Robert Mueller has a long and sordid history of illicitly targeting innocent people. His many actions are a stain upon the legacy of American jurisprudence. He lacks the judgment and credibility to lead the prosecution of anyone.
I do not make these statements lightly. Each time I prepared to question Mueller during Congressional hearings, the more concerned I became about his ethics and behavior. As I went back to begin compiling all of that information in order to recount personal interactions with Mueller, the more clearly the big picture began to come into focus.
At one point I had to make the decision to stop adding to this compilation or it would turn into a far too lengthy project. My goal was to share some firsthand experiences with Mueller -- as other Republican Members of Congress had requested -- adding, “You seem to know so much about him.”
This article is prepared from my viewpoint to help better inform the reader about the Special Prosecutor leading the effort to railroad President Donald J. Trump through whatever manufactured charge he can allege.
Judging by Mueller's history, it doesn't matter who he has to threaten, harass, prosecute or bankrupt to get to allege something or, for that matter, anything. It certainly appears Mueller will do whatever it takes to bring down his target -- ethically or unethically -- based on my findings.
What does former Attorney General Eric Holder say? Sounds like much the same thing I just said. Holder has stated, "I've known Bob Mueller for 20, 30 years; my guess is he’s just trying to make the case as good as he possibly can."
Holder does know him. He has seen Mueller at work when Holder was obstructing justice and was therefore held in Contempt of Congress. He knows Mueller’s FBI framed innocent people and had no remorse in doing so.
Let’s look at what we know. What I have accumulated here is absolutely shocking upon the realization that Mueller's disreputable, twisted history speaks to the character of the man placed in a position to attempt to legalize a coup against a lawfully-elected President. Any Republican who says anything resembling, “Bob Mueller will do a good job as Special Counsel,” “Bob Mueller has a great reputation for being fair,” or anything similar; either (a) wants President Trump indicted for something and removed from office regardless of his innocence; (b) is intentionally ignorant of the myriad of outrageous problems permeating Mueller’s professional history; or (c) is cultivating future Democrat votes when he or she comes before the Senate someday for a confirmation hearing.
There is simply too much clear and convincing evicdence to the contrary. Where other writers have set out information succinctly, I have quoted them, with proper attribution. My goal is to help you understand what I have found.
Robert Mueller - Background
In his early years as FBI Director, most Republican members of Congress gave Mueller a pass in oversight hearings, allowing him to avoid tough questions. After all, we were continually told, “Bush appointed him.” I gave him easy questions the first time I questioned him in 2005 out of deference to his Vietnam service. Yet, the longer I was in Congress, the more conspicuous the problems became. As I have said before of another Vietnam veteran, just because someone deserves our respect for service or our sympathy for things that happened to them in the military, that does not give them the right to harm our country later. As glaring problems came to light, I toughened up my questions in the oversight hearings. But first, let's cover a little of Mueller's history.
Mueller: the Whitey Bulger Affair
The Boston Globe noted Robert Mueller’s connection with the Whitey Bulger case in an article entitled, “One Lingering Question for FBI Director Robert Mueller.” The Globe said this: “[Mike] Albano [former Parole Board Member who was threatened by two FBI agents for considering parole for the men imprisoned for a crime they did not commit] was appalled that, later that same year, Mueller was appointed FBI director, because it was Mueller, first as an assistant US attorney then as the acting U.S. attorney in Boston, who wrote letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset…”
Mueller was the head of the Criminal Division as Assistant U.S. Attorney, then as Acting U.S. Attorney. I could not find any explanation online by Mueller as to why he insisted on keeping the defendants in prison that FBI agents—in the pocket of Whitey Bulger— had framed for a murder they did not commit. Make no mistake: these were not honorable people he had incarcerated. But it was part of a pattern that eventually became quite clear that Mueller was more concerned with convicting and putting people in jail he disliked, even if they were innocent of the charges, than he was with ferreting out the truth. I found no explanation as to why he did not bear any responsibility for the $100 million paid to the defendants who were framed by FBI agents under his control. The Boston Globe said, “Thanks to the FBI’s corruption, taxpayers got stuck with the $100 million bill for compensating the framed men, two of whom, Greco and Tameleo, died in prison.”
The New York Times explained the relationship this way: “In the 1980's, while [FBI Agent] Mr. Connolly was working with Whitey Bulger, Mr. Mueller was assistant United States attorney in Boston in charge of the criminal division and for a period was the acting United States attorney here, presiding over Mr. Connolly and Mr. Bulger as a ’top echelon informant.'
Officials of the Massachusetts State Police and the Boston Police Department had long wondered why their investigations of Mr. Bulger were always compromised before they could gather evidence against him, and they suspected that the FBI was protecting him.”
If Mr. Mueller had no knowledge that the FBI agents he used were engaged in criminal activity, then he certainly was so incredibly blind that he should never be allowed back into any type of criminal case supervision. He certainly helped continue contributing to the damages of the framed individuals by working relentlessly to prevent them from being paroled out of prison even as their charges were in the process of being completely thrown out.
Notice also the evidence of a pattern throughout Mueller's career: the leaking of information to disparage Mueller’s targets. In the Whitey Bulger case, the leaks were to organized crime --- the Mafia.
One of the basic, most bedrock tenets of our Republic is that we never imprison people for being “bad” people. Anyone imprisoned has to have committed a specific crime for which they are found guilty. Not in Mueller’s world. He has the anti-Santa Claus list; and, if you are on his list, you get punished even if you are framed.
He never apologizes when the truth is learned, no matter how wrong or potentially criminal or malicious the prosecution was. In his book, you deserve what you get even if you did not commit the crime for which he helped put you away. This is but one example, though -- as Al Pacino once famously said -- “I’m just getting warmed up!”
Rep. Curt Weldon Attacked and Crushed by Robert Mueller
During my first term in Congress, 2005 to 2006, Congressman Curt Weldon delivered some powerful and relentless allegations about the FBI having prior knowledge that 9/11 was coming. He repeatedly alleged that there was documentary evidence to show that 9/11 could have been prevented and thousands of lives saved if the FBI had done its job. He held up documents at times while making these claims in speeches on the floor of the House of Representatives.
I was surprised that FBI Director Mueller seemed to largely ignore these allegations. It seemed to me that he should either admit the FBI made significant mistakes or refute the allegations. Little did I know Mueller’s FBI was preparing a response, but it certainly was not the kind of response that I would have expected if an honorable man had been running that once hallowed institution.
You can read two of Congressman Weldon’s speeches on the House floor that are linked below. After reading the excerpts I have provided, you may get a window into the mind of the FBI Director or someone under Mueller’s control at the FBI. The FBI literally destroyed Congressman Weldon's public service life, which then foreclosed his ability to use a national platform to expose what he believed were major problems in the FBI fostered under the Clinton administration. Here is but one such excerpt of a speech wherein he spoke of the failure of FBI leadership, then under the direction of the Clinton administration and as came within Mueller’s control just before 9/11. Shockingly, the Mueller FBI failed to even accept from the military any information on the very terrorists who would later go on to commit the atrocities of
9/11, much less act upon it.
The U.S. gleaned this information through development of a surveillance technology called Able Danger. On October 19, 2005, Rep. Curt Weldon delivered the following statement on the House floor.
Mr. Speaker, back in 1999 when I was Chair of the Defense Research Subcommittee, the Army was doing cutting-edge work on a new type of technology to allow us to understand and predict emerging transnational terrorist threats. That technology was being done at several locations but was being led by our Special Forces Command. The work that they were doing was unprecedented. And because of what I saw there, I supported the development of a national capability of a collaborative center that the CIA would just not accept.
In fact, in November 4 of 1999, two years before 9-11, in a meeting in my office with the Deputy Secretary of Defense, Deputy Director of the CIA, Deputy Director of the FBI, we presented a nine-page proposal to create a national collaborative center.
When we finished the brief, the CIA said we did not need that capability, and so before 9/11 we did not have it. When President Bush came in after a year of research, he announced the formation of the Terrorism Threat Integration Center, exactly what I had proposed in 1999. Today it is known as the NCTC, the National Counterterrorism Center.
But, Mr. Speaker, what troubles me is not the fact that we did not take those steps. What troubles me is that I now have learned in the last four months that one of the tasks that was being done in 1999 and 2000 was a Top Secret program organized at the request of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, carried out by the General in charge of our Special Forces Command, a very elite unit focusing on information regarding al Qaeda. It was a military language effort to allow us to identify the key cells of al Qaeda around the world and to give the military the capability to plan actions against those cells, so they could not attack us as they did in 1993 at the Trade Center, at the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole attack, and the African embassy bombings.
What I did not know, Mr. Speaker, up until June of this year, was that this secret program called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda in January and February of 2000, over one year before 9/11 ever happened.
In addition, I learned that not only did we identify the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, but we identified Mohamed Atta as one of the members of that Brooklyn cell along with three other terrorists who were the leadership of the 9-11 attack.
I have also learned, Mr. Speaker, that in September of 2000, again, over one year before 9-11, that [the] Able Danger team attempted on three separate occasions to provide information to the FBI about the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda, and on three separate occasions they were denied by lawyers in the previous administration to transfer that information.
