## Mueller Probe

Lies, damned lies, and statistics.
Doctor X
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Sure he is.

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### Re: Mueller Probe

Special counsel will make Manafort memo public by Friday, spokesman says
Special counsel Robert Mueller's team is poised to make public a sentencing memo about former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by Friday, special counsel spokesman Peter Carr told Yahoo News on Monday.

Mueller is also set to release memos about former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen this week, which are all likely to provide greater insight into the inner workings of the special counsel's probe into possible ties between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign.

Prosecutors on Mueller's team have been telling defense lawyers that they are "tying up loose ends" in the investigation, which has been going on for more than a year, Yahoo News reported.
Does "tying up loose ends" mean the investigation is almost over?

Probably not, since there is no explicit guidance on how long it might take to "tie up loose ends".
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Rob Lister
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Anaxagoras wrote:
Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:41 am
Trump is blatantly and openly interfering with the investigation.

https://newrepublic.com/minutes/152490/ ... elping-him

That's one way to spin it. I don't buy it.

But this is funny
Spoiler:

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### Re: Mueller Probe

Michael Flynn Has Provided 'Substantial Assistance' In Russia Inquiry, Feds Say
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has provided "substantial" aid in the Russia investigation and beyond — and that merits a judge's consideration at Flynn's sentencing this month, prosecutors said in court papers late Tuesday.

The government said in a memo to a federal judge that it believes sentencing for Flynn should be lenient and that even a sentence without prison time "is appropriate and warranted."

Prosecutors say Flynn helped with "several ongoing investigations," not just the Russia inquiry, including a redacted criminal investigation. Authorities say some of Flynn's help may not have yet borne fruit but they've asked a judge to sentence him anyway as had been planned on Dec. 18.

Prosecutors wrote that Flynn offered "firsthand information about the content and context of interactions between [Donald Trump's] transition team and Russian government officials" on two sensitive matters: a United Nations resolution about Israeli settlements and the then-outgoing Obama administration's sanctions on Russia for interfering in the 2016 presidential election.
You can see the memo itself at the link, although parts of it are redacted.

Anyway, they are recommending no prison time for Flynn.
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Here's a story about the larger picture from investigative reporter Michael Isikoff:

Mueller Preparing Endgame For Russia Investigation
“What we were told is that the investigation has reached a mature enough stage that they’ve basically talked to everybody they want to talk to,” said a knowledgeable source who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.
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Doctor X
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### Re: Mueller Probe

It means that Flynn cannot serve as a witness.

Another big bowl of "meh." I suspect the Legal Talking Heads are correct: he only plead guilty to nothing because members of his family were at greater legal risk.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Anaxagoras
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Not sure I follow why he cannot serve as a witness.
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Doctor X
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### Re: Mueller Probe

The defense can point to his actual sweet deal as the incentive for him to "testilie" and, now, there is no more incentive for him to cooperate. This is why federal attorneys do not complete sentencing recommendations and all of that until the guy actually testifies.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

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Anaxagoras
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### Re: Mueller Probe

That Popehat guy has a piece in The Atlantic:

Manafort, Cohen, and Individual 1 Are in Grave Danger
Robert Mueller is closing in on the president and all his men.
Dec 8, 2018
Ken White
Attorney and former federal prosecutor
Good read. I decided to not mass-quote it.
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Doctor X
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### Re: Mueller Probe

I like Paul White.

But there is nothing but the same speculation that both sides engage in absence any substance from Mueller--who does not have to give anything of course. Indeed, it is to Mueller's credit that pretty much nothing has leaked from his side. Though he is still the guy who tried to protect the FBI convictions of innocent men in Boston and pretend that Roger "I Don't Have to Give Up My Phone" Goodell never actually really at all noticed that Ray Rice video he was given, goodness no.

It neglects the basic math: the Dems need 67 to convict in the Senate. The Republicans have 53. So unless something of substance comes out . . . that is that. Otherwise, the Dems risk the same backlash the Reps suffered after impeaching Clinton, and Clinton actually committed a crime.

It has to be Nixonian: sufficient in that case to convince enough Republican Senators--who were in the minority--not to save his ass when impeached. Not enough Democratic Senators were appalled by Clinton's lies over sexual harassment to see him removed. Nevertheless, the Democratic Base [Tm.--Ed.] pretended that he did not lie, and it was all an attempt to "replay the election!"

There was some of that. There is all of that in this case. Though that is what the Birthers tried to do: pretend Miami stepped out of bounds Obama "couldn't've been legitimate" and, voila . . . they . . . get . . . Biden? I was never sure how that silliness was suppose to work.

The Dems should do the more rational Republicans did to Clinton: make his life miserable and hamstring him for the rest of his term.

In the rain.

