RUSH: That book by Sidney Powell I was just talking about, it’s four years old. It’s from 2014. It’s called Licensed to Lie, and it’s in depth what happened with the Enron trials and the Ted Stevens prosecution. This was also thrown out after they destroyed him, and there’s a name… There’s a bunch of people that are in every one of these cases she writes about, and many of them have a lot to do with Mueller — one of them in particular named Andrew Weissmann. But beyond that…
I’m reading this book kind of slowly. It is written beautifully. It’s written… It’s a page-turner. It’s just… (sigh) Folks, it’s stunning! It’s stunning, the lawlessness in the Department of Justice that has nothing to do with left or right. It’s not just liberalism. It happens under every president, and its primary focus — at least to the phase I’m at in the book — is the fact that the prosecution, Department of Justice, United States attorneys suborn perjury from their own witnesses. I mean, they have their own witnesses lie specifically, which happened in the Ted Stevens case.
They do not turn over exculpatory evidence to the defense. It was an FBI agent whistleblower who, if he had not spoken up, Ted Stevens’ conviction would have stood and he would still be considered to be fraudulent and corrupt. He was totally set up. He was set up by people who wanted scalps, and the book claims that nothing’s changed in the Department of Justice since those days, or very little. Some of you, I’m sure, may have already read it, heard about it. Sidney Powell’s a frequent guest and has been on cable TV shows for a while.
I don’t know why I’m just now getting to it but somebody just recently recommended it to me. But it’s shocking, and it’s gonna shock a lot of people because the day-to-day rules of order in federal court, the judge and the prosecutors rely on each other. They trust each other. The defense already has a difficult burden in federal court because the prosecutors are allowed basically to run the courtroom, and it’s just the way it’s always been set up. And now with the apparent corruption that was running rampant there…
And some of those people got promoted, some of those people in the Enron Task Force, every one of their cases was overturned. Judge Emmet Sullivan actually held a bunch of them in contempt, and they’re working now for some of the biggest private sector law firms in the country. Nothing happened to them. They got away with it, even those who were called out by name. It just lets you know what you’re up against if the Department of Justice ever starts coming after you.
It will shock a lot of people because the presumption is that law enforcement is clean and pure as the wind-driven snow. They don’t have time to waste falsely charging people. I know people are well aware of exceptions to this. But all I mean is if you’re reading the paper, if you’re watching the news and you hear that law enforcement says X about a crime, that something happened — they define and describe what happened — and they tell you who they think did it, you just believe it! They have a natural existing credibility.
God, country, flag, law enforcement, so forth and so on. But, man, the information that she learned and exposed in this book is just shocking. You know, it’s reignited some concerns I have about what’s going on with Mueller here and his investigation, the people running it, such as this raid on Manafort’s house at 6 o’clock in the morning while he was cooperating. Anyway, it was Kirsten Gillibrand, moving back to the news of the day. Licensed to Lie is the book — and it’s a long one, 600-some-odd pages.
So if you go get it, be prepared to sink in with it for a while. But I’ll tell you, it won’t take you long to get into this, and you’ll be having all kinds of… She portrays these judges (chuckles) on the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans as incompetent, uninterested, and whatever the prosecutors say is and it’s never any doubt and it’s an impossible mountain to climb. She describes all this as a rude or shocking eye-opening experience for her as well. But I read… I was so excited to see how this thing ended because I’m at the point where she has finally discovered that there’s a couple people in the DOJ who are behind all of this.
And they’re doing it for reasons the reader would never understand. But she hasn’t yet named these people. So I went to the back of the book, to the epilogue to find out if I could just see who she’s talking about, and I still don’t know the names of the people she’s talking about. But I did conclude that at the end of the book she doesn’t think anything’s changed. Despite all that was learned about the corruption and the tactics that were used to gain convictions for truly innocent people who were sent to jail and their lives were destroyed — and they hadn’t even done anything, and their indictments didn’t even list a crime!
RUSH: You say they wanted Ted Stevens’ Senate seat, but it was the George W. Bush DOJ that railroaded Ted Stevens. Ted Stevens was a Republican. George W. Bush was a Republican. And so theory — Alberto Gonzales, the attorney — they were all Republicans. What were they doing going after Ted Stevens? And if it was rogue Democrat prosecutors in the DOJ that got away with this why didn’t the Republicans in the DOJ stop ’em? You want to call this partisan but I don’t know how you can when you’ve got the Bush DOJ destroying a Republican senator like Ted Stevens.