Mr. Speaker, this past Sunday on “Meet the Press,” Louis Freeh, FBI Director at the time, was interviewed by Tim Russert. The first question to Louis Freeh was in regard to the FBI's ability to ferret out the terrorists. Louis Freeh's response, which can be obtained by anyone in this country as a part of the official record, was, ‘Well, Tim, we are now finding out that a top-secret program of the military called Able Danger actually identified the Brooklyn cell of al Qaeda and Mohammed Atta over a year before 9/11.’
And what Louis Freeh said, Mr. Speaker, is that that kind of actionable data could have allowed us to prevent the hijackings that occurred on September 11.
So now we know, Mr. Speaker, that military intelligence officers working in a program authorized by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the General in charge of Special Forces Command, identified Mohammed Atta and three terrorists a year before 9/11, tried to transfer that information to the FBI [and] were denied; and [that] the FBI Director has now said publicly if he would have had that information, the FBI could have used it to perhaps prevent the hijackings that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the plane that landed in Pennsylvania and perhaps saved 3,000 lives and changed the course of world history.
Curt Weldon gave a series of speeches, recounting what he saw and what he knew, regarding the failures of the FBI and the Clinton administration to share information that could have prevented 9/11.
Congressman Weldon tried to hold those accountable in the FBI and CIA that he felt had mishandled actionable intelligence which he said could have thwarted the 9/11 attacks. He recounted many examples of similar intelligence failures.
In 2006, the Robert Mueller-led FBI took horrendously unjust actions to derail Curt Weldon’s reelection bid just weeks before the vote—actions that were later described as a “hit job”: “Each of Weldon’s 10 previous re-elections had been by sizable margins. Polls showed he was up by 5-7 points [in the fall of 2006]. Three weeks prior to the election, however, a national story ran about Weldon based upon anonymous sources that an investigation was underway against him and his daughter, alleging illegal activities involving his congressional work. Weldon had received no prior notification of any such investigation and was dumbfounded that such a story would run especially since he regularly briefed the FBI and intelligence agencies on his work.
A week after the news story broke, alleging a need to act quickly because of the leak, FBI agents from Washington raided the home of Weldon’s daughter at 7:00AM on a Monday morning… Local TV and print media had all been alerted to the raid in advance and were already in position to cover the story. Editor's note: Sound familiar?
Within hours, Democratic protesters were waving “Caught Red-Handed” signs outside Weldon’s district office in Upper Darby. In the ensuing two weeks, local and national media ran multiple stories implying that Weldon must also have been under investigation. Given the coverage, Weldon lost the election… To this day, incredibly, no one in authority has asked Weldon or his daughter about the raid or the investigation. There was no follow up, no questions, no grand jury interrogation, nothing.
One year after the raid the local FBI office called Weldon’s daughter to have her come get the property that had been removed from her home. That was it…The raid ruined the career of Weldon and his daughter.”
Though some blamed the Clintons and Sandy Berger for orchestrating the FBI “hit job,” we can’t lose sight of the fact that the head of the FBI at the time was Robert Mueller. Please understand what former FBI officials have told me: the FBI would never go after a member of Congress, House or Senate, without the full disclosure to and the blessing of the FBI Director. Even if the idea on how to silence Curt Weldon did not come from Director Mueller himself, it surely had his approval and encouragement.
The early morning raid by Mueller’s FBI -- with all the media outside -- who had obviously been alerted by the FBI, achieved its goal of abusing the U.S. Justice system to silence Curt Weldon by ending his political career. Mueller’s tactics worked. If the Clintons and Berger manipulated Weldon’s reelection to assure his defeat, they did it with the artful aid of Mueller, all while George W. Bush was President. Does any of this sound familiar?
People say those kinds of things just don’t happen in America. They certainly seemed to when Mueller was in charge of the FBI and they certainly seem to happen now during his tenure as Special Counsel. It appears clear that President Obama and his adjutants knew of Mueller’s reputation and that he could be used to take out their political opponents should such extra-legal actions become politically necessary.
To the great dismay of the many good, decent and patriotic FBI agents, Obama begged Mueller to stay on for two years past the 10 years the law allowed. Obama then asked Congress to approve Mueller’s waiver allowing him to stay on for two extra years. Perhaps the leaders in Congress did not realize what they were doing in approving it. I did. It was a major mistake, and I said so at the time. This is also why I objected strenuously the moment I heard Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed his old friend Bob Mueller to be Special Counsel to go after President Trump.
I was one of the few who were NOT surprised when Mueller started selecting his assistants in the Special Counsel’s office. Many had reputations for being bullies, for indicting people who were not guilty of the charges, for forcing people toward bankruptcy by running up their legal fees (while the bullies in the Special Counsel’s office enjoy an apparently endless government budget), or by threatening innocent family members with prosecution so the Special Counsel’s victim would agree to pleading guilty to anything to prevent the Kafka-esque prosecutors from doing more harm to their families.
An Illegal Raid on Congress By Mueller
There is a doctrine in our governmental system that mandates each part of government must have oversight to prevent power from corrupting --- and absolute power from corrupting absolutely. The Congress and Senate are accountable to the voters as is the President. Our massive and bloated bureaucracy is supposed to be accountable to the Congress.
A good example would be complaints against the Department of Justice or, specifically, the FBI.
If constituents or whistleblowers within those entities have complaints, a Congressman’s office is a good place to contact. Our conversations or information from constituents or whistleblowers are normally privileged from review by anyone within the Executive Branch. It must be so.
If the FBI could raid our offices anytime an FBI agent were to complain to us, no FBI agent could ever afford to come forward, no matter how egregious the conduct they sought to disclose.
Whistleblowers in the FBI must know they are protected. They always have known that in the past. As I learned from talking with attorneys who had helped the House previously with this issue, if the FBI or another law enforcement entity needed to search something on the House side of the Capitol or House office buildings, they contacted the House Counsel, whether with a warrant or request. The House Counsel with approval of the Speaker, would go through the Congress Members' documents, computers, flash drives, or anything that might have any bearing on what was being sought as part of the investigation.
They would honestly determine what was relevant and what was not, and what was both irrelevant and privileged from Executive Branch review. Normally, if there were a dispute or question, it could be presented to a federal judge for a private in-chamber review to determine if it were privileged or relevant. If the DOJ or FBI were to get a warrant and gather all of the computers and documents in a Congressman’s office without the recovered items being screened to insure they are not privileged from DOJ seizure, the DOJ would be risking that an entire case might be thrown out because of things improperly recovered and “fruit of the poisonous tree,” preventing the use of even things that were not privileged.
FBI Director Mueller, however,, seemed determined to throw over 200 years of Constitutional restraints to the wind so he could let Congress know he was the unstoppable government bully who could potentially waltz into our offices whenever he wished.
In the case of Congressman William Jefferson, Democrat of Louisiana, Mueller was willing to risk a reversal of a slam dunk criminal case just to send a message to the rest of Congress: you don’t mess with Mueller. That Congressman Jefferson was guilty of something did not surprise most observers when, amidst swirling allegations, $90,000 in cold hard cash was found in his freezer. As we understood it, the FBI had a witness who was wired and basically got Jefferson on tape taking money. They had mountains of indisputable evidence to prove their case. They had gotten an entirely appropriate warrant to search his home and had even more mountains of evidence to nail the lid on his coffin, figuratively speaking.
The FBI certainly did not need to conduct an unsupervised search of a Congressman’s office to put their unbeatable case at risk. Apparently, the risk was worth it to Mueller --- he could now show the members of Congress who was in charge. Apparently, the FBI knew just the right federal judge who would disregard the Constitution and allow Mueller’s minions to do their dirty work.
I read the Application for Warrant and the accompanying Affidavit for Warrant to raid Jefferson’s office, as I did so many times as a judge.
I simply could not believe they would risk such a high-profile case just to try to intimidate Members of Congress.
In the opinion of this former prosecutor, felony judge and Appellate Court Chief Justice, they could have gotten a conviction based on what they had already spelled out in the very lengthy affidavit. The official attorneys representing the House, knowing my background, allowed me to sit in on the extremely heated discussions between attorneys for the House, DOJ attorneys, and, to my recollection, an attorney from the Bush White House, after Jefferson’s office was raided.
The FBI had gathered up virtually every kind of record, computerized or otherwise, and carted them off. I was not aware of the times that the DOJ and House attorneys, with the Speaker’s permission, had cooperated over the years. No Congressman is above the law nor is any above having search warrants issued against them which is why Jefferson’s home was searched without protest.
However, when the material is in a Congressional office, there is a critical and centuries’ old balance of power that must be preserved.
The Mueller FBI, along with the DOJ, assured everyone that all was copacetic. They would ask some of the DOJ’s attorneys review all of the material and give back anything that was privileged and unlawful for the DOJ to see. Then they would make sure none of the DOJ attorneys who participated in the review of materials (that were privileged from the DOJ’s viewing) would be allowed to be prosecutors in Jefferson’s case.
