The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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N.E. Brigand
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 10:38 pm
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 7:56 pm I don't think that there will be ANY prosecutions of ANY Trump administration officials by the Biden/Garland Justice Department.
This may prove to be correct. But the manager of Trump's inaugural committee, Tom Barrack, today was indicted for being an unregistered foreign agent.

Edited to add: Barrack allegedly was acting as an agent of the United Arab Emirates. The indictment apparently doesn't mention this, but per the New York Times, Barrack's firm was paid $1.5 billion by that nation from 2016 to 2019. I wonder if that investment paid off.
According to this piece at CNBC, Barrack may attempt to "graymail" the government in order to avoid prosecution.

Graymail is a kind of legal blackmail that defendants can use in cases involving secret information. Basically the defendant argues that a full understanding of his case relies on sensitive material that will have to come out in court. And the government decides that more harm would come from the public exposure of that material than from the defendant getting away with his crimes.

However, prosecutors likely have anticipated Barrack using this tactic. One sign suggesting this, according to the article, is that the indictment describes activities only in 2016 and 2017, charging that Barrack and his alleged co-conspirators tried at that time to improperly affect U.S. policy to benefit the UAE. But the indictment never discusses the defendants' subsequent activities or whether they succeeded in doing so. A prosecution that covered later events would risk revealing state secrets (particularly if the U.S. did in fact change its stance in the Middle East due to Barrack's efforts).
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:10 am
N.E. Brigand wrote:
Voronwë the Faithful wrote:As for the question of whether the Biden administration will just turn over the tax returns without a court order and without agreement from Trump's team (which of course will never happen), that is another question that will need to be addressed by He-Who-Is-Finally-Getting-A-Senate-Justice-Committee-Hearing-Today. But I guess that the answer is no, they won't turn them over without a court order, nor should they.
Where's the exception in 26 U.S. Code § 6103 that says that the IRS Secretary Charles Rettig had the option of not complying in this case because Chairman Neal's request was for President Trump's returns? The 1924 law was written specifically because the IRS had refused to give tax information about top government officials to Congress. It says "shall" not "may." There's no interpretative wiggle room that I can see (this is part (f)):
Upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request, except that any return or return information which can be associated with, or otherwise identify, directly or indirectly, a particular taxpayer shall be furnished to such committee only when sitting in closed executive session unless such taxpayer otherwise consents in writing to such disclosure.
Neal's request was very carefully written to comply with this language, and to me, it looks like Rettig broke this law, and I don't see why he should go unpunished.

I'm generally in favor of merciful application of the law, but the more powerful a person is, the more accountability they should face. That said, let me anticipate one potentially very serious problem with my position: so far, I don't see any language indicating what the punishment is for breaking this law. "Stop, or I'll say 'stop' again!"
As I am sure that you are aware, there are different kinds of "laws". Some are expressly criminal statutes that have no other purpose than to establish what are crimes, and what the potential punishment for those crimes are. Others are not expressly criminal statutes, but still provide specific punishments for violations of the duties or prohibitions. Most, however, do not provide any punishment for not doing the things that they require (or doing the things they prohibit). There are still circumstances where someone can be punished for violating such statutes (usually by holding the person in contempt) but that is (and should be) rarely done). In this case, Mnuchin was following a legal guidance issued by the Justice Department that made (despite the inclusion of the word "shall" in the relevant subsection, (f)(1) ("upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request ...") what I consider to be a cognizable argument. I believe the argument is flatly wrong, but it is at least a cognizable argument (unlike the arguments made by the attorneys representing Trump and the others challenging the 2020 election, for instance). That is why I do not believe that anyone should have been prosecuted for failing to turn over the tax returns.
As I said back in February, I appreciate you explaining this so carefully. But I also wrote this:
My position is this: the presumption of regularity went out the window when Donald Trump became president, and everyone's default assumption should be that all explanations for actions taken by the executive branch of the federal government with respect to Donald Trump himself from January 2017 through January 2021 were pretextual falsehoods. (This was also sometimes the case in matters not directly touching on Trump, as in the census litigation.) Steven Mnuchin should have assumed that the Dept. of Justice guidance claiming that Neal shouldn't get the returns was untrue. The rest of us knew it was a fig leaf at best!
Today the Dept. of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel issued an Opinion that says "The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information ... Under section 6103(f)(1), Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee."

The new Opinion also says that the Opinion issued in 2019 "went astray ... in suggesting that the Executive Branch should closely scrutinize the Committee’s stated justifications for its requests in a manner that failed to accord the respect and deference due a coordinate branch of government" and that it "also failed to give due weight to the fact that the Committee was acting pursuant to a carefully crafted statute that reflects a judgment by the political branches, going back nearly a century, that the congressional tax committees should have special access to tax information given their roles in overseeing the national tax system. Particularly in light of this special statutory authority, Treasury should conclude that a facially valid tax committee request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose only in exceptional circumstances."

They're not going to come out and say what I did, but let's not kid ourselves. The previous Opinion was written to protect President Trump.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Of course it was. And the new opinion of the DOJ accords with what I wrote back in February when I said that I thought the old opinion was "flatly wrong". But it doesn't change the fact that no one will or should go to jail for that.

I love this line in the TPM article: "Neal celebrated the victory in a characteristically drab statement."
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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This may or may not be about Trump's scandals.

Per this article from the Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Justice says that the Russia's "SolarWinds" hacking campaign in 2020 successfully broke into the email accounts in mutliple U.S. Attorney's offices, including 80% of the emails accounts of federal prosecutors in New York. What could that mean? Well:

"Jennifer Rodgers, a lecturer at Columbia Law School, said office emails frequently contained all sorts of sensitive information, including case strategy discussions and names of confidential informants, when she was a federal prosecutor in New York."

The Russian hackers might have been curious about any number of cases, but among the cases being handled in those officeas are some with connections to Trump and Russia, including the investigation of Rudy Giuliani.

Among other U.S. Attorney's offices where some prosecutors' emails were hacked are Washington D.C. and the Eastern District of Virginia.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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N.E. Brigand wrote: Fri Jul 30, 2021 8:03 pm
Voronwë the Faithful wrote: Tue Feb 23, 2021 3:10 am
N.E. Brigand wrote: Where's the exception in 26 U.S. Code § 6103 that says that the IRS Secretary Charles Rettig had the option of not complying in this case because Chairman Neal's request was for President Trump's returns? The 1924 law was written specifically because the IRS had refused to give tax information about top government officials to Congress. It says "shall" not "may." There's no interpretative wiggle room that I can see (this is part (f)):

Neal's request was very carefully written to comply with this language, and to me, it looks like Rettig broke this law, and I don't see why he should go unpunished.

I'm generally in favor of merciful application of the law, but the more powerful a person is, the more accountability they should face. That said, let me anticipate one potentially very serious problem with my position: so far, I don't see any language indicating what the punishment is for breaking this law. "Stop, or I'll say 'stop' again!"
As I am sure that you are aware, there are different kinds of "laws". Some are expressly criminal statutes that have no other purpose than to establish what are crimes, and what the potential punishment for those crimes are. Others are not expressly criminal statutes, but still provide specific punishments for violations of the duties or prohibitions. Most, however, do not provide any punishment for not doing the things that they require (or doing the things they prohibit). There are still circumstances where someone can be punished for violating such statutes (usually by holding the person in contempt) but that is (and should be) rarely done). In this case, Mnuchin was following a legal guidance issued by the Justice Department that made (despite the inclusion of the word "shall" in the relevant subsection, (f)(1) ("upon written request from the chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, the chairman of the Committee on Finance of the Senate, or the chairman of the Joint Committee on Taxation, the Secretary shall furnish such committee with any return or return information specified in such request ...") what I consider to be a cognizable argument. I believe the argument is flatly wrong, but it is at least a cognizable argument (unlike the arguments made by the attorneys representing Trump and the others challenging the 2020 election, for instance). That is why I do not believe that anyone should have been prosecuted for failing to turn over the tax returns.
As I said back in February, I appreciate you explaining this so carefully. But I also wrote this:
My position is this: the presumption of regularity went out the window when Donald Trump became president, and everyone's default assumption should be that all explanations for actions taken by the executive branch of the federal government with respect to Donald Trump himself from January 2017 through January 2021 were pretextual falsehoods. (This was also sometimes the case in matters not directly touching on Trump, as in the census litigation.) Steven Mnuchin should have assumed that the Dept. of Justice guidance claiming that Neal shouldn't get the returns was untrue. The rest of us knew it was a fig leaf at best!
Today the Dept. of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel issued an Opinion that says "The Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee has invoked sufficient reasons for requesting the former President’s tax information ... Under section 6103(f)(1), Treasury must furnish the information to the Committee."

The new Opinion also says that the Opinion issued in 2019 "went astray ... in suggesting that the Executive Branch should closely scrutinize the Committee’s stated justifications for its requests in a manner that failed to accord the respect and deference due a coordinate branch of government" and that it "also failed to give due weight to the fact that the Committee was acting pursuant to a carefully crafted statute that reflects a judgment by the political branches, going back nearly a century, that the congressional tax committees should have special access to tax information given their roles in overseeing the national tax system. Particularly in light of this special statutory authority, Treasury should conclude that a facially valid tax committee request lacks a legitimate legislative purpose only in exceptional circumstances."

They're not going to come out and say what I did, but let's not kid ourselves. The previous Opinion was written to protect President Trump.
As expected, Trump's legal team is attempting to block the release of his returns and has also requested that the effort to obtain his returns be ended. Trevor McFadden, the judge overseeing the case, is a Trump-appointee who has made some pretty controversial decisions in his brief tenure, including ruling (contrary to precedent and common sense) that the House did not have the authority to challenge the Trump administration's diverting of funding of military construction and counter-drug appropriations to build a wall along the U.S.–Mexico border, and allowing accused 1/6 insurrectionist Jenny Cudd to travel to the Mexican Riviera.

So don't expect the House (or the rest of us) to get to see Trump's tax returns any time soon. Or ever.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Judge McFadden granted the motion of the House Ways and Means Committee to dismiss its Complaint against the Treasury Department based on the Department's assertion that it accepts the new Justice Department OLC Opinion and believes the returns should be turned over, subject to the resolution of Trump's challenge. The judge also set a telephone hearing for Monday, presumably to set a briefing schedule on that challenge. The Committee and the Department have asked for a fast resolution; Trump has asked for discovery and a more extended briefing schedule.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Judge McFadden set a hearing date of November 8, largely granting the Trump team what they asked for and rejecting the requests of both the House Ways and Means Committee and the Treasury Department for a much more expedited briefing schedule. They had requested a hearing date of September 28 while the Trump team requested 90 days to conduct discovery, which it appears the judge has granted (though only a brief minute entry regarding the proceedings today currently appears in the docket, so it is not 100% clear what was ordered).
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Meanwhile, in the *other* case in which House Democrats are seeking Trump's tax returns, a different Federal judge, District Judge Amit Mehta (an Obama appointee) has ruled that they are entitled to get Trump's tax returns from when he was in office, but not from before that time. This is the case in which the House Oversight Committee subpoenaed records from Mazars USA, Ltd, Trump's accounting firm and eventually reached the Supreme Court, which ruled 7-2 that they were not entitled to the records but could try again if they made specific showings that there was a genuine legislative purpose to the requests.

"The Committee has presented 'detailed and substantial' evidence that President Trump, at least through his business interests, likely received foreign payments during the term of his presidency," Mehta wrote regarding the Emoluments Clause, which bars the acceptance of gifts from foreign nations without congressional approval. The judge noted the Trump Organization gave to the Treasury Department more than $400,000 in payments during Trump's presidency, "validating the Committee's belief that President Trump's business received some foreign payments during his presidency."
"The Committee therefore is not engaged in a baseless fishing expedition."

