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091 - Jerri Williams is a retired FBI Agent, Author, and Podcaster
Structure today, we are with Jerry Williams, and she is retired from the FBI even cooler. She has a podcast, which is FBI retired case file review where she talks to other folks are retired from the FBI. Now, if you guys are anything like me. Your imaginations have to be completely lurid to say, oh my God. Who have you talked to what cases have you seen? What is going on? So let's start. How are you doing today? Jerry. I'm doing great. Thank you so much for coming on. Thank you for having me. Now, I have a group called unstructured as well. His kind of ten generally with the podcast, also friends, and I put out a call for questions. So of course, I have to get cheeky questions that come in. We'll start up on a high note. Okay. Where's Jimmy Hoffa? Oh, I wish I knew. And now, I should say, you know, all the places he could be because I probably he probably isn't together in one piece anywhere. Actually on though. I think I read something like they found where he was killed. In blood trails or whatever like in the bottom of a basement somewhere. But his probably a little bits of pieces all over the country, are are maybe just disintegrated in a big VAT of asset, but our minds could take all over the place as to where Jimmy is poor Jimmy. Yeah. Poor jimmy. But then he kinda did get into bed with them. Maybe the wrong people. Yeah. I think so or I know seriously though, you really didn't work in organized crime Levy worked in financial crime and fraud. Yeah. I spent most of my career doing white collar crime economic fraud. So advanced face games business to business telemarketing fraud Ponzi schemes, that's the kind of thing that I did. And it was fascinating. I can only imagine I'm curious all these check cashing stores. Yes. Is there an unsavory element tied with them? I don't know. I guess some of them possibly I anybody who will cash your check and claim ten percent are more of it is certainly not looking at for your best interest. That's yeah. I guess that's an ethical question. I just didn't know because there seems to be so many of them that I don't know which one seems shadier them or mattress stores. Now, that's a that's a a wide comparison will have you ever driven around and say how can there be four master stores one on every corner. How often do we replace mattress in our bedroom? And the other question how many people go in those stores? I mean, when I buy a mattress, you know, I'm going to probably have furniture store or Macy's or somebody that I know and I trust just so Aranda mattress store kind of scares me second, and actually I have gone, and they're usually I'm the only person or there might be another habit. Then they tell you that this mattress is better than that mattress. And this is you know, luxury, and and how do, you know, how do, you know, exactly now on I guess more in your no have you dealt with any frauds that we should look out for like charities or particularly religious groups. Or any can you describe some of the? Yeah. Well, I can talk about business to business charity fraud because I think that may be one that a lot of people know about it. And that's when you know, somebody calls you for donation, and even if the organization is quasi legit. They charity is on gonna get a very very small percentage of your donation. So if you really care about a particular charity than I would contact them directly and provide them with their donation in. There's been I guess a couple of those especially dealing veterans. Right. Yeah. Absolutely veterans, and they also have the police in a benevolent society call show, and if your local police gets any of that money, it's it's a very small percentage. So if you really care about your local police department than you wanna go ahead and give them your donation directly. And they might have local fundraisers, they're putting on themselves and maybe ten. Yeah. I yeah. Thing is advanced face games are also very prevalent. And that's when you're looking for loan. You know, maybe you want to create a new business, and you need capital. And the you gotta Bank and the Bank will not give you a loan. But you have a loan broker who claims to have resources that you know, he can give get you a load of venture capitalist to help kick off your business. And so he promises you all of this stuff. But all you need to do is to pay his expenses at advance. And you make that. Oh my God. Yeah. You pay his expenses in his NF. Vance for him to do his best practices to secure your loan. And of course, then he doesn't do anything else. So if you've paid five thousand ten thousand dollars in advance, and you get nothing, and the reason that you know, it's a fraud is when you go in and he has no resources he has no contacts are connections. He never had the ability to get you that loan will that's fraud. Isn't that just a variation of the old con-? Yeah. They're all very old calm. The whole thing of I've got five hundred dollars in here. I need the forty dollars to go get in there, or I've got this suitcase with diamonds or whatever. And it's an Okon, but it must work because you know, through the times it they keep using it and keep using it. I'm gonna sound cruel. But I feel like people can be suckered by a con if they're greedy. Absolutely. And you know, I'm plugging book, but my life. Yeah. My last crime novel is called, greedy givers. And the reason I called it that is because a lot of times when people do fall for scams as because they were trying to make money themselves. You know, so they're agreed kind of pops up and they're not thinking about the legitimacy of the offer. They're just thinking about the big bucks are gonna make. So and many cases, unfortunately, people fall for frauds because there is a little bit. Agreed. You know in their hearts