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Thu Nov 8, 2018, 12:02 AM

A very good read from Lawfare blog on Sessions, Whitaker, Mueller



To an extent, Mueller has protected himself already by distributing key elements of his investigation. As the probe has matured over time, the special counsel’s office—and Rosenstein, in his role as acting attorney general for the purposes of the Russia investigation—has chosen to spin off aspects of the investigation to independent components overseen by different entities in the Justice Department. Most prominently, the investigation into Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen reportedly began with Mueller but was referred to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. (There is also a related state-level investigation by the New York attorney general into the Trump Organization, sparked by the Cohen probe.) There are also the cases against accused Russian spy Maria Butina and alleged troll-farm accountant Elena Khusyaynova, both investigations into alleged Russian election interference conducted by U.S. attorneys in conjunction with the Justice Department’s National Security Division.
The result of this distribution is that firing Mueller would not eliminate the investigations into the president, his associates and Russian interference in U.S. elections.

Mueller has had a long time to prepare for this moment, and he may have more up his sleeve. Trump, after all, has been signaling his intention to get rid of Sessions, Rosenstein or both for many months. He has even signaled interest in putting Whitaker in charge of the probe. Shocking as Sessions’s departure is, it is not surprising. And Mueller will not have been surprised. He will no doubt be prepared.

Mueller has one more tool that we know of: Christopher Wray. Wray and Mueller have worked together before in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush. Wray, despite the circumstances of his appointment as FBI director, has shown himself to be serious about the responsibilities of the job, and he has reportedly threatened resignation over White House interference in law enforcement at least once before. It is not out of the question that he might do so again—or carry out the threat—should the integrity of the Mueller investigation be endangered.

Congress has tools as well. Writing on Twitter, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman noted:

Trump would face no serious threat of investigation if not for the incoming Democratic majority in the House of Representatives. Given the election results, Trump is poking a bear that is already agitated. The Congress taking office in January 2019 is already inclined to hold the president to account. So Wednesday’s move is an especially aggressive poke. Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler has already promised an investigation of Sessions’s removal. Incoming House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings denounced Whitaker’s role overseeing Mueller as “wholly inappropriate” and asked the Justice Department to prepare documents on the matter for a future congressional inquiry. And incoming House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff stated that, “If the President seeks to interfere in the impartial administration of justice, the Congress must stop him.”

. . . nore

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Reply A very good read from Lawfare blog on Sessions, Whitaker, Mueller (Original post)
swag Nov 8 OP
mucifer Nov 8 #1
marybourg Nov 8 #2

Response to swag (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 12:07 AM

1. yup televised hearings in the House with Mueller.

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Response to swag (Original post)

Thu Nov 8, 2018, 12:09 AM

2. Keep in mind that all the U.S. Attorneys serve at the pleasure

of the President. They are not immune from his machinations. Remember Preet Bahara?

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