Mueller Trying To Shut Down Investigation Into Special Counsel Leaks

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office is trying to block an investigation into how anonymously sourced accounts of their investigation leaked to the media, claiming the leaks don't amount to evidence of illegal grand jury leaks - which could just as easily come from defense attorneys in the Paul Manafort case or others outside the investigation, reports Politico.

Mueller's team has asked a federal judge in Virginia to turn down a request for a hearing on the leaks, requested by attorneys representing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

Manafort’s speculative claim of improper conduct falls far short of the showing necessary to warrant a hearing on potential violations of [a grand jury secrecy rule] or of his constitutional rights,” prosecutors wrote. “A pretrial hearing on alleged government leaks, which would itself generate publicity on the very matters that Manafort finds prejudicial, is unwarranted.”

Manafort, who is facing separate criminal cases brought by Mueller in federal court in Washington and Alexandria, Virginia, filed a motion late last month complaining that he was unfairly attacked in a flurry of news reports that appeared to be based on illegal leaks of grand jury secrets and classified information.

In the motion, filed with U.S. District Court Judge T.S. Ellis III, Manafort’s defense said the release of sensitive details about the investigation threatened his ability to get a fair trial. -Politico

“By their actions, it is self-evident that the objective of these government sources was to create unfair prejudice against Mr. Manafort and thereby deprive him of his Fifth and Sixth Amendment rights,” attorneys Kevin Downing and Thomas Zehnle wrote. “The government’s investigation, and the criminal charges that ultimately resulted from it, are the epitome of a party seeking to decide a case in the press and not the courtroom.”

Politico posits that whether or not Manafort's claim has legal merit, his claim that the leaks have hurt his case "could bolster his chances of winning a pardon from President Donald Trump, who has railed against leaks he alleges have emerged from the Mueller investigation." 

Mueller's team, on the other hand, says that there's no reason to believe the news accounts identified by Manafort's defense team came from prosecutors or investigators leaking information that came from a grand jury.

He cites ten articles, none of which purports to disclose grand jury information,” prosecutors wrote in the filing. “Many of the matters reported, if accurate, would have been known to the defense, to witnesses who were interviewed or subpoenaed for documents, or to other investigators examining overlapping issues.”

Mueller's team suggests that the leaks could have come from members of Congress or their aides

Multiple accounts note that Manafort was also the subject of ongoing congressional investigations,” Mueller’s team noted. “References to ‘officials’ or ‘American officials’ in the reports … could thus be to people who are not subject to [grand jury secrecy] restrictions.

In other words - "Don't look into this, it could have been anyone" - including someone on Manafort's team. 

Prosecutors suggested that if a hearing was held on the leaks, it would be fair game to look into whether any of them originated with Manafort’s attorneys or his spokesman Jason Maloni. Maloni wasn’t named in the filing, but was identified as “the spokesman who has regularly accompanied Manafort to court and has often been quoted, including in some of Manafort’s cited articles.”

Mueller’s team also submitted a secret filing to Ellis “concerning one article.” Prosecutors did not say which article it was about or why the information needed to be placed under seal and withheld from Manafort’s defense. -Politico

Manafort faces trial on July 10 in Virginia on charges of tax evasion, bank fraud and failing to file reports on foreign bank accounts, among other things. The separate case in Washington D.C. is scheduled for trial on September 17, and focuses on charges of money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent in connection with Manafort's work for Ukraine.

Meanwhile, even anti-Trump Bloomberg editorialists are starting to get tired with the "witch hunt"...

 

Comments

Mycroft Holmes IV Mr. Universe Tue, 05/15/2018 - 23:34 Permalink

I read that too, but never found corroborating stories.

However, it really does seem like all of the pieces to the conspiracy to prevent a Trump presidency are now in the public domain. 

What I really want made public is what’s the real story behind everything that has happened since (Vegas, school shootings, downed airplanes, failed suicide bombers in Penn st, list goes on). 

There is a semi-hot war going on and we are being kept in the dark (at least that is my observation).

In reply to by Mr. Universe

Colonel Shitze… Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:37 Permalink

Ha, leakage been GOP & various counsel, for most part, you couldn’t fit a greased bb up the bunghole up Muellers op. Whether against it or not, the intelllectual dishonesty & “no u did it, not me” erodes the foundations of what made this country great, and it sucks to see the lows we’ve seen re partisan BS, & doing the very thing we once lamented the other sides MO. 

G-R-U-N-T Tue, 05/15/2018 - 19:56 Permalink

Mueller is just a grunt trying to cover up the massive crimes the Obama Administration, FBI and the DOJ have 'allegedly' (wink, wink) committed both domestically and internationally. Keep in mind most, if not all those, trying to frame Trump know each other.

In their arrogance they believe they can con the people, but in reality, their covers have already been pulled, it's just a matter of time before they go down.

 

MuffDiver69 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:05 Permalink

Every single time I read or hear Mueller...this comes to mind:

 

LMAO

>Judge Ellis: Well, I understand your argument, but let me characterize it and see if you find it as satisfying as you appear to indicate that you think it is.

 

“We said this is what the investigation was about.

 But we're not going to be bound by it, and we weren't really telling the truth in that May 17 letter” .

I don't watch pro football, but I used to enjoy the program that came beforehand where a bunch of players would get on and essentially make fun of everybody. 

>But they would put on some ridiculous thing, and then they would all say in a chorus, Come on, man.

I loved that.

 I thought that was great. 

>So your argument that we said this was the scope of the investigation but we really didn't mean it because we weren't required by any law or regulation to say what the scope was, I understand that argument, but it kind of invites, Come on, man. .

mariner1946 Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:43 Permalink

The time will come when President Trump will call in the taxidermist and have Mueller and his team frozen in time on a wooden plaque and placed on his oval office toilet entrance.

JailBanksters Tue, 05/15/2018 - 20:52 Permalink

While Muler is investigating his investigations, trump should get a special council to investigate this special council.

I'm starting to think these special councils are just bullshit, a distraction

CatInTheHat Tue, 05/15/2018 - 22:35 Permalink

Apparently Judge Ellis SIDED WITH FUCKING HOAX LEADER, WAR CRIMIMAL MUELLER, ruling that there was no overreach in Manafort case.

I guess he didn't wish to be arkancided...

MoreFreedom Wed, 05/16/2018 - 08:07 Permalink

If the leaks came from elsewhere or Congress, then why does Mueller want to stop the investigation?  It seems he's against revealing who leaks, and I'd bet it was his team or the politicians behind him.