Dear JD Gordon [and Jared]: Mueller Has 17 Prosecutors; White House Obstruction Accounts for Just One

The WaPo has a piece reporting (with details about John Kelly’s “collusion” with Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is supposed to be recused) what I noted here: Trump wants the Devin Nunes memo to come out, even in spite of the warnings about how releasing it will damage national security.

It rather absurdly claims that Mueller is “narrowing” his probe.

As Mueller narrows his probe — homing in on the ways Trump may have tried to impede the Russia investigation — a common thread ties many of the incidents together: a president accustomed to functioning as the executive of a private family business who does not seem to understand that his subordinates have sworn an oath to the Constitution rather than to him.

More amusing is this anonymous quote from JD Gordon.

A person who has spoken with Mueller’s team said investigators’ questions seemed at least partially designed to probe potential obstruction from Trump.

“The questions are about who was where in every meeting, what happened before and after, what the president was saying as he made decisions,” this person said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to recount a private session.

This person added that while it seemed unlikely Mueller’s team would yield any evidence of a coordinated effort to aid the Russians — “If you were on the campaign, you know we couldn’t even collude with ourselves,” he said — the investigators might find more details to support obstruction of justice. [my emphasis]

We know it was JD Gordon because he said precisely the same thing in an op-ed just after the George Papadopoulos plea made it clear Gordon and his buddies might be in a heap of trouble.

Trump camp too disorganized to collude

Criminalization of policy differences has descended upon America once again. The viciousness towards a sitting president and his team evokes memories of Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment. In the “witch hunt” Clinton was impeached for something unrelated to the Arkansas real estate deal which sparked the Whitewater investigation years earlier. Like a Soviet secret police chief once said: “Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime.” Indeed.

We’re seeing the same thing today. The Trump-Russia collusion story is a hoax and “witch hunt” of this century.

Like typical conspiracy theories, usually the simplest explanation is correct. The campaign was chaotic, understaffed and underpaid, if paid at all. We couldn’t collude amongst ourselves. [my emphasis]

Since JD Gordon is — by his own account — incompetent, I’m going to repeat the substance of this post I did even as he first rolled out this line, just to help him out.

Update: I’ve been informed that Jared Kushner has also used this “we couldn’t collude because we’re too incompetent” line, so perhaps he’s the one who believes he’s not at risk for engaging in a quid pro quo with Russians and others. 

Robert Mueller has 17 prosecutors. We’ve only seen what 10 of them are doing. And just one of them — Watergate prosecutor James Quarles — is known to be working on the White House obstruction case.

Here’s a census of Mueller’s prosecutors who’ve thus far shown what they’re working on:

Manafort docket:

  • Andrew Weismann (1)
  • Greg Andres (2)
  • Kyle Freeny (3)

Adam Jed (4), an appellate specialist, has appeared with these lawyers in grand jury appearances.

Papadopoulos docket:

  • Jeannie Rhee (5)
  • Andrew Goldstein (6)
  • Aaron Zelinsky (7)

Flynn docket:

  • Brandon L. Van Grack (8)
  • Zainab Ahmad (9)

Obstruction docket:

Even in these dockets, it’s clear Mueller is nowhere near done.

Flynn may have a status hearing scheduled for Thursday (though it’s not formally noted in the docket). I suspect, instead, we’ll get a joint status report like was submitted in Papadopoulos’ case on January 17, which basically said, “we’re very busy cooperating, don’t bug us until April 23.”

And CNN just reported that Mueller’s team has drafted superseding indictments against Paul Manafort and Rick Gates, and Gates appears to be prepping to flip.

Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates has quietly added a prominent white-collar attorney, Tom Green, to his defense team, signaling that Gates’ approach to his not-guilty plea could be changing behind the scenes.

Green, a well-known Washington defense lawyer, was seen at special counsel Robert Mueller’s office twice last week. CNN is told by a source familiar with the matter that Green has joined Gates’ team.

Green isn’t listed in the court record as a lawyer in the case and works for a large law firm separate from Gates’ primary lawyers.

Green’s involvement suggests that there is an ongoing negotiation between the defendant’s team and the prosecutors.


Superseding indictments, which would add or replace charges against both Gates and Manafort, have been prepared, according to a source close to the investigation. No additional charges have been filed so far. When there is a delay in filing charges after they’ve been prepared, it can indicate that negotiations of some nature are ongoing.

