Posted originally on CTH on December 19, 2022 | sundance
The timing of stuff and the context of the historic reference points matter when looking at any story involving the DOJ. Failing to understand the background context leads to mistaken impressions, false assumptions, corrupt hidden actors getting away with prior misconduct and generally flawed analysis. That is the accurate takeaway from a story that seems to have gained attention amid the professionally republican class of punditry.
Here at CTH we have dropped the pretending, focus on the evidence and call the baby ugly when warranted.
Today’s outrage du jour surrounds Kash Patel sharing documents with John Solomon about a subpoena dated November 20, 2017, targeting investigative staff from the House Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI). [Article Here] Dates matter. Redactions matter.
Who redacted this document?… Kash Patel? John Solomon? or the DOJ? It matters.
In November of 2017, everything related to the Trump-Russia operation was being handled at the Dept of Justice by lead DOJ Special Counsel official Andrew Weissmann under the auspices of what is commonly called the Mueller probe or ‘Mueller investigation‘. On November 20, 2017, the main focus of Weissmann was the guilty plea of Michael Flynn which was at its apex and was later signed November 30, 2017.
The public battle on Capitol Hill November 2017, was between HPSCI and Main Justice. Nunes -vs- Schiff -vs- FBI -vs- Main Justice -vs- White House -vs- Special Counsel. Each entity competing for the public and political narrative.
In his later (June 2020) Senate testimony, Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein testified that Weissmann/Mueller were in charge of everything at Main Justice and he was used as a go-between liaison between congress, the White House and the DOJ. Rosenstein gave Weissmann/Mueller full autonomy, full authority, and never once questioned a request from them. Put simply, Rosenstein said Mueller and Weissmann called every shot in the DOJ that had anything even remotely associated with Trump-Russia, which was essentially everything at Main Justice for two years.
As a result of that context, any subpoena against Kash Patel or any other member of the HPSCI would have come from the Weissmann/Mueller probe, NOT Rod Rosenstein.
Rosenstein gave Weissmann/Mueller expanded scope authority twice in 2017 from the original scope memo in May. The final expanded scope memo authorized the targeting of Michael Flynn Jr happened in October of 2017, and that authority was used to coerce the guilty plea from his father, Michael Flynn Sr, a few weeks later.
Mueller and Weissmann issued hundreds of subpoenas to telecommunications companies [156 pages of search warrants documented here]. As a result, it’s not accurate to say the DOJ was subpoenaing Kash Patel phone records because that lets the guilty party off the hook. It also downplays the corrupt intent of the Mueller probe.
Any subpoena targeting Kash Patel in/around November of 2017 would be coming from the Andrew Weissmann team.
There was a widely reported clash in 2018 between the HPSCI (Nunes and Patel) and Rod Rosenstein who was in the position of liaison because conniving and duplicitous Andrew Weissmann used DAG Rosenstein as a tool and willing shield. [Article Here] Essentially, that June 2018 article involved Rosenstein allegedly threatening to subpoena the records of Nunes and Patel if they kept pushing aggressively on the Mueller probe. However, the November 2017 subpoena is not that.
Kash Patel is making an ipso facto argument with the recently received evidence of the November 2017 subpoena in hand using flawed hindsight.
Who keeps escaping scrutiny as all these flawed assumptions are being made? The Mueller Team.
Andrew Weissmann et al were running Main Justice for two years (May 2017 through Feb 2019). Nothing that happened in the context of the FBI, CIA, DOJ-NSD or Main Justice that had anything to do with Trump-Russia did not come directly as a result of the Mueller/Weissmann probe.
Weissmann had full control, including any subpoena that would have been targeting Kash Patel.
Back to the original question, who did the redacting?