to. I hate to say, you know, blame the victim. I do blame them little just terrible. But it's like, okay. If I would feel feel much sorrier for a victim of say Enron where they just kept investing their wages their money into their own company, which they felt, hey, I'm working for this legitimate corporation, helping build it and being a part owner that they they I don't feel are guilty. I feel like they're just investing in the future for themselves and for their employer right there victims their absolately victims, but and many frauds. You know, are that you know, the people that participate in the fraud. And they know that there's something strange going on here that it's not totally legit. But they're willing to take the risk because they believe they're going to be some huge financial rewards at the end. And you know, what they say if it looks too good. To be true. It's too good to be true, exactly. Like buying things that fell off the truck and exactly. But at the same time, you cry if you get something stolen from your house. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. So what what brought you into the FBI? No, you have a back story. And I think you're spent some time in my neck of the woods, even he asks. I was my father was in the air force for over twenty years. And he ended up retiring and Langley air force base, which is right in Hampton where you are. And I went to high school in ham in Hampton than I went away to college. And when I came back home because we all come back home at least for a little while I got a job as a probation officer. And Newport News Virginia juvenile probation officer. I had been a a psychology major and I worked at job and I loved that job, you know, working with young people. But I was young person myself. I really was probably too young for that job. And I could see myself burning out really really quickly. I'm sure you're I imagine you didn't see the better parts of society. Now, they were juveniles, but they were in the system because they committed serious crimes in a robberies and assaults and many of the girls were young prostitutes were doing drugs, and the thing about my caseload is I was really called an after care counselor were all my heads had been sent away to group homes are reformed schools and was my job to drive all over Jinya to visit them and sometimes take their parents with me because their parents didn't have transportation. And then when those kids were released from the system, I kept up with them helping to make sure they get back into school or they got a job. So I had kids that had already, you know, had had some difficulty in adjusting in in the community. And you know, it was heartbreaking to have a kid return home. You think? You got they you have them in a stable job at Burger King. And next thing. Annot they've gotten arrested, and we're starting all over again there back in the system and that happened many times. So I really wasn't looking for another job. But I saw this newsletter that had come out as women's networking newsletter. And it said the FBI was looking for women and minorities. And I was like, hey, that's me as an African American female in. Oh, I'm a woman. I'm a minority. I had never even thought about the FBI because in my mind, you know, I still looked at the FBI as, you know, white males Hoover. Yeah, over so I decided to give them a call. And the great thing about it is that the person who answered the phone there's a job in the FBI call an applicant coordinator. And he's like the the recruiter that helps. Process all the people for particular division, and then all the Norfolk divisions applicant coordinator was Randy and Randi really really recruited me. We were on the phone for over an hour. I still have my notes from when I talked to him that I wrote every owing down. I'm I I I keep a lot of memorabilia. I think from moving around. We lived in thirteen different places. I went to thirteen different schools. You know, during, you know, before I was sixteen and so, you know, I kept a little bit of all of that by, you know, collecting memorabilia, so yeah, I still have I still have a lot of a lot of little things that remind the the places I've been in the people I've met, but I still had those notes, and and Randy really recruited me into the FBI wasn't as far fetched as an idea as you might think because my roommate in college was a after she graduated became a police. Officer and the Baltimore police department. So I knew somebody re a female really close to me who wasn't law enforcement. So I really thought. Yeah, I'm gonna try this. And I don't know what happened because usually the processing takes awhile, but six months later, I was walking into the F B I kademi thinking to myself. What have I done? That's cool. And actually was a question that came in from the group to why does someone choose the FBI over local or state law enforcement. Well, I mean, the biggest reason would be would be finances because the salary for federal law enforcement is. As pretty good. You know, when it comes to I would say when I retired and I retired ten years ago. So who knows what the salary is now. But when I retired I was making one hundred thirty three thousand dollars as an FBI agent. And that was not in a supervisory position in a supervisor or an assistant special agent in charge or anybody in what we call the SE s positions senior management positions are making more than that or these Jesus positions. Yes. So an FBI agent at the top journeyman level as GS thirteen supervisors are Jesus fourteen and they go on up. Okay. Well, I know that when you get above GS twelve it starts to get up there. And what the F B I get what an FBI agent gets is what they called uncontrollable overtime where they're going to assume that enough agent is going to work overtime, which we do. And instead of pay. Paying for all the overtime