Source: FBI Given Evidence Accusing Mueller Witness Of Alleged “Blackmail” Following His Cooperation Agreement With The Special Counsel

Screen Shot 2018-09-03 at 10.25.53 AM.pngThis weekend I discussed a surprising, and unreported, allegation made on CNN by former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili against the latest cooperating witness of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former Republican lobbyist and Paul Manafort associate, Sam Patten.  Saakashvili preceded me on CNN and accused Patten of threatening to ruin him if he went public with allegations about Patten’s work with Russian interests in Georgia.  Since Saakashvili could easily be called as a rebuttal witness to Patten, the threats could be viewed as witness tampering.  Saakashvili viewed them as outright Russian-style blackmail.  Since I ran that column, I have heard from a great number of people on both sides, but I received an email this morning from Christina Pushaw, who identifies herself as Saakashvili’s representative.  Pushaw sent the underlying material supporting Saakashvili’s charges and confirmed that they have given the allegation and evidence to the FBI today.  The complaint to the FBI only magnifies the problems for both Patten and Mueller that I discussed earlier. A submission to the FBI, including a criminal allegation, comes with added penalties for false statements or submissions.  Both sides in this dispute have been the subject of serious criminal allegations in Europe.  Yet, such communications (if true) from a cooperating witness would unlikely be approved by prosecutors. Mueller’s team is about to present its prosecution of Paul Manafort for witnessing tampering for contacting potential witnesses to shape their accounts.  That creates a rather awkward situation when its most recent cooperative witness is allegedly the subject of a complaint to the FBI.

Saakashvili appeared on CNN to discuss his relationship with McCain, but before discussing McCain, Saakashvili started talking about Patten and his work in Georgia and The Ukraine. Suddenly, Saakashvili pulled out his cellphone in the interview and purportedly read from a text from Patten that he described as unmistakable Russian-style blackmail.  The text was allegedly sent very day and after Patten became a Mueller witness.  Mueller just charged Manafort for reaching out to witnesses before his trial.  Now, one of his cooperating witnesses is allegedly threatening a former world leader to delete prior comments or he will destroy him in what Saakashvili says is a signature move of Russian intelligence.

Here is the relevant exchange:

CABRERA: Samuel Patten is writing to your former chief of staff.

SAAKASHVILI: Samuel Patten. Yes, and he just, you know, readdressed his text to me. And it says call off the trolls now, or I will start releasing things about Misha — that’s me. He’d prefer I didn’t like now and have them go back and erase their comments so that we don’t say a word that they were working against us. Misha knows what I am talking about, but frankly, I have bigger problems these days. Maybe you two are no longer as tight as you used to be. Actually, it’s a direct blackmail. You see with what —

CABRERA: You feel like he’s blackmailing you right now just because you’re talking about it?

SAAKASHVILI: This is a typical Russian type of blackmail. These people are closely tied to the Russians. By the way, I mean, this was prior to — I don’t want to get it politicized because it was prior to Donald Trump election campaign. These people are on their own. By the way, (inaudible) himself is anti-Trump. He is Republican, but anti- Trump, so I don’t want to speculate on — this is something else.

These guys are for hire. They are ready to do just any dirty tricks. They are ready to cheat, to go against American interests, to do all kinds of things, including the blackmail. Blackmailing, you know, former president or his chief of staff, blackmailing important regional leader like this really shows what they are up to.

 

If Patten does testify as a cooperating witness, Saakashvili could be called by the defense on rebuttal over his work with pro-Russian interests and his alleged close association with Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national who Mueller indicted  and tied to Manafort.  Patten also admitted to funneling foreign money into the Trump inauguration committee from Kilimnik. That is the first direct criminal act linking a Trump election component with an illegal Russian contribution. That work could implicate others. What is most interesting is that, if the allegation is true, Patten may have pushed a relatively minor criminal violation into an alleged crime with a potential 20 year sentence.

As discussed earlier, 18 U.S. Code § 1512, it is a federal crime to knowingly use intimidation or threats to influence a possible witness or get a person to withhold or destroy or alter or conceal information from an official proceeding. Mueller has shown that he reads that provision quite broadly.

The analogy to the Manafort charges can only be disquieting for Mueller’s team. Manafort was charged for having “repeatedly contacted” two anonymous people who might have been called as witnesses against him. Those people assisted lobbying and public relations efforts by Manafort masterminded in the US and Europe. Manafort allegedly told them to claim that the Ukrainian lobbying work was confined to Europe – undermining claims of unlawful lobbying in the United States.

Patten showed the same reckless stupidity if he did indeed send these messages.  Pushaw has now supplied what she says are the underlying documents and has confirmed that she had given this material to the FBI.

Pushaw’s bio states that she works on “investor relations” and lists her education from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University – Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and lists her focus as “research, communications, public affairs, Southern and Eastern Europe, strategic advising (especially on Georgia, Ukraine, Russia & Eurasian region), national security, defense, and foreign policy.”

Here is some of the material reportedly given to the FBI this morning, according to Pushaw (the FBI does not confirm such complaints).  She conveyed the following to me today in an email exchange:

I’m Mr. Saakashvili’s representative in the US and Sam Patten has followed me on Facebook for over a year. Right before the interview yesterday, after I posted that Misha would be on CNN at 5:10, Sam sent a blackmail threat from his personal Facebook to Misha’s former Chief of Staff, George Arveladze, directed at Misha. Immediately, George sent the screenshot to me, knowing I’m with Misha in the USA — and a few minutes later, Misha read the messages live on air. Right after the CNN interview, Sam deleted his Facebook account.  
Today, I contacted the DOJ to report Sam’s threat and send over the screenshots. I believe Sam knew Misha would talk about the case on CNN yesterday, since I announced it on Facebook a few hours beforehand. I think Sam sent the threat right before the interview to coerce him into silence. 
I have no idea what kind of compromising material Sam is threatening to “release” in his messages, but this is definitely a KGB-style tactic. Misha did not seem too concerned about it; he thinks Sam is panicking and grasping at straws. I am a bit more concerned for Misha’s safety – and my own, given that I live in Washington and Sam knows who I am. That is why I decided to report the messages. 
This is a screenshot of Patten’s messages to Saakashvili’s former Chief of Staff George Arveladze yesterday: 
unnamed-2.jpg
Pushaw states
“By “trolls,” Sam is referring to supporters of Misha Saakashvili, who have been criticizing Sam on social media for the past few days. Sam’s guilty plea has become a huge news story in Georgia – back in 2011-12, Sam was paid $30k per month to work for Bidzina Ivanishvili, the oligarch who unseated Saakashvili in Georgia. 
Ivanishvili is quite unpopular in Georgia these days – although, being a billionaire, he has an impressive roster of lobbyists in DC, who have done everything possible to destroy Misha’s reputation for the past 7 years (hence some of the critical comments on your blog post).”
Pushaw also sent the original Facebook posting before Patten allegedly deleted them:
She alleges that the response to the posting was immediate and angry from critics and that around that time Patten “threatened Saakashvili through George Arveladze.”
unnamed-3
The trolling may refer in part to an earlier posting by Saakashvili sharing a screenshot of Sam Patten’s personal Facebook, in which Patten is posing for a photo with Tea Tsulukiani, an ally of Ivanishvili in Georgia in 2011. Tsulukiani has been the subject of protests in Georgia and Saakashvili’s caption in Georgian reportedly notes that his shirt is rather ironic in featuring a Russian cartoon character.
There is obviously a history and no shortage of bad blood here. The issue is not the merits of the dispute, which I have no knowledge or expertise to judge.  Both sides have accused the other of corruption or other crimes.  Saakashvili has been accused by the Georgian government of criminal conduct and expelled from the country.  Critics have linked him to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.
My interest is far narrower in the fact that a cooperating witness has been accused of allegedly threatened another potential witness within 48 hours of reaching a deal with prosecutors.  The prior Friday, and before the alleged text, Patten pleaded guilty to violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act in his unregistered work for a Ukrainian politician and a Ukrainian oligarch.  He was charged by the US attorney’s office for the District of Columbia, but Patten’s plea agreement specifically says he must cooperate with the special counsel’s office and top Mueller aide, Andrew Weissmann, attended Patten’s hearing.
That gives Patten some powerful friends in the Special Counsel’s office and makes him an asset of Robert Mueller.  As Mueller is about to go to trial on charges against Manafort for trying to manipulate potential witnesses, Patten’s alleged actions undermine both his credibility as a witness and Mueller’s position if the allegations are true.
We have not heard from Patten who could well deny these postings and statements. However, the FBI reportedly now has a complaint against a witness cooperating with it in the Special Counsel investigation.  The next move may be Mueller’s.

113 thoughts on “Source: FBI Given Evidence Accusing Mueller Witness Of Alleged “Blackmail” Following His Cooperation Agreement With The Special Counsel”

  1. As I hinted on the prior thread about this topic, Saakashvili is a charlatan. Jonathan Turley certainly has been taken in.

    1. It’s still possible for both Patten and Saakashvili to be telling the truth about different things. That is, Patten may very well have attempted to blackmail Saakashvili. And Saakashvili may very well be vulnerable to blackmail if Patten knows true things about Saakashvili. Either or both ways, Mueller can and will use Patten’s intimidation of a potential witness to leverage more information out of Patten.

      For instance, Patten is likely to know a thing or two about a) the Ukranian Peace Plan that Cohen delivered to Flynn; b) the effort to change the Republican platform away from arming the Ukraine; c) any discussions about sanctions against Russia that members of the Trump campaign may have had with Russians; and d) the nature and extent of Russia’s relationship with Cambridge Analytica. Did you know that, in 2014, W. Samuel Patten contracted with Cambridge Analytica to conduct a survey of American opinions about Vladimir Putin and Russian expansionism?

      1. Skip the link. Page Not Found. Sorry about that. Read below, instead.

        Sam Patten — and this is where it gets more interesting — took a detour in 2014 and worked in the Oregon office of Cambridge Analytica, the controversial firm that Trump’s campaign would later pay millions of dollars to use data it had mined, without authorization, from Facebook to conduct a stealthy social media campaign aimed at stirring up voter sentiment and tipping the election.

        1. ” Trump’s campaign would later pay millions of dollars to use data it had mined, without authorization, from Facebook to conduct a stealthy social media campaign aimed at stirring up voter sentiment and tipping the election.”

          Facebook opened their site to the campaign’s of Obama and Trump. You only complain about the latter so I don’t think much of what you say is worthwhile reading.

    1. see a lot of you armchair generals have never had a conversation with someone in the fed spotlight so that sounds bad. doesnt sound bad to me, rather, sounds like garden variety legal advice. i now hit the SNOOZE BAR

      1. Mr. Kurtz,…
        Maybe Woodward found another Mark Felt.
        These are what would normally be private exchanges between legal teams…..assuming that Assamora was not there with her tape running, someone very close to the investigations spilled their guts to Woodward.
        Or Woodward is inventing or embellishing the exchanges.
        I have known my lawyer for decades, but if we have any future conversations, it will be in a crowded mall, with lots of background noise, after I have him checked to see if he’s wired.😉😊😀

        1. Tom, the story is that an amazing number of people from Trump’s circle availed themselves to Woodward and apparently spoke their minds. Trump, in fact, was one of the few that Woodward didn’t interview. Woodward ‘tried’ to interview Trump but somehow his request never got through.

          1. Peter,…
            I don’t know who else, if anyone, was present when the lawyers were discussing the different issues.
            Specifically Mueller and Dowd.
            If no one else was present and Woodard account is accurate, one or both of them freely discussed this with Woodward.
            If the lawyers were having these discussions when a small group was in the room, that expands the number of possible sources.
            I don’t know if it was the lawyers, or the audience they may have had, who were the blabbermouths.
            It’s no secret that this White House in particular leaks like a sieve, but there is generally an expectation that lawyers keep confidential discussions private.
            If there is no such expectation, let’s just have C-Span sit in and broadcast their conversations instead of feeding them to Woodward for a book.

