RUSH: I’m kind of like the president, folks. I’ve had my fill of this crap. I just have. And I’m gonna attack this from a little bit different vantage point today, a little bit different take. I’m not gonna be able to avoid the crap. We gotta deal with the crap in order to refute the crap. I’m just telling you I’m tired of doing it.
JOHNNY DONOVAN: And now, from sunny south Florida, it’s Open Line Friday!
RUSH: I’m tired of having to deal with it. These people are really ticking me off. All of this, it’s been a slow build. I start from a vantage point of already being ticked off, but I’ll tell you where I’m coming down. I actually believe that the media — and, of course, it’s subsidiary the Democrat Party — I think that they are actually hurting themselves, and they are totally unaware of it. And when I say hurting themselves, I’m talking about in future elections.
Some of you are going to be reluctant to accept that because, if you turn on any news at all, you can’t help, you get immersed, you’re overwhelmed, you cannot escape the crap. You simply can’t escape it. But I think a lot of people are. I think a lot of people are escaping it by tuning it out, not paying attention to it, or else getting really ticked off themselves about it.
But I don’t believe that all of this garbage in the news every day now — you know, like I said yesterday, every couple of days it’s something new. Now it’s Stormy Daniels. Last week it was something else. Next week it will be something else, and every one of these events, whatever it is, is treated as though this is it, this is the silver bullet. Now we’ve got him.
It is patently obvious to even more and more casual observers that the whole point of all of this is to get rid of the president and to overthrow a duly constituted election.
Greetings. Great to have you. Here’s the phone number if you want to appear on the program. It’s 800-282-2882. And remember, it’s Open Line Friday, so whatever you want to talk about, have at it.
Now, I was gonna start here with a basic setting of the stage just how good things are in the country in the areas where there is improvement and where things are happening in a very, very upbeat, positive way. But there’s late-breaking news here that I first got wind of about 15 minutes before the program, and all I had was one-line little news slugs. I didn’t even have the source. But the one-line little news slugs were: “Judge in Manafort Case Tells Prosecutor He’s Overstepping.”
I said, “What?” So I kept scouring for details. And all I found was additional slug lines. Well, right before the program started, full news stories hit. And Reuters is the primary source here. The federal judge that’s overseeing the Paul Manafort case in Virginia, it’s a judge appointed by Ronald Reagan, by the way. Her name is Amy Berman Jackson, and she’s a Reagan appointee.
She has expressed deep skepticism in the bank fraud case that’s being brought by Mueller’s office against Paul Manafort, at one point saying “believes that Mueller’s motivation is to oust Trump from office.” A federal judge said this. I’m sorry. This is Judge T. S. Ellis. I’ve got two competing stories here. What’s this Judge Amy Berman Jackson? I guess there’s two judges here. Let’s go with the first story here.
“‘You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,’ Ellis said to prosecutor Michael Dreeben, at times losing his temper. Ellis said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s ‘prosecution or impeachment.'” That’s the judge.
“‘That’s what you’re really interested in,’ said Ellis, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan. Ellis repeated his suspicion several times in the hour-long court hearing. … At one point, Ellis posed a hypothetical question, speaking as if he were the prosecutor, about why Mueller’s office referred a criminal investigation about Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to New York authorities and kept the Manafort case in Virginia. They weren’t interested in it because it didn’t ‘further our core effort to get Trump,’ Ellis said, mimicking a prosecutor in the case.” That’s the CNN version.
Here is the Reuters version: “U.S. Judge Questions Special Counsel’s Powers in Manafort Case.” And this story says the judge is Amy Berman Jackson. Something’s odd here. “A U.S. federal judge in Virginia sharply questioned the scope of Robert Mueller’s prosecutorial powers on Friday.”
A federal judge in Virginia sharply questioned the scope of special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutorial powers on Friday as part of legal proceedings over Paul Manafort and his efforts to dismiss an indictment against him. At hearing at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, U.S. district judge Amy Berman Jackson said Mueller should not have unfettered power in his Russia probe and that the charges against Manafort did not arise from the investigation into Moscow’s meddling or alleged meddling in the 2016 election.
The original Reuters story got the name of the judge wrong! It isn’t Amy Berman Jackson. It is T. S. Ellis. Now, you remember yesterday on this program, NBC breathlessly had breaking news that they had been told by two sources that the Feds had wiretapped the phones of Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer, and that they had intercepted calls from Cohen to the White House. And I warned you at that moment not to believe it. Grab audio sound bite No. 13. This is exactly what I said when I saw this story, and it was about a quarter ’til three. It was near the end of the program yesterday.
