How Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann’s offer to an oligarch could boomerang on DOJ

The Hill:

The ink was still drying on special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment papers when his chief deputy, the famously aggressive and occasionally controversial prosecutor Andrew Weissmann, made a bold but secret overture in early June 2017.

Weissmann quietly reached out to the American lawyers for Ukrainian oligarch Dmitry Firtash with a tempting offer: Give us some dirt on Donald Trump in the Russia case, and Team Mueller might make his 2014 U.S. criminal charges go away.

The specifics of the never-before-reported offer were confirmed to me by multiple sources with direct knowledge, as well as in contemporaneous defense memos I read. 

Two years later, Weissmann’s overture may have far-reaching consequences for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), here and abroad. His former boss, Mueller, is slated to testify Wednesday before Congress.

The DOJ, Mueller’s office and Weissmann did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment on Monday.

At first blush, one might ask, “What’s the big deal?” It’s not unusual for federal prosecutors to steal a page from Monty Hall’s “Let’s Make a Deal” script during plea negotiations. 

But Weissmann’s overture was wrapped with complexity and intrigue far beyond the normal federal case, my sources indicate.

At the time, pressure was building inside the DOJ and the FBI to find smoking-gun evidence against Trump in the Russia case because the Steele dossier — upon which the early surveillance warrants were based — was turning out to be an uncorroborated mess. (“There’s no big there there,” lead FBI agent Pete Strzok texted a few days before Weissmann’s overture.)

Likewise, key evidence that the DOJ used to indict Firtash on corruption charges in 2014 was falling apart. Two central witnesses were in the process of recanting testimony, and a document the FBI portrayed as bribery evidence inside Firtash’s company was exposed as a hypothetical slide from an American consultant’s PowerPoint presentation, according to court records I reviewed.

In other words, the DOJ faced potential embarrassment in two high-profile cases when Weissmann made an unsolicited approach on June 4, 2017, that surprised even Firtash’s U.S. legal team.

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8 Comments on How Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann’s offer to an oligarch could boomerang on DOJ

  1. yeah yeah yeah….sure….let’s all watch the Republicans chicken out tomorrow and not ask a single question that relates to 99.9% of the illegal activities in this investigation, all with the word Democrat behind the perps name.

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  2. The Jews always eventually want to kill thenselves….WHY?….I don’t know….Warsaw had a ghetto, a rum titti arum tittum do do….

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  3. Man what a corrupt government we have! 3rd world shit hole status is straight ahead!

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  4. Let’s get to the end of this story… Nothing will happen to that creep Weissmann, just like nothing will happen to Rep. Thunder Thighs for hiring the Alwan bros. from Pakistani Intelligence. Nothing ever fucking happens to motherfucking democrats when they commit any crime, including high treason… Ever!!!… We just get the usual tough talk by some republicans followed up by jack… fucking… shit. Same will happen here.

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  5. Saying that poor excuse for a man is “Occasionally controversial” is like saying the sea is a little salty.

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  6. Nothing will happen to anybody from the FBI, DOJ, CIA, NSA, pick an alphabet federal, or local department. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month, not in 3 months, not in 6 months, not in a year, not forever.

    Just get over it. You are all smart people.

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  7. Could it be that this corrupt scumbag finally stuck his pecker in a rat trap?
    Hope springs eternal.

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