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Trump’s attorneys: an unaccountable crime network operating in plain sight

Attorney Scott Pilutik wrestles with the news of the day, from a lawyerly perspective…

One of the harder things to wrap one’s head around in all this drama is figuring how a tight cast of characters all relate to each other and to their attorneys who may or may not be acting as attorneys.

Parnas and Fruman have as their lawyers John Dowd and Rudy Giuliani.

Giuliani and Dowd also represent or represented (for purposes of privilege assertions there’s no difference) Donald Trump.


Giuliani also hired Parnas and Fruman to work on his behalf in connection with his work for Donald Trump, so both parties are paying each other (for what? It’s quite unclear).

Parnas and Fruman were business partners, to some degree, with Dimitri Firtash, a Russian organized crime figure in Vienna awaiting extradition back to the United States to stand trial for various financial crimes not obviously related to the impeachment inquiry.

Vienna is also where Parnas, Fruman, and Giuliani were to meet Firtash before Parnas and Fruman were arrested, just prior to boarding the plane.

Firtash is represented by Joe diGenova and Victoria Toensing (he paid them $1 million), who also represents ‘journalist’ John Solomon, discussed in this article.

DiGenova and Toensing also represent Sean Hannity, who often has Solomon on to peddle the latest conspiracy theory. Not long ago The Hill, Solomon’s publisher, was forced to relegate Solomon’s pieces to the opinion section only, despite that he ostensibly “reports.”

Sean Hannity, of course, privately advises Trump.

I could go on at significant length but you get the picture.

That these actors and criminals share a small group of attorneys doesn’t seem like a coincidence to me. I think the picture that’s emerging is one where these lawyers’ only value added as lawyers is to protect communications between participants in larger conspiracies, and so the lawyers themselves can operate as lobbyists and foreign agents without having to go on the record as required by law and remain accountable.

That, coupled with Trump’s preposterously expansive view of executive privilege, allow for the formation and furtherance of an unaccountable crime network operating in plain sight. Not to mention the Department of Justice’s leader Bill Barr helping in every way he can to nurture long-debunked conspiracies about the CIA and FBI conspiring to hurt Donald Trump’s election chances in 2016

I’m not alleging a specific conspiracy here, only a shared, corrupt methodology that cuts across many cases, both related and unrelated. A corruption of both transparency laws and the legal profession.

In all likelihood any judge will see straight through many of these forthcoming privilege claims. But it costs capital and time to get there, and Trump’s entire existence has only ever been about running out the clock.

In other, bigger news today, a federal judge today permitted the release of certain redacted portions of the Mueller Report to the House, killing the Trump administration’s argument that an impeachment inquiry hadn’t actually been opened because the House hadn’t voted on it, among other bad arguments.

Also, the Inspector General wrote a blistering letter to the OLC, asking that it withdraw its opinion finding that the Ukraine whistleblower complaint didn’t implicate an “urgent matter,” which opinion excused the various officials who declined to bring it to Congress.

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