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H2O Man

(73,741 posts)
Thu Aug 3, 2017, 09:58 PM Aug 2017

A Secret Team [View all]

I thought it might be interesting to say a few words about the news that Mr. Mueller is running a federal grand jury that is looking into the Trump-Russian scandal, including a focus on administration attempts to obstruct justice. Although I am bone-tired, as well as sore from falling backwards onto a downed tree on my lawn last night, I am hoping this attempt is coherent. Or semi-coherent, as the case may be. Please excuse any confusing statements or errors in thinking, for I am old and feeble.

Before addressing the federal grand jury directly, I'd like to suggest forum members read a 1973 book, titled “The Secret Team,” by Fletcher Prouty. At the time, Col. Prouty's book detailed some of the history of the intelligence community's destabilizing and overthrowing foreign governments. At the time, of course, it was of special interest to those who were following the series of crimes known collectively as the Watergate scandal.

However, before the 1974 events that “resolved” Watergate, the book literally disappeared. Copies were even removed from the shelves of public libraries across the country. Luckily, it was re-published in 2011. It is definitely worth reading today.

The “secret team” is those who carry out specific operations for what some call the “shadow government,” or the “machine.” And that's made up of a variety of individuals who are connected to large corporations (including, of course, the military-industrial complex), intelligence agencies, and also found within major universities and the news media.

While the tactics the secret team used in under-developed countries in the 1950s and '60s are somewhat different in appearance to those used in more modern times, they share many common threads. Obviously, advances in technology have also created new opportunities to destabilize a country. Indeed, one of the two primary goals of the Russians who aided the Trump campaign was to stir the pot in the US, to destabilize our constitutional democracy.

Note: I do have some friends and associates who ask me if it is not hypocritical to be outraged by Russia doing to the US what the US has done in other countries? Or who ask if the DNC and campaign documents hacked and released were not true? My answer is simply that I believe in the concepts defined by The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution – especially the Bill of Right – and believe they are worth protecting. The Founding Fathers, imperfect as they were, expressed valid concerns about the potential for foreign influence in our system of government.

I'm also pretty keen on that Statue of Liberty that has been discussed in the past 36 hours. My matertnal grandfather helped quarry the stone it sits upon. I love that wonderful poem – which Jesse Jackson quoted at a Democratic National Convention years ago. These things have meaning to me. They illustrate the Power of Ideas.

Now, before addressing the history of the Magna Carta – an associate employed in an east coast law office that is currently opposing the Trump administration recommended a good book on it yesterday, while we were discussing “current events” – let's consider one more tactic of destabilization of “civilized” nations. The idea is to place one or more reliable people in an office that will try to facilitate a bloodless transfer of power shortly before a crisis reaches its climax stage. That person (or persons) are someone the targeted leader tends to trust, at least initially.

If, for example, we were looking at a new chief of staff for a leader, we might expect him to assure someone at risk – say, an attorney general – that he is not going to be fired, and should not resign. This would not be because of any respect for that person, who we might refer to as “Sessions” for this discussion. It's because that chief of staff – let's call him “John Kelly” – is insuring the on-going operation is not derailed by a paranoid president.

A federal investigator-prosecutor might also take steps to make such attempts to derail her/his on-going investigation, by impaneling a federal grand jury. To add a little context, a number of elected representatives in both houses of Congress have discussed creating a legal challenge if Trump attempts to have Mr. Mueller fired. Such an attempt is certainly not beyond Trump. It could create a constitutional crisis that might well need to be settled in the courts.

One of the institutions most respected within the federal legal community is that of the federal grand jury. This is one of the stones that serves as a foundation for our legal system. It is described in Amendment 5. And, of course, it is a concept that dates back to the Magna Carta.

Grand juries consider evidence in serious crimes. They do not look into misdemeanors or violations. Federal grand juries, for example, tend to investigate matters involving organized crime – including those involving government corruption.

One of the easier charges to consider in the Trump-Russian scandal would be any administration attempt to obstruct justice. A federal judge picks the jury (no one “applies” for a seat on the jury). The prosecutor explains the particulars of what is being looked into to the jurors, then calls witnesses. First, she/he will question a witness, then the head juror has the option, then the rest of the jury can. A witness can refuse to answer, based upon the Fifth, but a grand jury can also compel testimony by granting immunity to prosecution. However, a person representing a group (say, a bank) can not refuse to testify or produce documents requested by the grand jury.

A number of legal experts are correctly reporting on television this evening that a federal grand jury does not always return an indictment. While true, this is extremely rare. And it definitely is not going to be the case here.

On the issue of the Trump associates coordinating with the Russians, it seems likely that Mr. Mueller has more than enough to present on both Manafort and Flynn already. The only issue there is which one has enough information of value to be granted a deal to implicate someone higher up. Keep in mind that both are notorious liars, and might not be a compelling witness without other sources (individuals or documents).

