Mueller Aide Weissmann Calls On DOJ Attorneys Not To Help On Investigations [Updated]

Andrew Weissman.

I recently wrote a column discussing how Democratic leaders, including Vice President Joe Biden, have argued against continuing the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham despite growing evidence of misconduct by Justice Department officials and now the first guilty plea by former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith. Now, Andrew Weissmann, one of the top prosecutors with Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has derided the Clinesmith plea while actually calling on Justice Department attorneys to refuse to help on ongoing investigations that could implicate aspects of his own prior work. [Update: I have include a longer quote from the column by the two authors and I have written another posting to address objections raised by Professor Goodman.]

I was among those who expressed concern when Mueller selected Weissmann due to his history of controversial prosecutorial decisions, including a pattern of prosecutorial overreach in the Enron litigation.

Weissmann’s recent statements (made before the release of his new book on the Russian investigation) have only served to reaffirm those concerns.

Recently, Weissmann wrote an extraordinary and disturbing New York Times op-ed (with former Defense Department special counsel Ryan Goodman). In the column, he appeared to call on Justice Department lawyers to undermine the Durham investigation as well as the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Bash’s investigation into the “unmasking” requests by Obama administration officials. They wrote “Justice Department employees in meeting their ethical and legal obligations, should be well advised not to participate in any such effort.”  The two authors appear to dismiss not just the timing but the underlying investigations as political.

“Today, Wednesday, marks 90 days before the presidential election, a date in the calendar that is supposed to be of special note to the Justice Department. That’s because of two department guidelines, one a written policy that no action be influenced in any way by politics. Another, unwritten norm urges officials to defer publicly charging or taking any other overt investigative steps or disclosures that could affect a coming election.”

Consider that line for a moment.  Weissmann is openly calling on attorneys to refuse to help on investigations that could raise questions about his own decisions.  Durham is looking at a pattern errors, false statements, bias, and now criminal conduct in the Russian investigation. There is obviously overlap with the Mueller investigation which discussed many of the same underlying documents and relied on work by some of the same individuals.  The failure to address misconduct, bias, or criminal conduct by such individuals would be embarrassing to both Weissmann and Mueller. Despite that obvious conflict of interest, Weissmann is calling on attorneys to stand down.

It is the same troubling position that was once taken by Sally Yates, who told an entire federal agency not to assist the President in his travel ban.

After Weissmann called on Justice Department attorneys not to assist investigations by the Justice Department, Durham disclosed that the first guilty plea would be entered by Clinesmith. That would ordinarily cause embarrassment for someone who was calling for DOJ lawyers to effectively hinder the investigation.  Not Weissmann.  He has now attacked the criminal plea.

Weissmann mocked Attorney General Bill Barr to explain the difference between the Flynn plea and the Clinesmith plea.

Weissmann tweeted:

“Question for Barr: how are Flynn’s confessed lies to the FBI (repeated to the VP) not a crime, but Clinesmith changing an email (the full version of which he also sent to DOJ) is?

Clinesmith is charged with adding the words ‘not a source’ to an email about Carter Page, but no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA. Without that, how is the addition ‘materially’ false?”

Here is Durham theory: even though Clinesmith gave the complete and accurate email to DOJ to use in the Page FISA, when asked by an FBI agent if the CIA had represented IN WRITING that Page was not a source, Clinesmith said yes, when CIA had not said so explicitly in writing. no where is it alleged that Page was in fact a CIA source or, if so, that Clinesmith knew that. How is any of this false or material to the Page FISA, using Barr’s new Flynn materiality standard. It’s not. Two systems of justice at play.”

“Clear from Durham charge that the FBI supervisor wanted to know if CIA confirmed “in writing” that Page was not a source because of distrust of CIA — but whether in writing or not, no allegation that Clinesmith lied about the fact Page was not a source. That’s a federal crime?”

The tweets reveal more about Weissmann than Clinesmith or this guilty plea.

First, Weissmann is completely distorting both the law and the facts to disregard the significance of this guilty plea. The fact that Page was a source for the CIA is not disputed. The Horowitz investigation and various congressional investigations have confirmed that the CIA made clear to Clinesmith that Page was working for United States intelligence, a fact that critically undermined the basis for the original application for secret surveillance. The statement that “no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA” is bizarre. The charge is that Clinesmith made this false statement to the court and there is a wealth of evidence to support that charge. It was clearly enough to prompt Clinesmith to take a plea and enter into what appears a cooperative agreement with prosecutors.