              1. I was specifically addressing the lawyers conversations getting into Woodward’s book.
                I draw a distinction between “leaky lawyers” and the other leakers.
                Leaving aside the leaky lawyer issue, most of the leaks coming out of this White House have been damaging to Trump.
                So it’s doubtful that he is engineering the bulk of the leaks.
                You can cut the “is it strictly impossible?” crap anytime.
                Is it “strictly impossible” that L4B sells crack cocaine to the neighborhood school children?

                1. Strategic leaking is often done for damage control. Some observers call it a limited hangout in which one admits to things that are not incriminating. For instance, it’s not strictly impossible that L4D might admit to selling cookies to local school kids. Do you see how that works, Gnash?

                2. “Is it “strictly impossible” that L4B sells crack cocaine to the neighborhood school children?”

                  Tom, we seem to be on the same track. Would it be more possible that Diane isn’t selling but is a user? That explains the crazy posting and perhaps the multiple aliases. Diane should take some courses in statistics. Theoretically there is always a possiblitiy of something .00000000000000001 chance to Diane gets as much discussion as a 1000000000000000 chance. Pretty useless, right?

                1. Allan, it is totally possible that Trump told Lavrov and Kislyak that the pressure was off because he had just fired that crazy nut job Comey and that he wasn’t under investigation.

          2. A lot of the people written about in the book have been disavowing saying certain things.Talk is cheap. By nature of their actions the book probably leads to wrongheaded conclusions.

            Anyone happily married? Do you think your spouse never said a bad word about you to a confident like I’m going to get a divorce. 20 years later you are still married so were the words accurate? No. One has to be careful about drawing conclusions from random words that may or may not be true.

            Actions speak louder than words.

            /

  2. In essence, Professor Turley was contacted by someone with ties to the Russians, offering evidence He received emailed evidence and posted it.

    This is more than what President Trump is accused of, which is simply taking a meeting, and neither paying for, nor receiving, any opposition research on Hillary Clinton.

    This is less than what Hillary Clinton did, which was pay a British foreign national for a fabricated list of accusations, composed by Russian spies, to be used against her opponent. This slander was also used to begin an FBI investigation against Donald Trump.

    See how easy it is to be contacted by people with ties to Russia, offering information of great interest? See how absurd it is to selectively investigate Trump for collusion with the Russians, threatening and persecuting everyone he had ties with, while ignoring Hillary Clinton, who colluded with the Russians to target Trump?

    1. Karen, Honey, please stop repeating what Hannity, Pirro, Rush and Tucker argue on Faux News. We could just watch for ourselves if we wanted their take on issues. Hillary Clinton was investigated by the FBI, and found not to have committed any crime. Because this doesn’t fit with Fatso’s narrative, that does not make the FBI or the DOJ corrupt. The “list of accusations” from Christopher Steele’s investigation, which was started by a REPUBLICAN opponent of Trump, is not false. I challenge you to point out any specific allegation that has turned out to be false, and don’t quote any of the garbage you heard from Faux News.

      1. Natacha, ….,”honey”, try giving up your obsession with Hannity, Tucker, Pirro, and Rush”.
        While you may be a wizened hag, but give up your obsession with Trump being somewhat overweight.
        If you are not a wizened hag, you might thing about giving it up anyway, to avoid coming across as a wizened hag.
        Karen S. didn’t actually mention Rush, Pirro, Hannity, or Tucker in her post.
        If there is an obseesion centering on those people, it is from you and others like you.

        1. today mark m attributed a false quote to me and said that I ‘watched hannity and bagged his balls” i do not watch him and do not bag anyone’s balls. just as nuthatch calls you honey and you may consider that sexist– maybe she was just being nice? like when i call a waitress honey.,,,, but from a republican that would be considered a defamatory, nasty, homophobic remark but a leftist gets to spew bile with impunity

          sorry for saying “waitress’ i know that may be sexist too but i am old

      1. As well as the DOJ, FBI, NSA, IRS, EPA…

        Now they are bent out of shape because SCOTUS’ collusion to legislate Progressive ideals from the bench has faced interference.

      2. Yes, Karen Honey, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post and all other non-Faux News reporters get together regularly just to make up stories about how corrupt Trump is, how narcissistic he is, how dysfunctional his administration is, how many times he lies and they make up poll numbers, and so forth. Where’s your proof?

        They’re trying to rush Kavanaugh through without giving up his records, and we can just guess what the hidden records would disclose, but we know it ain’t good. In fact, it’s probably so bad that even Republicans would vote “no”. He is the most divisive nominee yet. Why are they rushing him? To try to beat the Trump indictment that is coming.

          1. There’s a fifty-fifty chance that significant numbers of Congressional Republicans will turn against Trump as soon as Kavanaugh is appointed.

  3. The Above Post Could Be A Distraction From:

    BOB WOODWARD’S NEW BOOK ON TRUMP

    TO BE RELEASED DURING MIDTERM CAMPAIGN SEASON

    The book vividly recounts the ongoing debate between Trump and his lawyers about whether the president would sit for an interview with Mueller. On March 5, Dowd and Trump attorney Jay Sekulow met in Mueller’s office with the special counsel and his deputy, James Quarles, where Dowd and Sekulow reenacted Trump’s January practice session.

    Dowd then explained to Mueller and Quarles why he was trying to keep the president from testifying: “I’m not going to sit there and let him look like an idiot. And you publish that transcript, because everything leaks in Washington, and the guys overseas are going to say, ‘I told you he was an idiot. I told you he was a goddamn dumbbell. What are we dealing with this idiot for?’ ”

    “John, I understand,” Mueller replied, according to Woodward.

    Later that month, Dowd told Trump: “Don’t testify. It’s either that or an orange jumpsuit.”

    But Trump, concerned about the optics of a president refusing to testify and convinced that he could handle Mueller’s questions, had by then decided otherwise.

    “I’ll be a real good witness,” Trump told Dowd, according to Woodward.

    “You are not a good witness,” Dowd replied. “Mr. President, I’m afraid I just can’t help you.”

    The next morning, Dowd resigned.

