Posted by Curt on 1 September, 2020 at 9:35 am. 1 comment.



“Mr. Weissmann, when did you stop violating the civil rights of members of the Trump campaign?”

That might be the first question Attorney General Barr could ask Andrew Weissmann if given the chance to inquire about his role as “Mueller’s Pit Bull” in the Special Counsel’s Office.

Andrew Weissmann is a relative newcomer to Twitter, only signing on recently after the end of his government service and when he became a faculty member at NYU Law School. His contributions via Twitter are 100% anti-Trump and anti-Barr. They go hand-in-hand with his email to Sally Yates after she was fired by Trump for refusing to enforce his Executive Order prohibiting travel into the US from certain countries deemed to be state sponsors of terrorism. Weissmann wrote to her “I am so proud,” “And in awe. Thank you so much.”

Those two bookends — his Yates’ email and current Twitter activities — establish beyond a doubt that Weissmann was an Anti-Trump ideologue during his time as a senior member of Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel Office (SCO). He has made no effort to hide his bias, and I do not accept for a single moment any claim that he navigated his duties with the SCO in a fair and impartial manner. Andrew Weissmann had one goal in mind, finding a way to indict or otherwise drive Donald Trump from office.

In that regard, he had an ally. Kevin Clinesmith was a member of the FBI Office of General Counsel, assigned to the National Security and Cyberlaw Branch. Clinesmith was assigned by the FBI as the primary “legal advisor” to “Operation Crossfire Hurricane” (CH).

Kevin Clinesmith pled guilty to a single count “Information” charging him with having “made or used a false writing” in connection with a federal investigation.

On June 19, 2017, Clinesmith altered the wording of an email received by him from another intelligence agency and then forwarded the altered email to a “Supervisory Special Agent” (SSA) of the FBI. The changes made by Clinesmith resulted in the SSA’s mistaken belief regarding Carter Page’s status with that other agency, and as a result, the SSA’s affidavit to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court was inaccurate due to Clinesmith’s alteration.

There are several corollary issues tied up in this episode, and I’ll deal with those further down in this story.

But I first want to address some wild and uninformed speculation about the status of Clinesmith vis-à-vis the ongoing investigations initiated by Attorney General Barr into various aspects of the origins of CH and all that came after. I don’t have any first-hand information, but I have 22+ years’ experience doing exactly what it is the Durham investigation has likely just done.

A federal prosecutor does not file an “Information” without first having in place three things: 1) an agreement by the defendant to waive indictment; 2) an agreement as to the specific crime the defendant will plead guilty to, and 3) an agreement as to the factual basis the defendant will admit to in order to support the guilty plea.

Those three items are agreed to in advance and are generally the result of extensive conversations and negotiations between the defendant’s attorney and the prosecutor.

The prosecutor NEVER enters into that agreement unless he/she is certain as to the full scope of potential criminality in which the defendant was involved. That means the defendant has sat down with the case agent/prosecutor and answered every question put to him. Those questions are not limited to just the incident to which the defendant will later plead guilty. The questions go back to the beginning, and the defendant who is hoping for the best possible outcome will, in almost all instances, answer every question, especially when he has no meaningful defense to the most obvious charge and the prosecutor has the keys to the jail cell in his hand.

Kevin Clinesmith does not think he was involved in a “criminal” enterprise that targeted Donald Trump, the Trump Campaign, or anyone else. Clinesmith knows he did something wrong, but Clinesmith sees everything that went on during CH as a legitimate federal counter-intelligence investigation. For that reason, Clinesmith has no reluctance to answer all the questions John Durham’s investigators have for him because there is nothing to hide from his perspective. He does not see anything fundamentally improper – much less illegal – about what Operation CH was attempting to uncover.

But Clinesmith doesn’t know everything that John Durham’s investigators know. And John Durham’s investigators might not have solid evidence for things that Clinesmith does know — what was said behind closed doors by certain individuals directing the investigation, both before and after the SCO took over the case.

Clinesmith’s value in the form of “cooperation” is not what most people seem to believe “cooperation” must consist of.

Durham was not going to have Clinesmith arrange to have lunch with Andrew Weissmann, and then send him in carrying a digital recording device and instructions to get Weissmann to discuss all the fun times they had figuring out how to entrap General Flynn.

From Clinesmith, the “cooperation” Durham sought was likely nothing more than information. Clinesmith is a “pair of ears” that John Durham otherwise doesn’t have. He’s someone who was a “body in the room” when others were talking, making decisions, and giving directions. Clinesmith wasn’t a person giving directions, but he was one of the guys who was told what to do by the Andrew Weissmann’s and Jeannie Rhee’s of the SCO – after he was one of the guys told what to do by the Peter Strzoks and Andy McCabes of the FBI.

Why – other than the obvious reasons – is this fact of importance to investigations started by AG Barr, including the Durham investigation? Well, that requires a bit a “Lawsplainer” on what is known as a “federal criminal conspiracy.”

Read more

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x