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Fri May 19, 2017, 06:46 PM

White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources

Source: Reuters

The Trump administration is exploring whether it can use an obscure ethics rule to undermine the special counsel investigation into ties between President Donald Trump's campaign team and Russia, two people familiar with White House thinking said on Friday.

Trump has said that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein's hiring of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation "hurts our country terribly."

Within hours of Mueller's appointment on Wednesday, the White House began reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations, which restricts newly hired government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm’s clients for one year after their hiring, the sources said.

An executive order signed by Trump in January extended that period to two years.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mueller-idUSKCN18F2KK

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Reply White House looking at ethics rule to weaken special investigation: sources (Original post)
brooklynite May 19 OP
C_U_L8R May 19 #1
Bernardo de La Paz May 19 #2
unblock May 19 #3
elleng May 19 #5
chillfactor May 19 #8
unblock May 19 #10
elleng May 19 #11
unblock May 19 #13
elleng May 19 #15
unblock May 19 #17
elleng May 19 #18
emulatorloo May 19 #26
Honeycombe8 May 20 #36
Amaryllis May 19 #4
elleng May 19 #6
emulatorloo May 19 #27
bucolic_frolic May 19 #7
riversedge May 19 #22
sheshe2 May 19 #9
dalton99a May 19 #23
Baitball Blogger May 19 #12
herding cats May 19 #14
riversedge May 19 #21
dhill926 May 19 #25
rzemanfl May 19 #16
WePurrsevere May 19 #19
notdarkyet May 19 #20
flibbitygiblets May 19 #24
briv1016 May 19 #31
Laura PourMeADrink May 20 #37
Laura PourMeADrink May 20 #38
itsrobert May 19 #28
Mz Pip May 19 #29
3hummingbirds May 19 #30
Massacure May 19 #32
TomCADem May 19 #35
mackdaddy May 19 #33
Skittles May 19 #34
mulsh May 20 #39

Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:48 PM

1. Y'know, the maneuvers really don't help their case.

In fact, the Trumps end up looking guilt as fuck.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:48 PM

2. Reports like this show just how conscious the White House is of their guilt. . . . nt

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:49 PM

3. leave it to benedict donald to use an ethics rule for unethical purposes.

that said, maybe there was a more independent choice for special counsel.

not that that's donnie's goal, of course....

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Response to unblock (Reply #3)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:52 PM

5. MORE independent than Mueller?

Unlikely, imo.

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:57 PM

8. agreed 100%....

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:00 PM

10. i was happy with the pick, but if donnie was a client, that's a problem.

then again, i'd wager that every major law firm has had donnie as a client....


but think about it, if mueller goes light on donnie, we'll all scream foul.

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Response to unblock (Reply #10)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:01 PM

11. Unlikely trump a client:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmer_Cutler_Pickering_Hale_and_Dorr

edit BUT represents Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner,

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Response to elleng (Reply #11)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:05 PM

13. then the ethics rule wouldn't apply

well, it could apply if others under investigation were clients, not necessarily donnie in particular.

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Response to unblock (Reply #13)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:09 PM

15. Right, jared.

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Response to elleng (Reply #15)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:15 PM

17. then mueller could navigate around that, i would think.

mueller wouldn't personally get involved in the case against jared; he could hire someone from a different law firm to work that case. mueller would then focus on non-clients (flynn? trump? his kids?)

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Response to unblock (Reply #17)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:18 PM

18. Depends on nature of any action against jared;

he may be somehow insulated, for a while at least.

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Response to unblock (Reply #13)


Response to unblock (Reply #10)

Sat May 20, 2017, 12:16 AM

36. Jared Kushner & Manafort are/were clients of Mueller's FIRM.

Mueller never represented them personally.

Here's more from a Reuters article:

"The Justice Department is already reviewing Mueller's background as well as any potential conflicts of interest, said department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Even if the Justice Department granted a waiver, the White House would consider using the ethics rule to create doubt about Mueller's ability to do his job fairly, the sources said. Administration legal advisers have been asked to determine if there is a basis for this.

Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements."


http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-mueller-idUSKCN18F2KK

In other words, they're going to publicly attack him personally, for ethics. Continuing in the Trump pattern of behaving unprofessionally, mean, vindictive, spiteful, and personal. Expect lots of tweets. "UNFAIR!" "SPECIAL COUNSEL UNETHICAL! UNFAIR!" "WITCH HUNT BY SC!" "PERSONAL VENDETTA AGAINST MY FAMILY!" "SON IN LAW DIDN'T WANT MUELLER TO REPRESENT HIM, SO MUELLER TAKING REVENGE!"

I wouldn't think this would work. But who knows? Times are crazy. I worked for law firms for decades. Big law firms represent at some time almost everyone who is anyone. It's not uncommon to leave a firm and work on cases against clients of prior firm, as long as the particular lawyer isn't the one who represented that client. But laypeople may not understand the situation.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:52 PM

4. Who was whose prior law firm's former client?

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Response to Amaryllis (Reply #4)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:56 PM

6. 'In addition to his speaking and teaching roles, Mueller also joined the law firm WilmerHale

as a partner in its Washington, D.C. office in 2014.[19] Among other roles while at the firm, he oversaw the independent investigation into the NFL's conduct surrounding the video that appeared to show NFL player Ray Rice assaulting his fiancée.[20] In January 2016, he was appointed as Settlement Master in the U.S. consumer litigation over the Volkswagen emissions scandal; as of May 11, 2017, the scandal has resulted in $11.2 billion in customer settlements.[21] On October 19, 2016, Mueller began an external review of "security, personnel, and management processes and practices" at government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton after an employee was indicted for massive data theft from the National Security Agency.[22] On April 6, 2017, he was appointed as Special Master for disbursement of $850 million and $125 million for automakers and consumers, respectively, affected by rupture-prone Takata airbags.[23]'

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Mueller

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilmer_Cutler_Pickering_Hale_and_Dorr


LOTS of clients, as with most other big firms.

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Response to elleng (Reply #6)

Fri May 19, 2017, 08:19 PM

27. Yup. This "ethics" complaint is as fake as the claims Trump fired Comey for being mean to Hillary.

Thanks for the links.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:57 PM

7. Good luck

throwing out a highly respected former FBI Director

I don't think Congress - Republican or Democrat - would support such a maneuver

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #7)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:43 PM

22. My guess it that Congressional Repugs would be silent (like most are now) -if they carried out these

plans of attack!! --plus RW radio, websites, conservative PACs would go 24/7 with Trump.



...........If the department did not grant a waiver, Mueller would be barred from investigating Kushner or Manafort, and this could greatly diminish the scope of the probe, experts said.

The Justice Department is already reviewing Mueller's background as well as any potential conflicts of interest, said department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Even if the Justice Department granted a waiver, the White House would consider using the ethics rule to create doubt about Mueller's ability to do his job fairly, the sources said. Administration legal advisers have been asked to determine if there is a basis for this.

Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements.

Moreover, the White House has not ruled out the possibility of using the rule to challenge Mueller’s findings in court, should the investigation lead to prosecution.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 06:57 PM

9. They would not be doing this...

unless they were all al guilty as hell.

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #9)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:45 PM

23. Precisely.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:03 PM

12. Do you remember when this kind of talk would have called for immediate demands for impeachment?

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:08 PM

14. They really couldn't care less about the optics of what they do.

This makes them appear all the more guilty.

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Response to herding cats (Reply #14)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:40 PM

21. But look at their plan of what they would do--and they would have hate radio, fox, blaring it 24/7..




......If the department did not grant a waiver, Mueller would be barred from investigating Kushner or Manafort, and this could greatly diminish the scope of the probe, experts said.

The Justice Department is already reviewing Mueller's background as well as any potential conflicts of interest, said department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores.

Even if the Justice Department granted a waiver, the White House would consider using the ethics rule to create doubt about Mueller's ability to do his job fairly, the sources said. Administration legal advisers have been asked to determine if there is a basis for this.