RUSH ARCHIVE: So now we have a story from NBC, a couple of anonymous sources, “Oh, yeah, there was a wiretap of Cohen, and we nailed Cohen calling the White House.” The wise thing to do, based on intelligence guided by experience is to simply not believe most of what you hear for the first time in, quote, unquote, the news. There have been so many lies that have been leaked about Trump and Russia and collusion for two years now, and there has never been any evidence produced that confirms these leaks. It’s a sad state of affairs when the gut reaction to any news story today has to be, “I don’t believe it.” But that would be the wisest thing all of us could do, is simply reject it. If it comes to the New York Times, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, just reject it.
RUSH: And turns out that a short time later, NBC had to issue a correction. They did not retract. They had to “issue a correction.” Do you know what happened before that, though? ABC ran a confirmation! ABC ran a story saying they had confirmed the NBC report. Well, the NBC report was all lies. It was bogus! There had not been wiretaps. The only thing the Feds had was a log of the phone activity from Cohen’s office — the same kind of log you’d get from metadata, the same kind of log you’d get if you requested it from a phone company.
But there were no tapes, there were no wiretaps, and there weren’t any transcripts of actual calls. Yet there’s ABC shortly after the NBC story running a story confirming it. “ABC has confirmed that there were, in fact, wiretaps!” Both of these networks had it a hundred percent wrong. Well, let’s say 75% wrong because there were these call logs. But how does ABC confirm something that didn’t happen? How does ABC confirm what NBC reported when NBC’s on the verge of correcting it?
Now, back to the story out of Virginia. We’re gonna stick here with the CNN version of the Reuters story. Reuters has now corrected. It is not Judge Amy Berman Jackson. It is Judge T.S. Ellis, and Ellis was appointed by Ronald Reagan. He repeated his suspicion that the Manafort prosecutors, the Mueller prosecutors here really don’t care about Manafort at all. They don’t care about his bank fraud. “‘You don’t really care about Mr. Manafort’s bank fraud,’ Ellis said to [a] prosecutor… at times losing his temper,” it seems.
He “said prosecutors were interested in Manafort because of his potential to provide material that would lead to Trump’s ‘prosecution or impeachment. That’s what you’re really interested in,’ said Ellis… Ellis repeated his suspicion several times in the hour-long court hearing. … At one point, Ellis posed a hypothetical question, speaking as if he were the prosecutor, about why Mueller’s office referred a criminal investigation about Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen to New York authorities and kept the Manafort case in Virginia.
“They weren’t interested in it because it didn’t ‘further our core effort to get Trump,’ Ellis said, mimicking a prosecutor in the case.” We haven’t seen anything like this at any point during this case. This is exactly what everybody has been waiting for Jeff Sessions to do, quite frankly. Everybody has been waiting for Jeff Sessions to stand up and proclaim that much of this Mueller investigation is way out of bounds. I know you’re saying, “But he can’t, Rush. He recused himself.” Only from the Russia side of this.
There’s any number of things that Sessions could do to rein this in. Rod Rosenstein will not even release the letter — despite congressional committees demanding it — the letter that he sent Mueller to kick this all off. That is the people’s business, but Rosenstein will not release it. This is so out of control; this is so audacious. I mean, and it’s so obvious to everybody what this is. This isn’t even about the law. This isn’t even about justice.
This is not about trying to find people who broke the law and hold them accountable. This is nothing more than a cut-and-dried, obvious-to-everybody attempt to get rid of Donald Trump, to ruin Donald Trump and everybody that works with him, his businesses and his family. To have a judge call them out on this? To finally have one judge — one person in the American criminal judicial system — stand up and correctly identify what’s going on and call these people out, essentially telling them, “You don’t care about Manafort; you couldn’t care less!”
There’s even an allusion in one of these stories, and it may… I’m still tracking this down. This all happened right before the program. This could be a Twitter post. But there’s apparently some people saying that the judge said, “All you want to do is flip Manafort, that’s all you want him for. You don’t care about this bank fraud. You don’t really care about any of this. Besides, what does it have to do with your original investigation? This all happened before the campaign.” The judge is exactly right.
News agencies are seething.
CNN is seething.
Reuters is seething over this.