So even where we have some visibility, that visibility suggests there is plenty of work trying to see if there was any conspiracy tied to the election.

That leaves the following prosecutors, listed with their specialities:

  • Aaron Zebley (11): probably working on coordination
  • Michael Dreeben (12): appellate wizard
  • Elizabeth Prelogar (13): appellate specialist and Russian speaker
  • Scott Meisler (14): appellate specialist
  • Rush Atkinson (15): fraud prosecutor
  • Ryan Dickey (16): Cybersecurity (just added in November)
  • Mystery prosecutor (17)

I mean, Mueller hasn’t even revealed all his prosecutors yet, much less what they’re all working on.

But JD Gordon would have you believe the prosecutors’ attention to what meetings he and his buddies were in means Mueller is only investigating obstruction.

59 replies
  1. Domye West says:

    Thanks for the update, I was wondering what the status was for some of them.

    Gordon seems to have liability because of his interactions with Pap, maybe this is just wishful thinking on his part.

  2. John says:

    Disorganized? It only takes two to conspire. One (or more) is Russian. The other is DJT. I bet Flynn can clarify. And maybe even to some extent document. POPCORN!

  3. emptywheel says:

    Here’s a post I did on Gordon when he first used his “too disorganized to collude” line. I suspect he suspects some others in the Papadopoulos orbit are flipping.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      A legitimate and more realistic argument is that Trump and company are too disorganized not to collude. Mr. Trump has demonstrated time and again that he will reject good advice on a whim, the slightest tug on the reins and he jams the bit into his false teeth and jumps the too-high hurdle. Or ties to.

  4. Rugger9 says:

    Add the RNC to the list of collaborators, they certainly used the info after it was hacked. That means the “leadership” knows there is trouble if Mueller keeps digging for Pence, Ryan, McTurtle on down. IIRC Gaetz was one of the GOP reps that directly profited from the hack, but that detail should be checked. It may explain his intensity in trying to put bad motivations into the FBI investigation.

    This is why Nunes, et al are trying to stop this now.

  5. Teddy says:

    The Blind Man And The Elephant – Poem by John Godfrey Saxe

    It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
    who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
    that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.

    The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
    against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
    ‘God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!’

    The second feeling of the tusk, cried: ‘Ho! what have we here,
    so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
    this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!’

    The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
    the squirming trunk within his hands, ‘I see,’ quoth he,
    the elephant is very like a snake!’

    The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
    ‘What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain,’ quoth he;
    ‘Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree.’

    The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; ‘E’en the blindest man
    can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
    This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!’

    The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
    than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
    ‘I see,’ quothe he, ‘the elephant is very like a rope!’

    And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
    each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
    Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!

    So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
    tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
    and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!
    John Godfrey Saxe

    • emptywheel says:

      That’s been superseded a few times. The Defense was asking for an October trial date, and then a fight over when Mueller had to reveal the other crimes he knows about broke out.


  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    One thing damaging to national security – regardless of what’s in the so-called Nunes memo – is the complete and utter lack of process. Trump and Nunes are mocking the process and demoralizing everybody who normally makes it work. This president stops and pisses in every corner he passes by.

  7. William Smithers says:

    An explanation by a former security agent (forget name and which branch) on one of the MSNBC shows as to the reason for  Mueller’s current  focus on evidence of Trump’s obstruction of justice – which many have interpreted as Mueller’s exclusive concern – is one I had not encountered and which seems reasonable to me.

    This former agent suggests that Mueller has known for  a long time of Trump’s thwarted order to fire him, and has hurried to establish obstruction of justice before that threat can be carried out – and, if not, will go on as planned to establish Trump’s and others’ collusion with Russia to aid the Trump candidacy and harm Clinton’s.

    • Avattoir says:

      It would be bad enough if all the noise we had to wade thru with the OSC’s work were made from the very few facts we have about this it & what slips of paper have been filed in court being folded, kneaded & pounded repeatedly until it fits someone’s personal pan. But all that gets swept into a tidal bore of What Mueller ‘Is Up To’, ‘Knows’, ‘Is Thinking’, ‘Is After’ & other such assertions, all serving as empty vessels into which those with incentive to manipulate perception pour their plots, delusions & contractually obligated words.