If you find that kind of thinking terribly flawed and constitutionally appalling, you would be in agreement with the former Speakers of the House, the Vice President at the time, and ultimately, the final decisions of our federal appellate court system. They found the search to be illegal and inappropriate. Fortunately for the DOJ, they did not throw the entire case out. In retrospect, we did not know at the time what a farce a DOJ “firewall” would have been. Now we do!
Mueller's 5-Year Up-Our-Out
In federal law enforcement, it takes a new federal agent or supervisor about five years or so after arriving at a newly assigned office to gain the trust and respect of local law enforcement officers. That trust and respect is absolutely critical to doing the best job possible. Yet new FBI Director Robert Mueller came up with a new personnel policy that would rid the FBI of thousands of years of its most invaluable experience.
In a nutshell, after an FBI employee was in any type of supervisory position for five years, he or she had to either come to Washington to sit at a desk or get out of the FBI.
In the myriad of FBI offices around the country, most agents love what they do in actively enforcing the law. They have families involved in the community; their kids enjoy their schools; and they do not want to move to the high cost of living in Washington, DC, and especially not to an inside desk job. What occurred around the country was that agents in charge of their local offices got out of the FBI and did something more lucrative. Though they really wanted to stay in, they were not allowed to do so if they were not moving to DC. Agents told me that it was not unusual for the Special Agent in Charge of a field office to have well over 20 years of experience before the policy change. Under Mueller’s policy that changed to new Special Agents in Charge having five to ten years of experience when they took over.
If the FBI Director wanted nothing but “yes” men and women around the country working for him, this was a great policy. Newer agents are more likely to unquestioningly salute the FBI figurehead in Washington, but never boldly offer a suggestion to fix a bad idea and Mueller had plenty of them.
Whether it was wasting millions of dollars on a software boondoggle or questionable personnel preferences, agents tell me Mueller did not want to hear from more experienced people voicing their concerns about his ideas or policies. An NPR report December 13, 2007, entitled, “FBI'S 'Five-And-Out' Transfer Policy Draws Criticism” dealt with the Mueller controversial policy: “From the beginning of this year (2007) until the end of September (2007), 576 agents found themselves in the five-and-out pool. Less than half of them — just 286 — opted to go to headquarters; 150 decided to take a pay cut and a lesser job to stay put; 135 retired; and five resigned outright.”
In the period of nine months accounted for in this report, the FBI ran off a massive amount of absolutely priceless law enforcement experience vested in 140 invaluable agents. For the vast part, those are the agents who have seen the mistakes, learned lessons, could advise newer agents on unseen pitfalls of investigations and pursuit of justice.
So many of these had at least 20-30 years of experience or more. The lessons learned by such seasoned agents were lost as the agents carried it with them when they left. In the 2007 NPR report, the FBI Agents Association indicated that the Five-Year-Up-or-Out program hobbles field offices and takes relationships forged there for granted. In other words, it was a terrible idea.
The incalculable experience loss damages the FBI by eliminating those in the field in a position to advise the FBI Director against his many judgment errors, which were listed in the NPR article. But this was not the only damage done.
If an FBI Director has inappropriate personal vengeance in mind or holds an inappropriate prejudice such as those that infamously motivated Director J. Edgar Hoover, then the older, wiser, experienced agents were not around with the confidence to question or guide the Director away from potential misjudgment. I also cannot help but wonder: if Mueller had not run off the more experienced agents, would they have been able to advise against and stop the kind of Obama-era abuses and corruption being unearthed right now?
Rather than admit that his 5-Year program was a mistake, Mueller eventually changed the policy to a Seven-Year-Up-or-Out Program. I once pointed out to him at a hearing that if he had applied the Five Year Up-or-Out Policy to literally everyone in a supervisory position, he himself would have had to leave the FBI by September of 2006. He did not seem to be amused.
One other problem remained that will be discussed in more detail later in this article. Before Mueller became Director, FBI agents were trained to identify certain Muslims who had become radicalized and dangerous. Mueller purged and even eliminated training that would have helped identify radical Islamic killers. By running off the more experienced agents who had better training on radical Islam before Mueller, “blinded us of the ability to identify our enemy,” as I was told by some of them, Mueller put victims in harm’s way in cities like Boston, San Diego and elsewhere.
National Security Letter Abuses
National Security Letters (NSL) are a tool that allows the DOJ to bypass the formality of subpoenas, applications for warrants with affidavits in support, and instead simply send a letter to an individual, business or any entity they so choose to demand that records or documents of any kind must be produced and provided to the sender.
The letter also informs the recipient that if the he or she reveals to anyone that the letter was received or what it requires to be produced, then the recipient has committed a federal felony and will be prosecuted.
It is a rather dramatic event to receive such a letter and then realize that this simple letter could have such profound power and consequences.
The Committee in the House of Representatives that has oversight jurisdiction over the DOJ is the Judiciary Committee of which I am a member. We have grilled DOJ personnel in the past over the potential for NSL abuse, but both the House and Senate Committees were reassured that there were no known abuses of this extra-constitutional power.
Unfortunately, the day came when we learned that there had been an extraordinary number of abuses.
Apparently, some of Mueller’s FBI agents had just been sending out demands for records or documents without any probable cause, which the Fourth Amendment requires. Some agents were on outright fishing expeditions just to find out what different people were doing. We were told that there may have even been thousands of NSL’s dispatched to demand documents without following either the Constitutional requirements or the DOJ’s own policy requirements.
When the Inspector General’s report revealed such absolutely outrageous conduct by FBI agents, some in Congress were absolutely livid. An NBC News report on March 9, 2007, had this headline and sub-headline: “Justice Department: FBI acted illegally on data; Audit finds agency misused Patriot Act to obtain information on citizens.”
The report went on to say, “FBI Director Robert Mueller said he was to blame for not putting more safeguards into place. ‘I am to be held accountable,’ Mueller said. He told reporters he would correct the problems and did not plan to resign. ‘The inspector general went and did the audit that I should have put in place many years ago,’ Mueller said.” Some Republicans wanted to completely eliminate such an extraordinary power that was so widely abused. Nonetheless, I could not help but wonder that if Mueller had not run off thousands of years of experience though his “Five Year Up-or-Out Policy,” perhaps young, inexperienced agents would not have been so tempted to vastly abuse the power of the NSL.
In fact, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales lost his job over the widespread, pervasive abuses under Mueller’s supervision. In retrospect, Mueller probably should have been gone first. It was his people, his lack of oversight, his atmosphere that encouraged it, and his FBI that did virtually nothing to hold people accountable.
Senator Ted Stevens
With Mueller as his mentor and confidant, is it any surprise that we’re now finding James Comey’s FBI found additional ways to monitor Americans and plot with Democrat loyalists in an attempt to oust a duly-elected President?
Ted Stevens had served in the U.S. Senate since 1968 and was indicted in 2008 by the U.S. Justice Department. One would think before the U.S. government would seek to destroy a sitting U.S. Senator, there would be no question whatsoever of his guilt. One would be completely wrong, at least when the FBI Director is Robert Mueller. Roll Call provides us with General Colin Powell’s take on Ted Stevens.
“According to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who had worked closely with the senator since his days as President Ronald Reagan’s national security adviser, the senator was ‘a trusted individual ... someone whose word you could rely on. I never heard in all of those years a single dissenting voice with respect to his integrity, with respect to his forthrightness, and with respect to the fact that when you shook hands with Ted Stevens, or made a deal with Ted Stevens, it was going to be a deal that benefited the nation in the long run, one that he would stick with.’”
Such a glowing reputation certainly did not inhibit Mueller’s FBI from putting Stevens in its cross-hairs, pushing to get an indictment that came 100 days before his election, and engaging in third world dictator-type tactics to help an innocent man lose his election, after which he lost his life. As reported by NPR, after the conviction and all truth came rolling out of the framing and conviction of Senator Stevens, the new Attorney General Eric Holder, had no choice. He “abandoned the Stevens case in April 2009 after uncovering new and ‘disturbing’ details about the prosecution…”
Unfortunately for Ted Stevens, his conviction came only eight days before his election, which tipped the scales on a close election.
Does this sound familiar yet? The allegation was that Senator Stevens had not paid full price for improvements to his Alaska cabin. As Roll Call reported, he had actually overpaid for the improvements by over twenty percent. Roll Call went on to state:
“But relying on false records and fueled by testimony from a richly rewarded ‘cooperating’ witness… government prosecutors convinced jurors to find him guilty just eight days before the general election which he lost by less than 2 percent of the vote.”
After a report substantiated massive improprieties by the FBI and DOJ in the investigation and prosecution of Senator Stevens, the result was ultimately a complete dismissal of the conviction.