    Text Edited From: “Bob Woodward’s New Book Reveals A ‘Nervous Breakdown’ of Trump’s Presidency”

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. Article Contains Audio Link Of Phone Conversation Between Woodward and Trump

      They talked on August 14 ‘after’ the book had gone to press. Woodward tells Trump that he made every effort to obtain a sit-down interview with the latter. But Trump keeps saying, over and over, that no one told him Woodward requested an interview. Woodward then names several people he talked to including KellyAnn Conway.

      Comically Conway happens to walk in on Trump at that moment. And Trump demands to know why he wasn’t told that Woodward wanted an interview. He then puts Conway on the phone with Woodward. The whole tape is very entertaining.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/bob-woodwards-new-book-reveals-a-nervous-breakdown-of-trumps-presidency/2018/09/04/b27a389e-ac60-11e8-a8d7-0f63ab8b1370_story.html?utm_term=.cb1f6fe4ffb4

  4. IS THIS MATTER REALLY SIGNIFICANT?

    This is the second day in a row in which Professor Turley writes about this former Georgian president. The latter’s role in the Russia probe strikes me as minor at most. Yet the professor implies that Saakachvili looms as a complicating factor to the Mueller team.

    I just wonder if Turley is dwelling on this matter for the benefit of Trump supporters on this thread; tossing them a little bone to chew on. Something to lift their spirits and make them think that Mueller has an annoying problem that will surely blow up.

    1. doesnt lift my spirits, nobody can trust Saak of Villians the Tie Chewer.

      he should be confined to a madhouse, not blabbing on tv

    2. Peter Hill said, “Yet the professor implies that . . . [edit] . . . Mueller has an annoying problem that will surely blow up.”

      I doubt it. It looks to me more like an opportunity for Mueller’s shop to squeeze Patten for more information. Saakashvili is no more of a friend to Manafort or Kilimnik than he is to Patten. Saakashvili might still be a friend to Trump, though. And The Ukrainians have a complaint against Saakashvili for allegedly having been open to discussing the receipt of financial support from the ousted president, Viktor Yanukovich, who was Manafort’s client in The Ukraine.

      So it’s not strictly impossible that Saakashvili might be willing to do Manafort as well as Trump a favor by discrediting Patten. The trouble for Saakashvili is that Patten might know a thing or two about Saakashvili’s hidden agenda. If so, then Mueller’s shop would quickly learn whatever Patten knows about Saakashvili. IOW, Mueller and his crew could end up squeezing the whole lot of them to the point where Manafort finally cops a plea and testifies against Trump Jr., Kushner and who knows who all else. Or not.

      We’re still in the late Summer doldrums. anyhow. We might as well gnaw on this bone for awhile till something meatier comes along.

  5. Immunity is contingent upon many things; so it can be revoked if Patten is found to be off the legal beam. The legal beam is a moving and creative thing. Mueller’s job is not to design crimes for anyone but to do pretty much as he has been doing, turning over rocks to see what slithers out. So far, he has been doing a yeoman’s job.

    Those that criticize Mueller are those that see their champion(s) getting their comeuppance. Their losing position is made evident every time they complain that it’s not fair cuz Clinton isn’t being nailed, or more to the point, ‘Everyone else does it…’. Regardless of whether or not Patten threatened Saakashvili or anyone else, Manafort is guilty of enough stuff to warrant at least ten years cuddling with Bernie. Mueller turns over the rocks; he doesn’t do the crimes.

    After all the legal mumbo jumbo settles this is about credibility, both perverse and actual. So far it has all been stuff coming from rats deserting a sinking ship. Let Mueller do his job and see what other rats were on board. Those that scream the loudest against Mueller have the most to lose and are probably trying to get off the ship without being found out.

    The number one rat is the one deriding any news that places him in an unfavorable light as fake. The only thing that is fake here is his Presidency.

    1. The primary objective of the 2+ years of investigations into the Trump campaign was supposedly to determine if there was coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
      If a “yeoman’s job”, or a “seaman’s job” is to leave that questioned unanswered ( or fail to give some indication where this investigation is heading), then I guess “a yeoman’s job” is an OK description.
      It’s be a mistake to “promote” the rank of the yeoman/ seaman job.

        1. Tom

          A Yeoman can be in the navy-Royal Navy akin to a Petty Officer of some degree. However, the associated quality of thoroughness and tenacity can apply to any person/job. Regardless of what Mueller was tasked to do in the beginning, as he turned over rocks and creatures slithered out, he was and remains obligated to address these vermin. Thus far his original task, supposed or otherwise, of determining what sort of connection(s) exist(ed) between a foreign government/Russia and the Trump campaign/Presidency has turned over rocks and vermin are being found. Arguing that these vermin should be allowed to go free, be dealt with through this or that agency, or whatever is nothing more than pathetic whining. An investigation is an investigation is an investigation and everything that slithers should be scrutinized and if found to be performing or having performed crimes, nailed to the mast head. Thus far the ilk of Manafort and Cohen have been found guilty of or admitted to, lying, concealing, cheating, etc. Does it really matter if in the pursuit of some specific issues, others are turned over and found to be criminal? If the politics were to be reversed would you be commenting thusly?

          As a liberal or Democrat Bill Clinton was a disgusting person in my eyes. He represented, ideologically, however, as I perceive, most of the better directions or less of the more disgusting ones. He was a pawn of the oligarchy which is America. He was a sloppy philanderer. But most of all he was a punter when it came to being accused of who semen stains those were on a blue dress. Clinton messed himself when he didn’t simply tell whomever asked about his extramarital affairs to simply go f*^k themselves. The semantics surrounding what constitutes sex was so pathetic it was laughable. Regardless of how pathetic or disgusting Clinton was or remains, he stands as a George Washington compared to Trump. Trump represents a new low. Whatever it takes by Mueller it should be allowed to follow its course, wherever it takes this country. We owe ourselves that much after allowing our country to become this oligarchy that places the likes of Hillary and Trump up as the only two choices.

