by WorldTribune Staff, March 22, 2018
Special counsel Robert Mueller and his team’s top attorney, Andrew Weissmann, are carrying “troubling baggage,” having been prominently involved in two significant scandals in the FBI’s history, a report said.
The “integrity” of Mueller’s “investigation and of the investigators must be a paramount priority in our criminal justice system at all times,” David Schoen, a civil rights and defense attorney, told investigative journalist Sara Carter in a report published on March 22.
“Certainly this fundamental guiding principle must be followed when it comes to an investigation of the duly elected President of the United States. The outcome potentially affects every one of us in very real terms…There were many alternatives to Mr. Mueller and his team and all of their very troubling baggage.”
Weissmann, who had been Mueller’s legal adviser for national security in 2005 and later was selected by Mueller to be his General Counsel at the FBI, has been described by The New York Times as Mueller’s “pit bull”.
“It made sense for Mueller, who left his $3.4 million a year job at the top D.C. law firm WilmerHale, to bring Weissmann with him to the special counsel team to investigate President Trump and his alleged collusion with Russia in the 2016 election,” Carter wrote. “Weissmann, was a specialist in tracking financing and corruption, was at the time head of the Department of Justice’s criminal fraud section. Mueller saw nobody better than Weissmann to help navigate the murky waters of the investigation and Weissmann was lauded by some and criticized by others, for doing whatever it took to win a case.”
Mueller “was also aware of critical issues with Weissmann’s handling of the Enron and Arthur Anderson cases, as well as his involvement in the Eastern District of New York’s case against the Colombo crime family,” Carter wrote.
The Colombo case in the 1990s “was the first of many” cases that Weissmann drew criticism for and “would be one of the FBI’s biggest blunders,” Carter wrote. “Judge Charles P. Sifton reprimanded Weissmann for withholding evidence from the defense. Weissmann allowed a corrupt FBI agent to testify against the defendants in the case despite having knowledge that the agent was under investigation. The agent had a nefarious relationship with a reputed underboss of the Colombo crime family, who was accused later of numerous murders, court records reveal.”
Mueller, meanwhile, “had similar troubles during the 1980s in Boston when he was Acting U.S. Attorney from 1986 through 1987. Under Mueller’s watch in Boston, another one of the FBI’s most scandalous cases occurred. At the time, an FBI agent by the name of John Connolly, who is now in prison for murder-related charges, had been the handler for James ‘Whitey’ Bulger. Bulger, who Connolly aided in escaping FBI custody in the 90s, was a notorious mobster and murderer who had been working as a confidential informant for the FBI against other crime syndicates in the Boston area. Mueller, who oversaw the FBI during his time there, was criticized by the media and congressional members for how the situation in Boston was handled. Bulger, who committed numerous murders during his time as an informant, disappeared for more than 16 years until he was finally captured in California in 2011; by that time Mueller was director of the FBI.”
“Many have suggested (Mueller) never should have been FBI Director, a position in which he then hired Weissmann to be his counsel – and, of course, Weissmann presided over the No. 1 most corrupt relationship between an FBI agent (Lyn Devecchio) and his informant (Greg Scarpa, Sr.),” Schoen said.
See Carter’s full report here