RUSH: Look at this, folks, from NPR: “Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down in Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending.” They’re talking here about Andrew Weissmann. Andrew Weissmann is leaving the Mueller team. He has been the pit bull, and there’s even this little reference: “Weissmann has borne the brunt of attacks from critics such as Rush Limbaugh and conservative legal interest groups.” What’s missing in that line? I’ll tell you what’s missing in that line. “Weissmann has borne the brunt of attacks from critics such as [rabid right-wing radio talk show host] Rush Limbaugh…”
There’s no descriptive. There’s no qualifier. There’s just “Rush Limbaugh.” There’s a begrudging respect there from NPR. (sobbing) “Poor Weissmann, the guy who sent thugs, jackbooted thugs to roust Manafort from sleep at 6 a.m.! Poor Weissmann, driven away by Rush Limbaugh. So unfair! (sniffling) Poor Weissmann, who stormed Roger Stone’s house with all those 19 uniformed FBI and agents and marauders! Poor Andrew Weissmann, driven away by Rush Limbaugh. It’s so unfair!”
“Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending.” (scoffs) Russia inquiry. That Mueller report, by the way, the hot-to-trot thinking is today or tomorrow. It’s always been after the final Manafort sentence, that that’s when it’s coming. Well, that’s today or tomorrow. Some people think it’s gonna be tomorrow, because tomorrow is March 15th. That’s what? The ides, right? Comparisons here to Trump and the Ancient Romans.
RUSH: Back to this Weissmann story for just one minute here, because there is an element of this that they didn’t mention. The story does come from NPR. “Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down In Latest Clue Russia Inquiry May Be Ending — One of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election will soon leave the office and the Justice Department, two sources close to the matter tell NPR.
“Andrew Weissmann, the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, will study and teach at New York University and work on a variety of public service projects, including his longstanding interest in preventing wrongful convictions by shoring up forensic science standards used in courts.”
Now, folks, this is so laughable because this guy has fought to put the innocent in jail for much of his career! This guy, as a member of the Enron task force, ended up having every conviction he was a part of overturned by the Supreme Court. He has been upbraided for prosecutorial misconduct.
The idea that he’s now going to be devoting his life to his longstanding interest in preventing wrongful — this is like Colonel Sanders saying after selling Kentucky Fried Chicken, “I’m gonna buy a chicken farm to spare the lives of chickens from this day forward.”
And then there’s a line in here. “Weissmann has borne the brunt of attacks from critics such as Rush Limbaugh and conservative legal interest groups.” Attacks? I don’t know. I’ve just been pointing who Weissmann is and the way he uses the power that the Department of Justice has in federal prosecutions. The Ted Stevens case, man, that case was thrown out. The prosecutors in that case were suborning perjury of their star witness! They were desperate to get Ted Stevens out of the Senate, and they did it over a $175,000 remodeling bill for his home.
They claimed that Stevens had been given a gift of $175,000, remodeling of his home or some such thing, and they got the contractor to lie about what Stevens did, didn’t do, said, and paid for, and so forth. And when the judge found out about this — and it took a long time for the judge to be convinced because there’s a relationship between federal judges and prosecutors. I mean, the conviction rate’s 95% in federal court. If you end up in federal court being charged, 95% chance you lose, just statistically.
It took a yeoman effort, but they finally got the Stevens verdict vacated, the case thrown out. But by that time Stevens had been damaged. He was out of the Senate. His reputation had been destroyed. And these are the kind of people that have been on Mueller’s team going after Trump on something that didn’t happen. There wasn’t any collusion!
This thing should not have survived one day! I’m dead serious about this. If these were up and up, if these were honorable prosecutors, honorable investigators, they could have found out as soon as they learned that the only reason this investigation started, the Steele dossier, as soon as they learned that it was made up and the product of Hillary Clinton opposition research, it should have shut down the entire investigation.
But of course the investigation wasn’t about getting to the bottom of anything. The investigation was to serve as a cover-up for what the Clinton campaign did in conjunction with the Obama the Department of Justice in trying to sabotage the Trump campaign and Trump presidency. That’s what they needed covered up. That’s what they couldn’t stand anybody learning about.
So they concoct this gigantic investigation that’s packed with no facts, pure, outright lies. How many lives have they damaged, how many lives have they ruined in the pursuit of something that they know didn’t happen? Now, where is the honor in this? And now we’re told that the lead pit bull prosecutor here is gonna devote his life to people wrongly accused? That’s a bit much to swallow.
