The recent appointment of Former F.B.I Director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel for the Trump-Russia investigation seemed like a decent choice for the task. I had only heard good things about Mueller and looked forward to getting to the bottom of whether or not there were actual, illegal ties between Trump’s campaign and Russian officials. Unfortunately, by one single action, Robert Mueller has now revealed himself as a person unfit to be special counsel — while potentially perpetrating fraud within this position: Mueller’s selection of Andrew Weissman as a key advisor in the investigation shows that he’s taken his integrity and discarded it. Andrew Weissman is an outrageous, criminal human being.
Robert Mueller knows full well that Andrew Weissmann should be jailed for misconduct, or at the very least, disbarred. The one job that Weissman should never again have is a prosecutor. There are two very well-known, high-profile court cases I will briefly overview which will show Weissman’s lack of any moral compass and highly unethical legal practices.
The first example is the famous Arthur Andersen case. The list of egregious behavior by Weissman runs long:
In an effort to make a name for himself, Andrew Weissman brought an indictment against the Arthur Andersen firm as an entity, instead of the partner that allegedly committed a crime. No indictment against a company for the action of one person had never been done before — or ever since. This is important because Weissman knew, that in the context of a “Big 5 CPA firm,” bringing an indictment — even if no conviction were ever accomplished — would automatically and completely destroy the firm and all of its employees, which is exactly what happened.
Once he issued forth the indictment, he used malicious and unorthodox methods to pursue his case, including threatening indictment of numerous individuals if they testified for the defense and intentionally distorting the “crimes” that Arthur Andersen allegedly committed. This intentional, overzealous destruction of Arthur Andersen was further exacerbated when Weissman refused to allow Arthur Andersen tell their side of the story to the Grand Jury.
If that wasn’t enough, Weissman destroyed Arthur Andersen in court for legally shredding documents, which they – in accordance with their firm’s existing policy — had no obligation whatsoever to retain. Most outrageously, Weissmann made changes to the definition of the “crime” and its level of criminal culpability (intent) in the jury instructions. With all these procedures, Weissman strongly urged — and convinced the jury — to find Arthur Andersen guilty even if the firm had no knowledge that its members had done anything wrong.
What’s worse is that in the end, no crime was actually ever committed, as determined later by a unanimous 9-0 Supreme Court decision. At oral argument, the Court viciously ridiculed the theory that Weissman used in order to charge the crime in the first place. Unfortunately, that exoneration came too late: Weissman had destroyed an 89 year-old accounting institution and eliminated 85,000 jobs by distorting the law, denying the defendants a fair trial, and taking intent out of the jury instructions, all for no purpose whatsoever, except possible personal gain and fame.
The second case high-profile case, involving Jim Brown of Merrill Lynch (also related to Weissmann’s position on the Enron task force), is equally appalling:
Andrew Weissman persecuted and prosecuted Jim Brown, a Merrill-Lynch executive, for a deal with Enron which Weissman argued in court was a bogus deal. The problem is that Jim Brown never extracted a deal at all; he opposed it and was not a privy to it. The deal in question involved a solicitation from Merrill-Lynch to provide $7 million cash for minority holdings in a company that electrical power barges near Nigeria; Enron held the majority interest. The crime in question was the allegation that Enron would later buy the barges back, thereby making its accounting as a gain from its sale to Merrill-Lynch wrong. Weissman alleged that since Jim Brown was one of four Merrill-Lynch executives, he was a culpable party.
Much of the case hinged on a phone call where the deal was discussed — a phone call that Jim Brown wasn’t actually on. Weissman met with Brown voluntarily to hear his opinion of the telephone call, and then indicted Brown for perjury and obstruction of justice for his response. Weissman later produced an email that mentioned the phone call, written by Brown in a different context and a year after the phone call in question, then urged the judge to prevent any evidence that would explain the email’s meaning.
In order to win that case, Weissman (1) concocted evidence; (2) terrorized anyone that would come forth to support Jim Brown’s position; and (3) threatened prosecuting individuals who would testify for Jim Brown. More outrageously, Weissman also hid Brady material (evidence known by Weissman that would be important to the defense and which by law Weissman was required to turn over to the defense); he then repeatedly lied to the court about having such material. In a truly incredible incident, a document was discovered in which Weissman highlighted in yellow magic marker evidence that would have gone a long way to proving Jim Brown’s innocence — at the same time he was telling the court that he had no such evidence!
The atrocities don’t end there. In another example, Katherine Zrike, a key individual in the Brown transaction, virtually exonerated Brown in her testimony under oath to the Grand Jury. Weissman hid this information from the defense (a clear Brady violation) and subsequently lied to the Court about having relevant information. Jim Brown was ultimately found guilty of fraud, conspiracy, perjury, and obstruction and sent to prison. The fraud and conspiracy charges were later overturned.
On October 26, 2011, six years after the Arthur Andersen case was decided and less than two years after the Jim Brown debacle concluded, Robert Mueller announced the appointment of Andrew Weissman as FBI General Counsel and Deputy Director under Mueller’s watch. What’s more, in 2015, the same Weissman moved to the criminal fraud section at Department of Justice. And now, Weissman is a part of Mueller’s special counsel team investigating allegations of collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russia. This truly is the story of the fox -with blood on his lips – guarding the henhouse!
The current Trump-Russia investigation requires evenhanded, impartiality, and integrity. It’s as important as any special counsel in history. That fact that Mueller would even consider someone with such a heinous, tainted history as Andrew Weissman to work on his team shows incredibly poor judgment. It is absolutely imperative that Robert Mueller resign now.