This is the kind of common-sense, overall reaction that everybody has had since this began. We’ve never heard this from inside the American judicial system. No, I have no idea what the impact of it’s gonna be, other than this judge obviously is not eager to preside over a proceeding that may send Manafort to jail because he doesn’t think they really care about Manafort or what he did! And if you look Mueller’s history, there’s no question this is true.
Robert Mueller let four innocent people rot away in jail for years when he knew that were not guilty. Two of those four died in jail — and the reason supposedly that Mueller did not do the right thing ostensibly was to protect the identity of a confidential informant. But I think it’s much more than that. I think Mueller doesn’t… This guy, like so many people in Washington, is obsessed with his reputation, and he’s been given a great one by the people there.
“Great integrity! Great honor,” all of these wonderful attributes. And I don’t think this guy wants anything to happen that would put a chink in his armor. So don’t admit that he was wrong. Don’t admit that he had four guys in jail who didn’t do it. “Nah, it’s not gonna come back and redound negatively to me. I’ve got the power to keep ’em there; I’ll keep ’em there.”
But there’s even more examples than that of Mueller and his overreach and his abuse of power, which is clearly what this is. This is such a great abuse of power, and you couple it with what the media is doing, and I’m telling you, folks… Let me take a break here, but I’ll come back with what I was originally gonna start with, and that is some of the good economic news, some of the job news, some of the polling data, because the practical impact of that is that all of what these people are doing…
Remember, this started out as an effort to drive Trump’s approval numbers down. They still need the American people. If they’re gonna impeach Trump — if they’re gonna get rid of Trump and they’re gonna try to portray Trump as an absolute rotten person — they need public opinion on their side. Now, these people are so consumed with so much hatred, they may, at the end of the day, not even care about that.
But when it all started, their job is made much easier if they could drive Trump’s numbers down to the twenties or thirties like they did Nixon. By the time it came time to send Baker up to Nixon and say, “You’ve lost your support in Congress, Mr. President,” Nixon had to resign because his public opinion numbers were way, way down — his approval numbers. But Trump’s numbers are rising. Trump’s personal and job approval numbers are rising in the midst of this all this!
RUSH: The reason all this is happening in this Virginia courtroom is that Manafort’s trying to get the case against him thrown out. That’s why the hearing took place today. And while the judge made his fiery comments and challenged Mueller’s motivations and challenged Mueller’s actions in the case, he did not issue a ruling yet on the Manafort motion to throw the case out. The judge indicated he may yet conclude that Mueller’s initial jurisdiction when he was appointed last May was effectively expanded to cover the case that he brought against Manafort in Virginia in February.
Trial in the case is set for July 10th. Manafort wants it thrown out. The judge today unloaded on the prosecutors but did not make a ruling and left open the possibility that he’s gonna go ahead and let the trial go forth, that maybe Mueller’s jurisdiction did properly expand to include Virginia and New York and wherever Mueller wants to go. So…
By the way, Manafort’s motion to have the case thrown out’s weeks old. There’s nothing new about that. And the moment Manafort filed the motion, his lawyers, everybody is saying, “Fat chance! They’re never gonna throw it out. That doesn’t happen. They never just throw cases out on whatever basis,” and that’s probably true. The judge probably is not going to throw the case out despite his comments today.
So it’s tough to speculate what this was all about. It may just be a ticked-off judge who wanted to get his thoughts about this on the record, but that’s as far as it’s gonna go. He may not do anything to stop the prosecution of Manafort; he just wanted to get the stuff on the record. He is, again, a Reagan-appointed judge.
RUSH: Judge Ellis gave the Mueller prosecutors two weeks to hand over the unredacted scope memo, which is the memo that explains the authority, grants the authority to the special counsel for the investigation. The judge summed up the special counsel’s office as, “We said this was what the investigation was about, but we are not bound by it and we were lying.” He referenced, “Come on, man,” to the prosecutors after they made their pitch for keeping the case, “Come on, man.”
The judge gave the government two weeks to hand over the unredacted scope memo or provide an explanation why not after prosecutors were reluctant to do so, claiming it has material that doesn’t pertain to Manafort. The judge said, “I will be the judge of that, not you.”
So it was clearly contentious, but the judge didn’t throw the case out. The judge didn’t rule. The judge got it off his chest, the judge told the prosecutors what he thought they were doing, they’re just trying to get Trump and that’s it. The judge told them that as far as he can tell this Manafort case doesn’t even have anything to do with their original charter. That’s why he wants to see the scope memo.
