Did Mueller Withhold Evidence From Michael Flynn?

440px-Michael_T_FlynnThe court order for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to share exculpatory evidence with former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has raised intriguing questions about whether evidence might have been withheld from Flynn before his plea deal.  As I stated on air, I do not believe that the issuance of this order by Judge Sullivan should be assumed as evidence of any second thoughts by Flynn. As I state in my column below in The Hill newspaper, I do not see a real option for Flynn in trying to undo his plea deal. However, the disclosure of the evidence could raise questions for Flynn.

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Missouri Governor Charged With Felony Invasion of Privacy In Bizarre Affair

1519343017060Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is now the state’s chief executive and its most famous accused felon.  On Thursday, the Republican governor was indicted for  felony invasion of privacy in a truly bizarre affair from 2015. Greitens, 43, is accused of involuntarily restraining a woman in an affair and taking pictures of her naked as leverage over her.  The indictment occurs when nude pictures are also being raised in Nashville as possible evidence against the Mayor Megan Barry, who is also embroiled in a scandal over an affair.

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Mueller Files New Manafort Charges As Investigators Look Into Alleged Quid Pro Quo Deal Of $16 Million Loan

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1Paul Manafort has been something of a target rich environment for Special Counsel Robert Mueller who has piled on an assortment of charges for financial and fraud crimes.  The charges were not much of a surprise for many of us in Washington where Manafort has long held a reputation for dubious clients and practices.  Indeed, as discussed before, it is astonishing that Donald Trump selected Manafort to head his campaign when minimal vetting would have revealed his controversial history and clients.  Now Mueller has now filed greatly expanded charges against Manafort and Gates.  There is a new allegation of mortgage fraud but one recently disclosed inquiry could present an even more serious issue for Manafort and the Administration.  All of the past charges have been unrelated to election or the campaign.  The new allegation is no exception, but it does involve the Administration in Manafort allegedly securing a $16 million loan in exchange for an appointment of the banker to a prestigious Administration position.  Mueller is reportedly seeking information on the appointment of Stephen Calk to Trump’s council of economic advisers in August 2016. He is the president of Federal Savings Bank and gave Manafort the over-sized loan. As discussed in my most recent column, this is why I have been arguing the financial allegations are more important to watch than the collusion allegations.

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Even Without Collusion, Serious Threats Remain For Trump In The Russian Investigation

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is my column in USA Today looking at the array of threats still present for the Trump White House even if collusion fades as part of the Russian investigation.  There still could be evidence discovered or disclosed on collusion. However, after multiple indictments, pleas, and a year of investigation, we have not yet seen any credible criminal allegations linked to collusion.  As many on the blog know, I have long been skeptical about the real likelihood of a criminal case based on collusion or obstruction against President Donald Trump. However, even if collusion does recede as a threat, there remain significant areas of risk for the President.

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Durham District Attorney Dismisses All Charges Against Defendants Who Destroyed Statue In Public, Premeditated Act

cfakepathmugshots212_20170816_180608-e1502929057745We recently discussed the decision of Durham District Attorney Roger Echols to drop felony charges against protesters who destroyed a civil war monument in a premeditated and videotaped crime.  The popularity of the crime was obvious as voters rallied around the accused — support that some have alleged pressured Echols to reduce the charges to mere misdemeanors.  That reduction however was still criticized by the defendants and their supporters. Now, after an unfavorable ruling by a court, Echols has dropped all charges against defendants who not just committed criminal acts on camera but proudly proclaimed their guilt.  It is hard not to view the outcome as an example of popular crimes enjoying a level of immunity.

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Mueller Charges New Defendant: Alex Van Der Zwaan

440px-Director_Robert_S._Mueller-_III-1Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged Dutch lawyer Alex Van Der Zwaan.  The charge however is another false statement indictment and is not tied to Russian collusion. Rather Van Der Zwaan was interviewed in rather to dealing concerning Ukraine’s Ministry of Justice in 2012.  The expected guilty plea certainly adds to the prosecution cases but remains far removed from the Trump campaign. It is more likely related to the Paul Manafort prosecution.

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