that we would work and not having any idea of finances and budgets, they give us that overtime on a regular basis as long as we work fifty hours a week. So every at the I agent is required to work, at least fifty hours a week some of those weeks, of course, you know, when you're working all through the night or on the weekends. You're working sixty seventy eighty hours a week, and you're not getting a single bit more pay. But at all works out at the end this actually brings me to another question. You had mentioned before I listen to interview that being an agent is like running a small business. Absolutely very entrepreneurial in the sense that most agents have their own cases. So whether you're working really large cases, and you only have two or three or you're working smarter cases. And you have twenty to twenty five cases. Those are your responsibility. Nobody is standing over your shoulder looking to see, you know, if you're. Working you know, they have a file review scheduled every ninety days. And so when that ninety days is up you'll bring your files until your supervisor's office. He'll go through them call you back in and go through them. You know, how come you having done? This are this is great what you've done there. And how successful this looks are. Why don't you try that? But basically you make the decisions just like you do in a business on manpower. If you need extra help, you know, you're going to have to call in favors from your squad mates and on resources. Do you need to pay an informant? Do you need to buy some equipment? So all of those decisions are yours as a case agent. Nobody is standing like I said, no one standing over your shoulder watching you. You are expected to be in control of your cases and make those important decisions. When that brought me to some questions why was thinking about that. Because I'm wondering how do you prioritize what? Decision is more important at which point. And if you have a case example, you can even make one up, you know, how would you go about your dancing? Okay. Getting these interviews are more important in this need to do this. I how do you organize? Well, I think initially I think you're absolutely right about interviews. And you know, so initially you're going to try to gather as much information as possible. Now, if it's a case that you wanna keep covert, and you don't want anybody to know that you're investigating it. Then you may not do interviews right off. But if it's something that everybody's aware of a lot of times and white collar crime cases that what makes them different than other criminal cases. Is that you know, what happened you know, somebody's coming in? And they're saying that, you know, I was bribed are they're saying that, you know, this is I was defraud it. So you know, what happened and what you're trying to to determine is. If what happened was really a cry. Time as as opposed to a Bank robbery where you know. It's a crime you're just trying to figure out who did it. But a lot of times and white collar, you know, who did it, and you know, it was done. But now, you gotta Prue that it actually was a crime that it wasn't just a a contract dispute now that this was a fraud. You can you're looking for evidence to prove that this person total lie are was deceptive in some way and order to gain something value. I mean that's basing what a fraud as when you tell a lie are deceptive and order to gain something value until you're looking for that a lot of times it's talking to people in interviewing them many times. It's going through documents, you know, going through boxes of papers. And just looking at what was written? What was said what was emailed? What was you know, center the mail and some people hate that? Oh, I absolutely loved it. It was like going through a, you know, a treasure trove looking for you know, that that that little thing that's going to help you make your case. Really? I was actually told one time that if I'm ever called to federal jury duty pray did Asana financial fraud case. They're really exciting. Thank about it. Just thank about all the ways that a person can try to still somebody else's money in a donor. Don't you wanna watch that apart? Don't you wanna see what goes through his or her mind as they are trying to scheme and scam and take somebody's money mon- of my favorite lines. And I don't know if I made this up our stole it from somebody. But with a gun, you can still hundreds with a pen, you can still millions. And that's that's so true. You know, but it also makes me wonder too. Two. There are some slippery characters out there. And have you come across cases, where you know that these people are are shady, but they managed towed just enough in the gray area. The can't quite say it's criminal sleazy as hell, but. Not fully criminal. Yeah. Unfortunately, you know, and my career we had complaints come in. And you know, they showed us what happened, and they told us what happened and in a looking at it. It's like, I don't know we have enough hair to approve that this is a crime. And a lot of times would mean taking those documents over to the United States attorney's office to federal prosecutor and asking them for their prosecutorial opinion. Whether or not there's a prosecutorial merit for for this to ban investigation because you don't want to spend all your time investigating something. If there's no way you're going to be able to prove that it's a crime, and I feel sorry for those people who may have signed a bad contract, but signing a bad contract is not the same as being defraud it, and sometimes you know, you can tell right away that this is not a situation that the FBI is going to be able to investigate. Now, do you ultimately have to put a case together? Centrally to sell it to the department Justice to actually bring forth charges or am I off in my head now in some in some situations that