But, aside from all that, it does indicate that the investigation has wound down and over. From what I understand, Mueller hasn’t even been showing up in the office for the past year, that Weissmann has pretty much been the lead on this. I mean, Mueller is, what, in his seventies. Doing these things is a lot of work, he put in his time, did what he had to do as the face of the investigation, the name of the investigation.
But there never was any Trump-Russia collusion, so they’re winding it down. It’s gonna be interesting to see what the report does say, because this whole objective has been to get rid of Donald Trump any way they can, and that hasn’t changed. So the report is going to, however they write it and manage it, further or attempt to further that objective.
Now, one more thing before we go to the break. We had a caller yesterday — remember, we had a discussion on the New York — the Manhattan DA, Cyrus Vance, I think he’s III. Maybe Cyrus Vance Jr., don’t know, he’s the Manhattan DA. And the minute after Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced Manafort, they handed down a grand jury indictment with something like 12 counts of mortgage fraud, bank fraud, all this stuff against Manafort.
And the sole reason for this was to make sure that Trump cannot pardon Manafort and get him out of jail. My good friend Andy McCarthy has a column today at the TheHill.com. He says this ought to scare everybody. This literally ought to scare everybody, because this is nothing more, what the Manhattan DA is doing with Manafort is nothing more than a political prosecution.
There’s nothing that they’re doing pursuing Manafort ’cause he’s a bad guy, gamed the system, did this or that. This is purely, purely political. It is designed to negate the president pardoning this guy. Now, in the discussion yesterday about this, we discovered that Manafort had in advance pled guilty to a bunch of state charges that had not been filed. And I was scratching my, I said, “What the hell is this? Why plead guilty to these charges in the state, New York and wherever else, Virginia, when they haven’t even been filed yet?”
Because the express purpose of all of this is to have Manafort end up be guilty of state crimes and in those cases Trump cannot pardon. No president can pardon anybody convicted of state crimes. We had a guy call yesterday, say, “Wait a minute, Rush. Manafort’s lawyers know more about what they’re doing than most of us think.” And he cited a Supreme Court case that is currently before the court. It’s called Gamble v. United States. Here’s what this case is about.
Most of the time a federal prosecution is not an impediment. It doesn’t stand in the way of a subsequent prosecution in the state based on the same behavior or the same charges. There is a thing called dual sovereignty. You know, you’ve heard of double jeopardy, can’t be charged twice. Well, in the United States, you can’t be charged twice by the same sovereign or the same agency. But you can be charged twice if one of the agencies is federal and another agency is state. You can be charged for similar crimes twice.
Now, the reason this case is before the court is because Gamble here thinks this is grossly unfair, that it does make possible double jeopardy. And this is called dual sovereignty. Dual sovereignty, there’s no double jeopardy protection because the constitutional safeguard only prevents the same charging agency from prosecuting a person twice. In our system, the federal government and the states are deemed to be different, different sovereigns using legal lingo.
Now, the reason this case is being argued before the Supreme Court is because that is a dubious proposition because it’s presumed that it’s the people, we, the people, we are sovereign, regardless of whether we’re talking about federal or state government matters. And so the case before the court is that we ought to get rid of dual sovereignty because it does end up meaning double jeopardy. Okay, the Feds charge you and they lose, you’re off the hook. No, because here comes the state. And if the state has a political vendetta, as they do in the case of Manafort, then they can come after Manafort for the same things, in this case not because Manafort was found not guilty, but because they want to get in the way of the pardon process.
So what our caller was saying yesterday is if the Supreme Court decides this case and, you know, it could decide it before June, if they decide in favor of Gamble, it would mean that Manafort could not be subject to dual sovereignty. That was the caller’s theory. That, of course, remains to be seen. But it, regardless, is gross unfairness. This is a two-tiered justice system. This is not a justice system pursuing justice. This is a justice system, the New York DA, Manhattan DA, pursuing a political vendetta that’s actually aimed at Donald Trump.
And once again somebody that happened to work for Trump for four months and caught in the middle of this, and it’s his life that’s being ruined and destroyed. And then Andy goes on to say here that really the way to deal with this is not a pardon but a commutation. You don’t change the guilt. You just commute sentence so that, in this case Manafort would get out of jail.
He’d still be guilty, still have his record, but he’s 70 some odd, what does that matter to him? The number of years ahead of him are much, much less than those behind him so to heck with it, just commute the sentence and get him out of jail is what McCarthy’s suggesting that Trump do here. But that is what our caller was talking about, and he may have a point. But dual sovereignty in this case is how they are going after Manafort purely politically just to thwart Trump’s pardon process.