Has Mueller Already Been Subpoenaed in a Re-Impaneled Uranium One Investigation?
by NORMAN BALL
As the time seems ripe, we revisit here Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert’s (R) much ridiculed Uranium One chart presented at The House Judiciary Committee Committee Oversight hearing on November 14, 2017.
Just prior to this hearing at a November 7th press conference, Gohmert had argued for Independent Counsel Robert Mueller’s dismissal on the grounds that he was, “engaged in the cover-up of the initial Russian investigation that revealed Russia was trying to corner the market on uranium.”
Demands for Mueller’s dismissal have come from a variety of sources. In a November 9th Fox News interview, Congressman Jim Jordan echoed his Texas colleague, saying, “Robert Mueller, I think, in light of what we’ve also recently learned, relative to the Uranium One Deal, surely seems a bit compromised to me.”
As for the chart, even Stephen Colbert took a satiric swing. Colbert, by the way, is the same guy who ridiculed President Trump for tweeting he’d been wiretapped by his predecessor at Trump Tower. Guffaw, guffaw. (“This is a serious allegation. This may be the most serious allegation any President has ever made against a previous President”; see 2:23 here).
Colbert’s right for once. The wiretap allegation is off-the-charts serious. It’s even more off-the-charts because Obama did wiretap Trump. We await the vetted contrition monologue from Little Stevie’s Operation Mockingbird handlers. Stay tuned.
The devil lies not in the details or in a gleeful picking apart of the chart’s spaghetti loops and half-nelsons, though its detractors had great fun doing just that. Like the Nazca lines, the true import of the chart strikes the observer at the highest altitudes, in its powerful conveyance of the sprawling immensity of an interlocking corruption that seemed to travel in a business-as-usual manner with the day-to-day workings of the Obama Administration.
While the rightful focus of concern and alarm should be (and will be increasingly in the coming weeks and months) focused on the Obama/Clinton end of Russian collusion and more, misgivings are not easily dispelled (for this writer) that the real, long-term problem for the Republic is systemic, not episodic or of narrow political motive.
Now that the Deep State has been compelled, out of a heightened sense of self-preservation, to surface for the knife fight of its life, partisanship resembles more of the Quigley-esque sham that it always was. Let’s keep it simple. Practically everyone with a stake in power regardless of party affiliation (what The Conservative Treehouse has taken to calling the Uniparty) sans perhaps the military and Admiral Rogers’ NSA is arrayed against Trump.
Trump is an interloper who parachuted in. Whereas the rest of them spent years on their backs atop lobbyist-installed mattresses getting to where they got. Make no mistake. Ryan and McConnell hate Trump with a venom (born of self-loathing) that exceeds the Democratic leadership’s less covert disdain.
However, transcending even this epic struggle is the reality that influence-peddling has become the oxygen that makes things go. Institutional trespasses have been committed whose precedential gravity (in a cultural sense) are not easily undone. No one wants to see the whole Obama-Clinton in leg-irons more than this writer. Without doubt, they were delivering us into a globalist hellhole. However globalism is a millennia-long project. While Trumpism might succeed as a powerful cleansing agent, the salutary effects will be short-lived. This obligates us no less to pursue them.
Fortunately for us, the particular flavor of hubris we faced was self-congratulatory overconfidence. They thought they’d already reached home-base where treason and sedition no longer applied. In fact they were only on third base and Trump tagged them out. How else to explain their gratuitous carelessness, the endless reams of emails and messages? And may we say, thank G-d for those endless reams.
Nor should the aggressive prosecution of crimes be hindered in the least by the concern similar crimes are bound to be committed in the future by a system that is, sadly, wed to malfeasance of one sort or another. That would be ridiculous.
Still, in some troubling sense, the System has become the Conspiracy. The Disease has become the Patient. Justice is asymmetrically surrounded and opposed by an ethos of evil. Without doubt, the only effective cure will be one that nearly the kills the patient. Is the nation ready for this? We need a Truth and Reconciliation process so wrenching, so soul-searching and so universally accusatory that it risks the very real prospect of civil war. Nothing less will do.
After arguing away the chart’s details, it’s time to summon one back. That’s Robert Mueller, surprise, surprise. The Congressmen are right to belabor his profound unsuitability. For, more than anyone else (the others have by and large relinquished formal power) he still exerts profound influence over the course of the nation’s business and future. (Mueller’s name can be found on the upper-right-hand-side of the chart.)
