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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does. As a international human rights and criminal lawyer and trial skills teacher around the world, its his most important tool. As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally. As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated.

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Entries in mueller (24)

Wednesday
Jul242019

Cross Examination is Not a Frontal Assault, It's Guerrilla Warfare, Especially with Mueller.

I’ve been lucky enough to teach cross examination to lawyers and law students throughout the United States and around the world, from Uganda, to the Republic of Georgia to Russia and beyond. I’ve also been lucky enough to do this partly because of my experience trying a lot of cases before juries as well as being trained by the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and at the International Criminal Court. As a prosecutor, I’ve crossed people and put them in jail. As a criminal defense lawyer, I’ve controlled adverse witnesses and police officers and have had a lot of acquittals. Crossing examination can be different in every case but there are some basic steps that need to be addressed.

The purpose of cross examination is to establish a theme and then to carefully control the witness before you in order to control their testimony. In the end, it is about the product they present, through you, to the fact finder. In other words, you are trying to get points by making them look great or horrific. One of the considerations is how smart and experienced your witness is. In this case, its Robert Mueller and the cross examiners are members of Congress.

Mueller likely has far more experience as a witness and expert than any member of Congress and knows his job. He has testified many times, and has a resume that is impressive, regardless of which side of the fence you sit. All that being said to make the point that Mueller is dangerous and can easily make you look like an idiot.

As I watch members of Congress struggle with cross examination, it’s killing me to watch just how much they are failing. What they desperately need is training. I know that they are good communicators but cross examination is a unique skill set. It takes thought, planning and a demeanor that reflects each member individually. More importantly, it takes reverse engineering so that you start with what you want and then work backwards.

Tuesday
Jul232019

Would Trump Have Been Indicted If He Were Not a Sitting President?

Robert Mueller is preparing to testify before U.S. House Intelligence and Judiciary Committees. This is easily the most anticipated hearing the American people have had in some time. President Trump seems to be ramping up about it, claiming witch hunt and no collusion and talking about Mueller’s conflicts of interest.

In addition, Attorney General Barr has already gone on the record, as has the Justice Department, trying desperately to box Mueller into talking about nothing but his more than 400 page report. They want nothing outside of the report including process, evidence, his thoughts and feelings. Specifically, what the President and DOJ are clearly most concerned about is Mueller’s thoughts on Obstruction of Justice and whether Trump would have been charged if he were not a sitting President. They are equally concerned about whether it was the AttorneyGeneral’s or Congress’s call as to whether Obstruction should be charged.

House Democrats, on the other hand, have much different mission. They are looking at the issue of Obstruction but essentially arguing that there is plenty of evidence that Trump obstructed justice and therefore could face Impeachment. What they are hoping for is a John Dean ala Richard Nixon moment when the American people get to hear about a laundry list of things that Trump did and why he did them.

Robert Mueller himself is now a private citizen and can do just about anything he wants. Of course, this seems to go against everything that he has stood for for decades. Many Trump loyalists have continued to attack Mueller but this former Marine, war hero, patriot who has worked for both Republicans and Democrats has always stayed above political infighting so we will see.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss. I have been covering this issue with Voice of America for more than a year and in many ways this is the culmination of this story.

Sunday
May052019

Trump Objects to Mueller Testifying Before Congress

President Trump has objected to Robert Mueller testifying before Congress about his report about about Attorney General Barr's 4 page report, his press conference and Mueller's letter to Barr regarding his handling of the report. This is an extraordinary development considering the number of questions that exist along with many questions that people continue to have about the investigation itself.

The President's response has only driven this frenzy. His recent conversation with Vladimir Putin about this issue has only added gasoline to to the fire. Of course, the election, while set for November, 2020, continues to have an impossibly significant impact on this entire process.

I will appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss what comes next.

Friday
Apr192019

The Mueller Report (Redacted) is Released and Nobody is Really Happy

The Mueller report was released inside the Beltway and nobody is really happy.  AG Barr has tried to spin it in a way that seems uttlerly shocking. He is not the President's private attorney but rather the Attorney for the U.S. However, he certainly isn't acting like it. His conclusions do not seem to reflect the report.  This is an objective fact. Also, the language he is using parrots the President's language even though "collusion" is not what this case was ever about nor is even a term of law.  Further, the report specifically rejects the usage.  Strange.  

The two issued the Report looks at are Conspiracy and Obstruction.  The conspiracy piece seems pretty clean, meaning that Mueller simply didn't find enough to go after Trump.  The obstruction piece actually is much much different. In that case, the Report says it can't exonerate the President and seems to leave it in the hands of Congress. Barr, on the other hand, tries to exonerate Trump on this issue.

