Thursday, August 03, 2017

I, Benjamin Harris, wish Donald Trump and nine degrees of separation lives which are solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and shortened.

Federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump's campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates' financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward, according to people familiar with the investigation.

The web of financial ties could offer a more concrete path toward potential prosecution than the broader and murkier questions of collusion in the 2016 campaign, these sources said.

No. I am not down with that. Stick to broad and murky. Isn't what the Special Counsel's raison d'etre?


...[T]o ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows: 

 (b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James 8. Corney in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including: 

     (i) any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and 

     (ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and 

     (iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).*

* This is 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a):

The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall be established by the Attorney General. The Special Counsel will be provided with a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated. 

[He got that.] 

The jurisdiction of a Special Counsel shall also include the authority to investigate and prosecute federal crimes committed in the course of, and with intent to interfere with, the Special Counsel's investigation, such as perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence, and intimidation of witnesses...

[I got no problem with that!]
(d) Sections 600.4 through 600. l 0 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are applicable to the Special Counsel.

Now, this is 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(b):

If in the course of his or her investigation the Special Counsel concludes that additional jurisdiction beyond that specified in his or her original jurisdiction is necessary in order to fully investigate and resolve the matters assigned, or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation, he or she shall consult with the Attorney General, who will determine whether to include the additional matters within the Special Counsel's jurisdiction or assign them elsewhere.

Oh. "Or assign them elsewhere." I got a problem with that. That means anything the Special Counsel undercovers will be investigated either by Special Counsel or "elsewhere." So this is my thing: I don't like that statute. It is too easy to go beyond the original jurisdiction. That is what happened with Bill Clinton. What was Ken Starr's original jurisdiction? Whitewater. Where did it go? To cum stains on Monica Lewinsky's dress. You shouldn't be able to get from there to there. What does it matter that "I don't like that statute"? (No answer needed.) That is the law. 

I have heard the analogy made to Al Capone. Never convicted of anything related to racketeering or the mafia. Got him on tax evasion. The difference is that the jurisdiction to investigate Capone was not circumscribed by special order. The investigation of De Facto is circumscribed by special order. What does that difference matter? (See above.) That's the law. 

Why can't we just have a special counsel law that limits jurisdiction to the "specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated"? Trump and nine degrees of separation colluded with the Russians, they obstructed justice; I want Trump, et al prosecuted, convicted and sentenced to the same jail cell as the Booty Bandit for Russia, not cum stains or tax evasion. Why "will"... "a specific factual statement of the matter to be investigated" be provided if the Special Counsel can go from Whitewater to cum stains? I don't know. 

...Sources described an investigation that has widened...

That's gonna happen. focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections, 


"This is like any investigation," says one person briefed on the probe. "You start at the core and then move to the periphery. You have to explore the finances. Where this is going is no different from any investigation."

I suggest Congress re-write 28 C.F.R. § 600.4 to require "narrowed," "connected" and "core" and give immunity--Yes, give immunity!--to "widened", "unconnected" and "periphery."

The possible financial ties between Trump and Russia were part of the concerns for US intelligence and law enforcement officials from the beginning...

Over the decades, the Trump real estate business and its financial dealings have come under scrutiny by the FBI and the Justice Department multiple times.

Since the FBI scrutinized Trump "multiple times" "for decades" and brought no charges he should be immune from prosecution for those same things under the special counsel order.

In some cases, the FBI was pursuing others who did business with the Trump organization, including alleged mobsters who controlled key contractors used by many real estate developers in New York during the 1980s. The flow of Russian money in real estate -- and concerns that some buyers were making the purchases to illegally launder money -- had also drawn some attention by US authorities to the Trump business.
...some FBI officials fear the question of whether there was any criminal coordination or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia may never be answered.

No! If the question cannot be answered in the affirmative then it is answered in the negative! 

...the FBI and Mueller's prosecution team may not have enough evidence to bring charges related to possible illegal coordination with a foreign intelligence service. Instead, prosecutors could pursue financial crime charges unrelated to the election.

That's the problem with 28 C.F.R. § 600.4. If Mueller doesn't have the evidence to bring charges for collusion then he should wide up his affairs, not pursue unrelated crimes. But, that's not the law. Oh well! Trump, I would recommend sticking a dildo up your ass regularly, if you do not already follow that particular practice, as training for the Booty Bandit.