may occur that I think I got a great case. And that I put together all the elements that prove that this this is a crime, and I might go into federal prosecutor for whatever reason in what we call them USA as an an assistant United States attorney. And now, they don't think I have enough. Are you know, they think there needs to be more? They don't think you know, anything's there. I have never had a case that I've worked where they turned it down. You know, I would just go. You know, I needed to get more evidence. I went out and got more evidence. But I don't wanna waste my time either. So when when I would open a case and start looking at it, you know, I would proceed because I thought yeah, we got something here. Okay. But they do make the ultimate determination. Well, they're the prosecutors. So in that sense, I can investigate everything I want to investigate, but it's not gonna be, you know, in court, unless the prosecutor decides, you know, it's something they want to prosecute to the FBI does not work for the us attorney's office. We are investigators way investigate the case, but we know to investigate the case and pull out the evidence and the elements of the case that is going to make it profitable in the sense of you know, wasting are using your time for a prosecutor now to take that into court. So it's not completely different than a city. Police department investigating for the district attorney. Yes that that that would be a good analogy. I'm curious how how was the how did the FBI change over the course of your career? Well, you retire ten years ago. So so I would imagine nine eleven through something into it. Oh, absolutely. You know, when I was an agent, and I joined the FBI and in nineteen eighty two and most of white collar crime was very very prevalent. I mean, it was something that the FBI dead because local police departments just didn't have the time and the manpower. I could I could work case for two to three years, depending on what it was gathering information travelling overseas, traveling around the country to you know, interview people, you know, a local I'm sorry to interrupt. Did you do the savings and loan stuff that was going on eighties? Now, I didn't participate in that. But it was very close to the type of work that I did too and local departments. Just don't have the time. The manpower are the money to do in a complex investigation. I'm sure they're capable of doing it. But you know, they're they're more of a reactive. You know, there's crime happening and needs to be dealt with. They don't have time or the luxury to to really sit back. So that's the job of the FBI and so- cases like that after nine eleven we continue to work them, but not at the same level. And that was kinda sad for me. I knew that the FBI needed to change, you know, instead of just being a law enforcement agency in a we we took on the responsibility of also being intelligence driven not trying to prevent a crime not just investigate a crime after at at occurred. And so a lot of the bodies a lot of the focus shifted into terrorism. We had always been doing terrorism. But now we're doing at an at an even a larger level. And so I saw some of those resources, you know, we we might have had three squads doing financial and economic crime and novice hut on. We're down. One squad and a lot of people calling in. You know, we knew that we were never going to be able to investigate their case because a lot of the resources went to terrorism and rightly so no thinking about isn't there a lot of financial involvement with the terrorism now, and yeah, as as a matter of fact, I have an upcoming podcast interview with the retired agent who actually right after nine eleven stood up that new unit at headquarters for terrorist financing. I haven't talked to him yet. We've got that interview scheduled, but I'm looking forward to it. Because again with my interest and economic crime and financial I can't wait to hear how they go after terrorists, you know, by tracking finances now does that sound like fun to you. I think it does. I actually think all elements of crime are interesting. Not always fun. But I could see that. If I personally was on the FBI. I would probably rather deal with the financial because. I want to say that it's obviously not victimless, but it's not as visceral high. I know what you're saying. I know what you're saying. The great thing about financial crime. And a lot of people don't understand this for many of the organized crime groups, you know, like like the mafia the mob. They were taken down many of them because we went after them their finances in they were taking so. Capone pacino. Yeah. Yeah. Guy. He's okay. I think that I wasn't IRS case. But definitely that's the type of thing that we're talking about an and the F B I has been able to dismantle many organizations by going after them, you know, finance, you know, finding the crime convicting them the crime, and then with four for, you know, taking all of their bunny out of their property and leaving them with, you know, nothing I gotta push a little on that though. Because forfeiture, that's one of those ugly. Ones were it's it sometimes has been used or almost abused by different departments. Like, you know, taking everybody's stopped before they're actually convicted can be really ugly. Right. That doesn't happen in the federal system in the federal system that that's like it's almost like, you know, after after the person is convicted. You know, then there's a whole forfeiture. Herring are forfeiture trial where you have to prove, you know, why this particular home are this particular Bank account was part of the the scheme. But I did I have heard situations and local crimes where you know, say a a mother son was selling drugs out of the house. And now our houses forfeit that doesn't really occur in the federal system. And it had sad to to hear