Who’s Who in Trump Legal-land

President Trump has been under an “open” (unlimited) investigation by the “establishment” (what he calls “the Swamp”) for over nine months.  He has also kept his legal team in nearly constant rotation.  So, as promised, here is the quick guide to the Trump Investigations Who’s Who.

The Investigators/Prosecutors

  • James Comey – Director of the FBI, fired on 9-May-2017 by President Trump.
    • Comey was the one who made the inappropriate (both legally and by FBI standards) statements pre-election letting Hillary Clinton off for using a private email server, and subsequently announcing he was reopening that investigation mere days before the election.
    • Comey leaked his own top-secret memo, to Professor Daniel Richman.   In violation of the law and FBI policy.
    • This was the statement that FBI Agent Strzok changed from “extreme negligence” to “gross carelessness”, taking it from a crime to, well, carelessness.
    • President Trump spoke to Comey about a possible investigation into Michael Flynn, stating Flynn is a “good guy.”  Comey took notes on this.
    • President Trump fired Comey… from the above, for good reasons… but the Democrats considered it “Obstruction of Justice” because additional investigations were pending.
    • This cannot have been “Obstruction of Justice”, as Comey had told Trump that he was not under investigation.  (Funny how that detail never makes the news… but did make the Congressional testimony!)
  • FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe – Fired by Attorney General Jeff Sessions for lying under oath, his wife was a Democrat candidate for Senate.  His parting statements made James Comey look pretty bad.
  • Robert Mueller – the head investigator.  He’s investigating everybody and everything, with no limits.  This isn’t generally healthy… Lavrentiy Beria, head of Joseph Stalin’s secret police, stated, “Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.”  The American way is not an open-ended fishing expeditions.
    • Mueller interviewed with President Trump on 16-May-2017 for Director of the FBI.  Trump passed.  And then…
    • On 17-May-2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller to special counsel for the United States Department of Justice.  (Anyone see a motive for Mueller here?)
    • Less than a month later, Mueller opened the Russia investigation into Trump.
    • With unlimited budget and no limitations (see Beria, above), Mueller has assembled a “dream team” for the prosecution.
    • He eventually did indict 13 Russians and three companies for election fraud… well, really for defrauding the U.S., while exonerating President Trump.
  • The FBI has destroyed its own credibility with agent misconduct.
  • The investigation was initially about Russian collaboration, but Mueller has greatly expanded.
  • Even the Schiff (Democrat rebuttal) memo did more harm than good to the case.

The head investigator, Robert Mueller (above), has charged some Trump associates with treason and conspiracy.  Just kidding… no, he charged Paul Manfort for… money laundering (but not related to Trump).   And reached a plea bargain with Michael Flynn for “giving false information” about who he’d spoken to… in exchange for leaving Flynn’s son alone.  Not for a crime, but for lying about what did happen.  In a Mafia-way of, “do this or I go after your family.”

Trump’s team

On President Trump’s side, the story has  been the churn of his legal team.  We’ve seen:

  • John Dowd – Trump’s personal lawyer since June 2017.  Advises him to STFU!  He resigned last week, annoyed that his advice was being ignored.
  • Jay Sekulow – also joined last June – is leading the Russia response.
  • Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing were preparing to join last week.  This was aborted due to “conflict of interest.”  They had made statements about the investigation previously being a “falsely created crime.”
  • Marc Kasowitz was a long-time Trump attorney.  He stepped down last summer after just a few months in the White House council.
  • Ty Cobb has been the lead White House lawyer since July 2017.  He probably won’t last much longer.  The White House lawyers are charged with protecting the Office of the Presidency, not the President.  That’s a crucial difference, and has them outside the inner circle.
  • Don McGahn is also a White House lawyer, who may not last much longer.

The rumors are that President Trump is having trouble attracting top lawyers, despite his tweets to the contrary, primarily because he doesn’t take advice from anybody, including lawyers, and because he churns through them too quickly.

Should Trump talk to Mueller?

The other question has been, Should President Trump submit to an interview?

This topic has been one sticking point with his lawyers; lawyers agree that this is a “bad idea”™.  You cannot trust prosecutors; their job is to find you guilty.  Cooperating with them does not befriend them; it merely helps them find new areas of dirt.  Or, because any memory lapses or misstatements are then under oath, find you guilty of perjury.

Nobody, not just not Trump, should do this.

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