          1. “Regardless of what Mueller was tasked to do in the beginning”
            That is key difference in how we view the course of the investigation, Isaac.
            There were investigations of Manafort and others that predated anything related to the campaign for the 2016 election.
            The FBI and other government agencies would normally handle issues of that nature.

            Mueller was ostentibly appointed for the primary purpose of determining whether there was coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russians.
            I don’t agree with the position that well, “regardless” of that, he’s “turning over rocks”.
            I’ve said before that time is not on Mueller’s side; while you and a certain percentage of the population may have infinite patience with “turning over rocks” while the central question remains unanswered, those “rock-turning” results make the investigation look more like a fishing expedition to another percentage of the population.
            Now that we’re over two years into this investigation of the Trump-Russian issue, we’ve seen nothing in the way of indictments, or even hints, that this investigation has connected, or is connecting, the Trump campaign to crimes ( or alleged crimes) that are being pursued.
            Inventing Congressional testimony doesn’t do that. Claiming that “A. “likely” happened, therefore B,C, and D are “highly probable”.
            That isn’t a criticism I’m directing at you….I’ve directed it at the worst offender in these threads.
            Endless speculation gives some people something to do, but 2+ years in, this investigation is suppose to give rise to more than rampant speculation and wild guesswork.

            1. Tom

              From the worst offender or the most irritating. It all depends on your position. Yours is, alas, as a Trump supporter. The same arguments were and continue to be made concerning going after Clinton; or in other words ‘until they find something’. The difference here is that they did go after Clinton and ran out of steam. Also, Clinton is not President. Trump is smack dab in the middle of what Mueller was appointed to go after and as from the center the web extends in all directions, so do the crimes, it seems. Manafort was connected to the Trump campaign and the Ukraine. Cohen was the bagman for Trump. Money is the lubricant. Crimes concerning money were committed. And on and on. You may take offense at my persistence; that’s a good thing. It illustrates just how fanatical Trump supporters are. Here we have Mueller identifying vermin as he turns over rocks and you and other Trump supporters are whining that he’s getting too close to Trump. That’s what it all comes down to. ‘Rampant speculation’ seems to be unearthing some vermin.

              1. You misunderstand the position of the Trump supporters. No further investigation of Hillary is required for her case to go straight to trial. Nothing “needs to be found.” It’s a prima facie case that she broke the law banning the transferring of classified information from a secure location to an insecure location. Comey cited “intent” as the reason for not prosecuting Hillary even though “intent” was deliberately left out of the law by Congress. This law is regularly used to send violators to jail and appellate courts have held that “intent” is not part of the law. Hillary’s case must go to trial just like the rest…no one is above the law. Not Hillary, not Trump, not Mueller/Comey/Ohr/Roenstein/et al. No one.

              2. Isaac,..
                – I support having real evidence to back up suspicions/ allegations/ beliefs.
                That is different than saying that I support Trump.
                To say that we are “smack dab in the middle of what Mueller was appointed to do” is bull****.
                If that were the case, we’d be looking at indictments linking Trump or key members of his campaign with Russian interference in the 2016 election.
                Having Manafort as campaign manager does not get to “a guilt by association” indictment.
                That doesn’t work.
                You mention Manafort, yet fail to cite a single indictment, out of the 32 indictments, that relate to Manafort’s “collusion” with the Russians in relation to the 2016 campaign.
                You also mention the Hillary “investigation” and conveniently failed to mention Peter Strzok, who head both the email “matter”, and the Trump-Russia investigation.
                You’d have to be blind not to see the glaring difference between an investigative whitewash and an extremely aggressive tactics used by the Special Counsel.
                You and others with TDS have so far failed to site adequate reason to undo the results of the 2016 election.
                Indictong/ convicting Manafort and others doesn’t do the trick, so the fallback position is either “we’re getting there”, or “look at all those indictments”.
                In the continued absence of evidence linking Trump to Russian interference in the 2016 election, maybe you’ll find sonething else to hang your hat on, unrelated the 2016 campaign.
                But don’t pretend that the “Russian collusion” was not the primary reason for, and mission of, the Special Counsel.
                We are “smack dab in the middle” of everything BUT that 2016 election collusion issue.

                1. Awesome.

                  “You and others with TDS have so far failed to site adequate reason to undo the results of the 2016 election.”

                  Exactly what kind of wackjob-tomfoolery is this? Is this what the shrieking babblers on Pravda Faux News are spooning out to you types? Haha. Who, and under what authority is asserting the requirement to “undo” the results of any election? This takes the “gullible rubes” and “dupes” category of day glo bozo supporters to new lows. Excellent, I gotta a bridge to sell ya–half price for you today only….

                  this is to “but they said the meanies meant it for sure” tommie

        2. A Yeoman or YN is one of many enlisted rating designations. E1-E9. It’s more of an Admin/Clerical rating. They’d still be a “swabbie,” but that term is not heard very often. Skimmer, bubblehead are far more common.

      1. Tom Nash – I’m confident your questions about the Trump Campaign’s coordination with Russians. Also in his mandate was to deal with other crimes the investigation uncovered. What we’ve seen thus far is that those in the Trump orbit can’t stand scrutiny and that fraud, money laundering, and lying are not aberrations but common themes.

        As Mueller works his way up the food chain, multiple undisclosed meetings with Russians that were lied about will be delved into, but the scrutiny cannot help but notice the unlawful enterprises they barely tried to hide. They thought themselves above the law and their last hope is that Presidential pardons, a partisan Senate or a stacked Supreme Court will save them.

        1. “What we’ve seen thus far is that those in the Trump orbit can’t stand scrutiny and that fraud, money laundering, and lying are not aberrations but common themes.”

          Is the man blind? Trump permitted everyone to testify and tranparency abounds whether one likes what they hear or not. The investigation continues and the DOJ continues to exist without the firing of either Rosenstein or Sessions both of which Trump has good reason to get rid of but hasn’t. Nothing has implicated Trump as President or as a candidate but Enigma continues with his visions. One of the ways to control such visions is large doses of Thorazine.