where you know. Parents are you know are penalized for the actions of their of their kids. I I would almost argue that it's fraud going the other way. Because. There have been cases of it with some departments of shall we says say lived very well on it with some salaries and things that have come out. So. That's always trouble. I did a podcast interview. And I can't think of the name of it. I think it was ten a hog police department, and it was a police department down in Texas that was stopping motorists. There was like a highway that went from Mexico through Texas that was known as a big drug highway. And so they would stop people and they found large amounts of money. They would sees that money and a lot of the times the people never came back. You know to to what he knows about it. Yeah. Yeah. They, you know, their money was seized the case became an F B I case because the police department stole the money somebody in the police department was stealing the money that was being seized and that became a police corruption case, it's funny. Okay. So he's centrally the police department stealing the money from people and there's somebody in the department stealing the money. Yes. I love it in the funny thing is that they probably reported it because hey, somebody's taken our stuff, but their own activity was potentially extremely illegal. Right. Right. And so now are they just were scared. And now, they just, you know, their money was sees they were given a ticket to come back to the small town in Texas to go to court to prove that they're, you know, they had legitimate reason to have the money, and they just continued on on their way and decided not not to take the chance of of returning. And so there were no court cases, nobody was ever taken to court. This money was money and drugs, you know, stacking up in this evidence room, and I guess one of the officers decided, you know, no one knows, you know, no one's coming back to claim this and decide to pocket some of it. But it was discovered they finally did an audit. And it was discovered. It's a great case case. View. I've got a lot of really great case reviews. Kidding? I'm having such a great time. So I've had a hundred and tonight I'll post my one hundred and thirty ninth case review with retired agents. You know, talking about some of the FBI's biggest cases like Oklahoma City. Bombing are the Yuna bomber are made off recently. I had I had a case agent on who spoke to Dahmer four times and interviewed him four times. So I have some big cases. But then I also have interviews with F B I agents for cases that you've never heard of that are also just as you know, fascinating. And interesting I'm having such a great time because you know, as we mentioned, I worked economic crime most of my career, I did work drug cases, I did participate and drug investigations because for four years I was assigned to our cherry hill office cherry hill. A New Jersey. But the Philadelphia office has satellite offices throughout Pennsylvania. And they had the one office in cherry hill covering three counties in south jersey, where I actually live. And so while when I was in that office, you know, I would participate and arrests and searches that were were made in south jersey, especially in Camden, New Jersey, which at the time was considered one of the most violent cities in the United States. I imagine it's funny. I think the FBI would be extremely busy there because there's so much crime in their all crossing state lines. Yes. So the jurisdiction like naturally fall to you. Yeah. Absolutely it. Well, we're busy doing all kinds of things. There are other people doing espe- espionage cases and public corruption, and you know, drug investigations in cybercrime. There are just so many things there's over two hundred. Violations of federal crime, the FBI investigate. So there's always an opportunity to learn how to investigate all kinds of things and participate in that. All you need to do is raise your hand. Even if you're on a squad that does white collar, if you really wanna go out, and and hang out with, you know, fugitive squad than you know, you can do that too. So it's it's it's a great job. Do you have any collisions with them other agencies like the CIA and jurisdictional problems, especially when you're talking espionage? And things of that sort it starts to get blurry doesn't it a not not when it comes to espionage? Because it's very clear the F B I has the jurisdiction and the United States to investigate domestic counter intelligence. The CIA does not the C I A is working overseas. They're like the United States spies, but they do not investigate espionage cases. And. The United States that's the FBI's role. But the also will go to embassies and things like that. Yes. Now, they they FBI has what we call legal attache offices. So there is an FBI agent are an FBI present an presence in almost every country overseas where there's usually one to four five agents who work out of the US embassy, but they don't actively work on investigations because we don't have the jurisdiction to go to another country and investigate, but we work hand in hand with the law enforcement and security agencies of that country in order to get our investigative needs handled. So if somebody in California, you know, has a witness that lives in France, and they want them interviewed than they will send. A communication to our legal attache office in France and France will coordinate with the French police to have that person interviewed. Now, in many cases, there is no problem with the FBI agent accompanying the French police an order to, you know, have that interview conducted, you know, sometimes they they law enforcement agency in that country wants to handle it on their own. But there are, you know, they're no FBI agents just running around foreign countries doing investigations, nor do we allow