--J.D.
Mob of the Mean: Free beanie, cattle-prod and Charley Fan Club!
"Doctor X is just treating you the way he treats everyone--as subhuman crap too dumb to breathe in after you breathe out."--Don
DocX: FTW.--sparks
"Doctor X wins again."--Pyrrho
"Never sorry to make a racist Fucktard cry."--His Humble MagNIfIcence
"It was the criticisms of Doc X, actually, that let me see more clearly how far the hypocrisy had gone."--clarsct
"I'd leave it up to Doctor X who has been a benevolent tyrant so far."--Grammatron
"Indeed you are a river to your people.
Shit. That's going to end up in your sig."--Pyrrho
"Try a twelve step program and accept Doctor X as your High Power."--asthmatic camel
"just like Doc X said." --gnome

WS CHAMPIONS X4!!!! NBA CHAMPIONS!! Stanley Cup! SB CHAMPIONS X5!!!!!

Witness
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Robert Mueller Has 2 Years of Recorded Surveillance that Doesn’t Look Good For Mike Pence

The news surrounding Paul Manafort being wiretapped under secret FISA surveillance both during and after the 2016 election affects a lot more people than just Manafort himself.

It’s been widely speculated that Trump could be in trouble for his dealings with Manafort throughout 2016 and 2017, and it turns out, Vice President Mike Pence may also be in some hot water as well.

If you’ll recall, after Chris Christie was forced out of his leadership position in the Trump transition team, it was taken over by vice president-elect Mike Pence. It’s been reported that during this time, Mike Pence and Paul Manafort regularly communicated.

The interesting part here is that Manafort had already left the Trump campaign long before Pence took over the transition, so why were they regularly communicating? There was no reason whatsoever that they should have been.

This is where it gets worse for Mike Pence.
Palmer Report wrote:These regular transition-period conversations between Pence and Manafort have long stood out as suspicious, particularly in light of Manafort’s well publicized role in steering Trump toward picking Pence as his running mate to begin with. MSNBC is now reporting that the second FISA surveillance warrant on Manafort began in late 2016, meaning that the Feds were eavesdropping on Manafort’s transition team phone calls to Pence. So we know with certainty that Pence was caught up in the Manafort surveillance.
Of course, we still have no idea what Mike Pence and Paul Manafort were talking about during their conversations in 2016 and 2017, but you can bet Robert Mueller knows.

If it’s true that Manafort and Pence discussed anything illegal during their communications, Pence is also in the hot seat along with Manafort.
http://www.bluedotdaily.com/robert-muel ... ike-pence/

Oh no, not Pence!

corplinx
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### Re: Mueller Probe

The FISA wiretaps mean that there is more evidence against collusion by virtue of the fact that it never occurred on wiretaps.

Lol at wishful thinking.

People do realize, that if there was any actual collusion the Mueller team would have already leaked it by now, right?

It's like some of these people just turn off their fucking brains.

Flynt didn't collude with Russia. He just denied having any contact with Russians even though he had talked to one on the phone.

But oh noes, Pence could be in trouble for... eh? Who knows. The Cohen filing papers made it clear there is no Russia link of substance in Cohen. Manafort is accused of white collar crimes he should just pay restitution for versus being put in solitary for THREE MONTHS to sweat him out.

Some of the same people outraged over Saudi faction infighting (the Koshoggi assassination) see no issue with the FBI raids on Cohen/Manafort or Manafort being denied bail and being thrown in Solitary.

These "fair weather civil liberties" fans make me puke.

corplinx
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Reminder, they got Flynn to meet with them without an attorney in a capacity to deceive him about their intent about some phone calls that didn't matter as a ruse to arrest him.

Anaxagoras
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### Re: Mueller Probe

corplinx wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:40 am
People do realize, that if there was any actual collusion the Mueller team would have already leaked it by now, right?
Mueller doesn't leak.
Some of the same people outraged over Saudi faction infighting (the Koshoggi assassination) see no issue with the FBI raids on Cohen/Manafort or Manafort being denied bail and being thrown in Solitary.

These "fair weather civil liberties" fans make me puke.

Manafort wasn't denied bail. His bail was revoked after he tried to tamper with witnesses.
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ed
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Witness wrote:
Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:00 am
Robert Mueller Has 2 Years of Recorded Surveillance that Doesn’t Look Good For Mike Pence

The news surrounding Paul Manafort being wiretapped under secret FISA surveillance both during and after the 2016 election affects a lot more people than just Manafort himself.

It’s been widely speculated that Trump could be in trouble for his dealings with Manafort throughout 2016 and 2017, and it turns out, Vice President Mike Pence may also be in some hot water as well.

If you’ll recall, after Chris Christie was forced out of his leadership position in the Trump transition team, it was taken over by vice president-elect Mike Pence. It’s been reported that during this time, Mike Pence and Paul Manafort regularly communicated.

The interesting part here is that Manafort had already left the Trump campaign long before Pence took over the transition, so why were they regularly communicating? There was no reason whatsoever that they should have been.