Perhaps most encouraging is that the grand jury is investigating the June, 2016 meeting with Russians that involved Don, Jr., Kushner, and Manafort. I can say that the grand jury is not interested in adopting the administration's cover story. However, I can say with confidence that they are mighty interested in the documents that the Russian attorney brought to the meeting. And to document the other communications and meetings that took place after that initial get-together.

We are living in historic times.

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A Secret Team [View all] H2O Man Aug 2017 OP
You might be old, my dear H20 Man, but you are certainly not feeble. CaliforniaPeggy Aug 2017 #1
You are kind. H2O Man Aug 2017 #2
Your youngest daughter is very wise coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #43
I will, H2O Man Aug 2017 #46
Good coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #47
Being home H2O Man Aug 2017 #49
you are indeed coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #54
Historic Times apkhgp Aug 2017 #3
Thank you! H2O Man Aug 2017 #8
Representation apkhgp Aug 2017 #16
I just love that this made the news before the Con's holiday malaise Aug 2017 #4
Ha! H2O Man Aug 2017 #9
You Betcha malaise Aug 2017 #14
As for the leaked Clinton emails, what was so damning and terrible in them? AJT Aug 2017 #5
I don't think H2O Man Aug 2017 #10
Right, it was the DNC emails that were hacked. There AJT Aug 2017 #17
That they were H2O Man Aug 2017 #20
There's no there there TrogL Aug 2017 #27
I think the H2O Man Aug 2017 #38
K&R... spanone Aug 2017 #6
Thank you! H2O Man Aug 2017 #11
kick Dawson Leery Aug 2017 #7
Thanks! H2O Man Aug 2017 #12
Not Buying It Me. Aug 2017 #13
I do not know H2O Man Aug 2017 #15
He Should Stop Going To Jared Me. Aug 2017 #19
Excellent post canetoad Aug 2017 #18
Thanks. H2O Man Aug 2017 #21
Thank you canetoad Aug 2017 #24
The codes ...... H2O Man Aug 2017 #25
Thanks for the clarification, Mme. Defarge Aug 2017 #52
Merci! Mme. Defarge Aug 2017 #51
Is this like John Perkins' Confessions of an Economic Hit Man? Ilsa Aug 2017 #22
Exactly. H2O Man Aug 2017 #23
Recommended. klook Aug 2017 #26
Thank you. H2O Man Aug 2017 #28
Joy Reid interviewing H2O Man Aug 2017 #29
I would like to respectfully offer that it is not hypocritical to to be outraged by foreign lutherj Aug 2017 #30
Right. H2O Man Aug 2017 #33
K&R!!!!!! burrowowl Aug 2017 #31
Thank you, burrowowl! H2O Man Aug 2017 #34
Thank you for your essays! burrowowl Aug 2017 #63
I've been coming to DU over a decade... oxbow Aug 2017 #32
Well, thank you! H2O Man Aug 2017 #36
As usual, a most intriguing read, H2O Man! calimary Aug 2017 #35
Thanks, calimary! H2O Man Aug 2017 #37
Sheesh, that's the understatement of the year. calimary Aug 2017 #67
Exceptionally provocative and informative post. BarbD Aug 2017 #39
Thanks, BarbD! H2O Man Aug 2017 #40
Great piece but one sentence is unclear lostnfound Aug 2017 #41
Proof positive! H2O Man Aug 2017 #42
Hope you are feeling well today Deb Aug 2017 #44
Thank you, Deb! H2O Man Aug 2017 #48
A grand jury was also impaneled coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #45
Looking back, H2O Man Aug 2017 #50
Excellent Analysis Me. Aug 2017 #53
one person higher than Flynn coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #55
Yes. H2O Man Aug 2017 #56
didn't know coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #57
Take care of yourself lunatica Aug 2017 #58
Thanks! H2O Man Aug 2017 #68
K&R...Thanks for posting red dog 1 Aug 2017 #59
Thanks for this! H2O Man Aug 2017 #69
Hope you are feeling better. Appreciate your cogent analysis. suffragette Aug 2017 #60
Thanks! H2O Man Aug 2017 #70
Yep, same here, healing takes longer than it used to. Glad you are recovering. suffragette Aug 2017 #76
2 grand juries? coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #61
Right. H2O Man Aug 2017 #71
Amazing articulate analysis... llmart Aug 2017 #62
Popcorn and wine! H2O Man Aug 2017 #72
Agreed coeur_de_lion Aug 2017 #77
Thank you from another admirer. PWPippinesq Aug 2017 #64
Thank you! H2O Man Aug 2017 #73
An excellent post as usual ms liberty Aug 2017 #65
Yikes! H2O Man Aug 2017 #74
this is brilliant! I love you waterman! Horse with no Name Aug 2017 #66
Thanks! H2O Man Aug 2017 #75
I would never laugh! Horse with no Name Aug 2017 #78
There have been H2O Man Aug 2017 #79
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