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    Manafort hearing transcript reflects Mueller fishing expedition being put on trial

    Manafort hearing transcript reflects Mueller fishing expedition being put on trial

    I don’t remember the Order of appointment authorizing Mueller to: Go get the President, by any means possible, and don’t worry about collateral damage.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/video/former-fbi-director-robert-mueller-named-special-counsel-in-the-russia-investigation-946481731669

    We reported on Friday about the hearing in federal court in Virginia regarding Paul Manafort’s request to have his criminal indictment and case dismissed because it was beyond the jurisdiction of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to prosecute.

    Statements made by the judge during the hearing generated a lot of news, Manafort Judge: Mueller only really cares about the “prosecution or impeachment” of Trump. See that post for the details on the news reports of the hearing, plus my explanation of why Mueller is exceeding his authority.

    While the prior post was based on news reports of what happened at the hearing, now we have the hearing Transcript (pdf.)(also at Archive.org)(full embed at bottom of post).

    Click on the tweet below for a thread on the analysis and excerpts from the transcript.

    Here are some of the interesting takes in that Twitter thread.

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992802540596146176

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992802800357736448

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992804926324723715

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992805337571971072

    Manafort’s lawyer made the point I’ve been making, Rosenstein’s August 2, 2017 memo cannot retroactively expand Mueller’s authority:

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992806286621315075

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992806651001483265

    Here are some of the money quotes from the Judge:

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992809566407708673

    https://twitter.com/Techno_Fog/status/992810306232516611

    This portion from page 10 addresses Mueller’s expansive argument as to what constitutes, under the May 17, 2017 Order of appointment, crimes arising from the investigation. I’ve argued that such provision only relates to crimes in the course of the investigation (e.g. obstruction), not all crimes discovered during the investigation:

    MR. DREEBEN: The first is that in provision (c) which is in the order, the special counsel is authorized to prosecute matters that arose from the investigation that is described earlier in the preamble and in (b)(i) and (b)(ii). So we are not limited in our prosecution authority to crimes that would fit within the precise description that was issued in this public order. If the investigation is valid, the crimes that arose from that investigation are within the special counsel’s authority to prosecute.

    THE COURT: Even though it didn’t arise from your investigation. It arose from a preexisting investigation.

    MR. DREEBEN: Well, the investigation was inherited by the special counsel.

    THE COURT: That’s right, but your argument says, Even though the investigation was really done by the Justice Department, handed to you, and then you’re now using it, as I indicated before, as a means of persuading Mr. Manafort to provide information.
    It’s vernacular by the way. I’ve been here a long time. The vernacular is to sing. That’s what prosecutors use, but what you’ve got to be careful of is they may not just sing. They may also compose. I can see a few veteran defense counsel here, and they have spent a good deal of time in this courtroom trying to persuade a jury that there wasn’t singing, there was composing going on. But in any event, finish up this point, and then I’ll come back to the defendant.

    Scott Johnson at Power Line sees something else:

    As I said yesterday in “Mueller’s got a secret,” I have no idea where this is going, but I’m enjoying the ride. In that post the “secret” to which I referred was the redacted portion of the August 2 scope memo. I see in the full transcript of the hearing there is another secret: the specific factual statement that sets forth the matter to be investigated by Mueller (Dreeben speaking at page 29: “the specific factual statement, as Attorney General Rosenstein described in his Congressional testimony, was conveyed to the special counsel upon his appointment in ongoing discussions that defined the parameters of the investigation that he wanted the special counsel to conduct”)….

    My bet on how this ends up? The Judge rips Mueller’s team a new one, then lets them proceed forward anyway. I hope I’m wrong on that latter conclusion, because Mueller is on a fishing expedition, trolling the lake to find crimes by anyone associated with Trump who could be forced, in the judges words, to sing.

    Funny, I don’t remember the Order of appointment authorizing Mueller to: Go get the President, by any means possible, and don’t worry about collateral damage.

    ——————————————————————–

    U.S. v. Manafort – EDVA – Transcript of Hearing May 4, 2018 by Legal Insurrection on Scribd

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    Comments


    Well, let’s start with a lawyer type question: What’s the statute of limitations on what he’s being charged with. See Andrew McCarthy’s Uranium One article:

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/10/uranium-one-deal-obama-administration-doj-hillary-clinton-racketeering/

    “Furthermore, the prosecution of Mikerin’s racketeering scheme had been so delayed that the Justice Department risked losing the ability to charge the 2009 felonies because of the five-year statute of limitations on most federal crimes.

    Still, a lid needed to be kept on the case. It would have made for an epic Obama administration scandal, and a body blow to Hillary Clinton’s presidential hopes, if in the midst of Russia’s 2014 aggression, public attention had been drawn to the failure, four years earlier, to prosecute a national-security case in order to protect Russia’s takeover of U.S. nuclear assets.”

    “How desperate was the Obama Justice Department to plead the case out? Here, Rosenstein and Holder will have some explaining to do.”

    “The Justice Department instructs prosecutors that when Congress has given a federal offense its own conspiracy provision with a heightened punishment (as it has for money laundering, racketeering, narcotics trafficking, and other serious crimes), they may not charge a section 371 conspiracy. Section 371 is for less serious conspiracy cases. Using it for money laundering — which caps the sentence way below Congress’s intent for that behavior — subverts federal law and signals to the court that the prosecutor does not regard the offense as major.

    Yet, that is exactly what Rosenstein’s office did, in a plea agreement his prosecutors co-signed with attorneys from the Justice Department’s Fraud Section.”


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