Federal government insiders believe that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not have the authority to legally appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel, due to a major glaring conflict of interest in the case.
Robert Mueller worked for WilmerHale — the very firm representing Paul Manafort — when Rod Rosenstein contacted Mueller to give him the go-ahead to investigate Manafort for suspected Russia ties. That should have come up in any fair (and legally required) background check that Rosenstein should have done on Mueller.
Mueller was a partner at WilmerHale when he switched over to become Special Counsel, and he has brought members of the WilmerHale team over to his federal investigation team.
Manafort was still being represented by WilmerHale when his house was raided by federal authorities in August 2017, at which time he dropped WilmerHale as his representation.
“Acting AG Rod Rosenstein did not follow the law established to appoint a special counsel,” longtime former FBI Special Surveillance Group member Chuck Marler tells Big League Politics.
“This was made clear when he and the special counsel on Monday filed a response to Paul Manafort’s motion to dismiss. In the CFR (600.3) for special counsel it states “to ensure that a Special Counsel undergoes an appropriate background investigation and a detailed review of ethics and conflicts of interest issues“.
That’s where the entire Rosenstein-Mueller team runs into trouble.
“In the Prosecutions response to Manafort’s motion to dismiss, they provide as evidence Attachment “A” the letter from Rosenstein dated 05/17/2017 appointing Robert Mueller as special counsel. They also provide Attachment “B” the 08/02/2017 Memorandum from Rosenstein to Mueller referencing the scope of investigation and definition of authority. In the “Memorandum” Rosenstein list Manafort as a prime target “Allegations that Paul Manafort: Committed ….”!”
“Mueller was working at the WilmerHale law firm when picked as special counsel. Manafort has and was using WilmerHale as his law firm. The prosecution’s response to the motion to dismiss reveals that Rosenstein did not follow the law otherwise the background would have initially disqualified Mueller or any staff from WilmerHale or at the least would have disqualified them once Rosenstein issued the Memorandum in August revealing that Mueller’s Firm’s client Manafort as a target,” Marler said.
“Part of the Memorandum is redacted and the further question exists: is Jared Kushner in the redacted section because the fact that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are and have been client’s of Mueller’s law firm should have been reason to disqualifiy “WilmerHale insiders” during the required background check of Mueller and his staff,” Marler said.
Big League Politics has reported on Rosenstein’s own glaring conflicts of interest in the case.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein’s wife Lisa Barsoomian represented then-President Bill Clinton in a 1998-99 civil case in federal court.
Rod Rosenstein worked as a Whitewater prosecutor. In this role, he was in charge of the “FBI Travel Office” case, in which it was found that the Clinton White House illegally seized FBI files from White House travel office employees, including the Clintons’ travel director.
Rosenstein interrogated Hillary Clinton on January 14, 1998, and was seen as responsible for clearing her of potential charges in the case. By that time, Rosenstein had already been picked to work for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Maryland in the Clinton administration. When he applied to the Senate to become deputy attorney general, he falsely stated the dates he worked for Starr’s team, saying he ended his employment with Starr in 1997 (before his friendly 15-minute interrogation of Hillary Clinton).
Why did he falsify his resume to the Senate? More information is coming to light.
Rosenstein’s wife Lisa Barsoomian represented Bill Clinton in the civil case Hamburg v. Clinton filed by Wyoming candidate and political activist Al Hamburg.
That lawsuit was filed on June 11, 1998, just months after Rosenstein helped Hillary Clinton beat the rap in the Travel Office case. The case was terminated on January 25, 1999.