At the time there was no direct evidence that Director Mueller was aware of the tactics of concealing exculpatory evidence that would have exonerated Stevens, and the creation of evidence that convicted him in 2008. Nearly four years later, in 2012, the Alaska Dispatch News concluded: “Bottom line: Kepner (the lead FBI investigator accused of wrongdoing by Agent Joy) is still working for the FBI and is still investigating cases, including criminal probes. Joy, the whistleblower (who was the FBI agent who disclosed the FBI’s vast wrongdoing, especially of Kepner), has left the agency.”/p>
Director Mueller either did control or could have controlled what happened to the lead FBI agent that destroyed a well-respected U.S. Senator. That U.S. Senator was not only completely innocent of the manufactured case against him, he was an honest and honorable man. Under Director Mueller’s overriding supervision, the wrongdoer who helped manufacture the case stayed on and the whistleblower was punished. Obviously, the FBI Director wanted his FBI agents to understand that honesty would be punished if it revealed wrongdoing within Mueller’s organization. Further, not only was evidentiary proof of Senator Stevens’ innocence concealed from the Senator’s defense attorneys by the FBI, there was also a witness that provided compelling testimony that Stevens’ had done everything appropriately. That witness, however, was who agents sent back to Alaska by FBI Agents, unbeknownst to the Senator’s defense attorneys. This key exonerating testimony was placed out of reach for Senator Stevens’ defense. Someone should have gone to jail for this illegality within the nation’s top law enforcement agency. Instead, Senator Stevens lost his seat, and surprise, surprise, Mueller’s FBI helped another elected Republican bite the dust. Unfortunately, I am not speaking figuratively.
In August of 2010, former Senator Stevens boarded his doomed plane. But for the heinous, twisted and corrupt investigation by the FBI, and inappropriate prosecution by the DOJ, he would have still been a sitting U.S. Senator.
Don’t forget, one vote in the Senate was critical to ObamaCare becoming law. If Senator Stevens was still there, it would not have become law. In the following month after Senator Stevens’ untimely death, in September of 2010, a young DOJ lawyer, Nicholas Marsh -- who had been involved in the Stevens case -- committed suicide at his home as the investigation into the fraudulent case continued. The report expressed, "no conclusion as to his (Marsh’s) conduct," given his untimely death. Robert Luskin, an attorney for Marsh, said, "he tried to do the right thing."
If you're wondering what happened to the valuable FBI agent who was an upstanding whistleblower with a conscience, you should know that inside Mueller’s FBI, Special Agent Joy was terribly mistreated.
Orders came down from on high that he was not to participate in any criminal investigation again, which is the FBI management’s way of forcing an agent out of the FBI. On the other hand, the FBI agent who was said to have manufactured evidence against Senator Stevens -- while hiding evidence of his innocence -- was treated wonderfully and continued to work important criminal cases for Director Mueller.
If you wonder if mistreatment of an FBI agent who exposed impropriety was an anomaly in Mueller’s FBI, the Alaska Dispatch noted this about another case:
“Former FBI agent Jane Turner was treated much like Joy (the whistleblower agent in the Stevens case) after she blew the whistle on fellow agents who had taken valuable mementos from Ground Zero following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. She took the FBI to court over her treatment and ended up winning her case against the agency after a jury trial. When you blow the whistle on the FBI, ‘it's death by a million paper cuts,’ she told Alaska Dispatch. Turner said that agents who violate the FBI's omerta -- those who internally challenge the agency -- are undercut and isolated. ‘They (Mueller’s FBI supervisors) do everything they can to get you to quit’ she said.”
The Disgusting Treatment of Dr. Steven Hatfill
Here is how Mollie Hemingway of The Federalist described this combined Mueller-Comey debacle:
“The FBI absolutely bungled its investigation into the Anthrax attacker who struck after the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Carl Cannon goes through this story well, and it’s worth reading for how it involves both Comey and his dear ‘friend’ and current special counsel Robert Mueller. The FBI tried — in the media — its case against Hatfill. Their actual case ended up being thrown out by the courts: Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure. More from the Carl Cannon cited above, recounting how disastrous the attempt to convict Dr. Steven Hatfill for a crime he didn’t commit was: In truth, Hatfill was an implausible suspect from the outset. He was a virologist who never handled anthrax, which is a bacterium. (Ivins, by contrast, shared ownership of anthrax patents, was diagnosed as having paranoid personality disorder, and had a habit of stalking and threatening people with anonymous letters – including the woman who provided the long-ignored tip to the FBI). So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency threw a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they’d “alerted” on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.
Unfortunately, both Mueller and Comey were absolutely and totally convinced of the innocent man’s guilt. They ruined his life, his relationship with friends, neighbors and potential employers. And from Carl Cannon, Real Clear Politics:
You’d think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who’d been convicted -- and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who’d tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution’s dog handler “as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen.” Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, and personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill, the bureau had its man… Mueller didn’t exactly distinguish himself with contrition, either. In 2008, after Ivins committed suicide as he was about to be apprehended for his crimes, and the Justice Department had formally exonerated Hatfill – and paid him $5.82 million in a legal settlement ($2.82+150,000/yr. for 20 yrs) – Mueller could not be bothered to walk across the street to attend the press conference announcing the case’s resolution. When reporters did ask him about it, Mueller was graceless. “I do not apologize for any aspect of the investigation,” he said, adding that it would be erroneous “to say there were mistakes.”
Though FBI jurisdiction has its limitations, Mueller’s ego does not. Mueller and Comey’s next target in the Anthrax case was Dr. Bruce Ivins. As the FBI was closing in and preparing to give him the ultimate Hatfill treatment, Dr. Ivins took his own life. Though Mueller and Comey were every bit as convinced that Dr. Ivins was the Anthrax culprit as they were that Dr. Hatfill was, there are lingering questions about whether or not there was a case beyond a reasonable doubt. Since Dr. Ivins is deceased, we are expected to simply accept that he was definitely the Anthrax killer and drop the whole matter. That's a difficult ask after taxpayer money paid off Mueller’s previous victim. Mueller had relentlessly dogged Dr. Hatfill using lifedestroying, Orwellian tactics. Either Mueller was wrong when he said it would be a mistake, “to say there were mistakes,” in the railroading of Hatfill or Mueller did intentionally and knowingly persecute an innocent man.
The Framing of Scooter Libby
In 2003, there was yet another fabricated and politically-charged FBI investigation: this one "searching" for the leak of CIA agent Valery Plame's identity to the media. Robert Mueller’s close friend James Comey was at the time serving as the Deputy Attorney General. Comey convinced then Attorney General John Ashcroft that he should recuse himself from the Plame investigation while Ashcroft was in the hospital.
After Deputy A.G. Comey was successful in securing Ashcroft's recusal, Comey then got to choose the Special Counsel. He then looked about for someone who was completely independent of any relationships that might affect his independence and settled upon his own child’s godfather, nameing Patrick Fitzgerald to investigate the source of the leak. So much for the independence of the Special Counsel.
The entire episode was further revealed as a fraud when it was later made public that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, FBI Director Mueller, and Deputy Attorney Comey had very early on learned that the source of Plame’s identity leak came from Richard Armitage. But neither Comey nor Mueller nor Fitzgerald wanted Armitage’s scalp. Oh no. These so-called apolitical, fair-minded pursuers of their own brand of justice were after a bigger name in the Bush administration like Vice President Dick Cheney or Karl Rove. Yet they knew from the beginning that these two men were not guilty of anything.
Nonetheless, Fitzgerald, Mueller and Comey pursued Cheney’s chief of staff, Scooter Libby, as a path to ensnare the Vice President. According to multiple reports, Fitzgerald had twice offered to drop all charges against Libby if he would ‘deliver’ Cheney to him. There was nothing to deliver. Is any of this sounding familiar? Could it be that these same tactics have been used against an innocent Gen. Mike Flynn? Could it be that Flynn only agreed to plead guilty to prevent any family members from being unjustly prosecuted and to also prevent going completely broke from attorneys’ fees? That’s the apparent Mueller-ComeySpecial Counsel distinctive modus-operandi. Libby would not lie about Cheney, so he was prosecuted for obstruction of justice, perjury, making a false statement. This Spectator report from 2015 sums up this particularly egregious element of the railroading.
“… By the time Scooter Libby was tried in 2007 it wasn’t for anything to do with the Plame leak — everyone then knew Armitage had taken responsibility for that — but for lying to federal officials about what he had said to three reporters, including Miller. It is relating to this part of the story that an extraordinary new piece of information has come to light. After her spell in prison, and with her job on the line, Miller was eventually worn down to agree to hand over some redacted portions of notes of her few conversations with Libby. Several years on, she could no longer recall where she had first heard of Plame’s CIA identity, but her notes included a reference to Wilson alongside which the journalist had added in brackets ‘wife works in Bureau?’