“Mueller’s team says its authorities are laid out in documents including the August 2017 scope memo – and that some powers are actually secret because they involve ongoing investigations and national security matters that cannot be publicly disclosed.”
Rosenstein is saying the same thing, why he will not give his letter that charged Mueller with the investigation because of national security matters and ongoing investigations. The judge did not seem persuaded with this explanation for why they won’t give him the source or scope memo on this. And some Drive-By news analysts are saying, “This is not a good day for Mueller. This is not the kind of treatment Mueller is used to. Judges don’t say these things lightly.” That’s Michael Zeldin on CNN moments ago. So we’re gonna keep tracking this, see what it means, if anything.
RUSH: Now, folks, the judge asking for the scope memo is a big, big deal. Remember, there was no crime that was specified at the beginning of this. And these prosecutors know that there’s no crime. The scope memo is going to show that they have freedom, liberty to go anywhere they want to go. And if that’s ever exposed — that’s why Rosenstein will not release it — if that’s ever exposed, a big dent in all of this to the prosecutors happens.
RUSH: I need to make a correction. Judge T. S. Ellis is not African-American. In fact, he looks like Paul Giamatti. The reason that I made the mistake thinking he’s African-American is that he presided over the case of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana), who was found stuffing $90,000 of cash into his freezer during Hurricane Katrina. And it is William Jefferson’s picture that appears in stories and he’s incorrectly identified as the judge.
I imagine a lot of people are making this mistake today. In a lot of places Judge Ellis is misidentified with photos of Congressman William Jefferson (Democrat-Louisiana). Ellis was the judge in Jefferson’s case, and they have a picture. I thought when I saw this it looked like William Jefferson. It looked like somebody I knew. I didn’t immediately think William Jefferson.
Anyway, the judge is not African-American. I wanted to make that correction. And I was gonna have already gone to the phones by now but then this judge thing happened, and I still have to close the loop on this. This story happened literally minutes before the program began. And once the program begins, I have two-or-three-minute little periods of time to start putting things together and learn things sufficiently to pass them on to you.
So here is, after an hour of a bunch of two or three minute little segments of learning things, here is what we have learned. The Manafort lawyers made a motion some weeks ago to have his case thrown out on the basis that his case has nothing to do with Russian collusion and that the special counsel should not even have jurisdiction over it because it has nothing to do with what the original purpose of Mueller’s investigation is.
The hearing on that was today. And the judge, T. S. Ellis, who is not African-American, had some biting comments for the Mueller prosecutor team. He essentially said, “It looks to me like all you’re really using Manafort here is a way to get Donald Trump. This does seem to me to appear outside your jurisdiction. What you’re accusing Manafort of doing happened way before the campaign or Trump’s election.” And the Mueller prosecutors objected and whatever their objections were, the judge said, “Come on, man, don’t try to put this on me.”
And he has demanded what is called the scope memo. He has demanded that Mueller’s prosecutors turn over to him whatever it was Mueller was given by the Department of Justice that got this whole investigation going. Now, House Republicans on various committees are seeking the same thing from the deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, who’s refusing to turn it over, despite numerous requests from the elected representatives of the people, members of the United States House of Representatives. And I think they’ve even subpoenaed this memo.
Now, here’s why nobody wants to give this up. The Mueller prosecutors do not want this judge to see it. And Rosenstein doesn’t want Congress to see it, because it probably isn’t even a letter. This takes us back to what got this all started. Remember that Department of Justice regulations stipulate that when a special counsel is named and hired, that he be given a specific crime to investigate.
And therefore, or then, if, during the investigation of that stated crime, he finds evidence of other crimes, the special counsel must go back to whoever appointed him — in this case, it would be Rosenstein since the Sessions recused himself — to seek permission to expand the investigation to these other areas discovered during the course of the investigation.
Well, there was no crime specified. Robert Mueller was not given any limits on his investigation. Right off the bat, Department of Justice regulations were violated by the deputy attorney general Rosenstein by not specifying a crime. And we have been saying from the beginning that it’s a big problem that there was no crime starting this whole thing. You have to have a crime first. Then you assign the prosecutor. You do not assign the prosecutor first and tell him he has unlimited authority to go find a crime.