Second, the claim that “Clinesmith gave the complete and accurate email to DOJ” would not negate the charge. It was the false information that he gave to the court that mattered. Prosecutorial misconduct often involves telling courts something different from what is known or discussed by prosecutors.  Moreover, the implications of such a contrast adds to the need for the investigation that Weissmann has sought to hinder.  If other DOJ attorneys and investigators knew that the court was being given false material information, the concerns are magnified not reduced for the Durham investigation.  Indeed, it means that this investigation dragged on for many months despite other attorneys knowing that the original claims of Page being a Russian assets were directly contradicted by American intelligence and never disclosed to the Court.

What is astonishing is that the FISA court itself as well as Horowitz have flagged this as a serious matter of false or misleading information. Weissmann however is actively seeking to convince Justice Department lawyers to refuse to help on the investigation.

Weissmann also misrepresents the law and the position of the Justice Department in Flynn.  I have been one of the most vocal critics of the plea.  It is true that Flynn gave false answers to the investigators.  However, he fought the allegations until the Mueller team drained him of his savings and threatened to prosecute his son.


Keep in mind that Flynn was the incoming National Security Adviser and held entirely lawful discussions with Russian diplomats. Even James Comey told President Obama that the discussions were “legit.” Moreover, in December 2016, investigators had found no evidence of any crime by Flynn. They wanted to shut down the investigation; they were overruled by superiors, including FBI special agent Peter Strzok, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and Director James Comey. Strzok told the investigators to keep the case alive, and McCabe is described as “cutting off” another high-ranking official who questioned the basis for continuing to investigate Flynn. All three officials were later fired, and all three were later found by career officials to have engaged in serious misconduct as part of the Russia investigation. Recently disclosed material indicate that Obama, Biden, and other discussed the use of the Logan Act as a pretense for a criminal charge. The Logan Act criminalizes private negotiations with foreign governments. The Logan Act is widely viewed as unconstitutional and has never been used successfully against any U.S. citizen since the earliest days of the Republic.

Then, in February 2017, Comey circumvented long-standing protocols and ordered an interview with Flynn. Comey later bragged that he “probably wouldn’t have … gotten away with it” in other administrations, but he sent “a couple guys over” to question Flynn, who was settling into his new office as national security adviser. Indeed, Yates recently agreed that Comey “went rogue” on the Flynn matter.

This history is what was detailed to the court in the Flynn motion to dismiss the charge. The materiality point reflected the governing law that indictments require more than mere “relevance” or relatedness but rather a statement that is “reasonably likely to influence the tribunal in making a determination required to be made.” United States v. Weinstock, 231 F.2d 699, 701 (D.C. Cir. 1956) (emphasis added). The distinction with Clinesmith is obvious. Clinesmith lied to the Court in an investigation to influence a “determination required to be made” by the court.

Imagine if this were not the rule. It would mean that any prosecutor could intentionally lie to a court to secure warrants or other actions without the risk of a criminal charge.  Yet, Weissmann is mocking the very notion that Clinesmith could be charged while insisting that his office was correct in prosecuting Flynn despite the absence of an ongoing federal case and the fact that the agents themselves did not believe Flynn intentionally lied. There is no question the Clinesmith lied and that the lie was critical to the court’s consideration of the FISA application.

Weissmann’s public effort to derail the Durham investigation and his distortion of the Clinesmith guilty plea only reinforces the view of many of us that the Durham investigation must be completed and made public. Despite saying that I did not believe that Mueller would find crimes of collusion or conspiracy with the Russians, I supported the Special Counsel investigation. I also supported the Horowitz investigation and the Durham investigation. The reason is the same. I believe that the public needs to have a full and transparent account of what happened in the Russian investigation on both sides. Like many, Weissmann would like transparency on only one side and to shutdown the Durham investigation despite Horowitz referring matters for criminal investigation and finding a host of false statements, errs, and professional misconduct.  Even the addition of a criminal plea has not stopped Weissmann from denouncing this investigation.

For years, I have criticized Weissmann’s record of dubious prosecutorial judgment, bias, and overreach. However, that case against Weissmann is not nearly as powerful as the case he is making against himself.