      In contrast, reading & listening to Ms. Wheeler are both important & particular pleasures, IMO due largely to her insisting that we look hard at what we THINK we ‘know’, WHY we think we ‘know’ it, & what of all that is backwash. Posts such as this should be bookmarked for future reference.

  8. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Thanks for this.  The “it’s almost over and it’s only about obstruction” meme seems to be as widespread as the flu.

    As you say, it is absurd.  Obstruction might be the most obvious possible crime:  Trump seems to be committing it daily and the Libby case is the most recent precedent involving a special counsel.  But it would be only one of a long list of possible crimes.

    As serious as are the penalties for obstruction, the more threatening crimes appear to be financial, and Trump cannot unilaterally wall them off: money laundering, tax avoidance, fraudulent accounting, wire and mail fraud, and so on.  Those cast a wide net.  Many involve counterparties, people on the other end of the deal, who could be deemed accomplices or co-conspirators.  That would implicate many more people than Trump: Republican leadership, Trump’s campaign, his family, his companies, his lenders and underwriters.  Not many companies run by a small family group – with perilously limited financing and dependent for marketing on a single exaggerated ego – would survive that sort of whirlwind.

    We’ll know that the rule of law has died when “serious people” begin to argue that so many people are implicated that their criminal enterprise is too big to fail.

    • NorskieFlamethrower says:

      “…that their criminal enterprise is too big to fail.”

      But that’s what we’re up against isn’t it, ever since Eric Holder declared it so. This thing is not gunna end peacefully.

    • Rugger9 says:

      In addition, many of these crimes are state crimes as well, and Schneiderman is looking into the laundering, etc., as well.

      The Kaiser cannot pardon those, although I will observe that Andrew Cuomo would if the price is right.

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      The prevailing impression of Mueller’s team from the other side is that it has assembled timelines and communications chains in greater detail than witnesses could recall.

      The “we were just fucking idiots” defence has its limits. You can be fucking idiots and still behave in criminal ways, and only stop being fucking idiots when you try to cover your tracks — or may still be fucking idiots doing that.

    • Trip says:

      Good question. Hopefully, they will, or else I will question the whole thing. He’s in it up to his eyeballs.

      • Avattoir says:

        What a dismal assignment.

        Mister Vice-President, what did you ask Flynn, and what did he tell you? [long pause, closes eyes, long slow deep sucks for air, eyes open, unblinking stare] ‘I looked into the man’s very soul and said unto him, General – have you accepted Our Lord Jesus Christ into your heart as your personal lord & savior & your personal guide in, oh so many ways?’ Those the exact words you said to him? ‘Between true men of God, words are not necessary.’ You’re being asked here to recall actual words. ‘I recall feelings, and impressions. Words are merely … words.’ Did he say anything in response? Do you remember? [Pence human rain delay 2: another long pause, closed eyes, air sucking, then unblinking blank stare at a point past the questioner, faint sound of hammers clinking together as witness self-erects, then as his face assumes dolt-tolerant sneer] ‘Of COURSE not.’ He didn’t say anything? Not one word? [Pence human rain delay 3] ‘Could you repeat the question?’ Which? ‘From the beginning …’

    • pseudonymous in nc says:

      “Mr Vice President, we know that you don’t know about a lot of things in very specific ways. Could you outline what those things are and how you knew not to know anything about them?”

  9. Willis Warren says:

    Dreeben, the guy who knows more about the courts than anyone in America, has been looking over this work since June and it continues uninterupted.  That’s gotta scare the living beejezus out of tRUmp’s lawyers.  For me, it shows that there is a case for conspiracy here and it’s going to get its day in court.

    I’m curious about this Dutch thing, where they seem to think the tRUmps tipped off WaPo as to where the intel came from, which essentially ended the Cozy Bear access.

    If that was intentional, that will be the biggest crime of them all.   That story was obviously a warning shot.

    • SpaceLifeForm says:

      “I’m curious about this Dutch thing, where they seem to think the tRUmps tipped off WaPo as to where the intel came from, which essentially ended the Cozy Bear access.”

      Think about alternate paths.
      They all involve leaking ‘stuff’.
      WaPo may have learned from IC, not WH.

      Then think about the ‘stuff’ that the various IC players had. Or, what they think they know.

      Attribution is hard. Especially if Tor involved.