After Fitzgerald went through these notes it was put to Miller that this showed that the CIA identity of Plame had been raised by Libby during the noted meeting. At Libby’s trial Miller was the only reporter to state that Libby had discussed Plame. His conviction and his sentencing to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine, rested on this piece of evidence. But Miller has just published her memoirs. One detail in particular stands out. Since the Libby trial, Miller has read Plame’s own memoir and there discovered that Plame had worked at a State Department bureau as cover for her real CIA role. The discovery, in Miller’s words, ‘left her cold’. The idea that the ‘Bureau’ in her notebook meant ‘CIA’ had been planted in her head by Fitzgerald. It was a strange word to use for the CIA. Reading Plame’s memoir, Miller realized that ‘Bureau’ was in brackets because it related to her working at State Department. (Emphasis added)
What that means is that Scooter Libby had not lied as she originally thought and testified. He was innocent of everything including the contrived offense. For his honesty and innocence, Scooter Libby spent time behind bars, and still has a federal felony conviction he carries like an albatross. The real culprit of the allegation for which the Special Counsel was appointed, and massive amounts of tax payer dollars expended was Richard Armitage. A similar technique was used against Martha Stewart. After all, Mueller’s FBI developed both cases. If the desired crime to be prosecuted was never committed, then talk to someone you want to convict until you find something that others are willing to say was not true. Then you can convict them of lying to the FBI. Martha Stewart found out about Mueller’s FBI the hard way. Unfortunately, Mueller has left a wake of innocent people whom he has crowned with criminal records. History does seem to repeat itself when it is recording the same people using the same tactics. Can anyone who has ever actually looked at Robert Mueller’s history honestly say that Mueller deserves a sterling reputation in law enforcement? One part of his reputation he does apparently deserve is the reputation for being James Comey’s mentor.
Mueller's Embrace of the Friends of Islamic Terror
In 2011, in one of the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight hearings, FBI Director Mueller repeatedly testified during questioning by various Members about how the Muslim community was just like every other religious community in the United States. He also referenced an “Outreach Program” the FBI had with the Muslim community.
When it was my turn to question, I could not help but put the two points of his testimony together for a purge question:
GOHMERT: Thank you, Director. I see you had mentioned earlier, and it's in your written statement, that the FBI’s developed extensive outreach to Muslim communities and in answer to an earlier question I understood you to say that you know Muslim communities were like all other communities, so I'm curious as the result of the extensive outreach program the FBI's had to the Muslim community, how is your outreach program going with the Baptists and the Catholics?
MUELLER: I'm not certain of, necessarily the rest of that, the question I would say -- there are outreach to all segments of a particular city or county or society is good.
GOHMERT: Well do you have a particular program of outreach to Hindus, Buddhists, Jewish community, agnostics or is it just an extensive outreach program to –
MUELLER: We have outreach to every one of those communities.
GOHMERT: And how do you do that?
MUELLER: Every one of those communities can be affected can be affected by facts or circumstance.
GOHMERT: I've looked extensively, and I haven't seen anywhere in any one from the FBI's letters, information that there's been an extensive outreach program to any other community trying to develop trust in this kind of relationship and it makes me wonder if there is an issue of trust or some problem like that that the FBI has seen in that particular community.
MUELLER: I would say if you look at one of our more effective tools or what we call citizens academies where we bring in individuals from a variety of segments of the territory in which the office operates . . . look at the citizens’ academy, the persons here, they are a crosssection of the community, they can be Muslim, could be Indian, they can be Baptists – GOHMERT: Okay but no specific programs to any of those. You have extensive outreach to the Muslim community and then you have a program of outreach to communities in general is what it sounds like.
We went further in the questioning. The 2007 trial of the Holy Land Foundation, the largest terrorism financing trial in American history, linked the Council on AmericanIslamic Relations (CAIR) to the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. CAIR was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the case. Because of this affiliation, the FBI issued policy and guidance to restrict its non-investigative interactions with CAIR in an effort to limit CAIR’s ability to exploit contacts with the FBI. As a result, FBI field offices were instructed to cut ties with all local branches of CAIR across the country.
GOHMERT: Are you aware of the evidence in the Holy Land Foundation case that linked the Council on American-Islamic relations, CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America and the North America Islamic Trust to the Holy Land Foundation?
MUELLER: I'm not going to speak to specific information in a particular case. I would tell you on the other hand that we do not –
GOHMERT: Are you aware of the case, Director?
[CROSSTALK] MUELLER: – relationship with CAIR because of concerns –
GOHMERT: Well I've got the letter from the Assistant Director Richard Powers that says in light of the evidence – talking about during the trial – evidence was introduced that demonstrated a relationship among CAIR, individual CAIR founders, including its current president emeritus and executive director and the Palestine committee, evidence was also introduced that demonstrated a relationship between the Palestine committee and Hamas, which was designated as a terrorist organization in 1995.
In light of that evidence, he says, the FBI suspended all formal contacts between CAIR and FBI. Well now it's my understanding, and I've got documentation, and I hope you've seen this kind of documentation before, it's public record, and also the memo order from the judge in turning down a request that the unindicted co-conspirators be eliminated from the list, and he says the FBI's information is clear there is a tie here, and I'm not going to grant the deletion of these particular parties as unindicted coconspirators.
So, I'm a little surprised that you're reluctant to discuss something that's already been set out in an order, that's already been in a letter saying we cut ties in light of the evidence at this trial. I'm just surprised it took the evidence that the FBI had, being introduced at the trial in order to sever the relationships with CAIR that it (the FBI) had that showed going back to the 1993 meeting in Philadelphia, what was tied to a terrorist organization. So, I welcome your comments about that.
MUELLER: As I told you before, we have no formal relationship with CAIR because of concerns with regard to the national leadership on that.
What Director Mueller was intentionally deceptive about was that the FBI had apparently maintained a relationship and even “community partnership” instigated on his watch with CAIR and other groups and individuals that his FBI had evidence showing they were co-conspirators to terrorism. That, of course, is consistent with his misrepresentation that Mueller’s FBI had outreach programs to other religious communities just like they did with the Muslim community. They did not. He was not honest about it. In a March 2009 Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) questioned Mueller over the FBI move to cut off contact with CAIR. Mueller responded to Kyl’s pressing over how the policy was to be handled by FBI field offices and headquarters with the following:
MUELLER: We try to adapt, when we have situations where we have an issue with one or more individuals, as opposed to institution, or an institution, large, to identify the specificity of those particular individuals or issues that need to be addressed. We will generally have -- individuals may have some maybe leaders in the community who we have no reason to believe whatsoever are involved in terrorism, but may be affiliated, in some way, shape or form, with an institution about which there is some concern, and which we have to work out a separate arrangement. We have to be sensitive to both the individuals, as well as the organization, and try to resolve the issues that may prevent us from working with a particular organization.
KYL: They try to “adapt” with members of terror-related groups? Are they as “sensitive” with other organizations? Do they work out “separate arrangements” with members of, say, the Mafia or the Ku Klux Klan for “community outreach”? Why the special treatment for radical Islamic terrorism?
A March 2012 review of FBI field office compliance with this policy by the Office of Inspector General found a discrepancy between the FBI’s enforcement policy restricting contact and interaction with CAIR and its resulting actions. Rather than FBI headquarters enforcing the rules, they hedged. Mueller set up a separate cover through the Office of Public Affairs and allowed them to work together, despite the terrorist connections.
That was the cultivated atmosphere of Mueller’s FBI. The DOJ actually set out in writing in an indictment that CAIR and some of the people Mueller was coddling were supporters of terrorism. I had understood that the plan by the Bush Justice Department was that if they got convictions of the principals in the Holy Land Foundation trial, they would come right back after the co-conspirators who were named in the indictment as co-conspirators but who were not formally indicted. In late 2008, the DOJ got convictions against all those formally indicted, so DOJ could then move forward with formally indicting and convicting the rest—EXCEPT that the November 2008 election meant it was now going to be the OBAMA DOJ with Eric Holder leading. The newly-named but not confirmed Attorney General apparently made clear they were not going to pursue any of the named co-conspirators. That itself was a major loss for the United States in its war against terrorism in the Obama administration. It was a self-inflicted refusal to go after and defeat our enemies. All of the named co-conspirators would not likely have been formally indicted, but certainly there was evidence to support the allegations against some of them, as the federal district court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals had formally found. One of the problems with FBI Director Mueller is that he had already been cozying up to named co-conspirators with evidence in hand of their collusion with terrorists. That probably was an assurance to President Obama and Attorney General Holder that Mueller would fit right in to the Obama administration. He did. It also helps explain why President Obama and AG Holder wanted him to serve and extra two years as FBI Director. Mueller was their kind of guy. Unfortunately for America, he truly was!
Purging the FBI of Anti-Terror Information
We repeatedly see cases where people were radicalized, emerge on the FBI's radar, but federal agents are instead looking for Islamophobes, not the terrorists standing in front of them. That is because Mueller’s demand of his FBI Agents, in the New Age to which he brought them, was to look for Islamophobes.
If a Mueller-trained FBI agent got a complaint about a potential radical Islamist who may pose a threat, the agent must immediately recognize that the one complaining is most likely an Islamophobe. That means the agent should first investigate whether the complainant is guilty of a hate crime. Too often it was after an attack occurred that Mueller-trained FBI agents would decide that there really was a radical Islamic threat to the United States.