406 thoughts on “Mueller Aide Weissmann Calls On DOJ Attorneys Not To Help On Investigations [Updated]”

  1. “Since the FISA and FISA Court were created in the 1970’s (designed to restrain and minimize unconstitutional searches by presidents after Watergate and the Frank Church Committee Reports), American officials have started behaving like a Cold War Stasi (communist secret police). Maybe we need to start practicing American style justice instead of becoming more like despotic regimes?”

    Only liars will try to game the FISA court. And that is exactly what happened during the Russia investigation. This is just another fight to obtain fairness and freedom. Freedom from illegal surveillance, but I sure wish the Rep’s would do some surveillance on a China investigation.

  2. “Question for Barr: how are Flynn’s confessed lies to the FBI (repeated to the VP) not a crime, but Clinesmith changing an email (the full version of which he also sent to DOJ) is?

    Clinesmith is charged with adding the words ‘not a source’ to an email about Carter Page, but no where does the charge say that is false, i.e. that Page was a source for the CIA. Without that, how is the addition ‘materially’ false?”
    Is Weissmann actually a lawyer? The answers to to these questions are elementary.

    1. Contra the left plea deals are not treated as actual confessions.

      Especially when as in Flynn’s case the prosecution engaged in misconduct failling to provide the defense with exculpatory evidence.

      Regardless, if you beleive that Flynn lied – what is it that he lied about ?

      I would further note that there ie no general law prohibiting “lying to a government agent” – Flynn himself was a government agent and Comey and company lied to him to get the interview in the first place. If lying to a government agent is a crime, then Comey is guilty of it.

      To be a crime there must be a legitimate government investigation, and the lie must mislead that investigation(materiality).

      Lying about something the agent already knows is just a form of entrapment.

      Given that the investigation had died weeks earlier, and that the FBI can still not document what it is that Flynn said that was a lie,
      and nothing that Flynn did was wrong – Biden officials are ALREADY communicating with foreign leaders expressing disagreement with Trump’s policies.

      All that you have left is a deliberate political persecution – that is a violation of Flynn’s civil rights.

      1. Yes, it is, but I’m more interested in the second point. Proving that Weissmann is wrong about the first point requires one to introduce additional facts.

        Weissmann’s second point contains all the facts one needs in order to conclude that Weissmann is either completely corrupt or the stupidest lawyer ever. The false representation isn’t that Page wasn’t a CIA asset. The false representation is that the sender of the email *wrote* that Page wasn’t an asset. Even the guys at the bottom of the class at Syracuse law should be able to grasp that!

        1. Andrew McCarthy had a similar observation regarding this.

          When he sought to prosecute the “blind Sheik” – he had to get myriads of signoffs from the FBI, DOJ, … Right up to the AG.
          All of these were required by DOJ policy many by law.

          Every single one of these reviews was meaningful. The person who had to signoff reviewed the material, made demands for further information, and only signed off when they were persuaded that what was occuring was proper.

          McCartny asserts that should anyone ever claim that any aspect of the review and signoff process for his prosecution was “perfunctory” that those who signed off were not fully aware of the details of what they were authorizing is LYING.

          McCarthy beleives the claims by Comey …. that they were not really involved is both false and even if it were true violates the letter and spirit of the law. FISA Warrants and other government prosesses do not require rhese signoffs “proforma”, If you signoff you are taking meaningful responsibility. One of the problems in government is the lack of personal accountability.

  3. SMH. So Turley updates the column, saying “[Update: I have include a longer quote from the column by the two authors and I have written another posting to address objections raised by Professor Goodman.],” and he added two sentences, but he **deleted** a key sentence and nowhere notes that he deleted it, and now some of the column makes no sense.

    As I noted in one of my initial comments, Turley initially quoted the sentence “Justice Department employees, in meeting their ethical and legal obligations, should be well advised not to participate in any such effort” out of context from Weissmann’s and Goodman’s column (the comment where I noted this: But that sentence has been deleted from the column, despite the fact that Turley left the following text from himself, “Consider that line for a moment. …,” when “that line” is no longer in the column. He needs to pay a copy editor to help him check for errors. And he shouldn’t be removing text in this way in the first place. If he’s going to change the text, he should either use strikethrough text for anything significant that he’s removing, or include a note at the bottom making explicit what was removed. (And I don’t know whether anything else was removed. The reason I can be certain that this sentence was removed is because I quoted it from Turley’s article when the article first posted, and the sentence is no longer there.)

