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For my readers who do not live in the United States, Alan Dershowitz is a famous lawyer, author and the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School.

He has given countless interviews and made just as many television appearances over the past few decades and, although he is probably a Democrat deep down, he looks at legal cases from an impartial viewpoint.

Dershowitz recently wrote an article for Gatestone Institute, ‘Provoking New Crimes Rather than Uncovering Past Crimes: Mueller’s Modus Operandi’, which is well worth reading in full.

These are Dershowitz’s headlines (emphases mine):

  • Even if Mueller could prove that members of the Trump team had colluded with Julian Assange to use material that Assange had unlawfully obtained, that, too, would not be a crime.
  • Merely using the product of an already committed theft of information is not a crime. If you don’t believe me, ask the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and other newspapers that used material illegally obtained by Assange with full knowledge that it was illegally obtained.
  • In the end, Mueller should be judged by how successful he has been in satisfying his central mission. Judged by that standard and based on what we now know, he seems to be an abysmal failure.

Dershowitz reminds us of the objective of the Mueller probe: to find evidence of Russian collaboration, not collusion, by the 2016 Trump campaign:

It was always an uphill struggle for Mueller, since collusion itself is not a crime. In other words, even if he could show that individuals in the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian agents to help elect Trump, that would be a serious political sin, but not a federal crime. Even if Mueller could prove that members of the Trump team had colluded with Julian Assange to use material that Assange had unlawfully obtained, that, too, would not be a crime. What would be a crime is something that no one claims happened: namely, that members of the Trump campaign told Assange to hack the Democratic National Committee before Assange did so. Merely using the product of an already committed theft of information is not a crime. If you don’t believe me, ask the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and other newspapers that used material illegally obtained by Assange with full knowledge that it was illegally obtained. Not only did they use information from Assange, but also from Chelsea Manning and from the stolen Pentagon Papers. The First Amendment protects publication by the media of stolen information. It also protects use of such information by a political campaign, since political campaigns are also covered by the First Amendment.

Instead, it appears as if Mueller is trying to create new crimes. Why would he do that? To cover up his own sins over the past 20+ years, including his involvement in Uranium One while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

The new crimes Mueller is trying to create are what are known as ‘process crimes’, which could trigger counts of perjury. Here is an example:

Q: Where were you at 3:15 p.m. on January 21st 2018?

A: I was walking my dog.

Q: No, you were at your Aunt Sally’s house at that time.

A: Well, I went to see Aunt Sally after I walked my dog.

Q: Sorry, you’ve already said — under oath — that you were walking your dog. You realise, don’t you, that you could be charged with perjury.

That’s a simple example of a process crime.

Back to Dershowitz:

It is important to note that Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not have a roving commission to ferret out political sin, to provoke new crimes, or to publish non-criminal conclusions that may be embarrassing to the President. His mandate, like that of every other prosecutor, is to uncover past crimes. In Mueller’s case those crimes must relate to Russia. He also has the authority to prosecute crimes growing out of the Russia probe, but that is collateral to his central mission. In the end, Mueller should be judged by how successful he has been in satisfying his central mission. Judged by that standard and based on what we now know, he seems to be an abysmal failure.

Precisely.

Last year, just before Christmas, pundits and others supposedly ‘in the know’ said that the Mueller investigation would end early in 2018.

A year later, we are still waiting.

Just before leaving for the G20 in Buenos Aires, President Trump tweeted:

$40,000,000!

And where’s the new sheriff in town, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker? He could do something about it:

It would be wonderful if someone or something could put an end to this. Don’t forget: American taxpayers are footing the bill for Mueller and his lawyers.

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Until last week, an Independent candidate for Seattle’s city council was running for local elections in 2019.

His is one of the best political adverts I’ve ever seen. Please take two minutes to watch it:

Christopher Rufo has made documentaries for Netflix and PBS, assignments that have taken him around the world. The video shows him with his wife and two sons. Clearly, they are a happy family.

He wants to clean up Seattle, which has become a filthy, depressing place in recent years, and to lower taxes for the city’s hardest hit workers. He says that Seattle doesn’t need more money; it needs better leadership.

What’s not to like?

The radical left went after him, just as they did Tucker Carlson, using the Cuban approach. They harassed one of his sons on his school’s Facebook page and tried to get his wife fired from her job with Microsoft.

On November 14, The Daily Caller reported that, because of the horrific abuse his family has had to take, Christopher Rufo has regrettably dropped out of the 2019 local race. Excerpts follow, emphases mine.

Rufo clearly blamed the radical left:

An independent candidate for Seattle City Council announced on Wednesday that he is dropping out of the race, due to what he described as racial and sexual harassment of his wife by left-wing activists.

Christopher Rufo, a documentary filmmaker, made combatting Seattle’s “activist class” and “the ideologues on our city council” a central part of his campaign for election in 2019.

He sent an email to his supporters explaining the situation. It says, in part:

I had hoped that this would be a campaign of ideas, but I quickly discovered that the activists in this city have no interest in ideas. Since the campaign launch, they have harassed and threatened my family nonstop. I was prepared to take the heat, but unfortunately, they have focused their hatred on my wife and children.

They’ve made vile racist attacks against my wife, attempted to get her fired from Microsoft, and threatened sexual violence. They have even posted hateful messages to my 8-year-old son’s school Facebook page. I know that as the race progresses, the activists will ratchet up their hate-machine and these attacks will intensify significantly

my primary responsibility is to make sure my family is healthy, happy, and safe. That’s not possible in our current political climate, which has been overtaken by polarization and the ever-present threat of violence.

I’ve learned that our problem here in Seattle is much deeper than the city council’s policies—we have created a culture of intolerance that is deeply destructive to the common good. I plan to spend the next few months reflecting on this experience and charting a way forward in a series of essays. I hope that some positive benefit can come out of this disappointment.

Rufo has pledged to refund all of the donations to his campaign, which are upwards of $12,000.

How sad for him and his family. They look like good people.

I cannot imagine going after anyone, especially someone from an ethnic minority or a child. What is wrong with these people, who accuse everyone else of being intolerant?

Where does this end?

Keep in mind that Rufo is probably not a conservative, and is likely to be more of a libertarian.

The Daily Caller‘s article directs readers to another one focussing on Seattle, ‘Seattle Council Member Using Gov Resources To Organize Anti-Trump Protests’, dated January 4, 2017, a few weeks before President Trump’s inauguration:

A Seattle city council member is openly using government resources to organize anti-Trump protests in collaboration with a radical socialist organization.

Councilmember Kshama Sawant posted an open letter to her “fellow activists” on the City of Seattle’s taxpayer-funded website, urging participation in anti-Trump “Occupy Inauguration” protests organized by the Socialist Alternative Seattle. More than 3,500 people have already committed to joining the protests, according to the event’s Facebook page.

“A right-wing anti-worker bigot has been elected President. Donald Trump’s cabinet is a who’s who of multi-billionaires with long records of hostility towards workers, the labor movement, women’s rights, and the planet,” Sawant charges in her letter, which was posted on New Years Eve. She goes on to urge visitors to the government website to engage in “resistance” to the president-elect.

‘Government resources’ is better translated as ‘taxpayer money’.

How can a city council allocate tax money towards protests — of any kind?

Socialist Alternative Seattle, influential in the councilwoman’s campaign and behind the pre-Inauguration protest:

stands in “political solidarity” with the Committee for a Workers’ International, a far-left organization that calls for a “Marxist programme” to end capitalism.

In short, Sawant is using taxpayer resources to organize anti-Trump protests sponsored by a radical socialist organization that brags about its ties to global Marxists

Sawant is the vice-chair of the city council’s committee on civil rights. She did not return a request for comment by press time.