Now, it could well be that somebody had a tiff with Stevens over something. He was appropriations. Been in there 40 year — you know what Stevens lost his seat over? If you’ll excuse me for a second here, just so you’ll remember. Ted Stevens is from Alaska, he was accused of not reporting favorable conditions to him by a contract.
He was remodeling his house or some such thing. Now, follow me on this. He’s remodeling his house, and he, on his disclosure forms, claimed that it was $160,000, that that’s what he was charged and that’s what he paid. The prosecutors said that the contractor was offered bribes to report different numbers. It was made to look like Stevens had lied, that he had received a much greater benefit than he had reported.
It turns out that the value of the work done was only $80,000. The contractor had screwed Ted Stevens, and the prosecutors knew this, and the prosecutors told the lead witness, the contractor, to lie, which he did! That also happened in Enron trials. I mean, it’s outrageous when you read this stuff. And it made big news when it was happening, but it was locally contained in Washington, this news, and in Alaska.
It ended up the judge in the case, Emmet Sullivan, just excoriated the prosecutors in this case. The lead prosecutor, the guy that ran this prosecution was a guy named Friedrich, and he was all over television bragging about the charges and then bragging about the conviction. And shortly after he left the department, went into private practice and escaped the wrath of judge Sullivan. The line prosecutors actually prosecuted the case were investigated, were held in contempt. It was unprecedented for Department of Justice prosecutors to be treated this way by a federal judge, but it was outrageous what they did to Ted Stevens. They literally made up a charge.
Ted Stevens paid $160,000 for $80,000 worth of work. He ends up getting screwed. They charged him with lying about how much benefit he got from the contractor, and then they told the contractor to lie on the stand, which the contractor did ’cause he was scared of ’em. It’s not the kind of stuff you think happens in the United States.
Now, Sidney Powell in her book does not allege that this was done to get Ted Stevens’ seat, that that nevertheless happened. I mean, you might want to use common sense and conclude it, but this was all done under the auspices of a Republican Department of Justice. This happened during the George W. Bush presidency. And in fact it was Eric Holder — are you ready for this? — when Obama came into office is when all this against Stevens was reversed and made right.
And Eric Holder, within a month, I believe, of taking office, got to claim credit for cleaning up the DOJ and getting rid of this poison and dropping the indictment and vacating the guilty verdict from the jury and setting Ted Stevens free. The Obama Department of Justice got the credit for cleaning the place up! And all that happened was the calendar. It wasn’t that Holder decided anything was right or wrong. He just said this is a great benefit for us, man. Alberto Gonzales and the previous occupants here totally botched this case and we can look like the greatest supermen for justice in the world by letting this Stevens guy go, which he did.
He’d already lost his Senate seat so they were not putting him back in the Senate. Ted Stevens died in a plane crash not long after and never saw the justice that was meted out to the prosecutors that shafted him. But it isn’t just Ted Stevens. I don’t know what you remember about Enron. But I think four out of five of the Enron convictions were overturned at the Supreme Court because of prosecutorial misconduct, any number of other things.
There’s a story about a guy named James Brown at Merrill Lynch who didn’t do a thing wrong that was sent to prison and then let out by the Fifth Circuit when they discovered that the sentence was incorrect and the government went back and tried to put him back in jail. He was beaten up by people. He wasn’t in max security, but it wasn’t a camp, it wasn’t a white-collar prison. This guy lost 30 pounds. He lost all faith in himself, his family, and his country. Right before he was sentenced to jail or right before he was to report his son nearly died in an auto accident in Colorado. And there was no sympathy shown. But the guy didn’t do anything. He didn’t do anything wrong.
Scooter Libby, I mean, all of these things are happening. Scooter Libby didn’t do anything. The guy that leaked was Richard Armitage. Nothing happened to him. Now we got the same kind of thing going on with Robert Mueller’s team zeroing in on Trump and what’s-his-face, Cohen and whoever else, Manafort. And when you read through this, it’s jaw dropping.