          1. Allan – Even though your response has nothing to do with their ability to withstand scrutiny. I’ll respond to what you did say. Witness after witness from the Trump Administration to testify before Congress and refused to answer questions without citing Executive Privilege. That isn’t transparency, it’s obstruction. The investigation continues, only because Trump has been warned explicitly by his own what will happen should he do any more than he has to end it. This is the man that blamed Sessions for indicting two Congressmen because they were Republicans.
            Trump is an unindicted coconspirator in the Comey case. His inauguration fund received illegal foreign contributions. He’s implicated in FEC contribution violations. Keep imagining that’s not happening. That will no doubt work.

            1. There is no obstruction. The White House attorney testified for how many days? Trump could have used executive privilege.

              You are all mixed up in your other statements that lack truth as to the entirety of the facts involved. This is what happens when a person cannot control where their mind takes them.

              Up the dose of the Thorazine.

                1. Let me quote from your article: “There is no executive privilege in a criminal investigation”

                  What is the crime?

                  1. Allan – The crime related to the McGanh interviews would most likely be obstruction of justice. McGahn is quoted in reporting as having referred to obstruction regarding the Air Force One statement dictated by Trump which could be (and ultimately was) contradicted by Donald Trump Jr’s emails. Hope Hicks said, “they will never get out.” which prompted McGahn’s statement about obstruction.

                    1. Tell us in a cogent sentence exactly what the obstruction of justice was and the proof that the obstruction occurred.

                      I can tell you exactly what Hillary did which was what sailor did and got imprisoned for.

                    2. Tell us in a cogent sentence exactly what the obstruction of justice was and the proof that the obstruction occurred.

                      Donald John Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States on Tuesday in a stunning culmination of an explosive, populist and polarizing campaign that took relentless aim at the institutions and long-held ideals of American democracy.

                      The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump’s unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold.

                      The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration.
                      https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-president.html

                      Next question.

                    3. What McGahn witnessed that caused him concern was Hope Hicks suggesting “the emails would never get out,” implying they would be erased, hidden, or not turned over, any of those being an obstruction of justice. Trump was present on the conference call which would make him a party to the obstruction as well.

                    4. You haven’t provided any details. Tell us what evidence you would bring to court. Your ideas are so half baked they border on the ridiculous.

                      We go through this on each and everyone of your claims and each time I provide evidence that you are wrong. I even provided signed agreements to demonstrate you were wrong. Time for you to actually do your job and produce evidence.

                    5. Allan – Yos asked me to name the crime and I did. I pointed to an example. Now you’re telling me what my job is?
                      You may be shocked to learn I don’t work for you. You indicated you “proved me wrong” which I see nowhere. It’s Robert Mueller’s job
                      to provide evidence of guilt or clear the individuals involved including the President. I believe there is enough already reported to suggest guilt, you believe whatever you choose. I would love to watch you try to influence or manage people in real life?

                    6. Make your complaints when you have reasonable proof. It’s a sickness when such criminal acts are all in your mind. It’s becoming boring and tedious talking to you. The same complaints over and over again and never with reasonable proof.

                    7. You’ve worn out your welcome again Allan. You are the one following me around. If you ask a reasonable question I consider answering. When you revert to demands and insults… back on time out.

                    8. Enigma, don’t you think this deep obsession with Trump, despite the fact that you can’t provide proof, is a type of sickness? It is and it makes you irrational. You even repeat false claims against Trump even after you have been referred to official papers signed by all parties involved.

                      I’m not following you around Enigma. I am following the blog and what is said on the blog especially statements without any basis. I won’t consider my welcome worn out until Jonathan Turley asks me to leave. You do not have to respond to me. Though you reply your postings are not responsive because they almost never provide proof of your assertions.

                      By the way, I thought I rememebered you throwing a hissy fit and saying you were leaving the blog.

                    9. I think i follow you, but, seems like a weak case you posit enigma:

                      “Hicks suggesting “the emails would never get out,” implying they would be erased, hidden, or not turned over, any of those being an obstruction of justice”

                      you need more than that to prove criminal intent in a court of law especially for a vague charge like obstruction.

                      if it gets to the point where people can’t act to defend themselves at all without the media or worse yet a prosecutor tossing about the obstruction allegation, then, the whole notion of “innocent until proven guilty” and due process would break down

                      I suggest one great side effect of the whole obsessive focus on “getting trump” from both Miller and his cheerleaders is that regular law and order Republicans get to see their own ox gored and hopefully they develop a more robust sense of respect for the the constitutional civil liberties inherent in defense of criminal allegations, which are daily being abused and thrown into the garbage by overzealous prosecutors.

                      like miller

                      the Democrats pose as champions of civil liberties but i fear it’s not “equal protection” because “rich white guys” like Trump and company, “need not apply”

                      however in our scheme of ordered liberty, whites, men, and the rich have the same presumptions of innocence as do others.

                      if not? then it’s a different ball game and as they say once the ball is in play you never know exactly where it may end up

                    10. The original question had to do with what McGahn would be able to testify to. My answer was obstruction. I think that by far among the least of his crimes and one of the hardest to prove, depending on who flips.
                      I’ll be quite satisfied by following the money trail where Trump’s crimes (and his family’s) will keep popping out wherever the light shines.

                    11. “The original question …”

                      Enigma is backpeddling. You keep making wild statements without proof and then have to backpeddle whenever the proof is requested. You also create laundry lists of crimes which have no basis. Over and over again when one delves into your claims nothing is found.

          2. Allan – Even though your response has nothing to do with their ability to withstand scrutiny. I’ll respond to what you did say. Witness after witness from the Trump Administration to testify before Congress and refused to answer questions without citing Executive Privilege. That isn’t transparency, it’s obstruction. The investigation continues, only because Trump has been warned explicitly by his own what will happen should he do any more than he has to end it. This is the man that blamed Sessions for indicting two Congressmen because they were Republicans.
            Trump is an unindicted coconspirator in the Cohen case. His inauguration fund received illegal foreign contributions. He’s implicated in FEC contribution violations. Keep imagining that’s not happening. That will no doubt work.

