RUSH: The other big story is Robert Mueller apparently telling Trump’s lawyers a month ago that, while Trump remains under investigation, he’s not a target. And, apparently, Trump has received this news exceedingly well with a great sigh of relief. And now we know this is one of the reasons Trump wants to talk to Mueller. Since Trump thinks he’s not a target, he can go in there and dazzle Mueller with his personality and salesmanship and what have you.
And of course anybody can figure out, you know, Richard Nixon was never a target and he got impeached. Well, he was gonna be impeached. He resigned before they could get to that. Trump would be making a grievous mistake if he ever believed that he’s no longer being paid attention to in this. The thing for Donald Trump, President Trump to remember is that he is the target. He is the sole reason any of this is happening. Getting rid of him or nullifying his presidency is the sole reason any of this is happening.
And if Mueller claims, “Hey, you know what? You’re under investigation. Everybody still is, but really you’re not a target here of any criminal proceeding.” It could change tomorrow. It’s an old trick, and it’s been used successfully by prosecutors for years.
But there’s much more to this than that. Because now, remember, one of the things that we constantly discussed on this program was that Mueller was not given a specific crime to pursue and that Justice Department regulations require that. Whenever a special counsel is hired and employed, he must be given a crime to pursue. And in this case, it would have been the deputy attorney general since Sessions has recused himself.
So Rod Rosenstein would have had to specify a crime that Mueller was to investigate, and then if in that investigation Mueller comes across anything else that he wants to look into, he would have to go back to Rosenstein and get permission for it. And it would have automatically been granted more than likely, if it had anything even tangently to do with Trump, it would have been granted because objective is to get Trump.
Well, all this time we thought there wasn’t one of those memos. We thought that this whole special counsel procedure had been engaged in outside the rules and regulations. But it turns out that Rosenstein, probably after hearing so much commentary about this said, “You know what? I’ve screwed up here.” So he went back and wrote a memo detailing what it is that the special counsel is to investigate.
And one of the interesting things about this is that the raid, the predawn raid on Paul Manafort’s house happened before this memo was written. The memo is written in a way to justify the special counsel’s pursuit of Manafort, but it’s ex post facto as it appears to the surface. Now, this, all of this is a little bit more complicated than that which I have just explained, because this is the federal government.
All of this is actually, in my humble opinion, the politicization of policy differences. The attempt to politicize and criminalize the fact that Donald Trump won the presidency. And the sole purpose of this investigation is to find some way to either get rid of Donald Trump or to render his presidency paralyzed so that it’s basically stuck in the mud and cannot move forward.
None of that has changed. But some of the details in this and some of the timing makes this a fascinating story. This is one of the things, I have to tell you, it depresses me. Because there aren’t any scales of justice here, much less balanced.
I mean, all of this is happening with all of the weight and all of the power in favor of the federal government who, on the surface, the Feds, Mueller, Rosenstein, feel entirely free to violate and break their own regulations by essentially saying, “Well, you know, I could have gone back, and I could have asked for permission to investigate Manafort. And since I could have gone back and since I could have asked and it would have been granted, then I really haven’t violated anything here because, had I asked, I would have been given permission.”
But you didn’t! If you and I try this defense, we’re gonna be blown to smithereens. We don’t have a prayer. They can break their own laws or they can treat them around the edges, and we are subject to whatever their desires are in the so-called pursuit of justice.
So I want to take a brief amount of time to try to explain with details that which I have just said. Because this whole thing — you realize that Paul Manafort, Paul Manafort, nobody would have even noticed the guy, much less charged him with anything criminal if Donald Trump had not run for president and been elected. If Trump hadn’t run, he wouldn’t have hired Manafort, and thus nobody would have cared about Manafort.
And in fact I’m told that the DOJ did look into Manafort and what he was doing with Ukraine, whether or not he had filed legally as an agent and decided there was nothing there! There was nothing to pursue! Years before. But then he hires on as Trump’s guy. And you remember why Manafort was hired? Does anybody remember this?
It was because Cruz was making mincemeat of Trump in these states, in these primary states that Trump was winning, Cruz was going in there and basically rounding up all of the unpledged, uncommitted delegates. And Trump’s looking at this and saying, “This doesn’t make any sense.” It’s kind of like Crazy Bernie. He was winning everything and Crazy Hillary, Crooked Hillary’s getting the delegates.
