Is Mueller’s Chief Assistant Pitbull “A Madman”?

 

That word is one of the kinder descriptions of Andrew Weissmann found in Sidney Powell’s excellent book Licensed To Lie: Exposing Corruption in the Department of Justice:

“The most polite description I had heard of Weissmann by any defense counsel who had dealt with him was that he was a ‘madman'” (p. 46)

The author goes on to relate, regarding Weissmann’s unbounded regard for himself:

“Weissmann fancied himself a god among prosecutors.” (p. 35)

Ms. Powell’s book, which I cannot possibly recommend too highly, is a massively detailed analysis of the depth and entrenchment of the corruption, lying, deceit, blatant dishonesty and disregard of, if not open contempt for, the Rule of Law in the Department of Justice. And, while it causes me pain, both personally and professionally, to acknowledge it, the picture she paints of certain Federal Judges is not, as the saying goes, “a pretty sight,” either.

The author’s bona fides are, to put it mildly, most impressive, as she has been lead counsel in more than 500 appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, had been in private practice for 20 years at the time of publication (2014) and had amassed a long list of professional honors and accolades. Significantly for purposes of this discussion, she was Lead Counsel for one of the wrongly (and clearly corruptly) convicted defendants at the hands of the Enron Strike Force, Jim Brown of Merrill Lynch. To say that she knows whereof she speaks invites the use of the ancient legal maxim Res Ipsa Loquitur — the thing speaks for itself.

Thus, it is most informative to hear her opinions on the sleazy conduct of the person Robert Mueller chose to be his Lead Prosecutor in the almost two-year-old (with not a shred of publicly known evidence so far) Russia-Trump Campaign “collusion” investigation:

Sidney Powell, who served as lead counsel in more than 500 federal appeals, filed an ethics complaint against Mr. Weissman along with William Hodes, one of the bar’s leading ethics experts. It alleged he not only hid evidence but also called “cooperating witnesses” who gave what he knew to be false testimony.

“During his years on the Enron Task Force, Prosecutor Weissmann was widely known for intimidating witnesses, hiding evidence, and unethical and heavy-handed, if not illegal, tactics,” said Powell, who has written about the case for the legal site Seeking Justice.

The Supreme Court unanimously overturned the conviction that Mr. Weissmann and the Enron Task Force secured [against] the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. The Court specifically cited him giving jury instructions that removed criminal intent from the law and improperly portrayed the law Andersen was charged with breaking.

“Indeed, it is striking how little culpability the instructions required,” former Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote in the opinion. “Only persons conscious of wrongdoing can be said to ‘knowingly corruptly persuade.'”

Ms. Powell noted that jury was told “even if petitioner honestly and sincerely believed its conduct was lawful, the jury could convict,” which was not true.

The emails obtained by Judicial Watch are a peek into what many legal scholars have warned is a totally corrupted, partisan Department of Justice. (Ed. note: emphasis in original)

Here is more of what she thinks of Mueller’s pick to be his top assistant, with some insight as to the reason for his selection of this particular “pit bull”, avid admirer and financial supporter of Hillary Clinton, and one who expressed his “awe” and pride of Sally Yates for defying a direct order of the President of the United States when she served as Acting Attorney General:

Manafort, a Trump associate, is simply a small step in Weissmann’s quest to impugn this presidency or to reverse the results of the 2016 election. Never mind that months of investigation by multiple entities have produced no evidence of “collusion.” Mueller’s rare, predawn raid of Manafort’s home — a fearsome treat usually reserved for mobsters and drug dealers — is textbook Weissmann terrorism. And of course, the details were leaked — another illegal tactic.