            1. im not sure that’s obstruction. could be a lot of other explanations. generally you need to prove something with affirmative evidence.

              also if the beef is testifying before congress, then contempt of congress is the legal remedy not obstruction. at least that’s how i understand it, I’m certainly no expert on governmental testimonial privileges…

          3. Keep whistling. What is that ticking sound?

            this is to “my fallback plan is I sure hope Pence isn’t as wackjob as he seems” allan /allen

            1. “What is that ticking sound?”

              It’s probably your billing clock that you didn’t turn off to increase your billable hours. Not only a bit looney but also a potential cheat.

              1. Mark M. asked, “What is that ticking sound?”

                The clock running out on Congressional Republican support for Trump.

                Can you say Kavanaugh?

                1. We will soon see how the hearings will turn out. Most likely Kavanaugh will be approved and as usual your predictive abilities will be shown to be as useful as trash.

        2. Enigma,…
          If I saw some kind of linear progress that Mueller was “working his way up the food chain”, I would be far less likely to be critical of the Special Counsel’s activities.
          I think in your first sentence you meant to say that you were confident that the Trump campaign coordinated with Russia.
          And Natacha repeated her claim that Trump ‘cheated” to win the election.
          Neither of those suspicions is back up by anything that these investigations have produced.
          It can be your ( or Natacha’s) fervent “belief and hope” that you are correct.
          Just as others believe and hope that there is absolutely nothing there with respect to Trump campaign/ Russian “collusion”.
          I’m saying that Mueller needs to answer that central question which was supposedly the reason for the appointment of a Special Counsel in the first place.
          Failing that, he needs to give the public some idea of where he’s going with this investigation.

          1. Tom Nash – In my first sentence I meant to say I believe your questions will be answered. While I do believe they coordinated with Russia, I’ll await the evidence to be compiled and presented.

            He’s not supposed to give interim reports about his progress or to offer dueling leaks with the Trump lawyers. He’s supposed to complete his report and submit it to Congress, assuming the person in change, currently Rosenstein, permits it.

            1. Enigma,..
              When an investigation drags on and on, and there is no indication that the central question( Trump-Russis cooordination) is being addressed, I think it’s appropriate and necessary to have some disclosure by the Special Counsel.
              An update by the Special Counsel would not be “leaking”; it should be an open explanation of what progress, if any, he’s made in the investigation.
              A protracted state of limbo is not satisfactory.

              1. Tom Nash – I think you’ll agree whether you think it a good idea or not, the investigation has considerable scope. Documents, bank records, tax records and emails have to be gone through, not to mention lying witnesses like Flynn, Papadoupolos, Gates, Russian lawyer the son of an oligarch whose name I don’t recall, that have already pleaded guilty to that offense. The Benghazi investigation lasted three years and Gowdy eventually had to admit he had nothing. This investigation had produced several guilty pleas and indictments that are getting closer to the inner circle (if you don’t count the Campaign Manager and his Deputy.

                What exactly would an update look like? “We have gathered enough evidence that we feel certain in the near future we’ll be indicting Donald Trump Jr, Roger Ailes, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and make a referral to Congress for Impeachment of the President?”
                Then how does the President react? The Special Counsel is doing what he’s supposed to.

              2. A protracted state of limbo is not satisfactory.

                That would depend on what you are trying to accomplish. Who does a lengthy investigation benefit? It benefits the wallet of those doing the investigation the longer it goes on. It benefits those looking to obstruct the President’s executive branch. Regardless of how this turns out, expect the full court press to begin on Pence, especially if the house flips.

            2. Enigma,..
              I agree with you that “the investigation has considerable scope”.
              Where we probably differ is that I view that “considerable scope” as a fishing expedition…and, in at least some cases, merely some “add-ons” to and continuations of older FBI investigations.
              I repeated this a number of times already, but we’re supposed to be finding out whether the Trump campaign, or Trump himself, “colluded” with the Russians to impact the 2016 election.
              The mandate by Rosenstein put that as a priority, then basically added “or anything else you can find out about anyone connected with the Trump campaign”.
              We’ve been on this “anything else” track, this “broad scoped investigation”, for over two years now.
              The Special Counsel team may well stay buzy for the foreseeable future with the “anything else” they can find, but I still think it makes sense to find out what the hell they’re doing, if anything, about the primary purpose of the investigation.

              1. Tom Nash – That “anything else” was actually other crimes. In the same way it was impossible to take a look at Manafort’s and Gate’s financials and not find crimes. I submit any serious look at Trump’s was bound to uncover the same. Even if you only followed the Russian money there’s a bonanza of potential crimes to investigate including money laundering and tax fraud.

    2. “Regardless of whether or not Patten threatened Saakashvili or anyone else, Manafort is guilty of enough stuff to warrant at least ten years cuddling with Bernie. Mueller turns over the rocks; he doesn’t do the crimes.”

      This is not what a special counsel is for. Manaforte can rot in jail as far as most of us believe. One wonders what happened to all the prior investigations of the man until some started aiming at Trump (there was no significant new information). Manaforte’s crimes have nothing to do with Trump or the election.

      All these things could and perhaps should be investigated but you have the wrong type of office doing the investigation. The investigation is supposed to be about Russian activities in our election process but unfortunately the investigation has telescopic vision aimed only at the President.

      1. Allan: did you really think that in the process of digging through massive amounts of evidence and interviewing who knows how many people, that only one prosecutable crime would be found? That seems to be the Faux News slop, ladled to Trumpsters, in daily doses. so they can hold on to hope that he can hang on the Presidency he cheated to get. Mueller is a prosecutor, a “special” prosecutor because of the recusal of Sessions and because of the political nature of matters he was initially tasked to investigate. Nevertheless, he is a prosecutor, and as such, he cannot ignore and must prosecute crimes for which he finds substantial evidence. I remain amazed that Trumpsters aren’t offended or concerned about all of these crooks and foreigners peddling influence that are associated with Trump, but are willing to believe that the DOJ, FBI and other law enforcers are the problem here because that’s what Faux News and Rush Limbaugh tell them. People that gullible are dangerous.

        1. Natacha, get your facts straight. Based on the failed efforts to incriminate Trump over the past two years without any yield one has to believe Trump has not committed any substantial misdeed while President or as a candidate.