And this is what I believe has offended Judge Ellis. Because he has figured this out, that these people are running around with no limits on ’em, and they can look anywhere, any time, and they can invent crimes if they want. They can invent process crimes. They can go look anywhere to find a crime, which is what they’ve done in Manafort’s case. The judge is saying, “Wait a minute. This guy’s got nothing to do with Russian collusion. This guy’s got nothing to do with the Trump campaign that you’re investigating. I want to say the memo granting you the authority to do all this.”
They don’t want the judge to see the memo. So the judge said, “Well, you give it to me, maybe I’ll keep it under seal. And maybe I won’t share it with Manafort’s lawyers right off the bat.” So when the judge presses them on this, they say, “Well, it turns out our investigation’s really not limited to collusion with Russia. In fact, our investigation doesn’t have any limits at all.” That’s what’s gonna be learned if they do furnish this scope memo.
The judge realizes that all the stuff they have on Manafort predates collusion with Russia, and the Justice Department declined to prosecute any of it until Mueller came along! The Justice Department looked into this Manafort stuff a couple times, saw nothing there, let it go. Mueller comes along and all of a sudden Mr. Integrity, Mr. Unimpeachable reputation indicts Manafort, and the judge even specified today in kind of a joking matter, “Well, you’re just setting this guy up to flip on the president, right?”
It was a stinging rebuke. It was the kind of rebuke we should have seen countless times in the last year from people in the Department of Justice. In fact, Rosenstein ought to be asking Mueller what he’s doing. Rosenstein ought to be reining this in. Sessions ought to be reining in the areas that he can that he hasn’t recused himself from. But Mueller has been out there off the leash with no controls over anything he’s doing with the media urging him on and accomplishing everything he’s doing, praising everything he’s doing, encouraging him to keep going. No limits whatsoever.
But this judge knows that the Justice Department had the goods on Manafort long before Mueller came along, and they chose not to prosecute. Now Mueller wants to prosecute it on the authority of a collusion with Russia investigation even though it has nothing to do with collusion with Russia. It is nuts!
All of this is nuts! All of this is blindingly, offensively nuts! It doesn’t make any sense if the rule of law counts for anything. It makes total sense if there is a government effort, deep state effort to get rid of a duly elected president, then all of this makes perfect sense.
But if the rule of law still matters, I find it, frankly — you know, it’s great that this judge has piped up, but where have been others in the DOJ? Is everybody in the DOJ aligned with the lawlessness of this? Is everybody in the DOJ in on this fix? That’s why people keep talking about the deep state. Where are the limits? How can you have a special counsel exist in such violation of DOJ regulations and nobody speak up about it?
Well, no, I know we have, but we’re not the Department of Justice. We’re not in the government. We’re not in positions here speaking up like this judge did. This judge has authority over these prosecutors. I’ll tell you this too. Like I said yesterday, you know what’s really offensive about this to me — and it’s hard to pick one thing — if you just landed here from another planet, from Mars or whatever and you start watching ’em for two days, you know what you’re gonna think?
You’re gonna think this country elects a president, but there’s a guy over here that is constantly investigating him and determining whether or not he’s fit to be president every day. And that the media supports that guy and that that guy actually is who has the power in this country, not the president. That’s what you would have to conclude. And that’s exactly the way Mueller and his team, Comey and the rest of these people, want it.
Well, none of this is in the Constitution, folks, none of this is. All of this is taking place outside the Constitution. And the fact that only one judge has decided to speak up and actually call this out for what it is, yeah, it’s a great thing it’s happened, but it’s worrisome that it’s just one. And since it’s just one, I guarantee you back at the DOJ Rosenstein, Mueller and these people are plotting ways that they can get around this judge. They can’t let this stand. They’re gonna have to do something to deal with this. And I, for one, am gonna be curious to see what that is.
RUSH: Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist adds to the judge story, Judge Ellis. She tweeted that the judge said, “We don’t want anyone in this country w/ unfettered power. It’s unlikely…” He’s saying this to the prosecutors, Mueller’s prosecutors. “It’s unlikely you’re going to persuade me the special prosecutor has power to do anything he or she wants. The American people feel pretty strongly that no one has unfettered power.” Bingo. This is the exact way to describe this. Mueller and his people are running around like they have ultimate authority and ultimate power.
They can determine the fitness of the president, the duly elected president. That’s damn well what they’re doing! They are determining the fitness of the president based on their own inside-the-Beltway establishment rules! That’s exactly what’s happening, and this is exactly what the American people are slowly rising up and refusing to accept because it’s becoming patently obvious that’s all this is.