By Susan Duclos – All News PipeLine
On May 9, 2017 it was reported that President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. The majority of Republicans and the entirety of Trump die-hard supporters cheered the move after Comey failed to recommend the prosecution of Hillary Clinton, despite admitting she committed illegal acts regarding her email server. On the Democratic side of the aisle, those that were screaming for Comey’s termination or resignation after he was blamed by Hillary Clinton and her campaign for her loss of the 2016 presidential election, were suddenly highly upset that Trump actually gave them their wish and fired Comey.
On May 17, 2017 Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein issued a statement naming Robert Mueller as special counsel “to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”
The scope of the investigation included three parts: (i) any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
Rosentstein named the special counsel because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recused himself on March 2, 2017, from matters involving the investigation into Russia.
SERIOUS QUESTIONS NEED TO BE ASKED ABOUT THE MEDIA NARRATIVE
While we are seeing a lot of theatrics play out in the news regarding President Trump’s comments and complaints over Sessions recusing himself, with continuous speculation as to whether President Trump is going to terminate Sessions as AG, it should be noted that in June 2017, Sessions offered to resign, an offer the President did not accept, according to the time line put together by ABC News.
The Trump-Sessions narrative is dominating the headlines, and what is the first thing most of us ask ourselves when something dominates the headlines? What is going on behind the theatrics, behind the scenes, that is not being covered because all the air in the room, not mention all the ink in the papers, is being used up on the narrative of the week?
In other words, what are we all being distracted away from?
Well, lets look at a few other facts in the time line of events, such as the fact that in between the May 9, 2017 date of Comey’s firing and the May 17, 2017 date of Rosenstein naming Mueller as special counsel, Robert Mueller reportedly met with “Justice Department leaders and White House officials.”
NPR, who originally reported on Mueller’s meeting with White House officials just days before Mueller was named special counsel, claims those meetings were regarding his being named FBI Director, but they only offered “two sources familiar with the process,” as proof of their assertion as to why Mueller was meeting with White House officials.
In other words, unnamed and anonymous sources, like NYT’s “sources” for their February 14, 2017 Russia story that was called “not true” in Congressional testimony, or other reports regarding Russia using unnamed sources that Comey himself admitted were mostly “dead wrong.” Or the “sources” CNN used to claim Comey would “refute” President Trump’s claim that he was personally told by Comey that he was not under investigation, then having to correct their headline and article after Comey confirmed Trump’s assertions. Or CNN’s “sources” that led them to report a story that later had to be retracted, deleted, apologized for and resulted in three CNN employees being forced to resign. Or Washington Post’s “unnamed” sources claiming “Russia hacked the power grid,” then admitting in an article days later that “Russia” had nothing to do with it.
So…… the point being, the claim by NPR that Mueller was being considered for the FBI Director job, came from unnamed sources which have overwhelmingly been feeding the media false information for months.
NPR goes on to highlight that Mueller had served a ten year term as FBI Director previously and was asked by Barack Obama to serve an additional two years when his term expired in 2011, and in order to do so, Congress had to pass special legislation in order for him to be able to do so. Researching that legislation, titled “S. 1103 (112th): A bill to extend the term of the incumbent Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” we see the following amendment:
(c) (1)Effective on the date of enactment of this subsection, a new term of service for the office of Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be created, which shall begin on or after August 3, 2011, and continue until September 4, 2013. Notwithstanding the second sentence of subsection (b) of this section, the incumbent Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the date of enactment of this subsection shall be eligible to be appointed to the new term of service provided for by this subsection, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and only for that new term of service. Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the President, by and with the advice of the Senate, from appointing an individual, other than the incumbent Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, to a 10-year term of service subject to the provisions of subsection (b) after the date of enactment of this subsection.
(2)The individual who is the incumbent in the office of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the date of enactment of this subsection may not serve as Director after September 4, 2013.
Does that mean that Mueller could not be tapped again for FBI Director by another President since there are statuary limits on the term of service added as part of the Crime Control Act of 1976?
A direct citation from the Crime Control Act of 1976, under Section 203 states ” (b) Effective with respect to any individual appointment by the Effective date. President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, after June 1, 1973, the term of service of the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation shall be ten years. A Director may not serve more than one ten-year term. ”
That seems pretty clear, but I admit I am not a legal expert, and would love some clarification on whether that means Mueller couldn’t be offered the job of FBI Director since he already served his ten year term, along with an extra two approved by Congress.
If that is the case, then what exactly was Mueller and Justice Department and White House officials discussing just days before he was named special counsel?