First, there’s the obvious. How can an active participant in a potentially criminal enterprise be trusted to beat the truth out of himself no matter where that truth might lead, while simultaneously conducting the business of Independent Counsel over the same potentially criminal enterprise? Is Mueller capable of asking Mueller, perhaps with the assistance of his shaving mirror, What did I/you know and when did I/you know it?
Finally, if the Sessions recusal does little more than inject yet another layer of potential compromise, how has the process benefited from the recusal? An IC appointment should shed conflicts, not pile more on.
But wait. Perhaps we fret in vain.
While many may question Mueller’s ability to render a comprehensive Russian collusion investigation in all its trans-party, myriad permutations, is he technically compromised, in this instance, from fulfilling what amounts to a rather narrow mandate as Special Counsel?
That answer appears to be no, provided one agrees with the narrow part. But narrow it seems to be.
Citing Paul Manafort’s motion earlier this week to dismiss all charges against him on the grounds that anything not related to the 2016 campaign falls outside the scope of AG Session’s recusal and thus outside the scope of Mueller’s mandate, Robert Barnes offers this:
“Sessions only recused himself from “any existing or future investigations of any matters related in any way to the campaigns for President of the United States.” This recusal letter limits the scope of Sessions’ recusal to the 2016 campaigns; it does not authorize Sessions’ recusal for anything beyond that. Constitutionally, Sessions has a “duty to direct and supervise litigation” conducted by the Department of Justice. Ethically, professionally, and legally, Sessions cannot ignore his supervisory obligations for cases that are not related to the “campaigns for President.”
Using the same logic, shouldn’t Mueller –compromise notwithstanding– be precluded anyway from investigating Uranium One since the latter does not fall within AG Sessions’ recusal parameters? (Hold the wild horses. Little horsepower is needed to pull Mueller away from anything that smacks of the Democratic collusion narrative. Even Bigfoot’s been caught up in Mueller’s impervious net.) For the moment, while it remains to be seen whether the Manafort motion bears fruit, the ramifications could prove to be wide-ranging, if not fatal, to the Mueller probe.
But if not Mueller, then who for all the other ‘non-Trump’ stuff? Sessions’ authority, when not otherwise bound by recusal, is implicitly delegated to his DOJ line-staff.
So how about US Attorney for the Arkansas Eastern District, Corey Hiland, a September 2017 Trump appointee? Though there’s little corroborating evidence anywhere else, a Yournewswirearticle suggests that is precisely what has happened. A Little Rock Grand Jury ‘reportedly’ has been impaneled. Let us see.
And, while it may not be emanating out of Arkansas, the January 2018 indictment of the Maryland transportation company executive for bribing the sole supplier and exporter of Russian uranium suggests some recent movement on the Uranium One front.
Were Hiland to resuscitate the Clinton Foundation, lost email and pay-for-play investigations, there’s no shortage of sealed subpoenas within DOJ left over from the last guy who took a crack, US Attorney Dana Boente, before the plug was pulled.
As tireless cataloger-of-Clinton-Foundation-abuse Charles Ortel reminds us (here at 0:56) that a Grand Jury was convened in the Eastern District of Virginia in July 2015 under Boente’s supervision. Surely this aborted investigation could be resumed, with its significant inheritance of evidentiary material, this time under Hiland’s aegis, if it hasn’t already?
While there are tantalizing indications on the Internet about a re-opened Clinton Foundation investigation in Little Rock (See WSJ here), the impaneling of a Grand Jury has not been confirmed. Keep in mind that this, in itself, would not be unusual given the stealth and secrecy of such proceedings especially in high-visibility cases.
As for the clamoring among Republican Congresspeople for a ‘second Special Counsel’, even they would be unaware that an impaneled Grand Jury was already in existence given the secrecy afforded such executive branch actions. The indispensable Conservative Treehouse has been alone in pointing out this Congressional blind-spot (which seems to befuddle even Republican Congresspeople; see Rep. Darrell Issa just this past Sunday), as it has been alone on so many breakthroughs throughout this saga.
Nonetheless curious scenarios spring to mind. For example, what if Mueller has already been subpoenaed before an Arkansas Grand Jury to answer questions about his role in Uranium One? The Gohmert chart argues that, if such a Jury exists, then by all rights he should be.
Prepare to expect the unexpected as the collusion boomerang enters its return arc. The Pasture of the Brazen Blue Donkey lies dead in its sights.