      The ODNI ICA report points at GRU.
      (was that misdirection at that time?)

      CIA and FBI rated report with ‘high confidence’.
      NSA rated report with ‘moderate confidence’.
      (maybe NSA knows that it was *NOT* GRU. Consider scenarios where they know that is the actual fact. That may a subtle hint)

      AIVD (and MIVD apparently), attributes to SVR.

      CrowdStrike attributes to either SVR or FSB.

      Note that *ONLY* ODNI attributes to GRU, and *neither* AIVD *nor* Crowdstrike attribute to GRU.

      Spy vs Spy.

      AIVD apparently communicated with FBI, not CIA or NSA.

      Makes sense.

      Which leads me back to FBI opsec.

      What if WaPo learned from someone in IC but not an FBI person?

      Consider the scenarios under which that can occur.

      Then consider why AIVD would lose access to Cozy Bear (APT29).

      See why the Dutch IC folks are pissed?

  10. Trip says:

    I love how they claim incompetence as a defense against corruption/conspiracy, but yet deny that the WH is a chaotic clusterfuck putting us in peril of nuclear war, or that Trump is completely unstable and unable to formulate legislative deals or otherwise govern. Which is it, Trump Inc?  The ‘best people’?

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Is anyone interested in telling Marc Short that one cannot conclude that an investigation has found “no collusion” until the investigation is complete and its results are announced?  Oh, and that a prosecutor is unlikely to announce the finding of a non-crime.  But Short is playing to an audience of one, so I suppose he doesn’t care what he says as long as the boss is happy.

    What planet are the rest of us now on when the MSM routinely speaks as if the chief executive officer of the American government is living on his own unique planet?  On the third rock from the sun, that would have led every congresscritter to memorize Art. II, Sec. 4, and every cabinet member to memorize the 25th Amendment and prepare to use them.  That Republicans and some establishment Democrats are actively blocking those routes should never be forgot.

    As an aside, David Frum describing Jeremy Corbyn as a Stalinist demonstrates that he can exaggerate as outrageously as Donald Trump and that the Atlantic is as poorly managed as his White House.

    • Trip says:

      Show him the Camp David speech where Trump says, “No collusion”,  and watch Kevin McCarthy’s involuntary ‘tells’ through facial expressions.

  12. dalloway says:

    In the end, all 17 prosecutors will have one coherent story to tell:  Donald Trump was ensnared by Russian intelligence a decade ago, Russian money was poured into his failing businesses and Russian money was laundered through his real estate interests, resulting in massive tax evasion.  Trump was then blackmailed and bribed to run for president in order to damage/defeat Hillary Clinton, who was known to be hostile to Russia’s interests and hated by Vladmir Putin personally.  Trump’s campaign was not financed by him, but with Russian money laundered through Paul Manafort and Wilbur Ross’s bank in Cyprus.   As they joined the campaign, Trump loyalists like Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence, became part of the conspiracy, as did Jared Kushner who was susceptible to Russian blackmail because of his huge real estate debts.  Russian operatives like Carter Page were planted in the campaign and Kushner coordinated its digital operation with Russian hackers to target swing districts, using social media to hurt Clinton and boost Trump.  Jill Stein’s campaign was financed by Russia to split the progressive vote and siphon off disgruntled Sanders voters.  Russian money was also laundered through the NRA and given to the RNC to elect Republicans to Congress, some of whom have been assisting Trump in his ongoing efforts to obstruct justice and thwart investigation into his conspiracy with Russia and his other crimes. Sadly, because Democrats will never have a 2/3 majority in the Senate to convict him, all this may come to light, impeachment may be voted by a Democratic House, but because of the depth of Republican corruption, Trump will remain president until at least 2020.  And if Russia is able to make the technological leap to hack our voting machines by then, no fair election will ever be held in this country again.

    • Watson says:

      I think that you present a reasonable scenario, but I have one cavil.

      It’s my understanding that the technological leap to hack our voting machines has already been made. Russians aren’t the only potential hackers. Evil-doers like the Kochs, the Mercers, and assorted government spooks are other potential hackers.
      I believe that it’s urgent that we switch to paper ballots placed in clear plastic boxes, so that election results can be reviewed by laypeople.

