Lawyers

High Mueller lawyer to publish insider account of Trump-Russia investigation – The Guardian

Andrew Weissmann, an attorney who played a leading role under Robert Mueller in the investigation of Russian election interference, will release a book about the special counsel’s near two-year examination of links between Donald Trump and Moscow.

Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation will be published by Random House on 29 September. The publisher promised “a meticulous account of the Mueller team’s probe and its ongoing battles with the Trump administration”.

It will be the latest in a lucrative stream of books about Trump, his presidency and the Russia investigation.

In court in New York on Monday, the president’s niece, Mary Trump, will find out if a temporary restraining order will be lifted so she can discuss her book, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man, which will be published by Simon & Schuster on Tuesday.

In a statement, Weissmann said: “I felt it was necessary to record this episode in our history, as seen and experienced by an insider.

“This is the story of our investigation into how our democracy was attacked by Russia and how those who condoned and ignored that assault undermined our ability to uncover the truth. My obligation as a prosecutor was to follow the facts where they led, using all available tools and undeterred by the onslaught of the president’s unique powers to undermine our work.”

Weissmann was active on Twitter over the weekend, after Trump announced the commutation of a prison sentence awaiting Roger Stone, an aide and ally, arising from Mueller’s work.

Stone, 67 and suspected of being the link between Russian intelligence, WikiLeaks and the president himself, was convicted on counts of lying to Congress, obstruction of justice and witness intimidation. He had been due to report to prison on Tuesday, to serve a 40-month sentence.

Mueller himself spoke out over the weekend, via a column in the Washington Post.

“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes,” the former FBI director wrote. “He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Weissmann agreed with the Republican senator Mitt Romney’s description of an instance of “unprecedented, historic corruption” and advocated that Stone be brought in front of a grand jury.

There, Weissmann said, Stone would have “three choices: lie and risk prosecution, refuse to testify and be held in civil and criminal contempt, or tell the truth. Let’s do what we can to get at the truth.”

He added: “Pardon power cannot be end run around rule of law. To thwart Trump abuse, new Congress should make clear that granting pardon/commutation for anyone who could testify against (the president) commits (1) obstruction of justice and (2) an impeachable high crime and misdemeanor.”

Weissmann also said reports that the former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen was returned to prison over his plans to publish a book were “another affront to equal justice and rule of law”. Cohen was convicted of lying to Congress and over hush money payments as a result of Mueller’s work.

Weissmann was an FBI general counsel under Mueller, gaining prominence investigating organised crime in New York and leading a taskforce on the Enron scandal. He has a reputation for being aggressive and skilled in developing cooperating witnesses.

Under Mueller, he led the case against the former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges in 2018.

The Mueller report, released in April 2019, found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia. But it also mapped out extensive links between Trump and Moscow, and did not reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice. The investigation led to more than 30 indictments.

Weissmann said: “I am deeply proud of the work we did, and of the unprecedented number of people we indicted and convicted – and in record speed.

“But the hard truth is that we made mistakes. We could have done more. Where Law Ends documents the choices we made, good and bad, for all to see and judge and learn from.”

Trump has frequently attacked Weissmann, most often over the fact he has registered as a Democrat and as part of the president’s “Obamagate” claims of a vast conspiracy against him.

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