The Trump-Russia investigation just added another high-profile prosecutor whose specialty as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Obama Administration was enforcing federal laws prohibiting American companies from paying bribes overseas.
Reuters reports that Greg Andres departed white-shoe New York law firm, Davis Polk & Wardwell to join Special Counsel Robert Muller’s team yesterday:
Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team, said Josh Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel. Among the cases Andres oversaw at the Justice Department was the prosecution of Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford, who was convicted in 2012 for operating an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.
He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery. He prosecuted several members of the Bonanno organized crime family, one of whom was accused of plotting to have Andres killed.
In fact, Andres obtained a conviction against that mafia murderer in 2010.
If the announcement of another fearless prosecutor to Mueller’s team isn’t concerning enough for the Trump White House, then this statement Andres gave to the Senate Judiciary committee from the start his two-year tenure atop the DOJ’s fraud division about immunity for bribery crimes, should set off four-alarm fire bells:
We don’t believe that immunity is appropriate just as we don’t believe that a bank robber should get immunity for disclosing that he robbed a bank.<
The fact alone that a company discloses their involvement in criminal activity or that of an employee in criminal activity doesn’t amount necessarily to getting a pass for those crimes.
Andres’ new colleague for the second time Andrew Weissmann, chief of the Justice Department’s fraud section, also testified in that Senate hearing, which you can see below.
Tonight’s addition of another top legal mind in illegal foreign bribery to Mueller’s criminal investigation dream team is the first major clue that Trump’s vast foreign business practices are falling into the Special Counsel’s investigation.
You can watch Greg Andres’ Senate testimony which begins at minute 13:
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and a senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition