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Fishing Expedition

Federal District Court Judge T.S. Eliss III, a Reagan appointee, gave Special Prosecutor Mueller a hard time in Court today by stating the obvious:

 

“I don’t see what relationship this indictment has with anything the special counsel is authorized to investigate,” U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III in the Eastern District of Virginia said.

At a tense hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Virginia, the judge said Mueller should not have “unfettered power” in his Russia probe and that the charges against Manafort did not arise from the investigation into Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

“It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special counsel has unfettered power to do whatever he wants,” said Ellis, who was appointed to the bench by Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Manafort is facing charges in both Virginia and Washington. The Virginia case charges him with offenses including tax and bank fraud.

The other case in Washington accuses him of conspiring to launder money and failing to register as a foreign agent when he lobbied for the pro-Russia Ukrainian government.

 

None of the charges relate, however, to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign or possible collusion with Russia. Trump has denied any collusion.

Manafort’s attorney Kevin Downing has argued that the charges must dismissed because the FBI investigation dates back to 2014, and therefore did not arise from Mueller’s probe.

The bulk of Friday’s questions by the judge were aimed squarely at Michael Dreeben, the deputy solicitor general who is currently working in Mueller’s office.

 

Go here to read the rest.  There never was anything to the allegation that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.  Mueller has thus been on  a fishing expedition for more than a year and a half in which he prosecutes former members of the Trump campaign in hopes that, in return for leniency involving offensives unrelated to the Trump campaign, they will reveal something criminal about Trump.  This stinks to high heaven and Judge Ellis realizes that.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

7 Comments

  1. Great photo; Lady Justice carefully framed on Justice Eliss’ shoulder.

    That is the heart of the matter.

  2. That photo is actually of former Rep. William Jefferson, whose case for corruption Judge Ellis heard. No need to post this in combox, just an FYI.

  3. The FBI finally coughed up the memoranda wherein the investigation into ‘Russian interference’ and ‘collusion’ was authorized. They were dated July 2016. The FISA warrants were obtained in October 2016.

    The Whitewater investigations began in January 1994 and had their last notable accomplishment (an agreement by James McDougal to cooperate with the investigation) in April 1997 (39 months). The interminable Iran-Contra investigations began in October 1986 and had their last notable accomplishment (the conviction of John Poindexter) in April 1990 (42 months). The Watergate investigations began in June 1972 and had their last notable accomplishment (the conviction of Messrs. Haldeman, Ehrlichman, Mitchell, and Mardian) in January 1975 (31 months). The shortest distance from indictment to conviction logged was 9 months (in the case of Gov. Tucker and the McDougals during whitewater). The math: 42-9 = 33 months. That takes us to April 2019. In 21 months of ‘investigating’, we have this sketchy indictment (in regard to a matter which could have been handled by the Criminal Division or the U.S. Attorney), another sketchy indictment of a mess of Russian internet trolls (whom they cannot even serve), and indictments for a mess of minor process crimes. They are hunting a snark.

  4. Look at the principals: James Comey (60% of his legal career spent in the employ of the Department of Justice; appointed FBI director in 2013 after 0 years of police work), Robert Mueller (70% of his legal career spent in the employ of the Department of Justice; appointed FBI director in 2001 after 0 years of police work), and Rod Rosenstein (> 90% of his career in the employ of the Department of Justice). The conduct of Rosenstein throughout suggests this business is his baby.

  5. Isn’t this the case where armed FBI agents break the Manaforts’ door down early in the morning while they are still asleep, and the FBI rummage throughout looking for evidence? Over reach in the extreme for the charges.

  6. Supposedly, Mr. Manafort had reputable counsel supplying information on request.

    The script for this was written during the interminable John Doe investigations in Wisconsin.

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