Unbelievable.

Back to Christopher Rufo’s — and Tucker Carlson’s — situation. As one of my readers commented on Saturday:

These orchestrated mob attacks on political dissidents are outrageous and cannot be tolerated. I lay the blame for this escalating violence at the feet of Jeff Sessions, the former US Attorney General.

The first act of terrorism occurred shortly after Donald Trump took office. A Democratic party activist shot Congressman Steve Scalise and several others. Had Jeff Sessions reacted in a decisive manner and declared that violence against Republican officials will not be tolerated and demanded that Democratic party officials condemn the violence, disavow violence as a political tool, and take positive actions to insure that there are no further acts of violence, I believe that we would not see the mob attacks on dissidents we see today.

If local police refused to arrest and local courts refused to prosecute political terrorists, then Jeff Sessions should have stepped in and arrested and prosecuted the terrorists under federal statutes. Recall when Eric Holder was Attorney General, if a local court decision didn’t go the way the Obama administration wanted it to go, Holder would arrest and prosecute the individual under federal statutes.

I couldn’t agree more.

Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker must now step up to the plate, say ‘Enough!’ and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law.

Americans — from Independents to Libertarians to Republicans — cannot be held hostage or abused by groups of unhinged leftists who belong either in jail or mental health facilities.

Last week, Jeff Sessions resigned as attorney general.

He left the Department of Justice (DoJ) on Wednesday, November 7, 2018.

Asking Sessions to resign was President Trump’s first action after the mid-terms on November 6.

Finally!

Now, maybe, justice can be done!

The acting attorney general (AG) was formerly Sessions’s chief of staff. His name is Matt Whitaker.

Trump was clever and did not promote Rod Rosenstein, deputy attorney general, to the post. Because Sessions had recused himself, Rosey had been overseeing the Mueller probe. Now that Whitaker has been given the responsibility of overseeing Mueller, the Left — Democrats and the media — have said that the United States is experiencing a ‘constitutional crisis’.

Fox News’s Howard Kurtz explains why (emphases mine):

Whitaker is a former prosecutor, as well as a conservative activist, but he is obscure. He is a Trump loyalist, once described as the president’s “eyes and ears” at DOJ.

What’s more, as a CNN contributor and at other times, he has trashed the Mueller investigation that he will now be overseeing. He’s suggesting that Justice could curtail the special counsel’s probe by cutting his funding.

“The truth is there was no collusion with the Russians and the Trump campaign,” Whitaker once said. As for the left, “the last thing they want right now is for the truth to come out, and for the fact that there’s not a single piece of evidence that demonstrates that the Trump campaign had any illegal or any improper relationships with the Russians. It’s that simple.”

So Whitaker has, to put it mildly, a rather dim view of the investigation. And his associates are telling reporters he has no intention of recusing himself. Of course not — that’s why Trump wants him.

So it’s a big deal that oversight of the Russia probe is moving from Rosenstein, who likes the job Mueller is doing, to a man who’s been so critical of the investigation. And criticism from House Democrats who’ll soon be in a position to scrutinize these matters is fueling the story.

Rumour has it that Robert Mueller might be wrapping up his investigation soon, possibly next week. If true, whether that is related to Sessions’s resignation is unclear.

As acting AG, Whitaker can stay in that position for up to 210 days. Whitaker was appointed to his former chief of staff role in 2017, therefore, he requires no Senate confirmation.

Whitaker quickly protected his Twitter account, which was all about sports, although you can see a photo of him lifting weights. He’s no pencil-necked geek. He’s a big man with a shaved head (similar to Mr Clean). One of Whitaker’s tweets featured a similar photo with the caption:

What I do in my free time. #powerclean #CrossFit…

VA Online News has an interesting article about Whitaker and how he got the AAG job. The article purports that White House aides thought Rod Rosenstein’s resignation was imminent, so they went about finding a replacement:

Convinced that the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, was ready to resign after the revelation that he suggested President Trump was unfit for the job, senior White House aides got to work last weekend installing a replacement.

