The Washington Post is reporting that Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election has now expanded to look into whether President Donald Trump attempted to obstruct justice. What is most notable is not the investigation of obstruction of justice. Rather it is the fact of the leak that is alarming. Former FBI Director James Comey (who followed Mueller at the Bureau and has had a long relationship with Mueller) just admitted to leaking damaging information against Trump. Comey, who was tasked with investigating leakers, became a leaker himself. Now, the Special Counsel’s office is accused by Trump’s counsel of leaking informing damaging to Trump — an office that could be asked to consider unauthorized leaks as part of its investigation. While such leaks could come from witnesses, those witnesses appear in large part high-ranking members of the Trump administration unless they came from a briefing with members of Congress.
The leak became a torrent with the disclosure that Daniel Coats, the current director of national intelligence, Adm. Mike Rogers, the head of the National Security Agency and Richard Ledgett, Rogers’ departed deputy, all agreed to participate in interviews with Mueller’s investigators as part of the investigation.
My concern with the leak is that it seems so strategically placed. Just days after a story that Trump was considering the termination of Mueller, the Washington Post is reporting a leak that Mueller is now investigating Trump. That would make it even more difficult to fire Mueller (which would be a truly moronic move at this point anyway). Leaks are also problematic because of Mueller’s controversial history with Comey. When he was appointed, I noted that he would not be viewed as neutral by the Trump team. He shares a long history and friendship with Comey. For that reason, he was a curious choice — a choice made even more controversial with the rising importance of Comey to the investigation.
As noted earlier, the appointment of a Special Counsel and the investigation in obstruction of justice was made virtually inevitable with the firing of James Comey. However, given the allegations of leaks as part of this scandal, it would be alarming if the Special Counsel or his staff are engaging in their own self-serving leaks.
The news of the expansion of the investigation should push the White House toward more strategic thinking rather than simple tactical moves. The White House enraged many after the Senate hearing by having cabinet level officials — three — refuse to answer questions without a formal invocation of executive privilege. Mueller is now likely to get the answers to these questions. As I mentioned in a recent column, Attorney General Sessions should have stated an intention to confirm whether he has permission to discuss presidential communications or has a formal invocation of privilege. Absent an answer or an invocation, he risks a finding of contempt. Moreover, these three appearances reinforced the image that the Trump White House has something to hide. Sessions should have had a formal invocation in hand given the two prior witnesses and their refusal to answer questions.
It is often better to be your own messenger at times like this. If these communications are going to be revealed, the White House should be the vehicle for the disclosure. While the information might be negative, the waiving of privilege vis-a-vis Congress would undermine claims of obstruction. If reports are true that Coats told staff that Trump had tried to get him to intervene with Comey, it would reinforce Comey’s own recollection of his meeting with Trump.
The leak was clearly designed to put Trump and the public on notice — making any moves by Trump against the investigation more problematic and potentially incriminating. Trump cannot afford to add evidence of the use of his office to obstruct or harass the various investigation. If Mueller decides that the statements made in the Trump meetings could constitute evidence in a criminal investigation, he would likely prevail in getting the information. The issue therefore is whether Trump wants to be forced into disclosing this information or doing so voluntarily.
What do you think?
82 thoughts on “Did The Special Counsel’s Office Just Leak Against Trump?”
Special counsel was inevitable after the firing of a pos? Only on the planet of idiots!
I think this was orchestrated by Comey as a way to name Mueller as Specal Investigator. And Mueller was in on the Orchestration! This is all about DC insiders being blindsided by Trump, the ultimate outsider
I think the best defense is a good offense, and Comey left the Dems wide-open for a great move by Trump’s DOJ in his testimony last week. Trump should have his guys, Sessions or Rosenstein, appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the way the FBI and the DOJ handled the investigation into Clinton’s emails. The new info that Comey dropped, along with the fact that the official reason for firing Comey was his incompetent handling of this issue, and the people who are threatening Trump will realize that the tables can b turned. Time for Trump to play hardball.
Conspiracy is a consultation or agreement between two or more persons, either falsely to accuse another of a crime punishable by law; or wrongfully to injure or prejudice a third person, or any body of men, in any manner; or to commit any offense punishable by law; or to do any act with intent to prevent the course of justice; or to effect a legal purpose with a corrupt intent, or by improper means.
Hawk. P. C. c. 72.
Law Dictionary (Black’s Law Dictionary)
Conspiracy is what the “deep state” government is engaged in.
President Trump was duly elected by the SOVEREIGN, the People.
