And all through the White House
Trump thinks he's the ruler,
but he's just a louse.
This is the latest from the Trump legal* team (*a term to be taken with a jar of salt):
Officials of President Trump's transition team plan to ask Special Counsel Robert Mueller to return "many tens of thousands" of transition emails they contend were unlawfully provided to him. But the prosecutor's office says emails being used in the investigation were properly obtained.
What's new: A source close to Trump's transition, which still exists as a legal entity so it can shut down what was once a 1,000-person operation, said the transition will send a letter to Mueller informing him that some of the emails are privileged, and asking for their return. The transition says it is willing to provide Mueller with vetted emails.Sure it was. I'm sure Judge Jeannine said so:
The source told me: "What they did is totally illegal, and they need to fix it."
But Peter Carr, spokesman for the Special Counsel's Office, told Axios early this morning: "When we have obtained emails in the course of our ongoing criminal investigation, we have secured either the account owner's consent or appropriate criminal process."
And what does that mean? I'm glad you asked:
Of course Mueller obtained emails from a third party. Prosecutors in most white collar criminal investigations do that. It’s not “inappropriate” or even unusual. Anyone who claims otherwise has no idea what they’re talking about. https://t.co/1JKNobvKJd— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
10/ It appears that obtaining the documents from GSA also allowed Mueller to surprise witnesses who were not prepared to talk about emails that they didn’t think he had.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
11/ I doubt that’s why Mueller obtained emails from GSA because any good lawyer would have reviewed the emails with their client anyway prior to an interview. Either the defense lawyers were incompetent or they weren’t surprised as they’re letting on.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
12/ One important issue I should note is that typically prosecutors cannot obtain emails from a third party without using a search warrant, not a subpoena.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
13/ If that happened here, it would mean a federal judge found that there was good reason to believe that a crime was committed and the emails contained evidence of a crime.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
And obtaining "privileged documents" is a routine matter:
14/ In any event, when a prosecutor obtains emails from a third party, privileged documents are not removed. Typically prosecutors use “taint teams” to remove privileged documents before the prosecution team reviews them.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
15/ If Mueller obtained a privileged email, the defense would be able to exclude it as evidence at trial. Typically all that happens is that the defense raises the issue with the prosecutor, and if the prosecutor agrees it is privileged, they return the privileged document.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
18/ Note also that the lawyers *don’t* say that the emails are privileged. They merely claim that some of the emails are “susceptible to privilege claims.” That’s weak language that suggests they’re not confident they have a strong claim that some of the emails are privileged.— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
19/ The biggest conclusion I’d draw from their letter is that they’re concerned about Mueller’s investigation and are doing whatever they can to discredit it. Their claims themselves are weak and are meant to persuade people who know nothing about criminal investigations. /end— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 16, 2017
If Mueller didn’t follow the law, a court would suppress the evidence so it couldn’t be used. The reason Trump’s lawyers are writing letters to Congress instead of Mueller or a court is because their legal arguments have no merit. https://t.co/6Vy7jwKcY4— Renato Mariotti (@renato_mariotti) December 17, 2017
But that's cynical of me, isn't it?
And by the way, John Dean is exactly right:
“Watergate was initially ignored, even though it was a pretty spectacular scandal with five men arrested in business suits and surgical gloves with hundred dollar bills in their pocket in the offices of the Democratic National Committee with direct links to Nixon, with direct links to the re-election committee,” he continued. “That was a pretty spectacular opening, but people were tired of the story within 48 hours. The New York Times virtually stopped covering it. Only the Washington Post really gave it attention, and the only people following the story were in the Beltway.”
Good things come to those who wait. Isn't that the real meaning of Christmas?
Yes, I'm very cynical....