    • gedouttahear says:

      The U.S. would not be the first country  — Brazil is a recent example, Venezuela another — where the crimes of government officials, including the highest officials, have come to light but there is no remedy because the government is now controlled by other crooks and abettors.  Not a statutory crime, but who would have thunk that the Senate Majority Leader could deny a sitting president a nomination to a Supreme Court vacancy? Or that the President could ignore the Emoluments Clause with impunity? I certainly don’t know, but despite what Meuller finds and shows, it may be too late.

  13. Wm. Boyce says:

    Hell, the creature is so corrupt that the Russians aren’t even needed to establish crimes.

    Eugene Robinson had a great column in the Post recently in which he makes note of the timeline to pay off the porn star “Stormy Daniels” by Trump lawyer Michael Cohen last October. Ten days after the Access Hollywood tape was made public, Cohen formed a Delaware company to funnel $130,000 to another account controlled by Ms. Daniel’s attorney as hush money for the affair with Trump in 2006. Robinson (and I’m sure Mr. Mueller’s team) asks the question: “Where did the money come from?” If it was campaign funds, that’s illegal, according to Robinson. Where indeed?

  14. Rugger9 says:

    OT but an interesting backgrounder on Manafort in the Atlantic. With this in mind I do not understand why Paul M doesn’t go for a deal where he is safely behind bars, if not for Putin then for Deripaska. It is a long read but worth the time.

    More or less back on topic: obstruction as a crime (and the conspiracy to commit it) does not require success in the undertaking, just that it was tried.

  15. earlofhuntingdon says:

    For a guy with Manafort’s background, given his debts and who he owes them to, given the secrets he knows and the unreliability with which he might keep them, prison is not likely to end well. Larry Nassar would be more likely to remain in good health longer.

    His best bet is to cut a deal, spill his guts, and go into witness protection. It presents a slightly better chance than does prison. But for that, he would need to have a lot to spill.

  16. bmaz says:

    Earl, as early George Bush would say (or was it Will Farrell as George Bush, hard to remember) I think you misunderestimate what is afoot here.

      • bmaz says:

        Ooof! Well, “misunderestimate” as a joke I think is covered here.

        As to Manafort, those kind of issues happen in state prisons far more than Federal BOP facilities. It, maybe not often, but every now and then, happens that defense attys choose to have clients sentenced to federal time for exactly this reason. All that said, there is about zero chance any subject in this case gets witness protection. If they get time at all  (doubtful for most), it will be in a safe fed facility, and very little of it. And I think even that is dubious. Just my two cents worth.

        • pseudonymous in nc says:

          The entire extended Manafort family has been living off antique rug money for decades. I’m not sure how that story ends.

          Gates’s children are younger, hence the whiny requests for time off house arrest, and also perhaps a willingness to take a plea.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I resemble the remark that I misunderestimated your comment.  You can fool me once, but you can fool me again, er….

          Glad to know the feds’ house is in better shape.  Not doing time would be a fair exchange if lots of beans are spilt.  That would suggest new facts and corrobation, which team Mueller will know what to do with.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          I resemble the remark that I misunderestimated your comment.  You can fool me once, but you can fool me again, er….

          Glad to know the feds’ house is in better shape.  Not doing time would be a fair exchange if lots of beans are spilt.  That would suggest new facts and corroboration, which team Mueller will know what to do with.

  17. Erin McJ says:

    Appellate specialists? Is it possible these were hired not to do work immediately, but to plan for inevitable appeals? That would undermine the “we don’t know the full scope of Mueller’s activities” thesis somewhat.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      The MSM dismissed him as “outside the mainstream”, a self-referential praise for themselves, decades ago.  I disagreed with his views on Russia, but much appreciated his decades of work on Latin America.  He was an advocate for Gary Webb when he had few.  Like I.F. Stone, both felt the sharp edge of a news industry devoted to the Carey-Hermann-Chomsky thesis that the media’s purpose was to manage news and to manufacture consent.  It has changed only at the margin, but even that is thanks to reporters like Bob Parry.  Condolences to his family and friends.

    • lefty665 says:

      What Earl said, with the exception that I found Parry’s Russia related reporting credible.

      Parry was also very good on areas like the Ukraine and shining a light on the Nazis we put in power and are supporting there.  As a related topic he was especially good on MH17, where the US has never been forthcoming. The forum he provided to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) with its exceptional experience and perspective has been a service to the nation.