But Mehta said the committee couldn't get tax records about Trump that date from before his presidency back to 2011. Mehta said that the justifications offered by the House committee for the other records it subpoenaed, which the committee said it needed for potential legislation around presidential financial disclosures, "does not warrant disclosure of President Trump's personal and corporate financial records when balanced against the separation of powers concerns raised by the broad scope of its subpoena."
https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/11/politics ... index.html

Presumably, Trump will once again appeal this decision and request a stay until that appeal is resolved.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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As expected, Trump has filed an appeal of that decision.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Newly unsealed documents appear to show that the Mueller investigation's working theory, at least as late as February 2019, was that the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government by providing internal campaign information for Russia to use to target American voters, in exchange for which Trump, if elected, would endorse Russia's takeover of parts of Ukraine.

In other words, basically what it's looked like to most observers for the better part of five years now. It has been previously reported, via various court filings, reports from the Senate Intelligence Committee, and a U.S. intelligence assessment issued earlier this year in support of sanctions, that Donald Trump's campaign chair, Paul Manafort, shared internal campaign information with Konstantin Kilimnik, that Kilimnik is a Russian spy, that Kilimnik provided that information to the Russian government, and that Kilimnik in 2020 was part of a Russian government operation to disseminate misinformation about Joe Biden in an effort by the Russian government to help Donald Trump win reelection.

In today's release, we learn that Andrew Weissmann, a top member of Robert Mueller's team, told Judge Amy Berman Jackson in a February 2019 hearing in Manafort's case that the information Manafort provided by Kilimnik had in fact been sent along to someone "who the defendant conceded is extremely close to the senior leader in Russia". (The name is redacted. My first guess would be Oleg Deripaska, but who knows.) In that hearing, Judge Jackson further added that the Special Counsel's theory was that in exchange for helping Trump win in 2016, Russia would "control what would be an autonomous region of the eastern Ukraine."

I suppose there's some comfort in knowing that Mueller's team was at least trying to prove what we all thought was the case. He failed in part because, as he says in his report, members of the Trump campaign, including Manafort, "lied" to investigators.

What I find most alarming is that Mueller issued his report just a month after this hearing. It looks like he just gave up.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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I wasn't posting here when the Mueller report was released, so belatedy kudos, Voronwë, for your very measured and very insightful comments at the time. I particularly liked your observation, on the very day the report was finally released, that it "details in great length the fact that Trump, his campaign, and his associates DID collude with the Russian interference in the election to his benefit, but that that collusion did not rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy. That is a stunning conclusion and one that is largely being swept under the carpet." (And now we know that Mueller's team was still conducting a conspiracy investigation just a month earlier, seemingly right up to the time that Bill Barr became Attorney General.) Unfortunately, that stunning conclusion largely failed to permeate the national consciousness. Barr's efforts to spin the report worked. In this, he was aided by a gullible media, as for example by the New York Times, which on Mar. 24, 2019 published a "news analysis" by one of their top reporters, Peter Baker, titled "A Cloud Over Trump's Presidency Is Lifted," based entirely on Barr's summary, with sentences like this: "Mr. Mueller’s team confirmed that Russia did try to tilt the election to Mr. Trump, but its conclusion that he did not conspire with the effort may ease the way for Mr. Trump to reorient American foreign policy toward Moscow and its strongman president, Vladimir V. Putin, without as much concern about domestic consequences." In fact, Trump colluded (and Mueller apparently still suspected that collusion was criminal), but most people don't know it.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Thanks for the kudos. You are so right when you say "Barr's efforts to spin the report worked." But it worked because the population (and the media, as you note) allowed it to work. For the same reasons that allowed Trump to be elected in the first place.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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In another thread recently, I wrote:
N.E. Brigand wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 8:09 am I am not certain, as it happens, that Democrats were correct in not impeaching Trump for obstructing the Russia investigation. Because Repblicans controlled Congress, there had been almost no public testimony about that scandal during Trump's first two years. Michael Cohen's testimony, just weeks before Mueller's report was submitted to Barr and not long before Cohen reported to prison, was seen by a lot of people who hadn't paid attention to reports on Mueller's investigation, and it was damning and suggested further avenues of investigation (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in particular did a nice job of asking useful questions). A full-bore impeachment investigation changed public opinion during Watergate; it might again have done so in this case. It's possible that the public, upon seeing, e.g., Donald Trump Jr. take the Fifth Amendment when asked about his 2016 meeting with someone he knew to be a representative of the Russian government offering dirt on his father's opponent, would begin to understand the gravity of what had occured. On the other hand, Robert Mueller's testimony in July 2019, because he was limited to repeating points in his report (though even some of those points exposed how few people had read Mueller's report), showed the risks that Democrats faced. Also we've seen that an intransigent White House can block Congress's access to witnesses and evidence for years, and Congress has no way to enforce subpoenas on its own.
One of the questions that Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez asked Michael Cohen during his House testimony in 2019 was: who else would have information about Donald Trump's alleged financial crimes. And one of the people that Cohen identified was Matthew Calimari Sr., the COO at Trump Org.