KEEPING ALL THAT IN MIND, lets look at another topic that has dominating a lot of conservative news, that Mueller has tapped quite a few “Democratic donors” as part of his investigative team, yet a look into what the expertise of some of these people are listed as, brings up more very serious questions.
For example, Andrew Weissmann -The head of the Justice Department’s fraud section. Andrew Goldstein, – Public corruption prosecutor on detail from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. Lisa Page – Attorney on detail from the FBI’s Office of the General Counsel and a former trial attorney with the Criminal Division’s Organized Crime and Gang Section. Andrew Weissmann – Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and who has served as general counsel at the FBI and as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York. Zainab Ahmad – National security prosecutor on detail from U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, including expertise in transnational organized crime and international affairs.
Granted, many of these people are Democratic donors, I believe one, Ahmed, even represented the Clinton Foundation in court and in no way am I arguing the optics are not bad for Mueller, especially after Comey admitted in Congressional testimony that President Trump had never been personally under investigation, yet that too is very strange, given what we have known about Trump from his life before politics.
Trump was known in the world of real estate, and reality television with his show The Apprentice. We know that for decades his income taxes have been audited, yet his organizations hadn’t been penalized, meaning the IRS audits found no criminal wrong-doing.
Donald Trump, nor his family had ever been connected in any way, shape or form, to organized crime. or “transnational” organized crime.
Hillary Clinton was though. In October 2016, Former assistant FBI director James Kallstrom said in a radio interview with John Catsimatidis, “The Clintons, that’s a crime family, basically. It’s like organized crime. I mean the Clinton Foundation is a cesspool.” He also accused Obama’s Attorney General Loretta Lynch of impeding the investigations into those crimes. (Source- The Hill)
As of November 2, 2016, the WSJ reported that “Starting in February and continuing today,” the Clinton Foundation was being investigated over whether “contributors received favorable treatment from the State Department under Hillary Clinton,” and that investigators were “frustrated” that the “FBI leadership,” was “uninterested in probing the charity.”
Early this year, four FBI field offices—New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Little Rock, Ark.—were collecting information about the Clinton Foundation to see if there was evidence of financial crimes or influence-peddling……
There are so many investigations into the Clintons, the GOP actually created a whole page documenting each one with direct quotes and links to the original sources.
To date, there has been no news about those individual investigations having been dropped. What has been dropped is any and all mention of the status of those investigations.
Oh and about President Trump “going after Sessions” in his tweets and in interviews, what most aren’t mentioning is what we showed from the ABC News time line of events regarding Sessions…. he offered to resign, the president didn’t take him up on it. Remember, Trump had a very successful reality TV show, he knows how dominate the news with what he wants as a focus. An outrageous tweet has pundits everywhere headlining with it, TV talking heads exclusively covering it, while Trump meanders along nixing 16 regulations for every one new one, when he only promised two gone for every new one. Another scandalous tweet receives a stupid amount of attention about Trump’s war on Sessions, while Sessions himself is finally announcing investigations into leakers. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
The point here is we don’t know whether Mueller is going after President Trump. We don’t know if Mueller is using his mandate of as special counsel which states he is to investigate “(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” in order to follow the dots of Clinton crimes.
No one really knows. All anyone has right now is speculation but the media only wants us to look at one narrative.
What we do know is that Mueller met with White House officials days before he was named special counsel. What we do know is that “anonymous sources” claimed that meeting was about the FBI Director job, yet legislative text from 1976 indicates that was a non-starter to begin with. What we do know is President Trump is making sure all eyes are on this “feud” between Sessions and himself. We do know that White House aides are also keeping that narrative front and center by stating that Trump and Sessions “need to get together or separate.” We do know that Trump was never under investigation directly for collusion or for “organized crime,” but Hillary Clinton was, and that the investigators Mueller has put together have expertise specifically related to those types of crimes.
We do know that on July 24, 2017, President Trump tweeted “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?”
Maybe they are.
The bottom line is there is something “off,” about the whole Sessions-Trump, Mueller Russia investigation narrative, and while I cannot put my finger on exactly what that is, I keep going back to the mindset of: When everyone is focused on one specific thing, perhaps it is prudent to ask “what are being distracted from?”
Note -For the record, I am of the opinion that the second the general public learned, by Comey’s own testimony, that President Trump was not personally under investigation for collusion with Russia, the idea of a special counsel should have been tossed away right then. The fact that it wasn’t seems to indicate there is a huge piece of the puzzle missing and without it, getting the full picture of what exactly is going on, is almost impossible, despite the medias attempts to spin each and every item of news or president Trump sending them on constant wild goose chases.