Under this strategy, the sources said the administration would raise the issue in press conferences and public statements.

Moreover, the White House has not ruled out the possibility of using the rule to challenge Mueller’s findings in court, should the investigation lead to prosecution.

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Response to riversedge (Reply #21)

Fri May 19, 2017, 08:14 PM

25. yep...you just know this is how they're gonna play it...

and it may work...

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:10 PM

16. I find it hard to believe this wasn't known before the appointment of Mueller.

This may force an up or down vote in Congress on Mueller's appointment. It would be hard for Repukes who praised him to say, "No, we are going to follow an obscure regulation that Drumpf modified with an Executive Order."

Could be three dimensional chess on either side of the board. Or just another Washington fuck up.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:29 PM

19. This is NOT the way innocent people behave.

All this type of bs does is make them look more guilty.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:32 PM

20. They let sessions in despite his perjury , price in spite of financial crimes, Flynn in spite

Of acting paid for turkey and Russia. So I don't see the big deal here.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 07:59 PM

24. An executive order signed by Trump in January extended that period to two years.

That last line is haunting.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #24)

Fri May 19, 2017, 09:58 PM

31. Which means we'll likely see another extending to 8 years.

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #24)

Sat May 20, 2017, 09:55 AM

37. RIGHT. That is what stood out to me. Of course, Trump wouldn't have known anything about

Mueller appointment in January. Why did Trump find it SO important in January when he had just got in to sign this executive order to extend the wait period. Gotta be something to that - I need to look that up and see

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Response to flibbitygiblets (Reply #24)

Sat May 20, 2017, 10:06 AM

38. Weird - Reuters was saying that Trump extended from 1 year to 2, right...but...

What Are the Restrictions on Incoming Appointees?
1. Two-year ban on participating in any matter directly and substantially related to their former employers or clients

The Ethics Executive Order requires all incoming appointees to pledge that for two years from the date of their appointments, they will not participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to their former employers or clients, including regulations and contracts. This requirement applies to any incoming appointee, whether or not he or she was a lobbyist before entering service. This requirement and the relevant defined terms are unchanged from President Obama’s Executive Order on ethics.

https://www.perkinscoie.com/en/news-insights/executive-order-adds-ethics-commitments-for-executive-branch.html

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 08:21 PM

28. Yet, he wants to name Lieberman as FBI Director

who is actually working for Trump right now.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 08:22 PM

29. Who said irony is dead?

Can't make this stuff up.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 08:23 PM

30. Ethics rule

Of course he will try to use obscure rules. Nothing is his fault. His staff did it, the Dems are at fault, the media lies. He lies every time he opens his mouth.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:15 PM

32. My guess is that Rosenstein grants a waiver to that ethics rule.

From the article:

Kathleen Clark, a professor of legal ethics at Washington University School of Law, said the Justice Department can grant a waiver if concerns about bias are minimal.


Given that Mueller ran the FBI for 12 years and that Mueller never represented Manafort nor Kushner, I'm thinking the concerns of bias are minimal.

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Response to Massacure (Reply #32)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:21 PM

35. Would Not Put It Past Trump to Fire Rosenstein...

...unlike the Nixon era, today's Republicans are in too deep with Trump to complain. Look at how they backed Trump's firing of Comey.

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:20 PM

33. Trump could then end up with TWO special Counsel/prosecutors at the same time! Per statute writer..

Rachel Maddow had on the the former Justice Department guy again who wrote the current JD rules for the Special Councel.

He said that if Muller were recused from the hand full of persons who used his law firm, that a Second Special counsel could then be appointed and they both would be operating at the same time!



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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Fri May 19, 2017, 11:20 PM

34. this is how innocent people behave

*NOT*

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Response to brooklynite (Original post)

Sat May 20, 2017, 10:28 AM

39. Perhaps the ABA Journal has a valid take on this issue. Shall we see?

[link:http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/justice_department_will_conduct_conflicts_review_involving_mueller_and_his/|

my money is with the people who provide the most valid and factual information.

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