News and Commentary

Top Prosecutor To Step Down From Mueller Probe

Either the Special Counsel’s investigation is winding down or something interesting is going on in that office, because top prosecutor Andrew Weissmann plans to leave soon.

Weissmann, according to NPR, is “the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort” and will leave Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office in order to “study and teach at New York University and work on a variety of public service projects, including his longstanding interest in preventing wrongful convictions by shoring up forensic science standards used in courts.”

Though Weissmann’s name isn’t as well-known as Mueller or Peter Strzok or Lisa Page or Andrew McCabe, he has his own biases that made his placement on the special counsel questionable. Weissmann attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party in 2016 and told then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates that he was “so proud … and in awe” after she said she wouldn’t defend the Trump administration’s restrictions on travel from countries known to be hotbeds of terrorism. “All my deepest respects,” he concluded in the email he sent.

Weissmann also appears to have leaked information to the press while working on the Mueller probe. Journalist Sara Carter reported in March 2018 that Weissmann met with the Associated Press just one day before the outlet ran an article about Paul Manafort’s interactions with Ukraine officials.

“At the time of the meeting, Weissmann was head of the Justice Department’s fraud division. He was the most senior member of the Justice Department to join the special counsel in May,” Carter reported.

Carter also reported that FBI agents filed a complaint against Weissmann, suggesting it was problematic for the Russia probe.

Weissmann was also apparently informed by Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr about his contact with Christopher Steele, the ex-British spy who compiled the infamous “dossier” on President Donald Trump alleging collusion with Russia, among other salacious things. Ohr also told House investigators that he continued to give Weissman and another senior official on the Mueller probe, Zainab Ahmad, information from his discussions with Steele and Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion GPS who has supplied much of the Trump/Russia narrative to the media. This information was revealed in a letter sent from Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) to Attorney General William Barr.

The special counsel’s office acknowledged Weissmann would be leaving in a statement to crime and justice reporter Shimon Prokupecz.

“Andrew Weissmann will be concluding his detail to the Special Counsel’s Office in the near future,” said spokesman Peter Carr on Thursday.

My former Washington Examiner colleague Byron York took Weissmann’s leaving and asked what happened to all the “dramatic Mueller predictions” that former CIA Director John Brennan made last week.

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