The blinding of our FBI agents to the domestic threat of radical Islam is part of the beguiling damage Robert Mueller did as FBI Director. That is also the kind of damage that got Americans killed, even though Mueller may have avoided offending the radical Islamists who were killing Americans. As terrorism expert Patrick Poole continually points out in his “Known Wolf” series, the overwhelming majority of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil are committed by those the FBI has interviewed and dismissed as a threat. Here are three of the more high-profile cases:
ORLANDO: The mass killer who attacked the Pulse nightclub in June 2016, Omar Mateen, had been interviewed by the FBI on three separate occasions. The open preliminary investigation in 2013 lasted 10 months, after Mateen had told others about mutual acquaintances he shared with the Boston bombers and had made extremist statements. He was investigated again in 2014 for his contacts with a suicide bomber who attended the same mosque. At one point, Mateen was placed on TWO separate terrorism databases. He was later removed from them.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Detroitbound Northwest Flight 253 on Christmas Day 2009 with 289 other passengers wearing an underwear bomb intended to murder them all. He was well-known to U.S. intelligence officials before he boarded.
Only one month before the attempted bombing, Abdulmutallab’s father had actually gone to the U.S. embassy in Nigeria and met with two CIA officers. He directly told the CIA that he was concerned about his son’s extremism. Abdulmutallab's name was added to the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) database. However, his name was not added the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Database. Or even the no-fly list. So, he boarded a plane. When asked about the near-takedown of the flight and these missteps, then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano remarkably told CNN that “the system worked.” The only "system" that worked in this incident: a culture that values bravery, already instilled in the passengers who acted.
BOSTON: Prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon by Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April 2013 that killed three people and injured 264 others, the FBI had been tipped off. Twice. Russian intelligence warned that Tamerlan was “a follower of radical Islam.” Initially, the FBI denied ever meeting with Tamerlan. They later claimed that they followed up on the lead, couldn’t find anything in their databases linking him to terrorism, and quickly closed the case. After the second Russian warning, Tamerlan’s file was flagged by federal authorities demanding “mandatory” detention if he attempted to leave or re-enter the United States. But Tsarnaev's name was misspelled when it was entered into the database.
An internal FBI report of the handling of the Tsarnaev’s case -unsurprisingly -- saw the FBI exonerate itself. When I asked at yet another House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, Mueller himself admitted in response to my questioning, that the FBI had indeed gone to the Boston mosque the bombers attended. Of course, The FBI did not go to investigate the Tsarnaevs. The bombers' mosque, the Islamic Society of Boston, was incorporated by known and convicted terrorists. The incorporation papers were signed by none other than Abduram Al-Amoudi who is currently serving 23 years in a federal prison for funding terrorism. One of the members of the Board of Trustees included a leader of the International Muslim Brotherhood, Yusef al-Qawadari, who is barred from entering the United States due to his terrorist ties. Did Mueller’s FBI go to the Boston bombers’ mosque to investigate the Tsarnaevs? This is from the House Judiciary oversight hearing transcript:
GOHMERT: The FBI never canvassed Boston mosques until four days after the April 15 attacks. If the Russians tell you that someone has been radicalized and you go check and see the mosque that they went to, then you get the articles of incorporation, as I have, for the group that created the Boston mosque where these Tsarnaevs attended, and you find out the name Al-Amoudi, which you will remember, because while you were FBI Director this man who was so helpful to the Clinton administration with so many big things, he gets arrested at Dulles Airport by the FBI and he is now doing over 20 years for supporting terrorism. This is the guy that started the mosque where the Tsarnaevs were attending, and you didn’t even bother to go check about the mosque? And then when you have the pictures, why did no one go to the mosque and say, who are these guys? They may attend here. Why was that not done since such a thorough job was done?
MUELLER: Your facts are not altogether——
GOHMERT: Point out specifically. MUELLER: May I finish my——
GOHMERT: Point out specifically. Sir, if you’re going to call me a liar, you need to point out specifically where any facts are wrong.
MUELLER: We went to the mosque prior to Boston.
GOHMERT: Prior to Boston?
MUELLER: Prior to Boston happening, we were in that mosque talking to the imam several months beforehand as part of our outreach efforts. “Outreach efforts”? Yes. That is apparently Mueller’s efforts to play figurative pattycake with the leaders and tell them how wonderful they are and how crazy all those Islamaphobes out there are, but they surely got assurance that Mueller’s FBI is after those bigots. Maybe they sat around on the floor and had a really nice meal together. One thing for certain, they weren’t asking about the Tsarnaevs! But the hearing got even worse:
GOHMERT: Were you aware that those mosques were started by Al-Amoudi?
MUELLER. I’ve answered the question, sir.
GOHMERT. You didn’t answer the question. Were you aware that they were started by Al-Amoudi?
MUELLER. No. . .
Then my time for questioning expired, leaving many questions unanswered. Why was the FBI unaware of the origins of the mosque attended by the Boston bombers? This was arguably the most traumatic Islamic terrorist attack in America since 9-11 because the explosions happened on live television at the Boston Marathon. When did the FBI become an outreach-to-terrorism organization to the detriment and disregard of its investigations? Under Director Robert Mueller’s tenure, that’s when!
In Director Mueller’s efforts to appease and please the named co-conspirators of terrorism, he was keenly attuned to their complaints that the FBI training materials on radical Islam said some things about Islamic terrorists that offended some Muslims. Never mind that the main offense was done to the American people by radical Islamists who wanted to kill Americans and destroy our way of life. Mueller wanted to make these co-conspirators feel good toward Mueller and to let them know he was pleased to appease. Director Mueller had all of the training materials regarding radical Islam “purged” of anything that might offend radical Islamic terrorists. So, in addition to using his “Five Year Up-or-Out” policy to force out so many experienced FBI agents who had been properly trained to identify radical Islamic terrorists, now Mueller was going even further. He was ensuring that new FBI agents would not know what to look for when assessing potentially radicalized individuals.
When thoseof us in Congress learned of the Mueller-mandated “purge” of FBI training materials, we demanded to see what was being removed. Unfortunately, Mueller was well experienced in covering his tracks, so naturally the pages of training materials that were purged were ordered to be “classified,” so most people would never get to see them.
After many terrorist attacks, we would hear that the FBI had the Islamic terrorists on their radar but failed to identify them. Now you are beginning to see why FBI agents could not spot them. They were looking more at the complainant than they were at the radical Islamist because that is what Mueller had them trained to do.
Michele Bachmann and I were extremely upset that Americans were being killed because of the terribly flawed training. We demanded to see the material that was “purged” from the training of FBI agents regarding radical Islam. That is when we were told it could not be sent over for review because the purged material was “classified.” We were authorized to review classified material, so we demanded to see it anyway. We were willing to go over to the FBI office or the DOJ, but we wanted to review the material.
We were told they would bring it over and let us review it in the Rayburn Building in a protected setting. They finally agreed to produce the material. Members of Congress Michele Bachmann, Lynn Westmoreland, and I went to the little room to review the vast amount of material. Lynn was not able to stay as long as Michele and I did, but we started pouring through the notebooks of materials. It was classified so naturally I am not allowed to disclose any specifics, but we were surprised at the amount of material that was purged from the training our agents. Some of the items that were strictly for illustration or accentuation were removed. A few were silly. But some should clearly have been left in if an FBI agent was going to know how and what a radical Islamic terrorist thinks, and what milestone had been reached in the radicalization process.
It was clear to Michele and me as we went through the purged materials that some of the material really did need to be taught to our FBI agents. For those densely-headed or radical activists who will wrongly proclaim that what I am writing is an Islamophobic complaint, please note that I have never said that all Muslims are terrorists. I have never said that, because all Muslims are not terrorists. But for the minority who are, we have to actually learn exactly what they study and learn how they think. As Patton made clear after defeating Rommel’s tanks in World War II, he studied his enemy, what he believed and how he thought. In the movie, “Patton,” he loudly proclaims, “Rommel, you magnificent ___, I read your book!”
That is how an enemy is defeated. You study what they believe, how they think, what they know. Failure to do so is precisely why so many “Known Wolves” are able to attack us. Clearly, Mueller weakened our ability to recognize a true radical Islamic terrorist. As one of my friends in our U.S. Intelligence said, “We have blinded ourselves of the ability to see our enemy! You cannot defeat an enemy you cannot define.” Robert Mueller deserves a significant amount of the credit for the inability of our federal agents to define our enemy.
Purging Counter-Terrorism Training Materials
FBI Special Agent Kim Jensen had spent a great deal of his adult life studying radical Islam. He is personally responsible for some extraordinary undercover work that remains classified to this day. He was tasked with putting together a program to train our more experienced FBI agents to locate and identify radicalized Muslims on the threshold of violence.
Jensen had done this well before Mueller began to cozy up with and pander to groups such as CAIR. Complaints by similar groups caused Mueller to once again demand that our agents could not be properly instructed on radical Islam.
Accordingly, Jensen’s roughly 700-pages of advanced training material on radical Islam were eliminated from FBI training and all copies were ordered destroyed.
When Director Mueller decides he wants our federal agents to be blind and ignorant of radical Islam, they are indeed going to be blind and ignorant.
Fortunately, in changing times well after Mueller’s departure as FBI Director, a new request went out to Mr. Jensen to recreate that work because at least someone in the FBI needed to know what traits to look for in a terrorist. It still did not undo the years of damage from Mueller’s commanded ignorance of radical Islam.
