What the Raid on Manafort's Home Means

Andrew McCarthy has been following Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation in a series of articles in National Review, and in his latest he decries the blurring of lines between a counterintelligence investigation - which is far ranging and not meant to find facts that point to guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and a criminal investigation which has clearly defined judicially imposed limits. So, which one is it Mueller? And by extension, what are the reasons for the pre-dawn raid on Paul Manafort’s home, the day AFTER he testified before Congress.

McCarthy gives two reasons for the pre-dawn raid:

  • A legitimate fear that Manafort was about to destroy evidence
  • A blatant attempt to find anything relating to Manafort's ties to Ukranian or other foreign groups that might result in charges against him (perhaps evasion of taxes or not declaring yourself in the employ of a foreign government or entity) and then use those charges as leverage to turn Manafort against any and all in Trump's circles. Like Mike Flynn.

How naive of McCarthy to carefully consider several possible reasons for the raid! Didn't he read Mike Allen's Top 10 at Axios? As in the voice of progressive tech-loving nerds everywhere. Of course it was a brass knuckles attempt to scare any and all witnesses or subjects of interest! Mike Allen didn't even try to pretend it could have been anything else. This is what we'll do to you: knock on (or down) your front door in the wee hours of the morning. All you have to do is give us the information we seek or need. Even if you may not have it.

But that's the thing about McCathy: he cares about legal procedures, being a prosecutor and all that. And he most reasonably asks what were the reasons on the affadavit that the FBI would have had to present to a judge to authorize the pre-dawn raid? What are the possible crimes Manafort may have committed? And most importantly, is President Trump a subject of interest and a possible suspect of criminal wrong doing?

Or is this a wide open fishing expedition using the broad latitude of a counterintelligence investigation combined with the intimidating tactics of a hard-nosed criminal investigation? Is Special Counsel Mueller pioneering a new type of investigation: the Criminal Counterintelligence Investigation? Where judges as a patriotic duty give wide berth to the constrainsts of ciminal law when signing warrants but heel strictly to the rules when it comes to the witnesses themselves? Could this be why some of Mueller's prosecutors are taking out insurance against possible future lawsuits?

But what a mouth watering set of possibilities for any ambitious prosecutor - a Criminal Counterintelligence Investigation.

As the pre-dawn raids - or at least the subpoenas - mount up in the coming weeks, McCarthy is right. Special Counsel Mueller needs to tell the American public what kind of an investigation he is leading.

Posted by Keeley at August 11, 2017 4:51 PM
Comment #419308


Apparently, in the course of the counterintelligence investigation, evidence was discovered that justified the creation of a criminal investigation.

We’ll learn the details later when Mueller is done with his work. In the mean time, I remind conservatives that Judges do not approve warrants for nothingburger witch hunts. Particularly with a target as sensitive as Paul Manafort. Mueller’s got something cooking in the oven and everyone on his team has their lips sealed. What could it be? Whatever it is, it will be damaging for President Trump.

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Posted by: Weary Willie at August 12, 2017 6:31 AM
Comment #419330


“Or is this a wide open fishing expedition using the broad latitude of a counterintelligence investigation combined with the intimidating tactics of a hard-nosed criminal investigation?”

BINGO !!!!!! This will backfire on the left. While the MSM are giving this non stop coverage, the clinton email investigation is back on the burner. Should be interesting.

Posted by: dbs at August 12, 2017 2:13 PM
Comment #419352

Could we also add Benghazi to that list, dbs. Concern about Hillary’s emails seems too quaint and moot today. Three pro forma classified emails which were in the process of declassification were found in the investigation of Hillary. Wow! Contrast that with the Trump administration leaking classified information all over the place. Why even the Trumpster himself has been known to volunteer some highly classified information just for the fun of it, I guess.

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Comment #419355
I guess

Fake News.

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Comment #419356
These classified emails were found on Hillbilly’ private server! We’d better declassify them before anyone notices, I guess.
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