBERATE attempt by Mueller to force President Trump to fire him, thus riling up the Democratic base and motivating them to get out and vote prior to the election. The smart move by President Trump will be to NOT play into their hands, and to fire Mueller the day AFTER the midterm election.

I just want to know if Stormy declared the $130k as income on her 2016 return?

Rags,
It’s perfectly acceptable to refer to the use of a warrant to search and seize materials via the use of or threat of force as a “raid”, and has been used several times now by Mueller and others working with him against people’s homes and offices. From everything I’ve seen, each time they’ve done this they’ve skipped several usual steps in the process and went straight from the first document request to raiding homes and offices, occasionally in the middle of the night. Despite what you may have seen in movies, this is highly unusual and is generally something to be avoided, since it makes people in the industry being raided nervous and can actually lead to a sudden bout of destruction of documents by those not yet subject to a preservation notice. It often is done as much for show as for actual production of evidence, with the intent to intimidate those with information into cooperating with the investigation. “Just by showing up we’ve now destroyed this company’s image, do you want the same to happen to you? No? Then talk.” To someone with experience in this area it’s pretty blatant that this is what Mueller is doing, since he’s being remarkably ham-handed about it for someone with an espionage background. Whether that’s because of incompetence, because he just doesn’t care, or is trying to provoke an intemperate response I’ll leave up to you to decide. Whatever the reason, it’s the actions of a thug of the old-school FBI under Hoover, when the line between agent and mafia-style protection racket was pretty thin indeed.

“If it had to do with alleged Russian collusion, or even Russia, it’s likely Mueller would have kept the matter in his investigation, just as he did with Manafort’s Ukrainian connections.”

I think it has been fairly well established that Mueller is willing to keep any and every thing he discovers under his jurisdiction, including unpaid parking tickets and gum stuck under the seat.

    Milhouse in reply to georgfelis. | April 10, 2018 at 9:56 am

    And yet he didn’t keep this. What does that do to your theory?

      Absolutely nothing. Note that the search warrant was pushed by Mueller (i.e. if there had been no Mueller, there never would have been a warrant), and although the case now resides in the USA of the Southern District of NY, you can bet every single page of evidence they get will be mirrored to Mueller’s office. That way he gets all of the dirt with none of of the backlash, which will *certainly* happen if there’s no real dirt there.

      I will admit, as much hay was made about how ‘this never happens’ and ‘there will be serious consequences’ every time the news played, I don’t expect anything to come of the search, and I don’t expect any backlash. Unless the D/R tags were reversed.

This is outrageous and wrong. I see the police state is growing out of control.

William A. Jacobson: Subjecting business dealings of Trump to criminal investigation as part of the Russia investigation would be a stretch.

Not if the Special Counsel found evidence that Trump’s organization accepted tainted money from Russian oligarchs.

Rags,
Your logic is unassailable, your argument flawless. Bravo. Well done. I had been about to respond to SDN that I’d had a couple of lively disagreements with you here over the years and that, while we had fundamental disagreements, they’d been pretty well argued and that I’d enjoyed them. So much for that.

Now, to respond to your criticisms of my “screed”.

1) Mueller has been involved with all of the raids either as the direct instigator or as a driving force. Notice that I used the plural “raids” and specified “Mueller and others working with him”? Or are you suggesting that Mueller had no part in this raid happening?
2) As difficult as it is to argue against your scintillating, witty, and comprehensive argument of “bullshit”, I will give it my best. Are you suggesting that the FBI doesn’t use raids as a cudgel to make people cooperate? Are you claiming that it’s not a risky strategy that can cause others to go through their own records and cull incriminating documents that aren’t yet subject to a preservation order? Are you saying that there aren’t usually several other stages between first document request and raiding someone’s home and place of business? Are you disagreeing with my assertion that Mueller is being unusually ham-handed for someone who has been in espionage for much of his career? Do you disagree that public intimidation of private citizens by the FBI is a thuggish move, one more in line with the bad old days of wire-tapping MLK and roughing up political dissidents? What exactly of this is bullshit? Or do you just disagree that Mueller is engaging in this behavior in this particular instance?

    Ragspierre in reply to Crabtree. | April 10, 2018 at 10:13 am

    1) Mueller has been involved with all of the raids either as the direct instigator or as a driving force. Notice that I used the plural “raids” and specified “Mueller and others working with him”? Or are you suggesting that Mueller had no part in this raid happening?