Mueller's Unethical Acceptance of Appointment as Special Prosecutor
Robert Mueller had more than one direct conflict of interest that should have prohibited him from serving as the Special Counsel to investigate President Donald Trump.
For one thing, President Trump fired his close friend and confidante, disgraced FBI Director James Comey. Mueller had long served as a mentor to Comey, who would most certainly be a critical witness in any investigation of Donald Trump.
Mueller and Comey had also been exceedingly close friends beyond the mentor relationship. But Comey’s insertion of himself into so much of the election cycle -- and even its aftermath -- in conversations he had with the President himself made him a critical witness in the investigation. There is no way Mueller could sit in judgment of his dear, close friend’s credibility, and certainly no way he should be allowed to do so.
Gregg Jarrett explained one aspect of this situation quite clearly and succinctly at FoxNews.com in an article titled, “Gregg Jarrett: Are Mueller and Comey ‘Colluding’ against Trump by acting as co-special counsel?” A portion of that article reads:
The law governing the special counsel (28 CFR 600.7) specifically prohibits Mueller from serving if he has a “conflict of interest.” Even the appearance of a conflict is disallowed. The same Code of Federal Regulations defines what constitutes a conflict. That is, “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution” (28 CFR 45.2).
Comey is that person. He was substantially involved in the conversation with President Trump who may be the subject of an obstruction investigation. In fact, the former Director is the only other person involved. There were no witnesses beyond himself. A conflict of interest is a situation in which an individual has competing interests or loyalties. Here, it sets up a clash between the special counsel’s self-interest or bias and his professional or public interest in discharging his responsibilities in a fair, objective and impartial manner. His close association with the star witness raises the likelihood of prejudice or favoritism which is anathema to the fair administration of justice.
Mueller has no choice but to disqualify himself. The law affords him no discretion because the recusal is mandatory in its language. It does not say “may” or “can” or “might”. It says the special counsel “shall” recuse himself in such instances.
An excellent post by Robert Barnes, a constitutional lawyer, identifies five statutes, regulations and codes of conduct that Mueller is violating because of his conflict of interest with Comey. Byron York, chief political correspondent for the Washington Examiner recounts in detail the close personal relationship between Mueller and Comey which gives rise to the blatant conflict of interest.
Another deeply troubling aspect of Mueller’s conflict of interest is and was his role in the investigation of Russia’s effort to illegally gain control of a substantial part of United States’ precious supply of uranium. That investigation was taking place within the Mueller FBI, which should have had a direct effect on prohibiting Secretary of State Clinton from participating in the approval of the uranium sale into the hands that were ultimately the Russian government.
Of course, then U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein had direct control over that Russiauranium investigation in conjunction with FBI Director Mueller. It certainly appears that with what they had gleaned from that undercover investigation, they should never have been involved in any subsequent investigation that might touch on potential collusion and millions of dollars paid to the Clinton’s foundation by the very beneficiaries of the Russians' uranium schemes. Rosenstein and Mueller’s failure to warn against or stop the sale reeks of its own form of collusion, cooperation, or capitulation in what some consider a treasonous sale.
Quite the interesting duo is now in charge of all things investigatory surrounding their own actions. In fact, Rosenstein and Mueller are now in a position to dissuade others from pursuing them for their own conduct.
Special Prosecutor Mueller's Troublingly Biased Hires
Through it all, Mueller’s modus operandi does not seem to have ever changed. He has hired nine Democrat-supporting lawyers and zero Republicans. Certainly all attorneys likely have political views and that is not a problem so long as they do not affect their job. But not a single Republican was worthy of Mueller’s selection?
Were there no establishment Republicans who wanted to join his jihad? Mueller’s hand-picked team of Democrats reveal political views that distinctly conflict with Trump and the conservative agenda, raising questions about Mueller’s bias and his ability to conduct a fair investigation. At least nine members of Mueller’s team made significant contributions to Democrats or Democratic campaigns, while none contributed to Trump’s campaign and only James Quarles contributed to Republicans in a drastically smaller amount than what he gave to Democrats.
Analysis of Federal Election Commission records shows that Andrew Weissmann, Jeannie Rhee, Andrew Goldstein, James Quarles, Elizabeth Prelogar, Greg Andres, Brandon Van Grack, Rush Atkinson, and Kyle Freeny all contributed over $50,000 in donations to Democrats including Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s Presidential campaigns, various Democratic non-presidential candidates, and the Democratic National Convention. Mueller also has surprisingly strong personal ties to a number of the lawyers he hired.
Three former partners with Mueller at the Boston law firm of WilmerHale are on the payroll: Aaron Zebley, Jeannie Rhee, and James Quarles. In addition to strong personal ties to Mueller, many of the attorneys have potential conflicts in working for persons directly connected to the people and issues being investigated.
Jeannie Rhee represented Ben Rhodes, ex-Obama National Security Adviser, and the Clinton Foundation in a 2015 racketeering lawsuit, as well as Hillary Clinton in a lawsuit probing her private emails.
Aaron Zebley, former Chief of Staff to Mueller while Director of the FBI, represented Justin Cooper in the Clinton email scandal as he was responsible for setting up Clinton’s private email server. He admitted to physically damaging Clinton’s old mobile devices.
Andrew Goldstein joined the team after working under major Trump critic Preet Bharara in the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York. Bharara became a strong critic after Trump fired him as an Obama-holdover and spoke on ABC News that “there’s absolutely evidence to launch an obstruction of justice case against Trump’s team with regard to the Russia probe.” Does he sound a bit prejudiced?
Andrew Weissman, notoriously a “tough” prosecutor previously accused of “prosecutorial overreach,” has a less than stellar career after various courts reversed his prosecutions due to his questionable conduct and tactics. As director of the Enron Task Force, Weissman shattered the Arthur Andersen LLP accounting firm and destroyed over 85,000 jobs. In 2005, the conviction was reversed by the Supreme Court. In other words, the only true crime in the case was the murderous destruction of 85,000 jobs and the lives they ruined.
Weissman’s next conviction threw four Merrill Lynch executives into prison without bail for a year, only to be reversed by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. Weissman subsequently resigned from the Enron Task Force. A suspiciously timely move, as the public eye had just caught sight of his modus operandi. Additionally, Weissman has unsightly political ties, having attended Clinton’s electionnight celebration in New York City. He also sent an email to Acting Attorney General Sally Yates, praising her boldness on the night she was fired for refusing to enforce President Trump’s travel ban. President Trump was trying to enforce the law; Weissman was trying to enforce his bigotry against Trump and Republicans.
Peter Strzok was removed from Mueller’s team after more than 10,000 texts between him and former Mueller investigator Lisa Page were found to contain vitriolic anti-Trump tirades. They were not simply anti-Trump. They were more in the nature of desperate attempts to stop him from becoming President and talk of a nefarious insurance policy to orchestrate his removal if he were elected.
General Michael Flynn
Michael Flynn is a man entangled in manufactured controversy from the moment he stepped into his role in the Trump administration. The circumstances surrounding his take-down have become one of the more puzzling aspects of the TrumpRussia investigation. His career took him from three decades in the U.S. Army to overseeing the Pentagon’s military intelligence operation and directing the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn was more than qualified to act as the first national security adviser in a new administration. However, his influence and zeal made him a clear target for the Trump-Russia investigation.
As a strong supporter and friend of Donald Trump’s from the onset, he campaigned and publicly supported then-candidate Trump throughout 2016. As best I can sort it out through the media hype and hysteria, having no first-hand knowledge like the rest of America: after the successful election, during the transition period, in December 2016, Flynn reportedly conversed with a Russian ambassador.
He was “accidentally” swept up in an intelligence foreign surveillance recording. When this happens, the names of American citizens are supposed to be masked in the transcripts. Somehow Flynn’s name was magically unmasked, which apparently allowed the Obama administration to peruse his meetings and conversations. Parts of the classified transcript of that conversation were leaked to the media by rogue Deep State law breakers (criminals who Mueller seems completely disinterested in). This appears to be what fueled the media-driven narrative of Trump campaign “collusion” with Russia because Flynn had a discussion with a Russian ambassador, which conversation is absolutely legal and advisable. A media-generated doubt clouded Flynn’s reputation, as the discussion was longreported as having taken place during the campaign (which could possibly be illegal) but was later proven to have been after the election and during the transition which should not have been illegal.
After a complete pounding of media-driven hysteria, in mid-February of 2017, Flynn resigned having served only 23 days as National Security Advisor. Mueller targeted Flynn using illicitly-gathered and leaked foreign intelligence and surveillance as evidence. Nine months later after Flynn and his family were subjected to Mueller’s usual threats and intimidation, a financially exhausted Flynn entered a guilty plea on one count of lying to the FBI—the result of a Mueller-technique perjury trap as was used on Scooter Libby and Martha Stewart. What is Flynn guilty of? He apparently misremembered a conversation that took place 33 days previously? The FBI had a transcript of that conversation and already knew what information was there. They went into a conversation with Flynn not seeking answers to questions, but to try to trip him up on exact statements made in a conversation when they were already in possession of the transcript.