Well, in this case, Trump was winning primary after primary, but a lot of delegates were going to Cruz. So Manafort was hired to basically put a stop to that, to go in there and run the delegate procurement operation, the unpledged, unsecured delegates after every primary, because somebody told Trump that’s what his area of expertise is.
Anyway, had Trump not run, had Trump not hired Manafort, then none of this that Manafort’s been indicted for would have ever come up. So how can this not be the result of a politicization of disagreements over who won and who lost an election? And the chicanery here is never ending, the way they got the Trump dossier, the Steele dossier into the public domain.
Remember how they did this. You’ve got Comey, you have three other people from the intelligence — you got the CIA, the NSA, Mike Rogers, and they’re all meeting with Trump, and then after so much time passes, Comey asks the rest of them to leave and it’s just Comey with Trump, and Comey presents the Trump dossier to him that contains the golden showers.
And when Comey did that, that made it news. The media had been struggling for a way to write about this dossier for months, but it was bogus. It was uncorroborated, unverified. So they couldn’t really write about it. But Comey telling Trump about it and showing it to Trump and then leaking that that had happened, that made it news. And it was shortly thereafter that BuzzFeed published the whole damn thing from beginning to end with all kinds of caveats.
“We can’t confirm it. None of it’s been corroborated. We don’t think any of it’s true. However, we think you need to know and make up your own mind,” blah, blah, blah. Countless examples of things like this. But the ex post facto characteristics of the Rosenstein memo to Robert Mueller authorizing his investigation into Manafort, to me, is the top of the news today.
RUSH: Okay. Let’s swerve here into the Mueller investigation story. And in a semblance here of chronological order, not entirely, but a semblance of it. The Washington Post reported that “Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III informed President Trump’s attorney’s last month that he is continuing to investigate the president, but does not consider him a criminal target at this point, according to three anonymous people familiar with discussions,” which means somebody from Mueller’s staff.
Three people there are leaking, although I guess it could be Kellyanne Conway. Just kidding. I’m just kidding. I’m bouncing off a story the other day where they had her as the primary leaker. Somebody’s leaking this, most likely from Mueller’s team. Not a criminal target at this point.
“In private negotiations in early March about a possible presidential interview, Mueller described Trump as a subject of his investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Prosecutors view someone as a subject when that person has engaged in conduct that is under investigation but there is not sufficient evidence to bring charges.”
Now, what this means — let’s take this as an isolated incident and let’s assume for the sake of our discussion here that it’s factual. Let’s say that Mueller means it. “Hey, you know what? You’re not a target. We don’t have any evidence. We’re still investigating you, but it you’re not a target.” So how many months has it been now?
How many months have the best and the brightest and the most powerful in the American Washington establishment, the intelligence community, the Obama administration, how many months, how many years have they been looking for the smoking gun to prove Trump colluded with Russia and they don’t have it yet? And they don’t have it because it doesn’t exist.
There isn’t any evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. And I feel perfectly safe in asserting so because even the leaks that claim there has been evidence have been blown to smithereens by fact learned later. There isn’t any evidence. And Mueller effectively, if we believe him here, is admitting the same thing by claiming Trump still is a subject but not a target. So all this time later Mueller’s team has still not been able to find any evidence of a crime.
“The special counsel also told Trump’s lawyers that he is preparing a report about the president’s actions while in office and potential obstruction of justice, according to two people with knowledge of the conversations.” So five leakers now.
“Mueller reiterated the need to interview Trump – both to understand whether he had any corrupt intent to thwart the Russia investigation and to complete this portion of his probe,” three anonymous people leaked. So if we believe this, Mueller reiterated the need to interview Trump to ask him if he had any corrupt intention to thwart the Russia investigation and if he had any intent to steal the election by working with the Russians.
Now, if this is true — and that’s always a question with anything in the Washington Post and this many anonymous leakers — Mueller could just be trying to put Trump’s fears at ease so that he will agree to be interviewed by him so they can at least salvage a perjury charge out of this. Again, if you take this at face value and if you accept that all of this is aboveboard, then it seems they’re searching for a process crime.
