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He who must not be named is so afraid of these people that he never insults them on Twitter: Nancy Pelosi, the prosecutors at SDNY, and Vladimir Putin.

2019-02-19

Word comes today that He who must not be named tried to push acting Attorney General Whitaker to [appoint one of his allies to] have the head of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York oversee the investigation into Him and His Organization.  Unfortunately, the newly appointed director had already been recused for conflicts of interest.  He who cannot be named was particularly angry after his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, was arrested and pled guilty to acting at his direction to make a hush money payment to affect the 2016 election (an illegal and unreported contribution to his campaign).

That’s obstruction of justice, assuming (it’s easy) that he did this with the intent to shut down the SDNY’s investigation of his lawyer and his finances.  The only obstacle to charging obstruction of justice seems to be the need to prove that there was “corrupt intent” underlying obstructive actions attempting to take the pressure off of Him.  The standard for “corrupt intent” is whether we can conclude that a “reasonable person” in such a position would think that way.  Now, no one is arguing that He is a “reasonable person”– they are merely asking whether they would have thought that way.

So who did He want to be appointed to oversee the investigation of which he was a target? [edit here] was the new appointee to head the Attorney General’s office of the Southern District of New York?  He appointed a man considered to be a friendly figure and potentially controllable, or at least directable.  He is Geoffrey Berman, a former law partner of Rudy Giuliani– the man who impersonates His hare-brained lawyer on television.

Additions to original post follow:

I had to edit this post in part because I’m still confused about exactly what He did.  Apparently, he twice contacted the acting Attorney General, Matthew Whitaker to complain about actions that his office had taken.  He apparently first contacted Whitaker shortly after he was appointed, asking him if His appointee to be head of the SDNY Attorney General’s office could supervise of the investigation targeting Him and His lawyer.  It was too late already– Berman had been recused from that investigation.  A career employee of the Justice Department, Robert Khuzami, has been the supervisor of that particular inquiry because Mr. Berman was said to have a conflict of interest.

After that call, Whitaker was quoted as telling other Justice employees that New York prosecutors needed “adult supervision.”  He apparently did not take any other action, partly because there was nothing he could do to satisfy His demand that His appointee and Rudy Giuliani’s former law partner supervise the investigation into His misdeeds.

He who must not be named apparently soured on Mr. Whitaker after he was unable to put His picked lawyer in charge of the only investigation He cares about.  The SNDY Attorney General is asking whether He committed crimes– at any time, before, during, or after His successful campaign, unlike Mueller’s limited remit to study only collusion between His campaign and the Russians (and matters arising directly therefrom).

He who should probably not be named said that Mueller could not investigate his “business affairs”– that would be “crossing a red line.”  SDNY has no such “red line”– they have complete freedom to look into anything He might have done, at any time still within the statute of limitations.

An interesting sidelight (one of many) into the complex stew of His cooperators, lieutenants, resisters, and turncoats is how He has responded to those of his assistants who have been indicted and then pled guilty and cooperated.  He has called his former lawyer Michael Cohen a “rat” (among many worse insults), but he has remained positive towards Mr. Flynn.  He tweeted “Good luck in court today” to Mr. Flynn on the day he was set for sentencing after pleading guilty and cooperating to an unknown extent.  His reaction to Mr. Cohen was distinctly hostile, possibly given the effects of his cooperation on the *president: allegedly, release of taped phone calls between the two proving that he suborned perjury and authorized the payment of hush money to a former paramour to prevent her spilling the beans before Election Day.  (I say allegedly because I can’t prove taped phone calls were released on which he could be heard saying “Kill that guy.”  Just kidding.)

Worse still, I can’t find a mention of the second instance in which He communicated with Whitaker about the SDNY.  This is important, first because Whitaker denied such communications to the House Committee which just interrogated him last week (although his denials were hedged about with non-responses to direct questions about this.)  It’s also important for a second reason, which I can’t quite place just now.

 

 

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