The “deep state” government, the SUBJECT of the SOVEREIGN, is not happy.
The “deep state” government, ruling class, establishment, redistributionist, globalist,
liberal DINO/RINO’s are the conspirators.
The Constitution is the victim of the conspirators.
“That would make it even more difficult to fire Mueller (which would be a truly moronic move at this point anyway). ”
What, you think a moronic person (Trump) would not do a moronic move? Sheeeeesh.
I don’t know what the odds are of Trump firing Mueller.
My guess is that it’s at least being considered by the Trump administration, and I’d guess that the odds are maybe 1-in-3 that Trump will fire Rosenstein and Mueller.
Nixon was already on the ropes when the “Saturday Night Massacre” happened in October 1973.
With factors like gas lines, stagflation and the Arab oil embargo, Nixon faced 8extraneous factors working against him beyond the mounting evidence of his involvement in the Watergate coverup.
I think it’s a mistake to assume that to public reaction to a “Trump massacre” would be the same as the reaction Nixon got 44 years ago.
It seems likely to me that Trump is at least considering cleaning house in a move comparable to the “Saturday Night Massacre”.
But I wouldn’t bet that Trump would experience the same kind of blowback that Nixon experienced in 1973.
Could Trump line up behind him all the legal eagles (a la Obama) wen firing Mueller? The people’s money being wasted, and unlimited. Point out all investigators are connected to Dems one way or another. OR, and this is really sneaky, have Ryan put on a phony hearing, impeach, go to Senate and fail.
The People vs. The Globalist “Deep State”
Conservatives have been sold on the fraud that Mueller commands respect for his
impeccable honor and integrity.
He’s a Bush man
(recall the Bush and Clinton dynasties which America halted in the last election).
Bush told us there were WMD in Iraq.
Mueller should have stopped this investigation when the “collusion” with Russia
proved to be non-existent, false and contrived.
Instead, Mueller created additional false charges around a crime which had not occurred
and plans to prosecute Trump because Trump won the election, defeating hapless Hillary,
and fired Mueller’s best friend and golfing buddy,
the respectable and honorable man of unassailable integrity, James Comey.
Yep! That James Comey.
If you buy the tale that Mueller is objective, honorable and of the highest integrity,
then P.T. Barnum was right – “there’s a sucker born every minute.”
Mueller is leaking as a criminal act.
Mueller is engaged in a conspiracy as a criminal act.
Mueller is violating public integrity law as a criminal act.
This is not the communist Soviet Union.
Mueller and his political benefactor, Rosenstein, must be removed
and prosecuted for conspiracy.
What the duly elected President, Donald J. Trump, should do is fire Mueller, Rosenstein
and every other “deep state” mole right now and tell Congress that if Congress votes
against him, voters will vote against Congress, after voters “primary” republicans
in the next election.
Trump must drain the swamp.
To be sure, this is the case of
The People vs. The Globalist “Deep State”
A short time ago Sen Lindsey Graham opined that Mueller would not have cleared Comey for the Senate hearing, if the Special Councel investigation was ongoing. I agree. Further, it is likely that the WaPo leakers got their information during the closed door committee hearing with the DNI and the NSA chief. Those witnesses were also likely cleared by Mueller, but the information given to senators and staff wias not to be released to the public, and congress will not likely get any more information from Special Councel witnesses.
There is a coup underway. The MSM is complicit in the shooting of Scalise and other Republicans and Mueller is not righteous.
What or who is “MSM”?
Main Stream Media.
It’s what people who never met a fact they could face call legitimate news outlets, that refuse to feed them the lies they prefer.
It’s the media that feeds the lies that the media prefers. And apparently Dee is fine with that.
Seriously, Jack? Who was Lee Harvey Oswald? Geez! I’m just sayin’.
Nope, people are saying that the shooting is a result of YOUR complicity.
And with as much evidence as you have “against” the media.
That’s a strong charge, Nick. Too bad the shooter was killed. I wish we didn’t always kill the shooter then we could question them. It sounded like JT is OK with latest foolishness. I admire Sanders for getting to the Senate floor to denounce the violence. Where oh where is Hillary? She should make a statement.
Obviously Mueller needs to recuse himself from this and it should not continue unless evidence can be produced to satisfy the needs for Justice. Our President needs to do the will of the people without further distractions. Prosecute those that give or repeat false accusations and fine them heavily (personally – not the tax payer). The GREED will calm down!