Whitaker received a phone call on Saturday, November 3:

Matthew G. Whitaker, the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would become the acting No. 2 official at the Justice Department, his White House counterpart, John F. Kelly, told him over the phone on Saturday morning, according to two people briefed on the call. To the White House, he was an obvious choice: a confident former college football player and United States attorney whom Mr. Kelly has privately described as the West Wing’s “eyes and ears” in a department the president has long considered at war with him.

By Monday, Rosenstein had decided to stay at the DoJ for the time being, therefore, Whitaker could not be moved into his slot.

Interestingly, had Whitaker become DAG, replacing Rosenstein, he would not have been able to supervise the Mueller probe:

thanks to complex department rules, Mr. Whitaker would not assume control of the inquiry if he ever replaces Mr. Rosenstein.

Some think that Whitaker could become the permanent AG if he performs well as AAG. Even if he doesn’t, there are other roles open to him:

Administration officials have also mentioned Mr. Whitaker as a possible successor to Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel who plans to leave in the fall.

Justice Department and White House spokespeople declined to comment. The back-and-forth between the White House and Justice Department were described by more than a half-dozen administration officials and others briefed on the discussions who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal conversations.

President Trump is said to have an easy rapport with Whitaker, who disapproves of Mueller potentially probing the Trump family finances.

In 2016, he was critical of Hillary Clinton’s server situation:

A reasonable prosecutor may ask, if on numerous occasions, an unknown State Department employee had taken top secret information from a secured system, emailed that information on a Gmail account, and stored the information on a personal server for years, would that individual be prosecuted? I believe they would.

Eighteen US AGs have demanded that Whitaker recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller probe. On Friday, November 9, Fox News reported:

More than a dozen U.S. state attorneys general signed a document Thursday calling for Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, a role he assumed following his temporary appointment following the resignation of Jeff Sessions …

As part of Whitaker’s new role as the head official at the Justice Department, he will oversee the Russia probe and the agency’s other federal investigations, including the New York prosecutors’ look into the finances of Trump and his former aides.

In an op-ed Whitaker wrote last year, he argued that “any investigation into President Trump’s finances or the finances of his family would require Mueller to return to Rod Rosenstein for additional authority under Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.”

“It is time for Rosenstein … to order Mueller to limit the scope of his investigation to the four corners of the order appointing him special counsel,” Whitaker wrote. “If he doesn’t, then Mueller’s investigation will eventually start to look like a political fishing expedition. This would not only be out of character for a respected figure like Mueller, but also could be damaging to the President of the United States and his family — and by extension, to the country.”

And separately, in July 2017, Whitaker told CNN, “I could see a scenario where Jeff Sessions is replaced with a recess appointment, and that attorney general doesn’t fire Bob Mueller, but he just reduces his budget to so low that his investigation grinds to almost a halt.”

Whitaker is adamant about refusing to recuse.

The Left — Democrats and the media — are in a right tizz at the moment.

Whitaker’s DoJ could look at all types of left-wing scandals from the past several years.

He could get a lot done in 210 days, especially as he has the little-known but brilliant Ezra Cohen-Watnick, 32, working at the DoJ. Cohen-Watnick formerly worked for HR McMaster, who fired him from the National Security Council. Trump fired McMaster earlier this year.

Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner think highly of Cohen-Watnick, who has an intelligence background. In April 2018, Trump personally told the DoJ he wanted Cohen-Watnick to work with Jeff Sessions. That did not sit well with the Left, either, because it was rumoured he had shown Rep. Devin Nunes classified documents relating to Nunes’s FISA investigation of the 2016 election.

With Whitaker and Cohen-Watnick working together, who knows what the near future might hold? We could well see some sunlight disinfecting the Swamp. 

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