    1. So Turley removes possibly the most offensive sentence of Weisman’s editorial – and you want to take Turley to the woodshed ?

      The investigation is clearly legitimate and constitutional. DOJ Attorney’s are obligated to cooperate.

      Any DOJ attorney who does not beleive the directions they are receiving from their superiors all the way to Trump are unconstitutional or illegal are free to express those views loudly and boldly – as private citizens after they RESIGN – though they would still be obligated to cooperate. The constitution allows you to decline to cooperate when your answers might incriminate you. Not because you are not happy with the questions. If Weisman beleives the investigation is unconstitutional he should challenge it in court.

      Though I would note that it is Andrew Weisman who knowingly conducted an unpredicated investigation.

  4. You want to talk about lying the way the media and Dems blast Trump?

    Look at the version of Joe Biden the Democrats, the media, Michelle Obama are trying to “sell you.” You know, the empathetic, compassionate, caring, good ol’ ‘lunch box Joe’ Biden. A lie.

    “When they go low, we go high” is Michelle Obama’s big lie. Some examples of Joe Biden going “high”? Here ya go —–>>>>

    Did you see Joe Biden call a voter a “lyin’ dog faced pony soldier”? Or when Joe lost his cool and told a Michigan auto worker he was “full of sh&t” and then asked him if he wanted to “take it outside.” As in what, Joe? A fist fight? A push up contest?

    Did you see the video where Joe Biden lost his cool, yet again, and told an Iowa voter, “you’re a dam liar!”

    How about when Joe Biden told a black radio show host and his black audience that “You ain’t black” if you don’t vote for me, a Democrat!

    How about when Joe Biden told a crowd that Mitt Romney was gonna “put y’all back in chains”….remember that one?

    Or when Joe snapped at a black interviewer who asked him if he had taken a cognitive test, where Joe snapped and asked the black reporter if he had taken a test for cocaine before coming on the show, asking “are you a junkie?”

    On and on go the examples of Joe Biden losing his cool. Not just with the media, but with VOTERS!! Forget the attacks on the media. Joe Biden attacks VOTERS who ask him questions he can’t handle!

    How could anyone call this temperament, this behavior by Joe Biden, “compassionate”? It’s not. It is bizarre behavior for a career politician. It is concerning, alarming, disqualifying, baffling, insulting, condescending. And inappropriate. The one thing it is NOT? It is not “compassionate.”

    You can attack the media, Joe. You can attack your political opponents, Joe. But you do not, as a former Senator and two term VP and now a presidential candidate, regularly lose your cool and resort to verbally attacking voters.

    But Joe Biden regularly does. Just like Hillary Clinton called half the country “deplorables” and “irredeemables.” Joe Biden calls us voters “full of sh*t” and “dam liars.” And he tells us we “ain’t black” if we don’t get in line and vote Democrat like we are expected to. How disgraceful and condescending.

    So what is the reality, the truth about Joe Biden? He is combative, short tempered, corrupt as hell, not very bright, a known serial plagiarizer. And now, at nearly 78 years old? He is also going senile, is demonstrably cognitively impaired, prone to inappropriate angry outbursts, etc.

    Joe Biden is clearly not up to the job. Clearly.

    Yet this is the man the Democrats and Michelle Obama and their media mouthpieces want to put into the White House so they can regain power and control.

    They all know Joe Biden is not who they are trying to sell you he is. They want and *need* to regain the power they had for eight years. They need to get in and quash all the investigations into their corruption and abuse of power.

    If they get back into the White House, then all of the criminality that we know took place, will be squashed before it can come out. We know what will happen to the Durham investigation. This is the number one reason for Bill Barr to not postpone anything until after the election. Get it all out there now. Do not delay another minute. Bring on the indictments.

    1. If the Democrats regain control of the White House, then all of the criminality and abuse of power that we *know* took place, will be squashed and disappeared before it can come out. We know what will happen to the Durham investigation. This is the number one reason for Bill Barr to not postpone anything until after the election. Get it all out there now. Do not delay another minute. Bring on the indictments.

      1. If what is being investigated meets the criteria of “political” that is an admission that the Obama administration used the FBI and DOJ as “political” weapons.