And then I found myself asking, you know, I know everything, how did I miss all of this when it was happening? Well, a lot of it was happening in New Orleans at the Fifth Circuit on the Enron stuff. The Ted Stevens stuff I remember in a general sense, and while it drew a huge press contingent, it was largely Washington. There was some national attention, but Alaska and Washington got most of the details because this did not make the DOJ look good at all.
And we now know the DOJ, we look at what’s happening with spying operation they’ve run on Trump and their embedding all of these operatives like Stefan Halper and Mifsud and this effort to go get Trump on this Russia collusion, it’s banana republic kind of stuff. And she concludes in her book Licensed to Lie, again, that nothing’s really changed there, even after all of this had been exposed.
RUSH: Jeffrey Toobin just now… It’s like these people are listening to me and giving me fodder, although I know that’s not the case. But listen to this. Toobin was just on CNN, Jeffrey Toobin is the legal beagle over there, and the fill-in host Erica Hill… They’re all excited that Michael Cohen — you know, Trump’s fixer lawyer — apparently told Stephanopoulos that he’s not gonna go down for anybody. So now they’re all interpreting it that means Cohen’s gonna flip on Trump.
Well, Cohen could be flipping on any number of people or he couldn’t be flipping on anybody. Nobody knows what he’s gonna do. Nobody has the slightest idea what Cohen’s gonna do, least of all Stephanopoulos. They’re just making this stuff up. So in the process of discussing whether or not Cohen is gonna flip and be called liar, Hill says, “[Trump tweeted] ‘Sorry, I don’t see Michael [Cohen] doing that.’ Is this setting Cohen up to be called a liar in case he does flip?” because everybody thinks he’s gonna flip.
So now the long lives are out for Cohen. “You can’t believe him! He doesn’t tell the truth,” and here’s what Toobin says in response to that question…
TOOBIN: Could I just say as a —
TOOBIN: — former federal prosecutor, just to — to respond to what the president said in that tweet, federal prosecutors do not actually get people to lie. That is unethical. It is illegal. So the idea that prosecutors just allow people to lie when they cooperate is just, you know, it’s something that not only a president of the United States shouldn’t say. Anyone who’s informed about the American legal —
RUSH: Stop the tape! Go get the book Licensed to Lie by Sidney Powell. I just learned she even has a website set up that outlines all that’s going on the DOJ, and it’s designed to help people who end up being charged with a federal crime. It’s called CreepsOnAMission.com. But you go read the book, Mr. Toobin, and you’ll find out not only did prosecutors lie, they suborn perjury on their own witnesses! They did it throughout the Enron trials and they did it in the Ted Stevens case. They told the contractor to lie about what Stevens told him and about what he told Stevens!
See, this is my point. You have these people — former federal lawyers, judges and so forth — and they come out, prosecutors, and say “Oh, no. Oh, no. It’s unethical. It’s illegal. Prosecutors do not do not actually get people to lie.” Well, not according to Sidney Powell, who is a practicing attorney and has a wide experience. But she doesn’t come from Harvard or Yale, and so she was not all that popular with her colleagues. The judges that she spoke before, for the most part, liked her, she says. But they do!
That’s the whole point of her book. Not only, Toobin, do they lie, they do not turn over exculpatory evidence that they have! The stuff that they withheld from Ted Stevens… If they had been forced… No. They were forced. If they had followed the law and turned over all Brady material… Brady material is a legal term for exculpatory. When the prosecutors have evidence that could show innocence on the part of the accused, they are required to turn it over. They were not.
Throughout the Enron trials, they held on to it. They wrote summaries of the exculpatory evidence they had which were impossible to translate and read, turned those over. And they did the same thing in the Ted Stevens case. I think the contractor in the Ted Stevens case… His name is Bill Allen or something Allen. A-l-l-e-n. This guy… Everybody’s scared to death of these people once they get going.
When they give you immunity and when they tell you that you’re scot-free and that they’re not ever gonna come after you if you just say what they want you to say, everybody in the world will do it ’cause nobody wants the federal DOJ coming after ’em. But for Toobin to say this… “Can I just respond to the president here? Federal prosecutors do not actually get people to lie.” According to Sidney Powell, it’s de rigueur! It’s part of the day-to-day workings of the DOJ is to get witnesses to lie, at least among cases she was familiar and writing about here.