The Wall Street Journal reports today that Matthew Calimari's son, Matthew Calimari, Jr., who is the head of Trump Org. security, has been subpoenaed by the grand jury in the Trump Organization investigation. So has Jeff McConney, another Trump Org. executive, who had previously testified in July and who, perhaps coincidentally, prepared the personal tax returns of Matthew Calimari, Sr.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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In 2014, a bipartisan Senate committee claimed that a hedge fund called Renaissance Technologies LLP had underpaid its taxes for years. The matter reportedly has been under investigation since then. Some observers had expressed doubts about whether there would ever be accountability. Today the IRS announced that a settlement had been reached and that Renaissance would pay back taxes for 2005 through 2015.

$7 billion in back taxes.

The reason I'm posting this here is that the co-CEO of Renaissance from 2009 to 2017 was Robert Mercer (and he'd been with the fund since 1993). Mercer has long been a significant contributor to Republican political campaigns, and it's been reported that in 2016 he was the single largest donor in the presidential race. He initially backed Ted Cruz but later invested heavily in supporting Donald Trump. Both Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway joined the Trump campaign because of their connections to Mercer (and his daughter Rebekah). The Mercers also were partial owners of the data firm Cambridge Analytica, which played a role in both Brexit and the 2016 presidential election.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Donald Trump is in talks to sell his D.C. hotel.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Does Durham stay on for another six months to a year until Sussmans's trial?

Or as with Mueller, will he have stepped down by then, even though some cases he started had yet to go to trial?

And if so, will DOJ continue to pursue the Sussmann case?

My suspicion is that Durham knows the case is a loser, and he plans to be long gone before Garland eventually has to drop it, and then Republicans can claim that Biden's DOJ is covering up a scandal.
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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My guess is that he will eventually be offered a plea deal with no jail time, and that will be that.

For those who are wondering what we are talking about:

Special counsel named by Trump DOJ charges Democratic lawyer Sussmann with false statement to FBI
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

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Here's the indictment against Michael Sussmann.

Before I discuss it, a reminder about the context:

(1) The FBI launched an investigation into the Trump campaign's connections with Russia in July 2016 because a Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos, had boasted in London to an Australian diplomat in May 2016, two months before Democratic emails began to be leaked that summer, that Russia had stolen emails from the Democrats.

(2) Trump had been in negotiations with Russian entities since late 2015 about building a tower in Moscow -- a project that would have required the lifting of U.S. sanctions on Russia to move forward -- but he was telling the American public that he had no business dealings with Russia.

(3) Trump's campaign manager in August 2016 gave sensitive campaign data to a Russian spy.

(4) Trump's son, son-in-law, and campaign manager in June 2016 had taken a meeting with someone they believed to be a representative of the Russian government offering supposedly damaging information on Hillary Clinton, and in that meeting they agreed to revisit the question of U.S. sanctions on Russia if Trump was elected to the presidency.

Almost none of the above was known publicly until 2017; items 2, 3, and 4 weren't even known to the FBI until 2017. All that was known publicly in 2016 was that (1) Russia had apparently stolen Democratic emails and Wikileaks was releasing those emails in an apparent effort to hurt the Clinton campaign and (2) Donald Trump had made a number of positive statements about Russia and Putin and had publicly encouraged Russia to locate Hillary Clinton's emails. But it was perfectly reasonable to be suspicious about Donald Trump's connections to Russia.