She follows with an excellent summary of Weissmann’s Storm Trooper tactics (my phrase, not hers, as I have expressed my opinion here earlier that I thought the Manafort raid by Mueller and Weissmann to be pure Gestapo tactics) in the case of the totally unjustified and frighteningly ruthless home invasion of Manafort’s home in the early, pre-dawn hours:

Weissmann is intent on indicting Manafort. It won’t matter that Manafort knows the Trump campaign did not collude with the Russians. Weissman will pressure Manafort to say whatever satisfies Weissmann’s perspective. Perjury is only that which differs from Weissmann’s “view” of the “evidence” — not the actual truth.

We all lose from Weissmann’s involvement. First, the truth plays no role in Weissmann’s quest. Second, respect for the rule of law, simple decency and following the facts do not appear in Weissmann’s playbook. Third, and most important, all Americans lose whenever our judicial system becomes a weapon to reward political friends and punish political foes.

It is long past the due date for Mueller to clean up his team — or Weissmann to resign — as a sign that the United States is a nation of laws that are far more important than one Weissmann. (Ed. note: published before Manafort’s indictment)

We often hear the expression “Don’t get too far into the weeds” when explaining something, and while that may be good advice in general, it simply does not apply in the matters covered by this book, as one cannot truly understand how deep the corruption goes with regard to the Enron cases– Arthur Andersen, Merrill Lynch, and those of a number of individuals, without getting deeply into the “weeds” of the these sometimes convoluted prosecutions. However, to sum up those matters which are proven in the book and as to which there is little or no dispute, here are a few of the “accomplishments” of this “God among prosecutors”:

  • Almost all of the cases in which he was involved were reversed either by the Supreme Court or the Courts of Appeal.
  • He, quite literally, created “crimes” out of thin air, the deficiencies of which were noted by then-Chief Justice Rehnquist, as noted above, in one of the many reversals of his “masterful” work as a prosecutor.
  • He sent one defendant, “guilty” of a non-crime, to a maximum security prison, including periods of solitary confinement, because he would not give testimony he insisted the defendant give.
  • He sent Ms. Powell’s client, Jim Brown, to prison for lying to a grand jury after instructing him to share with the grand jury whatever his “personal understanding” was — whether it was accurate or not. (p. 76)
  • His team of disgraces to the Bar kept her client under threat of further trials, appeals, returns to maximum security prison, for nine years, the entire teenage years of his children and one-fifth of his own lifespan.
  • Other persistent, deliberate, carefully planned acts of concealment of evidence and blatant and open intimidation of witnesses and defendants so deeply buried in “The Swamp” it took almost nine years of tirelessly hard work by many lawyers dedicated to the Rule of Law, like Ms. Powell, to unearth.

As noted in the foreword of the book, by Judge Alex Kozinsky, former, now retired, Chief Judge of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals:

Another important responsibility of prosecutors is to disclose to the defense any exculpatory information of which the government is aware. The Supreme Court announced this as a constitutional requirement in the 1963 case of Brady v. Maryland, and it has confirmed its underlying principles many times since.

…there is, as I’ve said elsewhere, ‘an epidemic of Brady violations abroad in the land.

For this reason, and in the interest of completeness, no discussion of the intricate web of dishonesty and corruption which has enveloped the Department of [In]Justice, as Ms. Powell sometimes refers to it, would be complete without noting the stellar example of Judge Emmet Sullivan in holding a number of prosecutors accountable for similar conduct in the trial of Senator Ted Stevens, RIP, in 2009. It bears noting, as potentially significant in the current “FISA-gate” scandal, that Judge Sullivan is the Judge who took over the Gen. Michael Flynn case after Judge Contreras was recused for reasons still unknown as of this writing.

Here, the Judge –one of the very few to do so– “took the bull by the horns” and called a number of prosecutors publicly–by name–to account for their corrupt practices in getting a guilty verdict against Sen. Stevens. In a hearing on April 7, 2009 (of such momentous importance that the author entitled one of the several chapters on the Stevens case “The Mother of all Hearings”) after announcing all charges had been withdrawn, Judge Sullivan announced:

Accordingly the court shall commence criminal contempt proceedings against the original prosecution team, including William Welch, Brenda Morris, Joseph Bottini, Nicholas Marsh, James Goeke, and Edward Sullivan … based on the failures of those prosecutors to comply with the court’s numerous orders and potential obstruction of justice.

