The Closed Mueller Investigations: Erik Prince Skates on the Seychelles

Fresh off an ex parte hearing, DOJ released a spreadsheet of original Mueller redactions they’re now willing to withdraw (on top of the ones they withdrew after the Roger Stone trial).

There’s a bunch of Internet Research Agency redactions the government has withdrawn I won’t lay out.

More interesting are the select few the government withdrew pertaining to Trump flunkies.

There are three search warrants withdrawn:

  • A warrant for Rob Goldstone’s Facebook account (see footnote 298)
  • A warrant for George Papadopoulos’ Linked In account (see footnote 458)
  • A warrant for Erik Prince’s location data (see footnote 1047)

The only surprising disclosure is the last one. This suggests that any investigation into Prince’s lies about the Seychelles is good and dead.

Then there are the redactions of ongoing and referred investigations DOJ no longer considers secret. Those include:

  • The investigation of Podesta Group, Mercury/Clark & Weinstock, which SDNY closed
  • The references to FTI Consulting in the Greg Craig entry on D-4
  • An investigation into foreign campaign contributions, item 11 on ongoing investigations, which would have been closed by the DC US Attorney, and probably was the Mystery Appellant case.
  • A reference to Left Hand Ventures:
    • Left Hand Enterprises – During the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s Office uncovered evidence of potential wire fraud and FECA violations pertaining to Trump Campaign vendor Left Hand Enterprises That evidence was referred to the Public Integrity Section within DOJ’s Criminal Division and the FBI’s Washington Field Office
  • A reference to Rebuilding America Now:
    • Rebuilding America Now – During the course of the investigation, the Special Counsel’s Office uncovered evidence of potential FECA violations and potential kickback schemes pertaining to the Rebuilding America Now PAC That evidence was referred to the Public Integrity Section within DOJ’s Criminal Division and the FBI’s Washington Field Office

Both of the last two involve suspect Paul Manafort graft, including the kickback system by which he was suspected of getting paid.

This seems to suggest the investigation into some of Paul Manafort’s epic graft is also dead.

That means the bulk of the redacted ongoing investigations remain ongoing (or otherwise sensitive — and they could be counterintelligence investigations). They include around 10 referrals — including anything pertaining to Roger Stone (including Jerome Corsi) and the presumed George Nader child porn referral already prosecuted.

Update: Corrected an error to note the closure of item 11, the suspected bribe involving the Mystery Appellant. h/t d

45 replies
  1. MattyG says:

    Thanks for this. Scrolling through the spreadsheet – what, about 5-10% of the redactions have been unredacted at this point?

    • P J Evans says:

      Where’s the giant meteor when you need it? (A small one, if it takes out McConnell, would be acceptable.)

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        Schumer strikes me as not a good foil for McConnell.

        But what becomes more interesting at this point — how many GOP senators are going to commit political suicide to ensure that McConnell/Trump get to appoint yet another uber conservative status striver to SCOTUS?

        It’s possible that Romney *may* offer some kind of aegis for scared sh!tless GOPers in CO, MT, and even AL. He could do that by calling bulls!t on Mitch’s pontificating mendacity.

        (I assume AZ is going blue, but having the other Mountain West GOP senators belly up for Trump and McConnell’s bidding — particularly given COVID, wildfires, and hurricanes galore — might just be the final thing that puts some frustrated voters firmly into the Dem column.

        My God, 2020 is a doozy!
        If McConnell’s depravity was not obvious at this point, this will make it impossible to ignore, even for fairly low info voters.

        We’re about to see whether the SCOTUS and the judiciary can maintain a scintilla of legitimacy.

  2. RMD says:

    Ginsburg made her own desire clear in the days before her death, NPR’s Nina Totenberg reported Friday. She dictated a statement to her granddaughter that read: “My most fervent wish is that I will not be replaced until a new president is installed.” ~ The Atlantic

    • Rugger9 says:

      However, McConnell and DJT will despite the McConnell Rule from 2016. There are a few things to consider here:

      Lindsey’s head of the SJC which will take up the nomination and he’s in a tough race with Jaime Harrison in SC. He really could go either way but my best guess is he will try to delay the proceedings until after the election (to avoid getting hammered for his inevitable vote) and then ram someone through before the new Congress is seated. Collins of course will furrow her brow with great concern but play along as will all of the GOP senators. The wild card here is whether DJT will be quiet or nominate someone anyway (Janice Rogers Brown, for example). While D committee members can slow things down, this process is too well-oiled by McConnell to succeed in holding the line for long.

      Merrick Garland as far as I know has not withdrawn his nomination by Obama but I can’t see McConnell agreeing to him.

      So, what that means is that President Biden will need to pack the court to restore a D majority starting in January. We need a Senate majority to do that.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        After all the writing here about the personality of Donald Trump, why would you wonder whether he will immediately nominate a new Associate Justice, and that McConnell will quickly hold tightly-controlled hearings and arrange an up-or-down vote before the election or shortly thereafter?

