In yet another conflict of interest surrounding special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, one of Mueller’s top prosecutors, Andrew Weissmann, has been exposed for having praised and encouraged former acting Attorney General Sally Yates when she refused to enforce President Trump’s travel ban.
Conservative watchdog Judicial Watch released two sets of documents Tuesday they obtained through a May 2017 Freedom of Information Act from the Justice Department. One set included 335 pages of documents, and the other, 44 pages.
Included in the documents are emails sent to Yates from officials within the Justice Department, after she refused to follow Trump’s orders on his January 27 executive order, which sought a travel ban from seven Middle Eastern countries. Three days after the order, Yates instructed the Justice Department that it should not defend Trump’s order. For that, Trump fired her on the same day.
Yates was an Obama appointee, having first been tapped as U.S. Attorney in northern Georgia, then moved to serve under AG Loretta Lynch, as the Deputy Attorney General.
Emails from other Justice Department officials were sent to Yates, praising her defiance of Trump, even though she was fired. From Judicial Watch:
- Andrew Weissmann, one of Robert Mueller’s top prosecutors and formerly the Obama-era Chief of the Justice Department’s Criminal Fraud Section, applauds Yates writing: “I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects.”
- Thomas Delahanty, then the United States Attorney for Maine wrote: “You are my hero.”
- Liz Aloi, a career service employee and Chief of the Justice Department’s Special Financial Investigations Unit told Yates she was “Inspirational and heroic.”
- Emily Gray Rice, then the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire and an Obama appointee said: “AAG Yates, thank you, as always, for making us proud. It is truly an honor to work for you.”
- Obama appointee Barbara McQuade, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan told Yates, “Thank you for your courage and leadership. This is wonderful news.”
- DOJ Civil Division Appellate Attorney Jeffrey Clair wrote: “Thank you AG Yates. I’ve been in civil/appellate for 30 years and have never seen an administration with such contempt for democratic values and the rule of law. The President’s order is an unconstitutional embarrassment and I applaud you for taking a principled stand against defending it.”
Judicial Watch noted that Weissman was the Mueller prosecutor who oversaw the pre-dawn home raid of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort.
In an October article, the New York Times wrote of Weissmann: “He is a top lieutenant to Robert S. Mueller III on the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. Significantly, Mr. Weissmann is an expert in converting defendants into collaborators — with either tactical brilliance or overzealousness, depending on one’s perspective.”
Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton stated, “This is an astonishing and disturbing find. Andrew Weisman, a key prosecutor on Robert Mueller’s team, praised Obama DOJ holdover Sally Yates after she lawlessly thwarted President Trump. How much more evidence do we need that the Mueller operation has been irredeemably compromised by anti-Trump partisans? Shut it down.”
This revelation comes just on the heels of another report released Saturday, that a top FBI investigator, Peter Strzok, who Mueller mysteriously reassigned to human resources in August, had sent texts confirming his alliance to Hillary Clinton, and his anti-Trump views. Strzok was one of the top investigators over the probe of Clinton’s use of a private email server and was a part of Mueller’s probe against Trump. Mueller quietly got rid of him, fearing his anti-Trump views would make Mueller’s investigation appear biased.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) December 5, 2017
New records show Mueller Deputy Andrew Weissmann & other top DOJ officials praising Sally Yates’ after she was fired for disobeying a direct order from POTUS. https://t.co/7qwTsSLznz pic.twitter.com/Ligl7Ee0Lj
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) December 5, 2017
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