        Otherwise this is an investigation of corruption and criminality within the DOJ/FBI much of which tool place while Trump was president.

        The investigation is only “political” ig the misconduct was political.

    2. So what is the reality, the truth about Joe Biden?

      He is combative with voters, short tempered with voters, corrupt as hell after a lifetime of his family cashing in on his political office, he is not very bright (very bottom of his law school class), a known liar and serial plagiarizer. And now, at nearly 78 years old? He is also going senile, is demonstrably cognitively impaired –as demonstrated by his most concerning and inappropriate angry outbursts directed toward VOTERS! All of this signals senility and brain dysfunction. Joe Biden has also had not one, but two brain anyeurisms! This is beyond concerning.

      Joe Biden is clearly not up to the job. Clearly. Not. Up. To. The. Job.

      Trump 2020.

      1. Everything you said is accurate. The problem is democrats are infected with the virus of TDS an have abandoned all reason in their hatred of Trump. They would vote for a dead body rather than Trump. Communists and criminals like Mike Avanetti (ph) are acceptable for POTUS over Trump. Trump is what he is. He is NOT a Russian agent. He is not a crazy old man. He gets things done. He will ge gone in four years and life will go on. But the Democrats will have in the meantime destroyed their Party for a generation or two in their hatred of this man. Why? Hate is a very twisted emotion and is really evil. More than Trump himself. Seems power and money are the driving forces behind this irrational hatred. In fact Trump has broken many old logjams that have plagued D.C. for decades. His style is rough and crude but might be what is necessary in a town that has become unresponsive to the American public. The concrete that has become Washington D.C. really needs a jackhammer like Trump to break it up. Jackhammers are not usually used by Americas elites and rich for anything. So they are confused.

        1. “The concrete that has become Washington D.C. really needs a jackhammer like Trump to break it up. Jackhammers are not usually used by Americas elites and rich for anything. So they are confused.”

          You got it! Well said!

          And here is an excerpt from Barack Obama’s DNC speech last night that CNN is circulating on twitter: “”This administration has shown it will tear our democracy down if that’s what it takes for them to win,” former President Obama said. “So we have to get busy building it up — by pouring all our efforts into these 76 days, and by voting like never before”

          What the voters need to see (that they will never learn from CNN) is that Barack Obama is talking about *himself* and the ‘burn it all down’ Democrat terrorists tearing down statues, rewriting our history, rioting in the streets, assaulting Trump supporters they disagree with, “harvesting” ballots to get just enough votes to swing an election their way, etc!

          This is how Barack Obama is “tearing our democracy down.” By any means necessary. Lie, cheat, steal, weaponize the government against your political enemies. That’s the Chicago way. It is the Obama way.

          and btw Obama, ours is a “republic.”

          1. ‘Forget Obama’s groundbreaking willingness to tear into his successor publicly at a political convention. The gall of a president who routinely disdained the Constitution and the founding values embedded in it now wrapping himself in the document is absolutely incredible.’ @benshapiro

            yep. that was the intent of Obama delivering his speech from Philadelphia, wrapped in the Constitution he not so secretly loathes. but, shhhh, don’t tell the dupes….

            1. ‘I spared myself the agony of watching Obama’s speech last night, but I just read the transcript and I disagree with all of it. He is still petty, divisive, malicious, & deceitful. If any other former president ever personally attacked a sitting president like that he’d be savaged.’ @DavidLimbaugh

              This is true. Dems and their ‘disinformation media’ are in full swing praising the speech. Anyone surprised?

  5. OT: Regarding a bunch of btb’s prior comments:

    New CNN poll showing 10-point momentum for Trump appears driven by people of color in swing states

    CNN polling found 26% of ‘people of color’ approved of Trump in June, compared to 37% in August.

    The new poll shows the Biden-Harris ticket leading the Trump-Pence ticket 50% to 46%, compared to early June when the numbers were 55% to 41%.

    Over the same period, the CNN poll found that 26% of “people of color” in battleground states approved of Trump in June, compared to 37% in August.

    The CNN poll was not lost on President Trump, who tweeted, “What’s with @CNN POLLS increasing me by 10 points in a short period of time. Maybe they want to take over from FoxNews!”