        • RMD says:

          White House announces Trump will nominate a new justice, McConnell announces there will be a vote

          however, Romney and Murkowski have said they will not vote until after the inauguration

        • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

          Look at the senate races up and down the Rocky Mountain range, and then in the Carolinas.

          If the GOP tries to nominate soon, they basically lose the Senate. And when that happens, McConnell will be openly loathed, rather than privately disliked.

          The game’s afoot.

      • Rugger9 says:

        Rogers Brown is retired and seventy-something, so it might be someone younger, perhaps Sandra Ikuta from the 9th (a key FedSoc muckity-muck), or more likely someone not Rao from the DCC.

        However, it is worth noting that “No No No” was the top tweet phrase today, and for good reason. RBG was honest about her principles and the law, and there is no one on the FedSoc list that holds a candle to her legal acumen.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I see Lindsey’s caved already to DJT, citing Kavanaugh as his excuse to run away from his 2016 standard (which did not have any qualifiers). No one should be surprised, but I would now expect a name and an avoidance on votes that will hurt the GOP senators under threat in the general election. Plenty of time afterward to ram the nominee through.

          However, I do not think the base would allow that delay in seating the new Justice. Their froth will force the issue, IMHO and as noted above the GOP loses the Senate.

          Keep in mind that this outcome allows for court packing and restoration of the SCOTUS that matches the nation.

  3. civil says:

    Seung Min Kim: “Mark Kelly, should he win the Arizona Senate seat, could be sworn in as early as Nov. 30, according to elections law experts who spoke to the Arizona Republic

    Liz Ruskin: “Alaska’s @lisamurkowski said today she won’t confirm a new SCOTUS justice until after the inauguration day. Fair is fair, she says. My colleague @kcgrove will have a story shortly. I should say, Sen. Murkowski spoke this afternoon, before RBG’s death was announced. It was a hypothetical. Let me amend that. She said she wouldn’t confirm until after Americans decide who their president will be. Stay tuned for @kcgrove story @AKPublicNews”

    Jonathan Martin: “News: @SenatorCollins told me earlier this month in Maine that she would not seat a Supreme Court justice in October. ‘I think that’s too close, I really do,’ she said. She said she’d also oppose seating a justice in the lame duck if there’s a change in presidents.”

    Sen. Graham in 2018: “If an opening comes in the last year of President Trump’s term, and the primary process has started, we’ll wait to the next election”

    Of course, who knows what they’ll actually do.

    McConnell, just now: “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

  4. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The MSM’s “analysis” notwithstanding, the issue is not whether McConnell can get a vote before the election. It’s whether he can finish truncated hearings, get an up or down vote, and swear in a new Justice by January 20th. (If Trump cheats enough to win, the date is irrelevant.) That appointing a new Justice during a lame duck session, amid a pending change of president and party, would be unprecedented means absolutely nothing to Trump or this GOP.

    But first, let’s celebrate a life well-lived. Let’s think about why we regard her passing as a monumental loss. And let’s imagine how we might avoid that loss or reform the court sufficiently to circumvent it.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Correct on all counts, I do not think if McConnell has his way that there will even be a committee vote (Lindsey runs SJC) because of the significant risk to the vulnerable GOP Senators to go on the record. Like Collins will do, they will put a lot of effort into being very “serious and thoughtful” about the judicial pick even though the vote outcome will be preordained. Once the election occurs and they’re out, watch out to see how fast McConnell and crew ram someone through.

      Will DJT, even with AG Barr managing him, stand by and wait, or will he nominate someone now and demand her installation (IMHO it will be a woman because it’s good optics for an election) so he can shore up the base some more? I think he impetuously goes for broke because he needs the vote for his other litigation coming to SCOTUS soon.

      • Molly Pitcher says:

        They will ram someone thru as soon as possible so the court is stacked when the election ends up in the SC, of course. Shiva won’t be over before they nominate someone.

        • P J Evans says:

          One small consolation: they still have to do the background check and the confirmation hearings.
          The fastest that’s happened in the last 30 years: 56 days, for Ginsberg.

        • P J Evans says:

          It shouldn’t be done that way, but I don’t know how many of the majority members of SJC will be willing to do it properly. (I notice it includes both Cruz and Hawley.)

      • readerOfTeaLeaves says:

        GOP donors want those senate seats.
        John Roberts wants at least the facade of legitimacy for SCOTUS.

        If the GOP nominates soon, that will be yet another symptom that they are flailing, desperate, and panicked. It would probably signify that GOP donors recognize they’re going to lose the senate, and the best they can hope for is to shore up their control of SCOTUS.

        But if they attempt that, they kill the very treasure they hope to keep. They’ll have delegitimized the senate, as well as SCOTUS, in one stupendous fiasco.