    Except this is nonsense. It is SOP for prosecutors to make referrals to other prosecutors, as here.

    The New York DA did what he did as an independent actor. He wasn’t “working with Mueller” except in the sense they both work for the T-rumpian DOJ.

    2. I’m saying that you have several of your “facts” wrong as predicates for your opinions. Not one or two. Several.

Icepilot: What do you mean “mistakenly’?

The government could not show that Clinton knew that classified information was being transmitted through her emails. Indeed, it doesn’t make a lot of sense as she used the secure State Department system extensively.

4th armored div: juat AK THE AUBMARINE DUDE WHO WAS THROWN IN PRISON BECAUSE OF A PHOTO TO HIS MOM!

The submarine dude pleaded guilty to *knowingly* having possession of classified information.

guyjones: What about a Secretary of State declining to use official e-mail services and instead going to the extraordinary lengths of time, financial expense and effort in contracting with a hired party to set up a private e-mail server outside of official government channels do you seriously contend doesn’t represent a transparently knowing, intentional and volitional act to circumvent said official communication protocols and methods?

That wouldn’t be a violation of the Espionage Act as was being argued.

Edward: While you are at it, check out 18 USC 793(f) and make special note of the fact that intent is not an element of the crime.

Please take note of the Supreme Court decision Gorin v. United States, which said that conviction under the Espionage Act requires a finding of “the elements of scienter and bad faith”.

Rags would you rather be treated like Hillary or Trump when the FBI investigates you?

    Ragspierre in reply to Hawk. | April 10, 2018 at 11:12 am

    Let me pose a better question;

    if you are an American, who do you prefer as AG: Lynch/Holder or Sessions?

Rags,
Yes, it is SOP to make referrals to other prosecutors. The reasons why something is happening are at least as important as the procedures being followed. I’m arguing that Mueller may have improper motivations and possibly insufficient cause for several of these raids and for the referral. You believe he does have proper motivations and sufficient cause. When a prosecutor makes the referral, it’s pretty common for them to be said to be working with the other prosecutor since they are, in fact, cooperating with each other on a case at that point. The referring prosecutor is providing information to the other prosecutor in anticipation of action at that end. Often there will be a reciprocal exchange of information gathered by that prosecutor during their own investigation. This, too, is SOP.

What facts would those be, exactly? A Vinnyesque “everything that guy just said is bullshit” isn’t actually an argument, it’s just the automatic gainsaying of everything just said. If you want to convince or inform people, then tell me which of my underlying facts are wrong. I’m always open to being convinced by new facts, corrections, or a strong argument, so please enlighten me.

    Ragspierre in reply to Crabtree. | April 10, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    “From everything I’ve seen, each time they’ve done this they’ve skipped several usual steps in the process and went straight from the first document request to raiding homes and offices, occasionally in the middle of the night. Despite what you may have seen in movies, this is highly unusual and is generally something to be avoided…”

    Everything you’ve seen? You mean what you’ve read, sometimes from highly agendized sources.

    What “usual steps” are mandated by due process? There are times when such steps risk the loss of items, yes?

    “…occasionally in the middle of the night.” There were no such “occasions”.

    “Despite what you see in the movies, this is highly unusual…”

    Support that with evidence.

One thing is for certain – all the people who had little faith in the fairness of the FBI will now have no faith in the fairness of the FBI.

We need to believe, however mistakenly, that our law enforcement agencies, particularly the FBI are all about the law and not about politics.

This action reeks of politics.

And there are a lot of people wondering today about attorney/client privilege. And not believing it exists any longer.

Those who are cheering this on because they hate Trump so much don’t seem to much care what it does to the country.

    Ragspierre in reply to kenoshamarge. | April 10, 2018 at 11:08 am

    marge, NOBODY who is not themselves a criminal conspiring with their attorney needs be any more worried about attorney/client confidences today than they were last week.

    This is an OLD, OLD doctrine in the law. It’s referred to in short-hand form as the fraud/crime rule or exception.

    Criminal attorneys know they are not targets for merely vigorously defending even clients they know to have acted as alleged.

    Allllllll attorneys know that you may not hide behind ANY privilege or immunity if you join in fraud, crime, or even some torts with a client.

    Now, it occurs to me that this may NOT involve anything directly impinging on T-rump, and COULD ONLY involve Cohen and his acts relative to T-rump. In which case, anything he did that was criminal is discoverable, and will be winnowed out from actual privileged material.