You must really be worried about what the investigations are going to turn up, to suggest there shouldn’t be any investigation UNTIL “evidence can be produced”–evidence is not a product of spontaneous generation. It is a product of THE INVESTIGATIONS.
That is pretty much common knowledge, even in Texas. Y’all aren’t even trying to look honest.
Please demonstrate some original “probable cause” for any of this tragic comedy.
Dee, I’m a PI for going on 4 decades now. My job is finding facts and truth. So, there’s that!
Rosenstein said he needed to present, in writing, good reasons for removing Mueller. How about they are best friends constituting an irrefutable, de facto conflict of interest and a long history of sycophantic service to political opponents and mortal enemies (Bush, Cheney, McCain, Mitchell, Obama, Clinton et al.) of the target, President Trump?
Mueller is attempting a coup for the deep state. If he has an ounce of integrity he will recuse himself he has already colluded with Comey by coaching him on his testimony .
It looks to me like they are attempting to engineer a weak obstruction charge to force Trump to resign. The Justice Department/FBI, however, has completely de-legitimized itself. We saw Comey make a rock solid case against HRC then at the last minute say he wasn’t going to recommend her prosecution. How does Mueller now go before the country and say Trump will be charged with obstruction for saying something like “Flynn is a good guy, I hope you can let this go” after Flynn had already been fired and everybody agrees the FBI investigation into Flynn was not impacted?
If Mueller does decide to go forward with obstruction charges, will Trump supporters accept their legitimacy given how the FBI and DOJ have de-legitimized themselves?
The people engineering this “soft coup” seem to have calculated that the Trump supporters are docile and will accept having their duly elected president effectively removed by a rogue special counsel appointed by a de-legitimized Justice Department. If that assumption is false, and Trump supporters do not accept the special counsel’s findings as legitimate and take to the streets in anger, what happens? We know the left is completely deranged and prone to violence. They have been burning down cities for three years; burning down buildings on college campuses to stop people from talking; and they have worked themselves into an irrational frenzy since the election. The result was the attempted political assassination of several elected Republicans yesterday. If the pro-Trumpers take to the streets to protest what they see as an illegitimate obstruction charge to force Trump’s resignation, and the deranged left confronts them, we could be headed for social unrest unlike anything we’ve seen in a long time.
The coup plotters are playing with fire.
President Pence will have to deal with that.
Charge more likely to be money laundering that is if there is a charge.
It’s doubtful they’ll have the audacity to charge him with money laundering just because you’re entertaining that fiction.
It’s not easy to drain the swamp.
President Trump should fire Rosenstein and Mueller now.
The duly elected Trump has but one potential enemy, Congress.
Trump should rally the People and warn Congress that if Congress votes
against him, voters will vote against Congress,
after voters “primary” republican traitors.
Globalist, liberal democrats want to nullify the election they just lost.
Hillary et al. asked candidate Trump if he would honor the results of the election.
He said, “yes.” Globalist, liberal democrats, uhh, not so much!
I love the republican talking point that “there is no evidence.” How the hell do you know? Is the FBI briefing you every Friday?
You haven’t given anyone a clue as to the nature of the crime you fancy has taken place. When you get past that hurdle, maybe we can talk about whether there’s evidence for that proposition or not.
The investigations–criminal AND cointel–are not the result of his ‘fancy.’ Nobody thinks they are. And until we have reports on the investigations you look pretty silly talking about “evidence.”
Not to mention suggesting that anyone wants to talk with you regarding investigations that are not complete, and that you know nothing about.
The investigations–criminal AND cointel–are not the result of his ‘fancy.’ Nobody thinks they are.
You’re not doing much thinking Dee. If you were, you’d notice that no one has formulated even in schematic outline what they are in fact ‘investigating’.
I feel that Trump is being baited. Baited to fire Mueller. There is no evidence of collusion, and likely no credible case for obstruction. Those facts are likely known to all involved, and the only way to “get” Trump is to hoist him with his own petard — i.e. get him to do something that the public would find too outrageous or hard to support (firing a special counsel who is investigating you). I sincerely hope that Kasowitz or someone else in Trump’s legal orbit is thinking strategically, and understands that this seems to be the opposition’s only viable play at this point. Trump is known to be susceptible to baiting (think of Hilary’s ‘he can be baited with a tweet’) and I hope he doesn’t fall into this trap.