There will be a fight.  I appear on VOA to discuss. 

Monday
Apr152019

Will The Country Ever See an Un-redacted Mueller Report?

Attorney General Barr released a four page summary of the 400 page Mueller Report.  Further, Barr decided there was insufficient grounds for an obstruction charge against President Trump.  As a result, Trump claimed complete vindication.  The Democrats don't seem to agree.  

On April 18, Barr is scheduled to release a redacted version of the report.  He was heavily pressured by the Dems to do so who have already threatened extensive subpoenas to get a complete version of the report without redactions.  Barr claims redactions for grand jury info, classified info, material about ongoing info and material affecting peripheral third parties.  We will see. . . 

I appear on Voice of America, International Edition to talk about what it means.  Should get interesting.

Monday
Mar252019

Does the Mueller Report Exonerate the President? Not Exactly.

After 22 months, 25 millions dollars, and 500 interviews, Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally gave his final reports to U.S. Attorney General Barr.  Barr then released a 4 page memo outlining the findings. And, drum roll please, Mueller concluded that there was no conspiracy between Trump and the Russians.  As one might imagine, Trump and the GOP jumped on this, claimed complete vindication and exoneration.  They then turned on the Democrats. The problem is, while Trump is apparently correct about the conspiracy piece with the Russians, we still haven't seen the Muller report, just the Barr report.  The problem is that the obstruction question, frequently the one that people get hung up on, think Martha Stewart, is still up in the air.  Barr said it was insufficient, but Mueller didn't say that.  As you might imagine, this where the Democrats are hanging their hats. 

I appear on Voice of America International Ediiton to discuss.  After so long, the country is tired and surly and wondering what comes next.

Tuesday
Jan082019

The Truth is the Truth, Whether its Before Congress or the Justice Department

The truth is the truth is the truth. The Mueller Investigation continues to gain steam. Lots of indictments, multiple convictions and still lots of questions. At the same time, the House Intelligence Committee has continued its own investigation. Under the Republicans, it certainly had a much different approach. However, under the Democrats, it seems to be running in a different direction. It appears that the leadership on the Committee is seeking to cooperate with Mueller in terms of the statements made to both.  The Committee has said it wants to provide transcripts to Mueller for comparison.  

Essentially, it is a crime to lie to Congress and to the Mueller team, the FBI and the Department of Justice in general. However, there has been little cooperation between the House Intel Committee and Mueller, until now. From an investigatory perspective, this should get even more interesting. However, in the end, this process, on all sides, needs to be as apolitical as possible.  Hopefully, cooperation between both make that point clearer.  At the same time, I'm calling for as much transparency as possible.  This is not just of interest to Mueller, or Congress.  The American people should be the ultimate and most important consumer of this information.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss.   

Tuesday
Jul242018

As Manafort Prepares for Trial, Trump Watches from Afar

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort is schedule for trial in the coming days. He is the first and the highest profile of the slew of those charged or pled guilty and expanding investigation involving Trump, impropriety, the Russians and influence. Whether Trump himself will be pulled into the morass is anybody's guess at this point but the undertow is substantial and the incessant hum of the Russian investigation is never far from the President's ears.

For Manafort, he should be nervous, he has several underlings who have already pled guilty and are prepared to testify against their boss. That is the kind of evidence that can frequenrtly be hard to refute.  The question is whether Manafort has some tricks up his sleeve or whether Trump will pardon him which could create a blowback that in itself could knock Trump off of his feet.

I appear on Voice of America Internartional Edition to talk about the process and what to expect.

Monday
Jul022018

What Happens If Trump's Fixer Flips?

He called himself the Fixer. He called himself the Bulldog. He said he would take a bullet for the man.  Of course, I'm talking about Michael Cohen and the man he was talking about was Donald Trump.  After working for Trump for many years as his lawyer and fixer/bull dog, flack jacket, Michael Cohen seems to be changing his tune and singing a very new song.

Michael Cohen says that his first loyaly is absolutely not to the President but rather to his wife and children. He also is making it clear that he will not be a punching bad for any defense team. This seems to be as punch directly at his former client and the current President.  

Cohen sat down with ABC News for a 45 minute interview to air he new approach and to talk about his testimony before the House and the Senate and about his new defense attorney.  This is all very significant as he is clearly separating himself from the President and his defense team.  It is now very clearly every man for himself.

As Bob Mueller sits back and continues his work, he is clearly interested in Mr. Cohen and Mr. Cohen has yet to sit sown with Mr. Mueller.  However, rest assured, it is coming.

I appear on Voice of America International on July 2nd to talk about what this all means and what may be coming next.