The Court, again in a very rare action, appointed a Special Prosecutor who, after an investigation which spanned two years, turned in a 500-page report, excoriating the conduct of the prosecutors and recommending severe disciplinary action against them.

It is difficult to “get into the weeds” of these despicable acts of corruption and dishonesty and not have real, good-faith, legitimate questions about Mueller’s real agenda in hiring a “lawyer” (it makes me sick to have to acknowledge him as such) with such a well known reputation for out-of-control zealotry, not to mention a proven record of so many reversals–four by the Supreme Court alone! While no one knows where all this is going, no one has described the source of the stench it has raised better than the very courageous author of this book, in a recent article:

The federal swamp is deep, dense, and deceiving. It is infested with a corrupt cabal that protects its own, and it can’t be drained fast enough.

A corrupt cabal, indeed.

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There are 22 comments.

  1. Rodin Member

    “Tar and feathers” is too light a punishment for offenses of this sort. One can only hope a way will be found to bring Mr. Weissmann to account before his only judge is G-d.

    • #1
    • April 4, 2018, at 4:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  2. PHCheese Member

    Hillary should divorce Bill and marry Weissmann. They deserve each other.

    • #2
    • April 4, 2018, at 4:41 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  3. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    He is the type of lawyer that encourages the Shakespearean solution. A disgrace to the human race, and someone whose obituary should provoke laughter.

    • #3
    • April 4, 2018, at 4:44 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  4. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. I will be reading it.

    Looks like we have the perfect storm. Chief prosecutor (Mueller) focused above all on protecting the reputation of the institutions he’s been associated with – the FBI and DOJ, and with an unbounded remit from his buddy at DOJ. Staff lawyers consisting mostly of partisan Democrats. Some staff willing to cut any corner to get results that will promote themselves (a tendency of Justice Department lawyers under both D and R administrations.) In Weissmann we get a 2 for 1; hyper-partisan and unethical.

    • #4
    • April 4, 2018, at 5:05 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  5. James Gawron Thatcher

    Mr. George,

    Surely you are exaggerating about Mueller’s assistant. I mean just how bad could he be.

    ewww!

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #5
    • April 4, 2018, at 7:29 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  6. Guruforhire Member

    The lack of meaningful accountability is the most troubling part.

    • #6
    • April 5, 2018, at 6:47 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  7. cdor Member

    Mueller, who when appointed special council, was praised by left and right for his moral turpitude and straight shooter abilities, is, himself, of questionable ethical standard. I am not a legal historian, but it seems he allowed four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there, all of whom were later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution. Mueller and Comey, both, messed up the post 911 anthrax investigation that ended up causing horrific upheaval in the lives of those they incorrectly accused of guilt.

    I don’t remember you having mentioned the four Merrill Lynch executives who also spent a number of years in jail because of Weisman’s illegal shenanigans, which, later, were all overturned. 

    It is never surprisingly amazing to find another government official grossly misbehaving and/or breaking laws with impunity, while never doing much more penance than retiring with pensions in tact. Now we have McCabe, former FBI deputy chief, turning to Go Fund Me to rake in $500K after being fired for lying to his examiners in the FBI. General Flynn needs to play that game. He deserves to be compensated for what he has been through.

    • #7
    • April 5, 2018, at 7:49 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  8. Jim George Member
    Jim George Post author

    @cdor, Jim Brown, Ms Powell’s client, discussed in the post, was one of the Merrill Lynch executives.

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    Sincerely, Jim

    • #8
    • April 5, 2018, at 8:07 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  9. Gumby Mark (R-Meth Lab of Demo… Thatcher

    cdor (View Comment):

    Mueller, who when appointed special council, was praised by left and right for his moral turpitude and straight shooter abilities, is, himself, of questionable ethical standard. I am not a legal historian, but it seems he allowed four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there, all of whom were later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution.

