Wolff Book Prompts Rare Denial From Special Counsel’s Office

Michael Wolff made a killing on his last book on Donald Trump despite denials from his sources as to key statements. He is now back with a sequel entitled “Siege: Trump Under Fire.” As before, there were instantly questions about Wolff’s standards and sources in making sensational claims. Two such claims immediately stood out as highly dubious, if not facially untrue. The Special Counsel’s office has already made a rare public denial of one of those claims: that Mueller’s office actually drafted indictments against Trump for obstruction of justice.

The New York Times reported on the new book as coming out “despite lingering questions about its accuracy.”

While Mueller’s office categorically denied the claim, Wolff insisted ‘My source is impeccable, and I have no doubt about the authenticity and the significance of the documents.”

There are a couple of glaring questions on the allegation. First, it says that Andrew Weissman led the effort to draft the indictment but the New York Times confirmed that Weissman did not work on the obstruction part of the investigation. More importantly, Wolff says that the three count indictment was brought under three separate provisions: Section 1505, Section 1512 and Section 1513 of Title 18 of the United States code.

If true, the Mueller team was contemplating an exceptionally weak case against Trump. I have written multiple columns on the obstruction provisions (here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and explained why the only provision that would appear relevant would be not Section 1512. I also testified on the provisions before Congress. That is the section that we have all been debating and, as noted in Bill Barr’s memo, even that section is questionable and untested as a basis for prosecution in this context. Neither Section 1505 or 1513 have been raised in serious discussions.

The second claim is that Barr needed to be Attorney General because he viewed the job as “payday” and a way to make “millions.” The claim is facially absurd. Barr has disclosed over $22 million in assets.

He would be better off claiming that Barr took the job for the free parking. This is why Wolff makes most impressionist painters look like Rockwells.

34 thoughts on “Wolff Book Prompts Rare Denial From Special Counsel’s Office”

  1. “You can’t get out of a hole until you stop digging.”

    Michael Wolf would do well to remember that, since his versions of events seem to always be lacking in the Facts department. It might be a good idea if he gives up writing for a while.

    A long while.

  2. Very little of the president’s behavior would make it to an actual court. What would make it could be defended by a novice. Most of the investigations into the president would be subject to illegal search and siezure laws as well as equal protection. Muller seems to have turned the process on it’s head. A prosecutor exonerating a defendant, really?

    1. L4D says–Most likely Trump has already pardoned himself–long ago. He just hasn’t publicly disclosed his self-pardon yet, because nobody has indicted Trump yet, because Trump is still in office.

      There’s no way that Trump would take a chance on not pardoning himself as soon as he could (probably when he first mentioned it in public, roughly two years ago) seeing as how Trump can easily claim State secret privilege on his classified Top Secret self-pardon.

    2. Congress – both branches routinely do things without having first taken a poll of the citizenry. Example:
      the big tax cut for his daughter & the rest of the ruling class.
      They need to do the right thing now & impeach the Hitler wannabe in the WH – if it isn’t already too late.

      Sadly, a shocking number of people (rich & non-rich) actually prefer a right-wing dictator – not democracy.
      This includes a majority of people who daily rant in support of the Trumpster here on this blog. Of course, some will deny they support authoritarian rulers and deny that Trump is a danger to democracy.

  3. L4D says–Selected excerpts from The Mueller Report:

    Substantial evidence indicates that the President’s attempts to remove the Special Counsel were linked to the Special Counsel’s oversight of investigations that involved the President’s conduct- and, most immediately, to reports that the President was being investigated for potential obstruction of justice.

    Substantial evidence indicates that the President’s effort to have Sessions limit the scope of the Special Counsel’s investigation to future election interference was intended to prevent further investigative scrutiny of the President’s and his campaign’s conduct.

    There is evidence that at least one purpose of the President’s conduct toward Sessions was to have Sessions assume control over the Russia investigation and supervise it in a way that would restrict its scope.

    Substantial evidence indicates that in repeatedly urging McGahn to dispute that he was ordered to have the Special Counsel terminated, the President acted for the purpose of influencing McGahn ‘s account in order to deflect or prevent further scrutiny of the President’s conduct towards the investigation.

    The evidence establishes the President’s substantial involvement in the communications strategy related to information about his campaign’s connections to Russia and his desire to minimize public disclosures about those connections.

    Evidence concerning the President’s conduct towards Manafort indicates that the President intended to encourage Manafort to not cooperate with the government.

    In analyzing the President’s intent in his actions towards Cohen as a potential witness, there is evidence that could support the inference that the President intended to discourage Cohen from cooperating with the government because Cohen’s information would shed adverse light on the President’s campaign-period conduct and statements.

    1. He didn’t like the investigation and he wanted it to end. We already know that.
      His advisers told him that the best thing he could do, to protect himself legally and politically, was to let the investigation drag on unimpeded, so that’s what ended up happening.
      We also know that there was no crime being covered up. An innocent person not enjoying being publicly investigated is not obstruction of justice. Trying to find out what you can do to stop it is also not obstruction of justice.

      In the absence of an actual crime necessitating justice, Democrats would be smart not to try to push impeachment on grounds of obstruction of justice, even if it’s all just for show. Their base will eat it up but most independent voters are not so stupid.

  4. L4D says–Here’s more of what Mueller said at his press conference yesterday:

    First, the opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents are available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could now be charged.

    And second, the opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

    And beyond Department policy, we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of an actual charge.

    [repeated for emphasis]

    . . . [T]he Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing.

  5. Here’s what Mueller said at his press conference yesterday:

    . . . [A] President cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view—that too is prohibited.

    The Special Counsel’s Office is part of the Department of Justice and, by regulation, it was bound by that Department policy. Charging the President with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

    Here’s a reminder of what Barr told The Senate:

    Special counsel Mueller stated three times to us in that meeting, in response to our questioning, that he emphatically was not saying that, but for the Office of Legal Counsel opinion, he would have found obstruction.

    [end excerpts]

    L4D says–There’s not much basis remaining for anyone to believe anything that Barr says about anything ever.

  6. Interesting that the dupes don’t believe Wolff who they call an outright liar, but eat up anything and everything Trump said about the report, or anything he babbles about daily.

    1. Wolff accused Trump of having a sexual relationship with Nikki Haley. Did you fall for that?

      Do you think Trump is a secret Russian agent ordering up golden showers? How stupid do you have to be to believe that?

  7. In far bigger news, the Dem’s keep inching towards impeachment hearings. My dream is coming true! The legions of anti-trumpers vs the man himself in a televised cage fight to the death…the way it should be. This is exactly what the country desperately needs.

    1. Did you miss the start of the 2020 election?

      Impeachment is the very definition of election.

      Countering the Obama Coup D’etat in America, by contrast, is national defense.

      The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

      The co-conspirators are:

      Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates, Baker,

      Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove, Steele, Simpson,

      Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary,

      Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile,

      Sessions, Obama et al.

      1. The scandal is much broader than “just” the coup. The abuse of the NSA database for political purposes goes back at least nineteen years as we know from whistleblowers. Even Obama was spied on at one point…along with Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Supreme Court Justices, and on and on.

        1. “POTUS (Obama) wants to know everything we’re doing.”

          – Lisa Page to Peter Strzok
          ______________________

          “Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote, ‘the White House is running this.’ My answer, ‘well, maybe for you they are.’”

          – Peter Strzok to Lisa Page

  8. Recall the who-do regarding Wolff’s first book, ‘Fraud and Frivolous’ that was heralded as the key to the end of the Trump presidency. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel sang of the public’s gullibility, and the Trump presidency reveals just how intense the need to ‘disregard the rest’.

  9. Michael Wolff ought to be made before a grand jury to name his sources, for he seems to have cultivated members of the special counsel’s office who violated the law in speaking to him.

    Prominent in the special counsel’s office are people who are generous donors to the Democratic Party. It’s time (to paraphrase Juvenal’s quis custodiet ipsos custodes?) to investigate the investigators, for Michael Wolff, if he’s telling the truth about his source, has revealed a specific leaker of information which ought legally to have been sealed.

    We have a chance to examine closely the source of all the innuendo and spin leveled against President Trump these past three years. We shouldn’t waste it.

  10. Just think of Woof as an untrainable dog that having eaten his fil of is now barking at the moon in his main role as a programmer for The Collective of The Party. Reminds me of the other Brooke Singman who also shills for The Party

    In Singman’s latest attempt at breaking into the ranks of those known as ‘journalists she wrote;’ “Nadler said in a statement. “No one, not even the President of the United States, is above the law.”

    When is Nadler going to file charges against those in the Socialist (aka Democrat) Party for openly committing the exact same crimes? When is he and other moon barkers going to demand to know exactly Why? Meuller investigation failed to do their job given the open and available evidence much of which is openly stated?

    After all it is Trump who illegally seated Congressionals after they refused to take or sign the required Oath of Office.

