He served at the Department of Justice for at least 50 decades, and if he passed 2016, the department dropped — as The New York Times so aptly put it an “honored prosecutor” and also an”all understanding, Yoda-like figure.”
I lost a beloved friend. I believe it is helpful to remember classes David shared with me. He was wise and brilliant — distinct traits — and a few of his favorite expressions resonates with me today: “Facts are stubborn things.”
As events surrounding that the impeachment question unfolds fast — and sometimes too fast to digest completely — there’s an inclination to assume things we don’t yet understand and to color things we believe we understand. Both trends could be perilous. Not everything that’s kept secret is shameful, and lots of distinct presidents — Republicans and Democrats have withheld information for valid reasons dating back to George Washington. At times, but the reason for withholding information appears more defendant and raises compelling questions about transparency. Following is a more recent instance.
It now appears that none of these four will appear, a movement that has intensified asserts from Democrats the White House is attempting to cover the fact about President Donald Trump’s now-infamous telephone call with the president.
I do believe, in line with the publicly accessible reconstruction of the telephone, the president’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart is profoundly troubling.
One of these four is that a deputy White House counselor named John Eisenberg who presently serves as the legal advisor to the National Security Council. John and I overlapped temporarily in the Justice Department and that I know him slightly — sufficient to have a positive opinion of him for what it’s worth.
After Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman — a part of the National Security Council staff who resisted a troubling phone call involving Trump along with also the president of Ukraine — correctly reported his concerns, Eisenberg, Eisenberg allegedly told Vindman to not talk that telephone call with anybody else. By all reports, Vindman is completely credible and, in my own opinion, manifestly fulfilling his obligation to record perceived misconduct into Eisenberg. Fantastic coverage in Politico, also in different areas, has clarified this dialog between Eisenberg and Lindman.
I believe there are two plausible explanations for Eisenberg’s information to Vindman to stay silent.
Incidentally, I do believe, depending on the publicly accessible reconstruction of the telephone, the president’s conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart is profoundly troubling. It appears to be a misuse of power to the president to attempt and leverage the supply of appropriated military help to Ukraine in exchange for political dirt on Joe Biden — a possible 2020 democratic nominee for president. That is not a fantastic thing.
But there’s a second excuse for Eisenberg’s information to Vindman that’s also plausible, which also makes sense to me and that isn’t nefarious. Every time a fantastic attorney learns of possible misconduct (and Eisenberg is, by all reports, a fantastic attorney ), that attorney has a duty to assemble the details and recommend a plan of actions to his supervisor (here, the White House counselor ) as well as his customer (here, the Office of the President). Eisenberg, unlike Rudy Giuliani, doesn’t function Trump personally in their capacity as counsel — a significant distinction.
By Politico, Eisenberg is really careful. Someone in his place ought to be. However, you don’t need to be too careful to be worried about leaks or see contamination. I’ve worked on numerous investigations — as a federal prosecutor — at which I’ve asked witnesses to not talk about the story they told me along with different witnesses; really, to not discuss their story with anybody else while I’m working to collect facts. Why would I inquire? Because, when I talk to every witness, I would like her or his unvarnished recollection of exactly what occurred, free in the recollection of some other witness.
When I talk with watch A, plus then talk about my questions and their replies with prospective witness B, then there’s a possibility that if I talk with watch B, watch B provides to me advise that’s been influenced by discussions with watch A. This is sometimes completely innocent behavior — the 2 witnesses might genuinely be attempting to remember what occurred so they can reliably discuss it with me but there’s still a threat that the very first witness unintentionally colors the memory of this next witness. Superior prosecutors and agents understand that and work assiduously to prevent that type of taint.
Might it be feasible that Eisenberg was requesting Vindman to not talk with different witnesses with this benign motive? Certainly. Can we understand it to be the situation? Not yet. Perhaps.
Nobody gains from a rush to a conclusion. Investigations are tough and superior investigations are even tougher. Let us collect them before we determine what — and it — occurred.