Saturday, May 27, 2017

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has Comey's memos—but don't expect him to admit it (mark Sumner) · Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

While the testimony of former CIA director John Brennan on Tuesday was a visual reminder that the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation was at last getting back into action after a long Devin Nunes-inspired delay, it’s far from the only game in town. There is a matching investigation going on over on the Senate side. And now that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is in place, a third, independent track is engaged.

Unlike the congressional investigations, Mueller’s work will happen mostly out of the public eye. In fact, unless his investigation ends with charges being filed, he could close up shop and never make any public report. One of these days his office will either produce charges … or it won’t. Which is a big part of why anyone filling those special counsel shoes has to be someone with broad public trust.

On the other hand, though the special counsel’s office is unlikely to be a source of frequent progress reports, it’s no more immune to a few open windows and whispered conversations than any other office in Washington. So as of Tuesday, we at least think we know that Mueller now has his hands on James Comey’s carefully maintained notes.

In one memo, Comey wrote that Trump asked him to end the FBI probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Any information coming out of the special counsel’s office should be taken with a double dose of salt simply because it’s so impossible to check. Any extraordinary predictions of impending action are probably false. However it certainly seems reasonable that Mueller would put Comey’s notes high on his list of must-have items. For the same reason, it also seems reasonable that Mueller wouldn’t be all that thrilled with the idea of Comey making further public appearances.

Potentially complicating that effort is Comey's acceptance to testify on Capitol Hill after Memorial Day. The source says Comey likely will be limited with what he will be able to say now that the Russia probe is in the hands of Mueller.


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