foreign law enforcement agencies and security agencies to come here in our country and do investigations and and make arrests and searches without you know, our coordination and handling of their request is in their potentially other confusion to for example, your work in financial crimes. Could you have an overlap with secret service, how yeah, there are many cases, you know, that the secret service has the same jurisdiction as we do. So, you know, sometimes we worked together are sometimes, you know, they get the case. And you know, they're working it. But it there is a a an assess ity for coordination. But in many situations, the FBI is already working with these different federal agencies, for instance, since I worked financial crimes, I worked many of my cases with the United States postal inspection service. You know, many of my cases might my partner was a postal inspector because we both did mail fraud. You know, we also, you know, the FBI also had jurisdiction over a wire fraud. So I had several cases my big advance fee case of the one that took me over to to to Spain. I worked with a postal inspector. And my big business to business undercover. Case I also worked with the postal inspector. But in many cases, I was working with an IRS agent to not to be. Sillier Jacob are there too many agencies. I mean, I see here this overlap, and I'm saying why do we need these separate groups when you're working together? Anyway, I can tell you this that there are so much crime out there that no I don't think we I don't think we have enough people working these crimes, and and everybody has their niche. So there are things let that they secretly service is in charge of counterfeit currency in there, the FBI may participate in some way with them. But they have the lead jurisdiction when it comes to counterfeit currency. So no, there's there are set things that each agency does I know you're talking also about DA they do drug investigations. Yeah. I same thing. The is going to be involved and terrorism we have our own bomb tags. And of course, they Tf is is handling also explosive device. And and and the yeah there there is s an ATF they go against each other or overlap because of the alcohol in tax dies. And but you know, what it works out. I think one of the biggest and we haven't really talked about this yet. Because this this is the whole focus of what I do is do to talk about the cliches and misconceptions about the FBI and one of them is that we don't play well with other law enforcement agencies and federal agencies, and that is just so untrue way before nine eleven we had task force task forces in our office where you may have a fugitive task force are drug task force where we actually have police. Officers and US marshals and state troopers and warrant officers working in our office. You know, they they're they're desk as as that's where they come to work every day, the FBI pays them. They are part of an FBI task force. And we work hand in hand. Combining our manpower, and our resources and we've always done that. And now, of course, after nine eleven we had the joint terrorism task force that JT Fs where again, these agencies are working side by side. They're not just sharing information for one agency to another. They're sharing information one agent to another because they're partnering up and were investigating this as as big team. Okay. So the the very popular storyline of I'm the season. Rugged cop and investigating this case in the FBI comes in. And and big Foot's me is a trope is definitely a trope. And on the sad thing about it is that it's almost self perpetuating. So, you know, f-, for instance, a a local police officer has never met an FBI agent. And they watched die hard, you know, at the I agent came in. And did just what you said that you know, they may start you know, backing up and thinking oh God. Here comes the FBI. And it's not it's just not true. The FBI does not have a a local police department is not subordinate to the FBI. In other is not like a hierarchy where the FBI is in charge of our can rule local police departments. That's just not true where federal agency and their local agency. And you know, we we each have our responsibilities, and so just the thought of an FBI agent trying to come in and take over just can't happen because we don't even have you know, that that jurisdiction. Are that ability and many situations? People to understand that if we were working with a local agency, maybe on a fugitive Matt or are are murder once that case has been solved. And we know who the murderers is the kidnapper is in our the we've caught the fugitive a lot of that time, he's prosecuted and state court and the FBI agent goes and sits and testifies and provides all the evidence. But you know, there's always a decision in those type of cases whether or not it's going to be a prosecuted. Federally are in state court and that happens all the time. There's probably good reasons for that to like it was handy prosecuted Bundy in Florida where you can be executed and a lot of times the type of sentence that you get an a federal crime is going to be stiffer. But let's let's take an example of kidnapping where the FBI may. Be the lead agency and this kidnapping working with local law enforcement. The assumption is that we can work that kidnapping because that person may have been taken over state lines. But at the end, it's resolved, and the person was actually in a Heddon, and you know, an underground bunker, just you know, in the next county. Well, then they're at that point that returned to a state matter. There is no inter an interstate. Connection that victim was not taken across state line. But the FBI has investigated that case and has the evidence and talked to the witnesses and done a good part of the work will then it would be prosecuted in state court, but the FBI agent would testify and