Andrew Weissmann’s aggressive practices have earned him the nickname of Robert Mueller’s pit bull. He’s been accused of concealing evidence in previous cases, “corrupt legal practices” and supporting Hillary Clinton.
The latest twist in the rapidly-unraveling Russian collusion probe was broken by award-winning war correspondent and Fox News contributor Sara Carter on Friday. She investigated Weissmann, who the New York Times gleefully dubbed as Mueller’s “legal pit bull” in a gushing interview last October. Politico magazine included him in their 2017 power list, noting his “aggressiveness” has drawn criticism.
According to the documents obtained by Carter, Weismann was reprimanded by Judge Charles Sifton for hiding the fact that a key witness in a 1997 Mafia prosecution was in fact an FBI snitch.
Sifton called Weissmann’s conduct in the prosecution of Colombo crime syndicate boss Carmine Persico Jr. “myopic withholding of information” and “reprehensible and subject, perhaps, to appropriate disciplinary measures.” The witness in question, Gregory Scarpa Sr., was known in mob circles as the ‘grim reaper’ for his alleged involvement in more than 100 brutal murders.
Carter also spoke to criminal defense attorney David Schoen, who reported Weissmann and was interviewed by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and several FBI officials about him in 2015 and talked about his ‘egregious’ actions.
“The FBI had to redo their whole guidelines on the use of informants over this,” Schoen said. “Weissmann and crew did not just withhold evidence. They actively allowed a mafia killer to remain on the street killing.”
But Weissman escaped punishment after his boss at the time, US Attorney Zachary Carter, persuaded Sifton to remove his name from the memorandum, criticising the failure to disclose Scarpa’s FBI links.
“Sifton complies and withdraws the order that singles out Weissmann and issues a replacement order that does not mention Weissman’s name,” said Schoen. “I have never ever seen such a thing.”
Former FBI director Mueller handpicked Weissmann for his Congressional inquiry into Trump and his campaign team’s alleged collusion with Russia to influence the 2016 presidential election.
Schoen reported Weissmann to Horowitz in 2015, when he was appointed head of the department’s criminal fraud section. He said the former assistant US attorney for New York’s Eastern District was ambitious and “would do anything for a conviction.”
Weissman’s aggressive actions were also exemplified by his pursuit of auditor Arthur Anderson over the 2001 Enron scandal. Arthur Anderson shed 27,000 jobs after it was indicted.
Defense attorneys said his public naming of 114 people as "unindicted co-conspirators" in the Arthur Anderson case intimidated them against acting as defense witnesses. In 2005, the US Supreme Court overturned the conviction Weissman won in 2002. Lawyers also accused Weissmann and his team of failing to disclose evidence in another case against one executive at Enron and four executives at Merrill Lynch.
Weissmann’s political impartiality was called into doubt when it emerged he had attended Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election-night party in New York and gave $2,300 to Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), a leading opponent of the Mueller investigation, told Fox News in December that Trump was "being persecuted by Hillary Clinton’s fan club."