        Interesting times…

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        I agree with Molly. For Trump, patience is a vice, not a virtue. RBG was the most progressive voice on the Court, by a mile. She represents the progressive movement that the right has hated since Thurgood Marshall won Brown v. Board of Education. Replacing her with a junior arch-conservative is the right’s wet dream.

        Trump must already be panting to announce a nomination. It’s a chance for him protect himself, to stick a virtual shiv into Biden, Clinton, and Obama, and to run on it.

        McConnell will act on that nomination as soon as possible. Unless half a dozen Goopers rebel – ridiculously unlikely – that will be before the election.

        • P J Evans says:

          He was probably the *last* person in the country to find out about it. He’ll sign whatever paper they put in front of him.

      • e.a.f. says:

        doubt if the new justice will be female. the maga crowd will want a male. whom ever they decide upon, they’ll be “installed” immediately if not faster. the ultra conservative movement wants a conservative Supreme court and they want it for decades, just another white guy will do fine for them.
        the federal election may be decided by the supreme court, so they will want it to be all set up for the final failure of the American democratic system.

  5. RMD says:

    “Hours after Ginsburg’s death was announced, the GOP leader said he would be moving forward as soon as Trump does. This year is different from 2016, he said, because the Senate and the president are in the same party.

    “Americans reelected our majority in 2016 and expanded it in 2018 because we pledged to work with President Trump and support his agenda, particularly his outstanding appointments to the federal judiciary. Once again, we will keep our promise,” he said in a statement. “President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate.”

    ~ Huffington Post, 9-18-20

  6. RMD says:

    In a discussion reviewing Ginsberg’s seat, a law professor noted the possibility of Trump opting to do a recess appointment to the SC. He pointed out that it has been done on at least two occasions: Eisenhower and LBJ made recess appointments.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Why bother when McConnell has had his GOP Senate caucus prepped to go for months? McConnell and his team want to take credit for crafting a 6-3 conservative majority, too.

  7. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The large crowd in front of the Supreme Court building in Washington, DC, honoring the life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, are all wearing masks. That must make them seditious rebels. Start the clock for the arrival of Bill Barr’s protective detail.

    • Molly Pitcher says:

      I started thinking more clearly after my second Old Fashion, and there might be one tiny sliver of benefit from this. If they push thru a nomination and confirmation before the election, all those GOPers who have claimed to be holding their noses voting for Trump just so they could get the SC packed with anti-abortionists, will have no more reason to vote for him.

        • ducktree says:

          My liver cut it’s milk teeth on Southern Comfort Old Fashions . . . nowadays it’s strictly gin, perfect martinis for this old sot… L’Chaim!

        • vvv says:

          Dirty martinis for me, but, I am a professional. Well, I used to be a bartender …

          Tonight’s had jarred jalapeno slices and fresh red onion, because my grocery supply person sinned greatly and allowed the olives to run out. Fortunately, I still have some brine.

    • e.a.f. says:

      Yes, with a new Supreme Court justice you can bet there will be more than one trial for sedition. Can hardly wait for the American political refugees to start arriving in other countries. Guess it will be one way of escaping the American COVID disaster.

  8. Eureka says:

    Get ready for the Lochner-lovers. EoH and bmaz will know what I’m talking about, and there’s a particular post (of several) of Ed’s on this topic that I can’t locate right now (scribe would perhaps have more words as well). Very briefly, a 1937 SCOTUS decision informally marking the end of Lochner era was also known as the ‘switch in time that saved nine’ (i.e. it helped put an end to FDR’s plan to increase the number of SCOTUS judges, as an end-run around their blockade of progressive reforms we now take for granted — including basic labor laws borne of the state/states* imposing things like minimum wage and safety standards).

    Besides an upcoming Trump appointment (among the scores already), this Lochner-revival is topical right now as part of a broader fed soc plan, which just saw fruit in a Pennsylvania replicant judge’s decision to strike as unconstitutional PA’s shutdown order for, in part, infringing on business owners’ rights (a decision which wasn’t expected to survive review, but who knows). It is also germane because of Bill Barr’s resonant (one might say coordinated, of a piece) statement likening a federal stay-at-home order to slavery [to be clear, that speaks to a separate (1A) foundation than Lochner, which is also raised in the PA decision, but which is part of a related trend with similar outcomes, see ** for discussion].

    History rhymes. But I’m not sure this song doesn’t have a different bridge. Or a very long, tortuous interlude.

    *there’s some contrastive state-v-federal interplay Lochner Era 1.0; Justice Roberts’ recent (2015) disavowal of Lochner notwithstanding, expect to hear more of this.

    These are complex topics; for the space of a comment (and tonight… RIP RBG) I’m just raising part of what’s on my mind.

    **Judge Uses The Coronavirus Pandemic to Revive The Long-Discredited Lochner Era – Blog for Arizona

    See also Mark Joseph Stern for a quick review at:

    Trump judge rules Pennsylvania’s COVID restrictions violate employers’ constitutional rights.

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