Much like the infamous “nuclear option” that Harry Reid used, I believe that the Socialist Democrat Party will come to rue the actions of Mr. Mueller.

As the old admonition warns, “be careful what you wish for.”

    tom_swift in reply to Dimsdale. | April 10, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I doubt it.

    I’m aware of no historical evidence that the D’rats rue even major blunders like the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854.

    D’rats rue nothing, but simply deny historical fact. And rather a lot of it.

You guys act as if you’ve never seen The Godfather. Lawyers are not above the law.

KAY: Tom… *after taking a letter from her pocket and handing it to him* Will you give this letter to Michael, please? Please?

TOM *refusing the letter*: Well, if I accepted that in a court of law they could prove that I have knowledge of his whereabouts. Now you just be patient, Kay he’ll get in touch with you, alright.

There are established procedures for subpoenaing attorney records. And it always requires the approval of a judicial warrant based on probable cause.

    And apparently we’ve reached the point where “subpoena” = “FBI raid on all properties” as a matter of routine.

    Good to know. There’s another term to throw around here, just for the record: presumption of guilt. Once that’s in the ecosystem, it’s hard to see where it will end.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Zachriel. | April 10, 2018 at 11:23 am

    And what is the probable cause in this case?

regulus arcturus | April 10, 2018 at 11:20 am

Not an attorney, but I can’t see how piercing attorney-client privilege in this case is legal, since Cohen was cooperating.

What is recourse, if any?

And if none, what is the use of the privilege if it may be pierced arbitrarily?

    Ragspierre in reply to regulus arcturus. | April 10, 2018 at 12:53 pm

    First, we don’t know what probable cause was stated.

    Second, there is ample protected against any misuse of information obtained by an abuse of process.

    For one, an injunction can be pled that will make any use of anything obtained abusively prohibited.

    A turn-over order can be requested that would require everything wrongly obtained be returned, including any copies made, along with an order suppressing any use of any of the information by any agency of the Federal government.

    There MAY be some form of suit possible if any official abused their office, but this is outside my wheelhouse.

“Did you seriously just threaten – x

Yes. I said if he abused the Justice system to affect the coup and overthrow the legitimately elected government, then I would punish him.

If he stays inside the law, not above it, if he somehow gets Trump removed by playing it straight and honest, that he’s got nothing to worry about.

You on the other hand have a strange sense of priorities. You cry for the traitor but not the betrayed. Why?

Are you another one of those who would surrender the Republic so long as he got to keep his dignity intact?

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | April 10, 2018 at 11:24 am

    You’re just a lying moral coward on the internet, Killer. That’s all you’ll ever be.

    A hater living in a fantasy, “punishing” all who you imagine offended.

Just so we are clear, if Mueller corrupts the process to reverse the election (the “insurance”:policy) what are you going to do? Just take it up the ass?

Is there anything that would move you to direct action? Oh I don’t know, say the government set up a camp and across the street for undesirables and showered them with Z-KlonB… you just shuffle on by and not make a fuss?

“OMG Fen did you just threaten a Death Head Guard? ”

I don’t know, I’m not sure who’s the greater threat. The Corrupted that do evil or the Saints who enable them because they prefer not to stain their souls with blood.

    Ragspierre in reply to Fen. | April 10, 2018 at 1:28 pm

    As I’ve said before, Killer, I’ll look for you on the news.

    Go for it. Don’t just bloviate on the internet.

regulus arcturus | April 10, 2018 at 12:10 pm

Breaking – Trump-appointed SDNY USA Geoffrey Berman is recused from the Cohen case, suggesting rogue elements within FBI and DOJ SDNY office –

SCOOP: ABC News has learned Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, is recused from the Michael Cohen investigation. He had no role in raid of Cohen’s office. Another recusal that will make @realDonaldTrump unhappy.

https://twitter.com/jonkarl/status/983734168134864898

Prosecutorial discretion has now failed catastrophically. The raw, criminal extortion freely used by Mueller against Trump’s associates demonstrates our failed judicial system as no other example could.

Since we can no longer trust prosecutors and the judges who facilitate them, prosecutorial discretion must end before a charge can be brought; no more plea deals. The prosecutor must face a jury trial if he brings a charge.

Why hasn’t the Trump team announced an investigation into Comey, Rosenstein, Mueller and Clinton regarding Uranium One?

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