          Also recognize that just because Manafort had a short term position while Trump was first learning the art of politics doesn’t mean Trump supporters like Manafort or any of the other crooks that may have been near Trump, Hillary or Obama. The only difference is Trump has been honestly investigated while the other two have been given a pass. Hillary probably should be in jail for her violations of national security. I am not asking for it rather just stating a fact that should be recognized by all thinking Americans.

          1. You’ve been listening to Hannity, Rush and Tucker again. You have no basis to claim that that there are “failed efforts to incriminate Trump over the past two years without any yield”. You don’t know what evidence Mueller and his tem have uncovered, but so far, there have been guilty pleas and guilty verdicts. And, pivoting to Hillary is yet another pathetic Faux News/Kellyanne tactic that everyone is sick of. Hillary was investigated by the FBI and found not to have committed any criminal offense. Did Hannity/Tucker, Pirro and Rush forget to mention this?

            1. “You’ve been listening to Hannity, Rush and Tucker again.”

              What did they say? I told you what I believe not what they say. Then again how do you know what they say unless you listen to them?

              Your crazy.

              1. Allan,
                You do realize you’re trying to use logic with an insane person, right?

                Anyway, it is very pathetic these idiots have concluded President Trump is guilty of something because Mueller hasn’t provided any evidence Trump has committed a crime and hasn’t indicted President Trump. So obviously he’s guilty. Wow!

                In reality, right now he’s guilty of one thing: not being Hillary. Guilty as charged!

                1. See, Olly, unlike the dysfunctional Trump White House, Mueller’s team is tight-lipped because they don’t need to feed you daily updates as to what they’re doing, and, contrary to Faux News, they don’t have to justify their actions until they have concluded. You have no idea what they’ve uncovered so far, so all of the bloviating about Mueller having “nothing’ on Trump is so much fart-gas.

                  1. See Nuthatch you talk like you know but you forget.
                    The president is a democratically elected politician who communicates; the special prosecutor is an appointee who is accountable only to whatever judge he appears in front of and hardly anyone else.

                2. “You do realize you’re trying to use logic with an insane person, right?”

                  Yes.

                  Isn’t that the dogma of the left? Redistribituion of money, intelligence and sanity. Use racism to correct racism. Be against illegal immigration until you change your mind and become for immigration with sanctuary cities to hide killers and rapists. Permit free speech unless you don’t like what is said. Talk about one black death by a cop doing his job but not worry about thousands of black deaths happening throughout the country in Democratic cities.

                  What do you think this blog is all about? Rational people discussing things with insane leftists.

                3. Chief Olly said, “Anyway, it is very pathetic these idiots have concluded President Trump is guilty of something because Mueller hasn’t provided any evidence Trump has committed a crime and hasn’t indicted President Trump.”

                  Mueller has offered Trump an open-book, take-home test with written answers to Mueller’s questions about the Trump campaign’s conspiracy to defraud the United States. If Trump is an innocent man, then Trump should have no trouble acing Mueller’s open-book, take-home test. If Trump declines Mueller’s offer, then you’ll know that Trump has something to hide. If Trump takes Mueller’s offer, and if Trump fails to hide his guilt from his own lawyers in his written answers to Mueller’s questions about the Trump campaign’s conspiracy to defraud the United States, then Trump’s lawyers will not dare submit Trump’s written answers in response to Mueller. If, or when, Trump’s lawyers refuse to submit Trump’s written answers, then you’ll know for sure that Trump has something to hide.

                  Or maybe Trump will ace the test. Pshaw!

                  1. ” If Trump is an innocent man, then Trump should have no trouble acing Mueller’s open-book, take-home test. If Trump declines Mueller’s offer, then you’ll know that Trump has something to hide.”

                    This is Diane drawing conclusions before she even knows what the questions are. So far her predictions are far worse than random selection.

  6. “This weekend I discussed a surprising, and unreported, allegation made on CNN by former Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili against the latest cooperating witness of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, former Republican lobbyist and Paul Manafort associate, Sam Patten..”
    **********************************
    Congrats JT you broke a big story!

  7. If, or when, the FBI confirms that Patten intimidated a potential witness, Mikeil Saakashvili, then Mueller will charge Patten with intimidating a witness under 18 U.S. Code § 1512. That charge will have exactly the same damaging effect upon Patten’s credibility as a witness as would the witness tampering charge against Manafort if Manafort flipped and testified against members of the Trump campaign. Presumably Mueller still seeks Manafort’s testimony against members of the Trump campaign. In fact, Mueller could charge Patten with intimidating a witness and still make a plea deal with Manafort that would drop the witness tampering charge amongst others. I doubt that Mueller would drop the witness tampering charge against Kilimnik, though, given that Kilimnik was allowed to flee The Ukraine and return to Russia. And, frankly, since Manafort, Kilimnik and Patten all worked together toward the same or similar ends, I doubt that Mueller cares all that much which one of them gets to cop a plea for reduced charges and reduced sentencing. Mueller can and will use this development to squeeze Patten for more information.

    1. Patten did not receive immunity from prosecution. He pled guilty to the FARA charge and to lying to Congress and agreed to cooperate with the special counsel’s investigation by providing documents and testimony. There’s no reason Mueller can’t charge Patten with intimidating a witness.

      1. Cindy Bragg – Kyl is a good pick for right now. He is pushing Kavanagh through, so he is already is DC, but he doesn’t want the job permanently.

  8. Every day is a new day.. with a new guy or gal… and new allegations of Russian this or that. I went out with a waitress that I hardly knew. How was I to know… she was with the Russians too?

    There was a song with those words that was out many years ago. It was the prelude to Mueller.

    1. Ha! Now the Russians are claiming the US was trying to interfere in their election

      “As Russian citizens prepare to head to the polls on Sunday to vote in regional elections, a senior Russian diplomat has revealed that Moscow has uncovered a US interference effort involving a Silicon Valley tech giant and activists opposed to the government of Russian President Vladimir Putin.”

      https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-09-04/senior-diplomat-reveals-us-led-effort-interfere-russian-election

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