Andrew Weissmann

Andrew A. Weissmann[3] (born March 17, 1958) is an American attorney. Starting in 2015 he became the chief of the criminal fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice. In June 2017 he was appointed to a management role on the 2017 special counsel team headed by Robert Mueller. To assume that position, Weissmann took a leave from his Department of Justice post. The special counsel's investigation concluded in 2019 and Weissmann went into the private sector.

Andrew Weissmann
Andrew Weissmann (2014).png
General Counsel of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
2011–2013
PresidentBarack Obama
DirectorRobert Mueller
Preceded byValerie E. Caproni
Succeeded byJames A. Baker
Personal details
Born (1958-03-17) March 17, 1958 (age 63)[1][2]
New York City, New York, U.S.
EducationPrinceton University (BA)
Columbia University (JD)
Signature

EducationEdit

Weissmann has a bachelor's degree from Princeton University (1980). Following a Fulbright scholarship to the University of Geneva, he attended and graduated from Columbia Law School (1984). He then clerked for Judge Eugene Nickerson in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.[4]

CareerEdit

In 1991, Weissmann worked as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York and would remain in this role until 2002. While at EDNY, Weissmann tried more than 25 cases, some of which involved members of the Genovese, Colombo and Gambino crime families.[5] He led the prosecution team in the Vincent Gigante case, in which Gigante was convicted.[6]

From 2002 to 2005, Weissmann was the deputy director appointed by George W. Bush, prior to his assignment as the director of the task force investigating the Enron scandal.[5] His work resulted in the prosecution of more than 30 people for crimes including perjury, fraud, and obstruction including three of Enron's top executives, Andrew Fastow, Kenneth Lay, and Jeffrey Skilling. In a follow-up case in U.S. District Court, Weissmann also was successful at arguing that auditing firm Arthur Andersen LLP had covered up for Enron. In that case, which resulted in the destruction of Andersen, he convinced the district judge to instruct the jury that they could convict the firm regardless of whether its employees knew they were violating the law.[6] That ruling was later unanimously overturned by the Supreme Court in Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, in which the court held that "the jury instructions failed to convey the requisite consciousness of wrongdoing."[7]

In 2005 Weissmann worked as special counsel again with Mueller, before heading into private practice at Jenner & Block in New York after the special counsel completed its mandate. In 2011 he returned to the FBI, serving as General Counsel under Mueller.[8] From 2015 to 2017, he headed the criminal fraud section at the Department of Justice. Weissmann has taught at NYU School of Law, Fordham Law School, and Brooklyn Law School.[4]

On June 19, 2017, Weissmann joined Special Counsel Mueller's team to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[9][10] He was said to be "the architect of the case against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort." A news report in March 2019 said he would soon leave the Justice Department and become a faculty member at New York University and to work on public service projects.[11] Later that year, he also joined MSNBC as a legal analyst.[1] In 2020, Weissmann returned to Jenner & Block as co-chair of its investigations, compliance and defense practice.[12]

On September 29, 2020, Random House released a book by Weissman titled Where Law Ends: Inside the Mueller Investigation. The book detailed several key aspects of the investigation including the revelation that Rick Gates admitted to having given critical 2016 political polling data on battleground states on at least two occasions to Konstantin Kilimnick, a Russian with strong ties to the Russian intelligence community. Trump had fired James Comey, FBI Director, likely for admitting he was involved in an investigation of Trump over Russian interference prior to the 2015 election, and had fired Jeff Sessions, acting Attorney General, likely for recusing himself from all aspects of the Russian investigation. A third critical point that supported obstruction described in Weissman's book was that Donald Trump had seriously discussed with his White House Counsel, Don McGahn, the possibility of firing Mueller from the investigation, and then attempted a coverup of this discussion by requesting a statement be made from both McGahn and press secretary Sarah Sanders that denied he had ever spoken to McGahn about firing Mueller.[13][14]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Vella, Lauren (November 15, 2019). "NBC signs Mueller 'pit bull' prosecutor Andrew Weissman as legal analyst". TheHill.
  2. ^ United States Public Records, 1970-2009 (New York, Texas, 1993-2004)
  3. ^ Columbia Law Review, Vol. 84, No. 5 (June 1984), p. 1297
  4. ^ a b "Press release: Andrew Weissmann Selected as Chief of Criminal Division's Fraud Section". U.S. Department of Justice. January 9, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Darren Samuelsohn. Everything we know about the Mueller probe so far. Politico, June 6, 2017.
  6. ^ a b Willman, David (February 19, 2018). "Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann has a reputation for hard-charging tactics — and sometimes going too far". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 20, 2018.
  7. ^ Arthur Andersen LLP v. United States, 544 U.S. 696 (2005), 544 US 696 (2005).
  8. ^ Tom Schoenberg. Trump-Russia: senior US justice official Andrew Weissmann joining investigation. Sydney Morning Herald, June 1, 2017.
  9. ^ Karen Freifeld. Mueller team lawyer brings witness-flipping expertise to Trump probes Reuters. June 19, 2017
  10. ^ Flegenheimer, Matt (October 31, 2017). "Andrew Weissmann, Mueller's Legal Pit Bull". The New York Times. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  11. ^ Carrie Johnson. Top Mueller Prosecutor Stepping Down. Morning Edition, NPR, March 14, 2019.
  12. ^ Strom, Roy (April 29, 2020). "Top Mueller Litigator Weissmann to Rejoin Jenner & Block in July". Bloomberg Law.
  13. ^ Weissmann, Andrew (September 29, 2020). Where Law Ends : Inside the Mueller investigation (First ed.). New York. ISBN 978-0-593-13857-1. OCLC 1197637045.
  14. ^ Weissman, Andrew, Where Law Ends : Inside the Mueller investigation, (2020), Random House, New York, pgs. 112-13, 197-200, 228-232.

External linksEdit