    ‘Not my job’ whines Nadler
    ‘Not my job to ask’ whines Brooke Singman
    ‘Not my job to ask’ whines the lame left wing propagandists of the far left.

    Given the numbers involved I doubt the DNC could count 27 legal votes.

  11. O.T but important: Assange is in the Belmarsh medical care/hospital. He is unable to hold a normal conversation per one of his lawyers. Read about this at a link provided by Zero Hedge.

    1. Sickening, but this is standard now. They’ve been trying to kill Tommy Robinson as well…he almost died last time.

    2. Swedish court rejects bid to delay Assange’s hearing on rape charges

      A bid to postpone a planned hearing for Julian Assange has been rejected by a Swedish court. Defence lawyer Per Samuelson says efforts were made to postpone the hearing due to the WikiLeaks Founder’s ill health, saying it ‘was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him’. The hearing, which relates to a rape allegation from 2010, is scheduled for June 3. It comes after the United States government decided to file 17 new charges against Assange over his alleged role in obtaining classified government information.

      MAY 28TH 2019

      https://www.theaustralian.com.au/video/id-5348771529001-6042059405001/swedish-court-rejects-bid-to-delay-assanges-hearing-on-rape-charges

    3. https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-05-29/assange-reportedly-gravely-ill-and-hardly-anyones-talking-about-it

      “As of this writing I’ve been able to find very few news outlets reporting on this at all, the most mainstream being a Reuters article with the very tame headline “Swedish court rejects delay of Assange hearing over ill-health: lawyer”. The Sydney Morning Herald also covered the story without even mentioning illness in headline, instead going with “Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing”. The much smaller alternative media outlet World Socialist Website has been the only outlet I’ve found so far which reports on Samuelson’s statement in anything resembling its proper scale, publishing a good article titled “Despite Assange’s ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing” a few hours ago.

      This news has been so under-discussed and under-appreciated as of this writing that I didn’t find out about it until hours after the story broke, and I’m very plugged in to both alternative media commentary and WikiLeaks-related news. A report that Julian Assange was so sick he could barely speak all the way back on Friday and we still have no news about how he’s doing now should be hugely significant for everyone who cares about Assange, press freedom, government transparency or peace activism.

      Another part of this story which has gone completely uncovered in all English-language media as of this writing is the news that Assange has actually been transferred to the hospital wing of Belmarsh prison. This was reported by the Swedish outlet Upsala Nya Tidning, a newspaper published in the same district court Assange is scheduled to call in to for his hearing. The report was also based on a statement to the press by Per Samuelson.”

      THIS IS BECAUSE THE AMERICAN MASS MEDIA VAUNTED FREE PRESS ARE A BUNCH OF CRAVEN COWARDS WITH EDITORS WHO ARE BILLIONAIRE SYCOPHANTS AND THEIR REPORTERS ARE PACK OF LOW PAID EARSLINGS

      it’s bad that he has been charged under the Espionage act. Its’ also bad that the guy is so sick. Really, the powers that be could probably poison him and get away with it scot free.

      1. “Really, the powers that be could probably poison him and get away with it scot free.”

        Yep, I agree. TPTB are getting away with a lot these days. Even on U.S. soil. Not news to you, I’m sure.

        I had to search the NY Times for any news about Assange and his health problems. They posted something about 10 hours ago, though it isn’t clear that it was ever on the front page.

        https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2019/05/30/world/europe/ap-eu-britain-julian-assange.html?searchResultPosition=2

  12. The only way to stop jackasses like Wolff is to not buy the book. Unfortunately, too many liberals want to hear his bedtime stories to assuage their TDS so they can get to sleep.

    1. He has long been a man whose ethical sense was less than zero, and he’s hardly hidden it. It’s indicative of how corrupt media organs are that he’s been receiving employment and commissions the last 15 years. (He once employed his son to pump the son of another reporter on a play date, among other things. The other reporter was aghast that Wolff was using two kids to get confidential information out of said reporter’s notebooks. Since Wolff oozes arrogance and mendacity, no clue why the other reporter would get within 39 1/2 feet of him).

      1. because they are mostly low paid morons who are hired for their proven ability to enthusiastically report lies. if they were hired for their ability to tell the truth then they would be working elsewhere

        1. and this Wolf guy sells books. that’s the only thing that matters to them.

          and at the high level, the mass media doesnt even care about that. profits be damned, they are really in it just to retain their control — such as they perceive it to be

          Wolf has that cheritshed quality of both selling books and helping them maintain their illusions of control at the same time

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