worksite by size. Okay. Yeah. But happens all the time. And it's just so aerated to to to see that trope of the of the FBI walking in and taking over because that. That doesn't work. I guess Rauma. Yeah. It creates a tension at creates tension and suspense that people are looking for because you know, I do right crime crime novels now. And and so I know the need to, you know, make the story exciting and to have an excitement Anna inciting incident, but I can do that without making up, you know, some some false connection our interaction between agencies. I actually read the first one automated you need to get a narrator for your second one. Yeah. I know. I work at it. Yeah. Paint a play was actually inspired by by a true case here in Philadelphia. So there was a lot of a. Licensing and inspection. Commissioner who did go into strip clubs and take bribes. And and take all kinds of freebies in oh for turn IX shocking. Yes, shocking. And there were actually two very attractive female FBI agents who investigated that case. And and as I was talking to them as they were doing investigation. I thought to myself I've always wanted to write a crime novel. And this is the case I said to them are you ever going to write a book about this? And I said now, and I said, well, can I and I actually got chance to sit down with them and go over all the newspaper articles. And so the book was inspired pay to play was inspired by the case. But of course, I add it all kinds of you know, characters and and compromise actually wanted to go into that. Because there is a bit more depth to it than I expected in. It wasn't just a straight out crime book. I think you're under selling it, actually. Thank you. I would argues actually more of a character study. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And a questionable actions taken by most characters and I'd say the separation of. Of who could be considered good or bad was based on intent. Yes. Yeah. I totally agree. When I wrote the book, I knew that some people who are looking for the FBI to be totally white hat. You know, totally straight. Totally pure totally the good guy might not like this book. But luckily, I may I don't know if you've seen the reviews on on Amazon, but you know, they're most I I think they're seventy seven or seventy six reviews, and and what the exception of maybe, you know, two or three they're all great reviews that people really enjoy the story because it's different. You know, the neither ones. Yeah. My female FBI agent has some flaws some serious flaws. But I think people understand those, and they forgive her because you know, they once I introduced her background. And and the baggage that she was carrying around. And what happens when she starts investigating the strip club case. And how those that baggage. And how you know that stuff from her past comes forward, especially with the may two may two movement and people talking about, you know, sexual assaults. I think they're pretty understanding of what makes you do the things that she does. Sure. Sure say that show are so you didn't like did you like her? No, I do like her. I'm trying to think if that's. I would empower her even more she's making decisions in. Yes. She's influenced by her past, but she is also making her own mistakes. But she's also owning her mistakes, but she's hiding mistakes. There's a lot there's a lot more complexity there than just saying own victim was me. Oh, yeah. Very will realize characters. I just feel like you're again under selling her slightly because she has challenges some of these are brought on by yourself. Yes. And her male counterparts, Pat, her male counterpart to partner, especially in that. Yeah. Yeah. And so this is actually a series. So and and book to you know, she continues to look at what she's done and trying to. There's at area of redemption where she's looking at how how to to. Face what she's done, you know, both as an agent, and as a wife, I I'm really really pleased with with book to which is called, greedy givers. And at the funny thing is that paint a play has profanity and sex, and it's all about sexuality, right, and greedy givers is the same as the second book in the series. But there is no sex very little profanity. And I'd give you bible scripture. Okay. So she regained no now, but hurt the the villain and book to is a person was a fundraiser for a charity. It was a charity fundraiser, and he creates a Ponzi scheme are does he you know, that has taken a money from donors philanthropists and individual donors to the tune of three hundred fifty million dollars. And so when his foundation fails and filed for bankruptcy. It's a question of whether or not this is a Ponzi scheme, or you know, what was this person that has been known to be a giver work with nonprofits for all of his adult life. You know, what happened in this situation? And one of his gifts is the ability to be able to remember passages from the bible. And when he made somebody provide them with the passage that fits perfectly for what they're going through and their life. And so as you can say here, you have my female FBI character who has all these flaws and has done this terrible thing, and she makes this character who. Yes. She kinda she kinda sees that are feels that. Yeah. He he does know what I'm going through. How is that possible? So I'm really pleased with the book, I'm really pleased that I I'm not a big bible reader, but I was able to find I think some some great passages that really worked for the for the character in for the story line, and I'm can't wait to get started on book three which is. So I have paid a play, greedy givers and book three is spoiled spenders. And yeah, so I'm really really really excited about the series. But my next book is non-fiction. And material built up. Yeah. So the next book is going to be basically my podcast. And again, the podcast is F