    1. From the moment the polls had biden at a 10pt lead there have been LOTS of data points that are incongrous.

      BTW even a 26% Trump approval rate among minorities makes it highly unlikely that Biden can win.
      I have also notes that CA15 and NY16 both centrist districts were 20pts out of whack with the polls and with the election in 2018.

      There are lots of data points out there that are in conflict. They can not all be simulataneously true.

      I may be wrong – but the explanation that best fits occam’s razor is that between 6 and 10% of voters will not tell a national polster they are voting for Trump. That may well be wrong. but as I said it is the explanation that best fits occam’s razor. It is a single correction that brings most everything into agreement.

      I would further note though there has been chaos in the Trump campaign that is not unusual and not different from 2016.

      That chaos has mostly been because Trump’s rally based campaign model that served him very well in 2016 was not going to work over the summer – maybe in the fall. But not this summer.

      But contra the left Trump is a very smart person. That means he can find a way to adapt to the circumstances as they are and still win.

      Buit democrats have faced a harder problem from the start of the campaign.

      They most get BOTH their left and right flanks to the polls somehow. Everything they do to excite the left alienates the center.

      Trump does not have this problem. Trump can absolutely count on far more votes that Biden.
      Trump can focus solely on his left flank – which is the center and center left.
      He does not need them to vote for him. He just needs them to not vote for Biden. That is much easier.
      And at the same time Trump is trying to alienate centrist voters from Biden – he can also alienate far left voters.

      Biden most constantly try to bring BOTH wings of his party to the polls. Trump does not have that problem.

      The largest single problem Trump has is mail in voting. Normally this heavily favors democrats – because it make is much easier to get people who might not otherwise vote to vote.

      It also makes fraud much easier. and it also means exponentially larger odds of an undecided or contested election.
      And that is incredibly dangerous.

      2000 Bush/Gore was a really dangerous crisis. A similar debacle in 2020 could lead to a complete melt down.

      The left rants about Trump not leaving if he loses.

      What happens if the result is not clear ?

      What happens if there are 100,000 votes in each swing state that are suspect ? In that is easily reached.
      What happens when we are fighting over matching signatures ?
      Or hundreds of other quibbles – essentially the hanging chad of mail in voting.

      Extended voting is a bad idea. Mail in voting is a bad idea.

      It matter less who wins the election than that on Nov 4 2020 we have a clear winner that everyone grudgingly agrees to.

      Democrats purportedly gamed the election – the plotted several possible outcomes. The Trump lost narrowly and refuse to leave was one.
      That was actually one of the simplest. Come Jan 20, 2021 the entire US government just quits taking orders from Donlad Trump.

      Every other scenario that democrats looked at had DEMOCRATS challenging the election – not Trump.
      And all were incredible messes.

      I hope that the results of Nov 3 are quick and very clear. Outside the margin of error that will be exponentially larger as a result of mail in voting.

      1. Your points are well taken. I continue to feel there will be a Trump victory, but the fight must be hard fought on his side. My biggest fear is election fraud which seems to be one of yours as well. Voting should take place on one day or on a couple of days that include the weekend. Absentee ballots only and that means they are registered and tracked. ID should be required and confirmed. Like you I don’t like electronic voting so I believe voting machines should only be used if a hard copy is included. Mail in voting is dangerous and that has been proven over and over again in this election cycle.

        If we are worried with election fraud from the Russians then we should be far more worried about election fraud from the left.

        VP Kamala IMO is not an asset. To hear a summary anyone can listen to this video which puts a lot of Kamala’s negatives in one place. She has significant negatives for minorities especially since Kamala has family connections to slave owners and one whose African American heritage isn’t direct if one considers it exists

        1. Real large serious fraud is a concern.

          But my big fear is the lack of a quick decisive results.

          2000 went really badly.

          I was deeply concerned over each day that there was not a certain result.

          In every election everywhere there is a little bit of fraud – by both sides.

          Whether true of mythical there is always the 1960 Nixon election that purportedly Nixon refused to challenge despite significant fraud in cook county.

          The point is not the actual fraud or the truth of the story.
          It is that if we get into trading allegations of voting fraud things will go to hell incredibly fast.

          We have already seen the mess of 2016 where Hillary planted seeds that resulted in 4 years or ranting and raving and fuming over nonsense.

          Do you really expect Democrats to behave better if on Nov. 4 there is no clear winner and there are half a dozen states fighting over 100K+ ballots each ?