    Thanks for reminding me of this. I was in Boston during those years and had my own unpleasant encounter with Robert Mueller, which I wrote about on Ricochet last year. The incident you are referring to is the notorious compromising of the local FBI and US Attorney offices by the murderous gangster Whitey Bulger, that lasted from the late 70s into the early 90s. During the early 80s Mueller headed the US Attorney’s criminal section in Boston and was responsible for coordinating with the FBI. In 86-87 he served as Acting US Attorney for Boston. In that role, he helped corrupt FBI agents protect Bulger, and also repeatedly wrote the state parole and pardon boards opposing parole and clemency for 4 men convicted of murder that he knew to be innocent, in order to protect FBI informants. These men were finally paroled after the Bulger scandal became public and they and their families were awarded $100 million in damages.

    This article from The Boston Globe provides more background.

     

    • #9
    • April 5, 2018, at 8:41 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  10. cdor Member

    There’s a saying: “Birds of a feather flock together.” The same is true, it seems, with scoundrels like Mueller and Weissmann.

    • #10
    • April 5, 2018, at 8:47 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  11. cdor Member

    And yet with both Comey and Mueller, praise was supposedly received from both sides of the aisle as being men above reproach, straight shooters, unimpeachable, and other glorious adjectives. They were both even called Republicans by the Democrats. Anyone could denounce the veracity of that claim simply because it was the Democrats making it. That never happens to any Republican, unless they actually behave like a Democrat…regardless of their basically unprovable claim of party fealty. One still hears these glorious bona fides thrown around Washington these days. It always raises the hair on my neck and tightens my sphincter when that happens. The only people that get unanimous praise these days are truly the crawley type with tails.

    • #11
    • April 5, 2018, at 9:14 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  12. Aaron Miller Member

    No mention of these lawless lawyers and investigators being disbarred or jailed, of course. 

    Steyn mused that a consequence of silencing just complaints is that the aggrieved look beyond words to express their anger. Likewise, the more commonly laws and courts are corrupted into partisan weapons, the more commonly citizens will pursue justice beyond the law. 

    While both parties indulge such corruption, there is little incentive for citizens to trust the system. 

    • #12
    • April 5, 2018, at 10:21 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  13. WillowSpring Member

    The day I heard of the raid on Manafort, I thought the Mueller case should be shut down. Those Gestapo tactics should have no role in our country. The ambush interview with Flynn (from what I understand, he thought the meeting was to coordinate the transition, so he had no lawyer present or opportunity to prepare) is a similar tactic.

    • #13
    • April 5, 2018, at 10:22 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  14. Rodin Member

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The day I heard of the raid on Manafort, I thought the Mueller case should be shut down. Those Gestapo tactics should have no role in our country. The ambush interview with Flynn (from what I understand, he thought the meeting was to coordinate the transition, so he had no lawyer present or opportunity to prepare) is a similar tactic.

    And it was only after the Mueller “team” had an opportunity to review the “notes” of that meeting was a crime discovered. The agents conducting the interview reportedly saw nothing said wrong by Flynn in the course of the interview.

    Aren’t we glad to have all these home “tattling” devices the data of which can be reviewed at some future date by someone “both sides of the aisle” would praise?

    • #14
    • April 5, 2018, at 10:29 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  15. Jim George Member
    Jim George Post author

    WillowSpring (View Comment):

    The day I heard of the raid on Manafort, I thought the Mueller case should be shut down. Those Gestapo tactics should have no role in our country. The ambush interview with Flynn (from what I understand, he thought the meeting was to coordinate the transition, so he had no lawyer present or opportunity to prepare) is a similar tactic.