This is where it gets worse for Mike Pence.
Palmer Report wrote:These regular transition-period conversations between Pence and Manafort have long stood out as suspicious, particularly in light of Manafort’s well publicized role in steering Trump toward picking Pence as his running mate to begin with. MSNBC is now reporting that the second FISA surveillance warrant on Manafort began in late 2016, meaning that the Feds were eavesdropping on Manafort’s transition team phone calls to Pence. So we know with certainty that Pence was caught up in the Manafort surveillance.
Of course, we still have no idea what Mike Pence and Paul Manafort were talking about during their conversations in 2016 and 2017, but you can bet Robert Mueller knows.

If it’s true that Manafort and Pence discussed anything illegal during their communications, Pence is also in the hot seat along with Manafort.
http://www.bluedotdaily.com/robert-muel ... ike-pence/

Oh no, not Pence!
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No. Office Current officer
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2 Speaker of the House of Representatives Template:Party shading/Democrat |Nancy Pelosi (D)
3 President Pro Tempore of the Senate Orrin Hatch (R)
4 Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R)
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xouper
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Ah, so that's the plan. Impeach Trump and Pence. Pelosi becomes president, appoints Hillary Clinton as Vice President, and then Pelosi resigns. Voilà, Her Turn™ gets her rightful turn.

Abdul Alhazred
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Great idea for a political thriller.

At just the right moment, Pelosi dies quickly and unexpectedly of something clearly natural causes (such as a heart attack or stroke).

Then Orrin Hatch becomes the first Mormon president. Hand of God and no Russian nonsense.
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### Re: Mueller Probe

Michael Cohen sentenced to three years in prison after admitting he covered up Trump's 'dirty deeds' (CNN)
(CNN)President Donald Trump's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was sentenced to three years in prison Wednesday for crimes that included arranging payments during the 2016 election to silence women who claimed affairs with Trump after the President's onetime "fixer" attributed his offenses to "my duty to cover up his dirty deeds."
Cohen's sentence is the longest imposed to date on anyone connected to the President or stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election -- a probe that has consumed much of Trump's presidency and is poised to continue into the coming year.
Before a packed Manhattan courtroom, Cohen, who once pledged to "take a bullet" for Trump, professed to accept blame for his actions.
'Veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct'
Cohen's sentence resulted from two cases. In August, he pleaded guilty in a Manhattan US attorney's case to two campaign-finance violations tied to payments he made or orchestrated to women during the campaign -- adult-film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal -- to stay silent about alleged sexual encounters with Trump.
Prosecutors have said that in executing the payments, Cohen "acted in coordination with and at the direction of" Trump, who has denied having the affairs with the two women. Cohen also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank.
In late November, Cohen was charged in a separate case from the special counsel's office with one count of lying to Congress about how long discussions involving a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow had extended into the 2016 campaign.
On Wednesday, US District Judge William Pauley III sentenced Cohen to 36 months in prison for the case from New York federal prosecutors and two months for the special counsel's matter; the sentences will be served concurrently.
"Mr. Cohen pled guilty to a veritable smorgasbord of fraudulent conduct," Pauley told the courtroom. "Each of the crimes involved deception and each appears to have been motivated by personal greed and ambition."
While the judge agreed with the special counsel's office that Cohen should receive some leniency for his efforts to provide information that was valuable to its investigation, Pauley criticized Cohen for his crimes, his lies and his willingness to commit both in his capacity as an attorney.
"Our democratic institutions depend on the honesty of our citizenry in dealing with the government," Pauley said.
Pauley also ordered Cohen to pay $1.39 million in restitution,$500,000 in forfeiture and \$100,000 in fines. He must report to prison on March 6.
Here's an interesting opinion from a former chairman of the Federal Election Commission:

Michael Cohen Pled Guilty to Something That Is Not a Crime

This only covers the "two campaign-finance violations" and not the "five counts of tax fraud and one count of making false statements to a bank" or the one for lying to congress. Personally, although I'm not a lawyer, it does seem questionable to me that these payments amounted to "campaign-finance violations." The guy makes a pretty good argument that they shouldn't. But it could be argued the other way.
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### Re: Mueller Probe

When the plain text of the law has an intent element and the actor claims to have that intent... well... that sounds like the element has been satisfied as to that actor. Textualism and all that. That the intent would otherwise be hard to prove isn't all that relevant when the actor says that is his intent.

The most valid objection here is the general one that plea bargains are bullshit and lead to all manner of abuses, such as making it prudent to confess to having intent that would be otherwise very hard to prove. However, they just can't be eliminated without a total overhaul of the system, which "law and order" people don't want because they are fine when people they don't like get forced into admitting to stuff to avoid absurdly harsh punishment. They want law to serve them and only bind other people. Because fuck other people.

There is nothing here that isn't standard. If Cohen is being treated unfairly, then we need to start emptying the federal prisons (and to a slightly lesser extent state prisons) because the vast majority of prisoners are there because of pleas made / testimony obtained under this sort of pressure.

Abdul Alhazred
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### Re: Mueller Probe

RCC: Act II wrote:
Thu Dec 13, 2018 7:34 pm
We need to start emptying the federal prisons because the vast majority of prisoners are there because of pleas made / testimony obtained under this sort of pressure.
Is that an out of context quote?

Because I agree with it.
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