So Toobin goes on to say, “… a president of the United States shouldn’t say, anyone who’s informed about the way the American legal system works should know that that’s just not how federal prosecutors work in this country.” Mr. Toobin, it’s apparently you who don’t know, who doesn’t know how prosecutions work. All we have to do is look at the garbage that has been this FBI Trump investigation. You want to stand behind that? You want to defend that? Spies, informants embedded in the campaign, looking for a crime that nobody can find?
RUSH: Look, the thing to remember is we don’t have a Republican Department of Justice, and we haven’t had a Republican Department of Justice. We have an establishment Department of Justice, we have a swamp Department of Justice, like we have a swamp Department of State. We never have a Republican Department of State. I mean, the left is embedded in there after years and years and years of appointments and so forth. It’d take a long time to exterminate ’em all out of there.
RUSH: We have a retired federal prosecutor on the phone from Boise, Idaho. Hi, Chuck. I’m glad you called, sir. What’s up?
CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor to speak with you. I agree with the vast majority of what you’ve been saying today. I just wanted to qualify a little bit. I was a federal prosecutor for 30 years working in both D.C. under Joe diGenova and in Kansas City for the last 25 years. I actually retired a year early because I read the polls and thought Hillary was gonna win and I could not work for that department anymore. It had changed.
I do want to say that in many aspects the department is like the FBI or what we hear people saying about the FBI, and that is that there is still a great deal of integrity at the lower line level and that it is the headquarters that is so politically polluted. I don’t think the majority of federal prosecutors would suborn perjury, especially if it’s not a case where politics are infecting it.
For example, a major drug case and there’s no headquarters interest in it, no headquarters fingers in the pudding. I worked with a lot of very fine people, and I just want to make sure that we don’t give the impression to your listeners that every case is as infected as the Enron one was or that as the Ted Stevens case was.
RUSH: Well, that’s a good point. And I’m glad that you got through here to throw that little splash of water on it. I probably was painting with a bit of a broad brush, but I was motivated when I played the sound bite of Jeffrey Toobin saying federal prosecutors do not lie, I have just read documented accounts where they not only lie, they suborn perjury. Did you say you worked in D.C. at DOJ headquarters?
CALLER: No. I was in the field office. I was hired by Joe diGenova and was a line prosecutor there, and then I went out to Kansas City and finished my career there. I spent the majority of time there.
RUSH: Well, I should specify that — and you’re right — I’m referring to things that I’ve learned reading a book called Licensed to Lie by a lawyer named Sidney Powell, who is —
CALLER: And I’m familiar with that case and I think the book is excellent. And one other aspect of it, I’m not sure she gets into it enough, is that when all the abuses, the subornation of perjury and the concealment of exculpatory evidence came to light under Holder, even though it was a Bush prosecution, he tried to throw the line assistants in Anchorage under the bus even though it was some of his supervisors in Washington who had made those calls. And there were several of us in the association of assistant U.S. attorneys — it’s not a union, just a loose association who had to go to bat for those guys to keep them from getting fired when they were not the culprit —
RUSH: Yeah, one of the great ironies is that all of this stuff happens while George W. Bush is in the White House, and the Obama crew comes in and they get to play the knight on the white horse by —
RUSH: — vacating the guilty verdict and coming in and looking, “We can’t believe what this department did, and it’s never gonna happen anymore. We’re putting a stop, this is unbelievable.” They got to play knight on white horse and so forth when the other people had done it. But even with that, I have to tell you, I’ve lived long enough now to not be Pollyannish. I was stunned, Chuck, when I read this book about the details of these Enron cases and the Ted Stevens case.
And I was paying attention. We were talking about those cases on this program when they were happening. I was stunned. The general reporting during the time of each of those cases got nowhere near what had really happened. It got closer in the Stevens case, but the Enron case there was so much, the media had drummed up so much hatred for anybody and anything Enron that nobody cared what kind of tactics were used to nail ’em.
CALLER: Well, you’re very correct again, and, you know, it’s an axiom in the law: Bad cases make bad law. I have found that the more politics are involved, the more money is involved, the same thing holds true. And there are unethical prosecutors out there who go around saying you can’t appeal an acquittal and they will take every shortcut and every dirty trick to try and get the conviction.