Now, it’s almost clichéd, and therefore it may not be true, it’s almost cliched to say that Mueller is trying to entrap Trump by saying, “Hey, buddy, you know what? Yeah, we’re still looking, but we haven’t found anything. Yeah, you’re still under investigation, but you’re not a target, man. Come on in and talk to us.” A first grader would realize that this could be a trap.
Mueller could figure out that everybody else could figure out that this is a trap. So my thinking is that this is not Mueller’s intention. This is too easy to figure out, although keep in mind who they think they’re dealing with. They think they’re dealing with a bull in a china shop rogue who is not very bright, not very sophisticated. They think he is obsessed with an uncontrollable ego.
And so they may believe that getting Trump into an interview would be the best thing they could do to ever find anything they could charge, because once the guy starts talking he won’t stop. And there’s no way he won’t contradict himself, something he said two years ago, yesterday, day before with what he says under oath, if he’s under oath, being interviewed by Mueller’s team.
On the other side of this, the leftist side of this — this is more interesting to me than our side — the leftist side of this consists of two different reactions. On the one hand you have a bunch of leftists who are fit to be tied. They can’t believe that Mueller would announce he doesn’t have any evidence. They can’t believe that Trump’s not a target.
The only reason they have been breathing, the only reason they’ve been getting out of bed since Election Day, is every day they hope and pray that that’s the day something comes along to prove that Trump colluded and that’s the end of Trump. That probably makes up most of the American journalist population. They get up every day thinking that’s gonna be the day, that somewhere, somehow, evidence, incontrovertible evidence that Trump colluded with Putin, steal the election is gonna be found. And that they’re gonna be the ones to find it. They’re gonna be the ones to whom the evidence will be presented.
So they get up, typical day thinking, “Man, it’s gonna happen, it’s gonna happen. We’re gonna get Trump today.” And then Mueller says, “By the way, you’re not a target.” That’s all they hear, and they go bat crazy, they go paranoid, they start looking for therapists, they need counselors, people to hold their hands. The other reaction on the left to this is similar to a reaction had on the right.
And that is that Mueller is a fox, this guy is so sly, and he’s got Trump dead to rights, he’s got him! He’s got him! And he knows he’s got him! He’s got him so bad, he can announce publicly that he doesn’t have him. This faction on the left believes no matter what they see, read, or hear that Trump did it and it’s only a matter of time and that Mueller has already found it and they’re just toying with everybody and they’re playing this out and playing this out as close as they can get to the midterm elections. Sort of like a late October Surprise, to make sure the Democrats win everything and then go impeach Trump.
Now, those two factions on the left of course are at odds. Then of course the Never Trumpers, it’s fun to ponder them in this because I, frankly, think, folks, that in the case of some Never Trumpers, I think they hate Trump more than Hillary Clinton does. I think some of our own Never Trumpers hate Donald Trump more than the most hate-filled leftist that you can find. And it’s a deeply rooted and personal hatred that our Never Trumpers have for the guy.
But there’s more to the Mueller story. And that is this now memo that was I guess written on August 2nd last year that finally did authorize Mueller to investigate specific things, including Manafort. Except that the raid on Manafort’s house happened a week before Rosenstein’s letter or memo authorizing such a thing was written.
Now, Manafort has moved to have all charges dismissed, the indictment quashed and so forth precisely because of this and a couple of other things. And depending on who you talk to, which legal beagle you talk to, some think Manafort might have a case, but most of them say, “Nah. Manafort’s never gonna get this thrown out. It doesn’t matter.” And that’s what’s depressing, in that the government can never lose.
The government can break its own regulations. The government can violate its own laws, regulations on what a special counsel can investigate. There has to be a crime, but there wasn’t one, but he can still go fishing. Doesn’t matter. The regulations have been violated, but it’s not gonna change anything Mueller does. You and I can’t get away with this kind of skirting regulations or skirting laws, but they can, and they fully expect to. And it’s a bias that exists. And that is, if you’re charged, you’re guilty. I mean, they wouldn’t take the time to charge you if you weren’t, goes the thinking.
RUSH: By the way, Byron York has confirmed that Mueller never told Paul Manafort’s lawyers about the August 2nd memo authorizing his investigation into Manafort until he filed his response to Manafort’s motion to dismiss it on Monday.