    @willowspring, may I most respectfully refer you to my post entitled “Gestapo In America? It Couldn’t Happen Here” from which you will see that our sentiments are exactly the same on this very, very sordid exercise in Police State terror tactics. I followed that up with “Gestapo In America Follow-up: Letter to Members of Congress” and said letter got one very intelligent response from our Congressman, who is quite effective, one response from one of our Senators who proceeded to tell me how incredibly awesome Robert Mueller in each and every way, and no response, which is usual, from our other Senator.

    Why these lawyers on Mueller’s “team” have not been disbarred or, at the very least, severely disciplined, I will never understand.

    Thanks for your comment.

    Sincerely, Jim

     

    • #15
    • April 5, 2018, at 11:10 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  16. WillowSpring Member

    @jimgeorge – I saw that when you first posted it, but went back and reread it. You are right we do agree. It also sounds like you have the same distribution of representatives as I do. My representative – Barbara Comstock – R- will sometimes give me an answer. Senator Warner (D) will give me a canned response which totally misses the point and Senator Kaine (D) never responds.

    • #16
    • April 5, 2018, at 2:39 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  17. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    Jim George: recommending severe disciplinary action against them

    How about the death penalty or life in prison? 

    People who corrupt the law are far more injurious to the nation than garden variety criminals. 

    • #17
    • April 5, 2018, at 5:45 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  18. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    cdor (View Comment):
    four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there…later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution. 

    One of the things I have never understood is why the state pays the salary of the perpetrator of ‘profound errors’ and pays all the restitution to the victims of the profound errors. 

    • #18
    • April 5, 2018, at 5:50 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  19. cdor Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there…later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution.

    One of the things I have never understood is why the state pays the salary of the perpetrator of ‘profound errors’ and pays all the restitution to the victims of the profound errors.

    The State is, in that regard, similar to the owner of a business. If an employee, even through gross negligence, causes a libelous action against the business’ customer, the owner is totally responsible for both his employee and his customer. That’s why private businesses buy insurance. Our governments are insured by us.

    • #19
    • April 6, 2018, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    cdor (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there…later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution.

    One of the things I have never understood is why the state pays the salary of the perpetrator of ‘profound errors’ and pays all the restitution to the victims of the profound errors.

    The State is, in that regard, similar to the owner of a business. If an employee, even through gross negligence, causes a libelous action against the business’ customer, the owner is totally responsible for both his employee and his customer. That’s why private businesses buy insurance. Our governments are insured by us.

    Aye, but a business will often fire the employee or dock their pay. 

    • #20
    • April 6, 2018, at 12:06 PM PDT
    • Like
  21. cdor Member

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there…later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution.

    One of the things I have never understood is why the state pays the salary of the perpetrator of ‘profound errors’ and pays all the restitution to the victims of the profound errors.

    The State is, in that regard, similar to the owner of a business. If an employee, even through gross negligence, causes a libelous action against the business’ customer, the owner is totally responsible for both his employee and his customer. That’s why private businesses buy insurance. Our governments are insured by us.

    Aye, but a business will often fire the employee or dock their pay.

    Fire, yes @tba, dock their pay, ha…not unless you want even more lawsuits than you have already.

    • #21
    • April 6, 2018, at 1:07 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  22. TBA Coolidge
    TBA

    cdor (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):

    TBA (View Comment):

    cdor (View Comment):
    four people in Boston to rot in jail, one actually dying there…later proven not guilty and over 100 million dollars paid to them (and their families) as restitution for profound errors of prosecution.

    One of the things I have never understood is why the state pays the salary of the perpetrator of ‘profound errors’ and pays all the restitution to the victims of the profound errors.

    The State is, in that regard, similar to the owner of a business. If an employee, even through gross negligence, causes a libelous action against the business’ customer, the owner is totally responsible for both his employee and his customer. That’s why private businesses buy insurance. Our governments are insured by us.

    Aye, but a business will often fire the employee or dock their pay.

    Fire, yes @tba, dock their pay, ha…not unless you want even more lawsuits than you have already.

    Alas for us. 

    • #22
    • April 6, 2018, at 2:01 PM PDT
    • Like