I had one experience with that in the line out of 29 years, actually, and I was actually a second chair on the case, and a witness left the courtroom crying, and I went out and asked her what was wrong, and she said he made me lie. And I marched her right back in, interrupted the proceedings, put her back on the stand and had her correct her testimony.
And when the prosecutor who was the first chair in the case asked me what the hell I was doing, I said, “We’re gonna correct her testimony, and if you stop me I’m gonna knock you into the next county.” I don’t make that statement just to glorify myself, but because I think that is the attitude that most of the line prosecutors had and still have.
RUSH: You know, this is what we’re hearing during this period where the FBI leadership is coming under severe analysis and criticism. We hear, “Yeah, but, man, most of the people at the FBI, the agents, the analysts, they are the cream of the crop, and if they could speak out, they would tell you how outraged they are by it.”
CALLER: And I know ’em. And they are outraged by it. As I am outraged by Rod — the guy I called rotten Rosenstein, because if any of us had signed off to a FISA application knowing that it was based in the slightest part on a false affidavit, rotten Rod and company would have fired me in a New York minute. And yet there’s a different standard for this crew at the top, and there has been for several years, which is, again, why I left a year early because, like Sidney, I was writing my own book. I’m not seeking a plug or anything, but I knew if I published it I would be out on the street in a heartbeat. The things that she gets into in those two specific cases are really just the tip of the iceberg.
RUSH: Well, that’s what she says.
RUSH: And at the end of the book she says that despite learning all this, despite exposing it, nothing’s really changed.
CALLER: Well, that’s again at the headquarters level. I do not still believe that it bleeds down into every day casework. I think there’s lots of people with ethics and who still believe a prosecutor’s job is to seek the truth. Maybe I’m Pollyannish in that regard, but I don’t think so based on what I saw all of those years when I was with the department.
RUSH: That’s what everybody believes. Everybody’s been raised to believe that. Everybody’s been raised to believe that the law enforcement people are out for justice, not scalps and convictions to climb the ladder and so forth. But people are people. People can be corrupted. People can be corrupt. And the idea that we have any government agency that is immune from this is absurd. But the Department of Justice for the longest time has gotten the benefit of the doubt. But it’s an incredible amount of power these people have, particularly at headquarters. You can’t compete with them just in terms of money alone. If they want to get you, they’ll find a way. And you hope that the people they want to get deserve to be gotten.
But that’s not what you read when you read this book Licensed to Lie. Folks, I didn’t even intend to bring this up today. It’s just something I’m reading in my spare time. I’m not reading it for show prep. Something happened today in the first hour that made me reference this. And I didn’t intend for it to become as much a discussion topic today is it has.
But it is relevant because a lot of the people that are exposed as corrupt in her book are working right now with Robert Mueller trying to nail Donald Trump. They’ve gotten away with everything they did, despite being cited for contempt, despite being investigated, they’re still being highly prayed, some of them went into private practice, Mueller brought ’em back from private practice to run his operation.
And the 16 primary lawyers and investigators on Mueller’s team are all Hillary Clinton Democrats, which is why Trump keeps talking — Trump is wise to continue to tweet about this. He is extremely wise to continue to tweet about this, because he’s doing something nobody ever has the guts to do when they’re up against a Justice Department, that’s fight back. That just makes ’em — look at Cohen. Great example. This is Michael Cohen. Look what he’s doing today. Cohen, whatever he’s facing — we don’t know — he is scared to death.
He’s out praising the prosecutors. He is thanking the prosecutors. He is telling the world that he is assured the prosecutors are gonna be fair, that they only want what’s just and right. He’s scared to death of ’em! And he thinks that he cannot confront them at all, no matter what he really thinks they’re doing. And maybe they are behaving in ways that he’s accurately described. I don’t know. I’m just telling you that the natural tendency is, when powerful people are coming at you, don’t provoke ’em.
But that’s the opposite of what Trump does. Trump is provoking them and taking them head on because he’s not gonna sit there and be victimized by this without saying nothing and doing nothing. I think he’s wise in these tactics that he’s employing by challenging the honor and the integrity of what’s going on based on what we know of the people Mueller hired.
Anyway, I gotta take a break. I appreciate the call very much, Chuck.