          And honestly at this point I do not think the right is prepared to take any more of this nonsense. We all know who the champions of voter fraud are and for all their faults, it is not the GOP.

          Regardless, an unclear result and traded claims of fraud in the days following the election could result in violence that makes what we have seen thus far look tame.

          A legal blogger I follow observed of the Flynn En Banc hearing that it was a teaching moment to anyone on the right. It was absolutely crystal clear than not a single democrat judge gave a damn about the law. They were just looking for a way to their prefered outcome.

          When Roberts said there are no Obama judges and no Bush judges – he was full of Schiff.
          This lawyer noted that the en banc hearing reminded him of a hearing in the house – not a judicial hearing, one where politics was going to determine the outcome.

          Our courts are neither prepared for, nor able to handle a messy election. The SCOTUS decision in 2000 was legal and constitutional crap.
          But it was driven by an important extra constitutional issue – the necescity of finality.

          If 2020 becomes contested – it will shred any credibility to our courts regardless of the outcome.

          This is one of the reasons I strongly favor changes to our election process that make contested results impossible.

          I beleive the year we had Coleman Franken we also had a very close senate election in Georgia.

          Georgia did not have a recount. They scheduled a new election two weeks later – the results were then clear.
          Franken Colemen want on for months and no one trusted the results and the big loser was the courts.

          It is far more important that election results are clear and trustworthy than who wins.

          The left rants about the money in politics – it is not the contributions to politicians that are the problem, it is that the winner of national elections gets to dole out massive amounts of federal funds to freinds.

          If large donations to campaigns were not possible – the incentive would still be there for massive fraud

          Control of trillions of dollars is at stake. The candidates can be pure, the parties can be pure (no I do not beleive that).
          And still the incentive for outsiders to engage in fraud is enormous.

          There will be lots of real fraud in this election by both sides. Probably not enough to decide the election.
          But we have seen the left parley fake collusion into a massive beleif that many – even here will not let go of that Trump either did not win or won with the aide of Russia or Comey or …

          My point with respect to Georgia is that we need to DESIGN elections to avoid the arrangements that will result in lack of trust.

          Do not do recounts or toss things into courts when you can return the issue to voters.
          Nearly Everyone will accept a clear decisions from voters – we can fight over recounts and court decisions forever.
          And they are avoidable.

          Republicans are constantly alleging massive amounts of voter fraud. I do not know if that is true. I do know that their answer – voter ID is an excellent one. All of us can trust that if there is ID there is way less in person fraud.

          Mail in voting has dozens of ways to commit fraud. It does not matter whether there is massive fraud if a significant portion of people do not trust the result

          SCOTUS got the germanderying decison and the census decison WRONG.

          We need to ask about citizenship, because we need to count citizens and we need to run the government by and for citizens.

          We can not prevent gerrymandering – there is no such thing as an objectively correct way to allocate districts.

          But we can use the constitution to confine the appearance of corruption to the state legislature – which voters can change.

          The governor should have nothing to do with federal elections, and with congressional districts. The State courts should have nothing to do with them. And the federal courts should have as little as possible.

          We beleive politicians are politically corrupt regardless, Leave that perception (and reality) or corruption in the legislature.

          The problem of Gerrymandering is tiny. The problem of not trusting our courts is huge.

          My point is there are structural ways of dealing with increasing confidence in elections.
          Instead of making every election law issue about which side benefits we need to make them about – does this make an election more trustworthy.

          If 2020 is not decided on Nov. 3 or very shortly after – this will be bad, there will be violence, possibly on both sides.
          and it could escalate very rapidly.

          People do not understand how fragile the consent of the governed is. Without it we have no government.

  6. ‘Something is not right’ says Obama’s White House doctor about Biden, ‘He’s just lost’

    The former White House physician and retired Navy rear admiral says he watched Biden’s decline up close for several years

    “The best way I can describe every time I see him is that he’s just lost,” Jackson said.

    “I saw him frequently around the West Wing and other places like that. I know he’s always been prone to gaffes, but these aren’t gaffes anymore. He can’t form sentences. Sometimes, he can’t complete a thought,” said Jackson


    1. Asked whether he’s comfortable with the idea of Biden assuming the top executive position in the country, Jackson said, “I’m not.”

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