According to a court filing, a key deputy in the Mueller investigation is facing allegations he leaked information to reporters concerning the Russian collusion investigation:
Paul Manafort’s defense attorney Kevin Downing officially leveled the leaking allegation against key Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann (photo below) as part of a new legal offensive against Mueller’s indictment of Manafort, who served briefly as Trump’s campaign manager.
Downing charges that a flood of media leaks has prevented his client from getting a fair trial. Downing presiding federal Judge T.S. Ellis III on April 30 to convene a hearing on media leaks. The judge has yet to rule on the request.
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In the latest filing, Downing charged that a senior Justice Department official — identified as Weissmann in exhibits attached to the filing — briefed Associated Press reporters in spring 2017, which led to four breaking stories about the government’s investigation into alleged Trump-Russian collusion and Manafort.
“There is strong evidence that the highest-level FBI and intelligence officials authorized leaks to the press and, in fact, leaked themselves,” Manafort’s filing asserted.
According to the filing, a “senior Justice Department prosecutor” met with the AP reporters “last spring to discuss an investigation into Paul Manafort’s financial records, a day before the wire service published a major exposé disclosing alleged money laundering made by the former and now-embattled Trump campaign chairman.” Manafort’s attorneys finger Weissmann as the leaker to the AP meeting.
Downing reported in the filing that “the meeting did not go over well with FBI officials, who issued a complaint to the Justice Department suggesting that the attorney did not follow normal procedures for dealing with journalists.”
On May 14, Mueller personally rejected Manafort’s request for a hearing on media leaks, charging that the April 30 motion did not address any media leaks regarding secret grand jury testimony. However, they did not address leaks that disclosed internal deliberations by his staff or any other special counsel discoveries.
POLITICAL LOYALTY…CLINTON CRONY:
Weissmann’s political loyalty has been scrutinized. He attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in New York City, for example.
SUPPORTED ANTI-TRUMP AG SALLY YATES:
The lawyer also supported then-acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ opposition to Trump’s initial immigration ban.
“I am so proud,” Weissmann wrote about Yates in an email the conservative group Judicial Watch uncovered. “And in awe. Thank you so much.”
Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has asked the Justice Department to provide information on the claim Weissmann met with news reporters.
When he met with the reporters, Weissmann headed the fraud section of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. He was one of the first attorneys Mueller hand-picked to join the special counsel team in May 2017.
Weissmann has a reputation for pushing the boundaries on prosecutions. The New York Times last October called him a “pit bull” who used “scorched-earth tactics” against opponents.
Weissmann was also Mueller’s attorney on the ground who oversaw the pre-dawn raid on Manafort’s home.
Weissmann also has allies within the Justice Department and in the federal court system. Weissmann became friends with Loretta Lynch who then headed the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District for New York.
DEEP STATE CRONYISM:
“He was very friendly with Loretta,” a former federal prosecutor who worked in Brooklyn while Weissmann was there told the Daily Beast. “They were all part of a little gang together – they would go out for lunch, they would go out for dinner.”
Weissmann also became friends with fellow attorney Beryl Howell who later joined the federal bench as a judge. Howell now oversees Mueller’s grand jury in Washington, D.C. It was Howell’s chambers that approved the raid on the home and law office for Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.
Manafort’s lawyers claim the multitude of leaks coming from Mueller’s office “constitute outrageous government conduct intended to deprive Mr. Manafort of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment Constitutional rights to due process and a trial by an unbiased jury of his peers.”
Weissman’s reputation precedes him…he’s known to be a slippery lawyer. We have to agree!
THERE IS A QUESTION REGARDING THE ROUGH TREATMENT OF THE MANAFORTS – WAS THE INTIMIDATION TACTIC TO SEND A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT TRUMP?
The intimidation tactics of Mueller’s FBI are way off base according to reports that claim Mrs. Manafort was “manhandled”:
Just how rough special counsel Robert Mueller is playing with Paul Manafort goes back before this week’s indictment — to the FBI’s no-knock raid in July.
It has been reported that the agents checked Mr. Manafort and wife Kathleen for guns as they broke into the Alexandria condo pre-dawn by picking the lock.
A source familiar with the case told The Washington Times the search was even more intrusive: An agent patted down Mrs. Manafort before she was allowed to get out of bed.
“Agents felt up Mrs. Manafort lying in bed to see if she had guns,” the source said of the intimidation.
In all, 12 FBI agents entered the home, guns drawn, and stayed for hours.
The aggressive search of a prone sleepy woman is, the source said, a hallmark of Mr. Mueller’s top prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann. A former mob prosecutor in New York, he specializes in turning witnesses against bigger prey and is not afraid to make things rough for spouses, too.
“Weissmann will want to maximize the trauma to his family,” said Sidney Powell, a Dallas appeals attorney critical of his tactics.
A spokesman for the special counsel’s office declined to comment.