Flynn's unmasking has become the center of a controversy wherein those transcripts were procured under exceedingly questionable circumstances before a judge who had a questionable and undisclosed relationship with part of Mueller’s team. That judge was appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), the secretive court created by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that allows federal law enforcement to seek secretive warrants to surveil foreign persons outside of the United States who are suspected of terrorism. But the Obama administration and Mueller seemed to find it much more politically expedient to use the secret court to go after Americans who were part of the Trump team for actions that did not occur while they were part of the Trump campaign team. Strange goings-on.
One could argue that Judge Rudolph Contreras, the federal judge who accepted Flynn’s guilty plea, conveniently misremembered that he also served on the FISA court as a judge and conveniently misremembered his friendship with the FBI agent whose interview was used as evidence against Flynn. As it turns out, the FBI interview notes of that very encounter with Flynn may exonerate Michael Flynn, crushing Mueller’s case against him, not to mention the highly questionable hearing before a judge who may well have been recused much too late to save the Flynn prosecution.
The FISA-authorized FISC is built upon the principle that highly delicate cases dealing with government surveillance of foreign agents and officials would be handled in an unbiased and respectful environment where secrecy at all costs was critical. There is supposed to be an added precaution to prevent any potential for bias in a FISA Judge by having a rotation of judges. That is why it is such a shock to find out now that Mueller’s case against Michael Flynn would happen to end up before the “randomly selected” very dear close personal friend of FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, who hated President Trump with a passion, as evidenced in his text messages with colleague and paramour, Lisa Page. U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, or “Rudy” as Strzok likes to refer to him, should have recused himself from such a highly sensitive case involving the ultimate attempted removal of the duly-elected President of the United States who happened to be despised by the very people who by law were required to prosecute with fairness. He was later forced to ‘recuse’ himself and be removed from the Flynn proceedings, without public explanation.
This forced recusal was an unmistakable indication that he never should have been involved in the Michael Flynn plea agreement. Judge Contreras’ conflict of interest has yet to be explained by the court. Contreras’ is one of only three local FISA court judges, and by default, is likely one of the judges who have on four occasions approved the Title I surveillance of another character in this melodrama, Carter Page. This is the case where the FBI is known to have intentionally misled the FISA court by using as evidence the illustrious “Steele Dossier,” a sordid opposition research document paid for by Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Oh, what a tangled web of crime Special Prosecutor Mueller’s team appears to have helped weave, and of which Mueller appears to be completely disinterested, all while he searches high and low for an elusive crime to pin on the President.
Mueller ignores provable crimes by the Clinton Campaign, the FBI, the FISC, etc.
Strategically timed leaks of selective classified information are being used to target individuals for investigation in order to create the appearance of some sinister crime are committed.
Upon closer scrutiny, the cases fall apart.
Yet, slam dunk federal criminal cases of leaking classified material are going on under Mueller’s nose, and by those within his purview and his team. When we think of all the leaks from Mueller’s investigation, it brings to mind Wilford Brimley’s quote from Absence of Malice: “You call what's goin' on around here a leak? Boy, the last time there was a leak like this, Noah built hisself a boat.”
Case in point: Erik Prince. As Lee Smith put it in a recent article from TabletMag.com, Robert Mueller’s Beltway Cover-Up:
News that special counselor Robert Mueller has turned his attention to Erik Prince’s January 11, 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Russian banker, a Lebanese-American political fixer, and officials from the United Arab Emirates, helps clarify the nature of Mueller’s work. It’s not an investigation that the former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is leading—rather, it’s a cover-up…
Mueller is said to believe that the Prince meeting was to set up a back channel with the Kremlin. But that makes no sense. According to the foundational text of the collusion narrative, the dossier allegedly written by former British spy Christopher Steele, the Kremlin had cultivated Trump himself for years. So what’s the purpose of a back channel, when Vladimir Putin already had a key to the front door of Mar-a-Lago? Further, the collusion thesis holds that the Trump circle teamed with high-level Russian officials for the purpose of winning the 2016 election. How does a meeting that Erik Prince had a week before Trump’s inauguration advance the crooked election victory plot? It doesn’t—it contradicts it. The writer goes on to point out that serious crimes have been committed which Mueller is purposefully ignoring. Prince was thrown into the middle of Russiagate after an April 3, 2017, Washington Post story reported his meeting with the Russian banker. But how did anyone know about the meeting? After the story came out, Prince said he was shown “specific evidence” by sources from the intelligence community that the information was swept up in the collection of electronic communications and his identity was unmasked. The US official or officials who gave his name to the Post broke the law when they leaked classified intelligence. “Unless the Washington Post has somehow miraculously recruited the bartender of a hotel in the Seychelles,” Prince told the House Intelligence Committee in December, “the only way that’s happening is through SIGINT [signals intelligence].” Prince’s name was unmasked and leaked from classified signals intelligence. Oddly enough, it’s the same modus operandi used in the targeting of President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. It is a federal felony to publish leaked classified information.
Ask WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about that particular unequal application of the law. The Deep State felons who are strategically leaking this information have politically weaponized our justice system and should be prosecuted for their attempts, with malice aforethought, to manufacture the overthrow of a duly elected President of the United States. The leaks and publication of classified information alone warrant investigation and prosecution to the fullest extent of the law in this matter, yet Mueller appears utterly uninterested in those crimes even as they go to the very heart of the credibility of his investigative mandate.
Yet, as I’ve demonstrated here, the man put in charge of the investigation of "Russian Collusion"; case, Robert Mueller, has perfected the art of abuse of the justice system for personal and political gain. He is uninterested in any criminal activity that does not further his cause of damaging this President. If you think that is harsh, consider the criminality of the FISA court abuses by the Obama Department of Justice and FBI. We have all heard ad nauseum about the infamous “Steele Dossier,” the opposition research document paid for by the Clinton campaign that was used to manufacture the Russia collusion narrative and spark what became the Mueller investigation into our President. On June 18, 2017, Muller protégé and disgraced former FBI Director James Comey testified in front of the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence about the Clinton campaign-funded document, telling Congress that the document was, “salacious and unverified.” https://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/08/full-text-james-comey-trump-russia-testimony-239295)
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, created a court called the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to allow secret warrants to surveil agents of foreign governments, be they U.S. citizens or non-U.S. actors. In October of 2016, the Obama DOJ/FBI successfully applied for one of these secret warrants to surveil Carter Page, a short-time Trump campaign volunteer. Since these warrants against U.S. citizens are outside of the bounds of the Constitution, they have to be renewed by applying to the court every 90 days after the first warrant application is approved. These secret warrants are so serious they have to be signed off on at the highest levels. The applications in question would have been signed off on by Obama administration FBI and DOJ officials including then FBI Director James Comey. At least one of the renewal applications would have been signed off on by our current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. At the time of the signing, they all would have had the knowledge and/or the professional and legal duty to know that the dossier was used as evidence and also had the legal duty to know the evidence origins. The same would apply to the knowledge of the penalty for submitting unverified information to the FISC for the purpose of obtaining a warrant. It is a crime to submit under the color of law an application to the FISC that contains unverified information 50 U.S. Code § 1809).
Comey’s “salacious and unverified” testimony before the Senate occurred eight months after the Clinton campaign-funded dossier was used in the first successful FISA court application to obtain a surveillance warrant against Carter Page, a Trump campaign volunteer for several months. The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence examined the documentation submitted to the court and concluded that the unverified information contained in the Steele dossier was in fact used in the FISC application, without disclosing to the court that it was an opposition research document paid for by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.
Neither the initial application in October of 2016, nor any of the renewals, disclose or reference the role of the DNC, the Clinton campaign, or any other partyn in funding Steele's efforts, even though the political origins of the Steele dossier were then known to senior DOJ and FBI officials. The timing of the applications, the inclusion of material the DOJ/FBI knew to be unverified at the time, and the successful result after this fraudulent inclusion speak to the level of criminal corruption of those who sought to destroy Donald Trump’s candidacy and still seek to overturn his election. The widespread abuse of the FISA-authorized court, FISC, was laid bare in a court memorandum of review of these abuses that was declassified in 2017 and went virtually unnoticed by the media because it didn’t fit their narrative.
These are serious crimes that, left unchecked, lead nations down the path to tyranny at the hands of people who think they know better than citizens. It’s an age-old struggle America’s Founding Fathers knew well and did everything they could to prevent from happening. The FISC judges themselves have a duty to police their own courts and call to account these bad actors who, by all facts in the documentation I’ve personally seen, have committed a fraud upon the court. If these judges do not have the integrity to self-police in this matter, we in Congress must hold them accountable using the power granted to us in the Constitution. Congress has created every single federal court in the country except the Supreme Court. We have the duty to phase out, change or disband the FISC, all while developing a better solution to address the authorization of this sort of surveillance of foreign agents and actors. It is our duty to clean up the mess that the Obama administration demonstrated is far too easy to create.
If you want answers, and you can handle the truth, join me in demanding those answers from “Special Counsel” Robert Mueller, along with his resignation. If he were to resign, it could well be the only truly moral, ethical and decent action Mueller has undertaken in this entire investigation.