Andrew Weissmann, one of the most prominent members of special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia, let slip on Thursday that they were “trying to get rid of” President Trump, in part by laying a perjury trap to get him on record under oath.
Known as Mueller’s “pitbull,” Weissmann was heavily involved in the criminal case against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort. He stepped down before Mueller released his final report and struck a deal with a publisher for a book about his experiences on the special counsel.
He would also sign with NBC and MSNBC as a legal analyst, and appeared Thursday afternoon on MSNBC to comment on President Trump’s remarks earlier in the day on his acquittal by the U.S. Senate, where the president denounced the effort by political enemies to take him out.
Republican National Committee spokeswoman shared a video clip of the segment on Twitter, saying that “Weissmann just admitted what we always knew.”
Whether he realizes it or not, Andrew Weissmann just admitted what we always knew:
The purpose of the Mueller investigation was “trying to get rid of” President Trump and laying a perjury trap
The President didn’t fall for it, and the truth WON pic.twitter.com/YcOWi9Bybz
— Elizabeth Harrington (@LizRNC) February 6, 2020
Weissmann basically admits in this interview that he wanted Trump removed and that it was a coup.
— John Cardillo (@johncardillo) February 7, 2020
Taking a shot at Trump for “mouthing off” earlier in the day, Weissmann said, “He never submitted to an interview, he never testified under oath — it’s true, the same happened in the Mueller case.”
“Why do you think that is?” MSNBC anchor Nicolle Wallace asked.
“There’s a classic reason,” Weissman replied. “There is legal jeopardy that attaches if you sit for an interview or if you say something under oath to federal prosecutors, to federal prosecutors, to the House, to the Senate — so if you notice, the president is happy to talk today about ‘oh, this is evil and these people are corrupt,’ but when it came time for him to put up or shut up, which is are you willing to actually say this under oath or even in an interview, he’s completely silent.”
This being, of course, Trump’s Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Speaking from the East Room on Thursday, the president said the Russian collusion probe was “all bullshit,” insisting that he was “treated unbelievably unfairly.”
Trump called former FBI director James Comey a “sleazebag,” and slammed the “top scum” at the bureau, to include disgraced former bureau agent Peter Strzok.
“We’ve been going through this now for three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops, it was leakers. It was a disgrace. Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster, by the way, it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now,” he said. “We caught him in the act. Dirty cops. Bad people.”
“These are the crookedest, most dishonest, dirtiest people I’ve ever seen,” he added.
Weissmann was the epitome of the “13 angry Democrats” Trump often referred to when speaking of the special counsel.
In an editorial, Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., said Weissmann was Mueller’s “corruptly biased henchman,” explaining that he did “most of the hiring” of the special counsel team, “stacking the deck with angry, anti-Trump prosecutors.”
Former U.S. attorney Joe diGenova, went further in an appearance on Fox News last summer, saying that Mueller was “nothing more than a figurehead.”
“This has always been the Weissmann investigation,” he said, speaking of the Russian collusion probe.
As for bias, while there are many signs, the fact Weissmann attended Clinton’s 2016 election night party in New York City, according to The Wall Street Journal, may say all that needs to be said.
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