The goal of John Durham's investigation (which has lasted six months longer than Robert Mueller's investigation), and of the new indictment, seems to be to suggest that the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign was launched under false pretenses. But here's what it says:

In September 2016, Michael Sussmann, a Perkins Coie lawyer who worked for a big tech company executive and for the Hillary Clinton campaign, among others, first went to the media, and then went to the FBI with what he claimed was evidence, provided to him by tech researchers, that there was potentially suspicious activity between a server in Trump Tower and a server at Alfa Bank, a Russian bank with ties to the Kremlin: the Trump Tower server pinged the Alfa Bank server about 2,700 times over three months in spring-summer 2016. The evidence was real, but even the researchers who assembled it weren't sure what it actually meant. The FBI began to investigate. Eventually the FBI determined that the Trump Tower server was actually owned by a telemarketing firm that regularly sent out advertising messages on behalf of the Trump Organization and numerous other companies. (Mind you, there's never been a clear explanation for why they'd spam a Russian bank. Personally I think it's possible that it happened as part of a deliberate disinformation campaign to undermine the investigations into actual connections between Russia and Trump, but who knows.) News of the investigation leaked in late October 2016, although the articles that resulted were a mixed bag if the goal had been to hurt Trump's electoral chances: the most prominent story that referenced the case said that the FBI hadn't been able to identify any suspicious connections between Trump and Russia.

The indictment claims that Sussmann told the FBI that he wasn't working for any client. The indictment's evidence for this is that after Sussmann spoke to the FBI, the FBI agent he spoke with -- who now says he doesn't remember if Sussmann told him he whether or not he was there representing a client -- talked to another FBI agent about the meeting, and that second agent, who was not in the first meeting, took notes about the second meeting, in which he wrote:
Michael Sussman - Atty: Perkins Coie -- said not doing this for any client
- Represents DNC, Clinton Foundation, etc.
- Been approached by Prominent Cyber People (Academic or Corp. POCs)
---People like: [three names redacted in inidctment]
But in fact, the indictment says, Sussmann was representing the tech executive, who had led an effort to seek out derogatory information about Trump, and the Clinton campaign, which Sussmann had repeatedly apprised concerning the information provided to him by the tech executive about what he had learned. And a few months later, after the election, Sussmann approached employees of a different U.S. agency and told them that he had more information about the server that he was disseminating at the behest of his client. Then later still, when Sussmann testified under oath to Congress, he said that he went to the FBI "on behalf of my client." Thus, the indictment claims, Sussmann lied by telling the FBI that he wasn't there on behalf of a client.

If in fact, that's what he told the FBI.

And Sussmann's supposed lie is material, the indictment claims, because if the FBI had known that Sussmann might have political motives, they would have treated the information he brought with more skepticism.

If this goes to court, isn't it Sussmann's word against that of someone who wasn't even there? Doesn't it play out essentially like this?

Q: Did Sussmann tell the FBI that he was representing a client?
Sussmann: Yes.
Agent #1: I don't remember.
Agent #2: I wasn't there, but Agent #1 said he didn't.
Susssmann's attorney: Objection: hearsay.
Judge: Sustained. Case dismissed.


On top of which, given that agent #2 wrote that Sussmann worked for the Democrats and the Clintons, it's really hard to claim that the poor ignorant FBI would have acted differently if only they knew that Sussmann might have political motives.

What's more, the indictment quotes the tech executive as saying to his researchers, prior to sharing the information with Sussman, that they were "looking for a true story that could be used as the basis for closer examination." So they explicitly didn't want to bring information to the press or the FBI unless they believed it was real.

I get that, as the saying goes, "You can beat the rap but you can't beat the ride," and Sussmann may, as Voronwë anticipates, plead out just to avoid wasting a year of his life, but it's not at all clear to me that he ever lied in the first place, and it's even less clear that if he did lie, that it was material.
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Voronwë the Faithful
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Re: The Russia Investigations and other Trump-related cases

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Trump Org Prosecutors Find New Evidence—in a Basement

Whether any of this means anything, only time will tell.
"Among the tales of sorrow there are yet some in which amid weeping there is joy and under the shadow of death light that endures."
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