      Perhaps Parry’s most important voice was in opposition to the “New McCarthyism” that has gripped the country and is evidenced even here in the peanut gallery at emptywheel.

      I miss Parry very much already, and believe the country will be poorer with the loss of his forthright reporting and clear insights. It is my hope that his son and others will be able to maintain Consortium News as an independent source of news and informed opinion. We need resources like Consortium News and emptywheel as we stumble into the semi wonderful world of the future.

      Parry’s last post:

      Here is another look:


      • Trip says:

        Here’s a counterpoint to the use of “McCarthyism” to describe the political climate today:


        Decency Lost: McCarthyism Revisited

        The decade plus run of McCarthyism was not simply about red baiting or a drive to demand political purity or obedience whether in the workplace or the world of electoral politics, academia or entertainment.
        At its core, McCarthyism demanded rigid uniformity in sexual identity and expression… and unleashed cold war attacks upon race and those who deviated from religious faith. It was also noted for sweeping conspiracy theories.

        • lefty665 says:

          Yeah, and that too. But that did not hold a candle to McCarthyism’s anti-Russian hysteria. The present day recurrence of which was Parry’s mantra, resurgent McCarthyism undiluted by racism, sexism or religion but abetted by neocon warmongering, neoliberal elite classism and the IC/political establishment.

          Robert Parry was a straight shooter, with a long history of conflict with the MSM, starting with the Iran-Contra coverup.

        • Trip says:

          There’s a subtle point in there. Those in the gov’t who scream the loudest about “McCarthyism” are actually the ones perpetrating it. What shouldn’t be lost in context is the past closeness between Donald Trump and Roy Cohn. Cohn served as McCarthy’s chief counsel.

          As to your edit, I said nothing negative about Parry’s character.

        • lefty665 says:

          Nor did I suggest you disparaged Parry personally.

          Cohn was Trump’s conflict mentor, attack, attack attack, and that has been commented on here previously. McCarthy’s homophobia was particularly bizarre considering Cohn’s sexuality.

          My comments have been in respect for Robert Parry, mourning his passing. I am reluctant to either distract from his often repeated disgust with virulently anti Russian “new McCarthyism”, its consequences, or to debate who is the most vigorous about decrying it.

          If you have read Parry’s postings you know he reported who was perpetrating the anti Russian hysteria and the potential consequences for our country and the world. In case you have not followed Parry, McCarthy like hysteria by the groups I described above at 12:58 was shorthand for the way he reported it, and war with nuclear armed Russia was the potential consequence.

          I encourage you to become familiar with Parry’s body of work at  As Earl observed in his initial eulogy, Parry provided a solid alternative to MSM and conventional wisdom that goes back to Iran-Contra. Some of us will sorely miss it.

          de mortuis nil nisi bonum.

        • Trip says:

          I have read a lot of Parry’s articles and am very familiar with Consortium News. His past good investigative work and deep-seated distrust of the US gov’t is understandable. That doesn’t require absolute adherence to his opinion, however. Which is a discussion better left for another time, I suppose, not during mourning.

          And yes, it is a loss to independent journalism, and I’m sure a terrible one for his family. 68 is relatively young-ish, and cancer is a son of a bitch.

  18. Avattoir says:

    Erin McJ – “Appellate specialists” tend to be just as expert at before-trial, procedural & post-trial motions. It’s a way of distinguishing them as a class from other sorts of litigation specialists, e.g. trial counsel, deal makers, etc. Moreover, it wouldn’t be at all surprising for someone facing impending trial to float a motion for summary dismissal, then appeal immediately after losing that.

    • Trip says:

      Interesting, thanks for that. I had assumed they would be hired to wrap up the case as tight as possible so that there would be little substance for appeal *after* the trial met its conclusion. What you described makes a lot of sense, in ongoing appeals.

  19. 200Toros says:

    While I will continue to have faith in Mueller and his team, because to do otherwise would simply be depressing, the response I am getting from pretty much everyone, in my neck of the woods, is basically “none of this matters, because Republicans will never support impeachment, regardless of any facts Mueller presents.” That these people have already accepted that the rule of law will not apply and will not work against the president, is pretty exceptional in itself. They’ve already given up. Which is a huge win for Trump, and an even bigger one for his boss Putin.

    • bmaz says:

      That may be true. We shall see. But it is still critical that the process be carried through and completed.

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