I think it’s sick. What is worse is our general inability to think and evaluate for ourselves, to only react. We are not robots, we just like to pretend we are, look no further than ‘reaction’ memes plaguing video sites (hint: NO reaction is automatic, they are not reflexive. At some level a conscious choice has been made, even if it was long ago and only served to solidify something into a habit). This is so transparent I’m tempted to wrap up my leftover pizza in it, but most will only *react*.
you can bet your life that the muellers office leaked to the Washington Post. President Trump should fire him today
No evidence of collusion between Trump & Russia. Attempt to take down President by losing Democrats, Media & in part orchestrated by Comey in latest obstruction charge. Mueller’s conflict of interest in regards to Comey should resign.
What a frightening setup by these plotters.
This is a coup d’etat in America.
It’s like watching the JFK scenario play out before our very eyes in slow-motion
knowing those facts beforehand.
The FBI, CIA, NSA, “Deep State,” Shadow Government, Ruling Class,
Establishment et al. have somehow been allowed in to manipulate the facts
and attempt to remove the duly-elected President Trump.
It is election fraud, manipulation and nullification because the pitiful
redistributionist, one-world, globalist, anti-sovereignty liberal democrats lost.
They created a crime and are creating a prosecution.
We are all Franz Kafka entering the “Twilight Zone.”
Why with anonymous sources is the Washington Post leaking this.
Trump doesn’t run the country; the Media does.
If this is true; then Mueller needs to leave. He can not handle an investigation when his close personal friend, Comey is involved.
Something is fishy.
This needs to stop; the Democrats are once again trying to destroy this nation. I am sick over it.
With you Jean!👨🇺🇸
The question of benefits and thus need for ‘leaks’ should be at the front of all this. If Comey’s ‘leak’ is determined to be admissible is it then a leak or an admissible leak or what? Isn’t it to the benefit of the public if they know how their sausages are made? Shouldn’t a ‘leak’ to be a ‘leak’ need to be a threat to public security and not just damaging to the career of a politician or other elected or appointed official? Aren’t leaks a necessary ingredient in keeping our elected and appointed officials and others on the straight and narrow? If there is to be a ‘big brother’ watching over us then shouldn’t ‘bro’ be watching the watchers? Get ready for a new set of ‘experts’.
Vitriol has removed civility from our society.
Resistance and obstructionism has become the norm in D.C.
“Take down Trump at any cost.”
Vile images on social media have left us speechless.
A reality check is urgently needed.
This is all political BS designed to keep cloud over DJT’S administration for YEARS! Taxpayers millions! Where is Rice? Lynch? Holder? Clinton? Abedin? Lerner? Kosgegan IRS? This is bizarre! Most took 5th! mr. TURLEY, what gives? You are the brightest, most knowledgeable about the constitutionality of all this than anybody!!!! How can such double standard, as usual, be allowed? Just don’t get it!! Zero common sense, if this is constitutional!👨👨👨🙏🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
When the rules and customs of speaking become so complex that nobody, including the President, CIA Director, and Special Prosecutor can follow them, they are not rules at all, but rather esoteric interpretations of how things should work, not how things do work.
Mueller has to look into whether Trump tried to obstruct due to Comey’s testimony and memos and Ds screaming obstruction in every hearing and press conference. To do otherwise would be delinquent of his duties and would leave that allegation out there forever.
If the only obstruction element is the Flynn calls with Russia, then Trump should be cleared. If Mueller is looking at firing of Comey as obstruction, then Mueller should recuse himself since he is close to Comey. If Flynn’s calls with Russia are the issue, IMHO, Trump should just pardon Flynn for any potental bs claim under the Logan Act and any misstatements to the FBI related to those calls, since that all smacks of the Scooter trap.
My guess is the source for the investigation of obstruction story is Comey and his buddies. Those folks need to be rooted out and charged.
Mitzi, Comey was deeply involved in the Scooter Libby witch hunt. When Ashcroft and the DOJ recused themselves from the Valerie Plame/Scooter Libby case Comey pushed for, and got, his good friend Patrick Fitzgerald assigned to the case. And, Comey knew it WAS NOT Scooter Libby that leaked Plame’s name, it was Richard Armitage. No underlying crime, set up an obstruction of justice investigation. Comey the Weasel did the same w/ Martha Stewart. He’s a deep state, prissy, sanctimonious, slime ball.
Trump needs to hire JT, someone who understands intelligence gathering, the deep state, and DC.
On that you are right. Pence hired an attorney that is not involved with organized crime and Trump would be wise to do the same. This is not an investigation about real estate fraud in NYC,
Don’t forget effete. Camille Paglia said “(Comey is an effete charlatan who should have been fired within 48 hours of either Hillary or Trump taking office.)”
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