B I retired case file review. And I I talked retired agents about their cases. And almost every time. We're in interviews and all my interviews are at least an hour not an hour and a half long 'cause I wanna give enough time to to go through the whole phases of the investigation. But so many times we're talking about a particular case. And one of us says, yeah, that's not the way they have it on TV. Are it's not like it is and and crime books, and so I came up with twenty cliches and misconceptions about the FBI books TV and movies, and I did podcast up the sewed just on those on episodes fifty and one hundred until now what I'm taking as I'm taking those cliches and misconceptions that that the list of twenty and I'm combining them with you know, quotes from the. Different agents that I've talked to who've had movies and TV shows written around their their careers, and I'm also reviewing a different TV shows and movies and combining it into book. And really I haven't announced to everyone yet with the name of the book is because I utilize my reader tame people from my my podcast who have joined my reader team to kind of decide on the title, and I'm gonna announce it next week. But I'm gonna give you a scoop and the name of the name of the book is the FBI in film and fiction. I the the subtitle is a training manual for. Armchair investigators. Oh, I like that. Yeah. Now that definitely works. I do want to dwell for a minute and wrap up on the podcast because what I think you're doing. You're having fun. And that's great beer. Actually. You're capturing history in that's important. Yeah. I do call it. I call it a true crime history podcast now because I realized that and and that's really huge especially because you're talking about retired agents gentleman talked about Dahmer, he's not young. He can't be because Dahmer is all the way back in the eighties and early nineties, and you did somebody Carlos terrorists which I have to get into. I'm just barely catching up. But I remember Carlos from way back in the day. And then Robert Ludlum there's a tie in and you can get a parallel there, which is. Interesting. But I think that I hope you keep doing this and keep this resource out there, especially for the agents who haven't had books written about their cases. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. I think about actually it was the same gentlemen who was talking about Jeffrey Dahmer, he talked about a. Particularly cruel individually murdered a baby. And I cry looked up and there was one article. About it. Just one skin article, and is the most horrible thing you've ever heard and the only reference to this horrible act is one basic article that the jury was out for three hours, which seems to be now, maybe there's more out there if I really really start digging, but just going by the names doing a Google search and all that. Boot their scant anything. But now you've actually captured this on record. And I'm sure that there's other cases where you have captured more visceral details that elevate what may be overlooked or forgotten. At in. The funny thing was when I started the podcast, and I've told everybody, you know, this many many times is that I started the podcast in order to build a platform for readers. I knew I was going to have a book coming out nine months later. And so in January, I started the podcast thinking, okay. Let me let me find my audience of people who are interested and stories about the FBI. And you know, that's what I began. And I began calling my friends and then reaching out to case agents of some of the bigger cases. And it just grew and grew and grew and then and was that October. I think it was my book came out in September and October twenty sixteen we all know, what happened and director Komi had his press conference. And all of a sudden, the FBI was catapulted into the political scene and and. People's that's when people started talking about the FBI and very unflattering ways about integrity and independence. And that's when the podcast became a mission. And to the point that I've just recognized that my writing took a a huge backseat the podcast is very popular. I'm you know, like your show, you know, on the on the top charts and top charts, and I tune, and I've been very proud that the podcast has has reached an audience like that, you know, international audience, but I kinda put my book writing in the background. And so I'm gonna I'm going to rectify that and and twenty nineteen hopefully, you know, that the podcast will continue. It will always continue as long as I can find agents to come on. But I will be working more for for what I loved the most which is writing crime. Crime novels, but back to the podcast is a mission now, and I really, you know, arm seeking out some of those agents that as you said don't have books, and that I really would like to get their take on different cases record it. Definitely there the soldiers. And I I think what we run into. I'm not impressed with some of comas actions personally. But I'm not gonna hold FBI agent accountable for that. Because he's a politician Komi is a politician when you get high up in the ranks just like I was in the military, these generals our politicians. I don't care how you break it down in order to climb that high up, you are a politician. But how general act says nothing about the sergeant who's out there with a platoon, and I imagine that's kind of what you are feeling. Now is wait a minute. Not every FBI agent was J. Edgar Hoover J. Edgar Hoover was a scumbag. Most people would agree. Agency were doing the job stopping the crime. Doing their job and stuffing crime. Well, I guess I'm required to defend J. Edgar hoover. He did do some things that were definitely questionable and might even have been criminal. But I have. But I have to say, I I don't have any pictures. I don't I don't keep his pitcher anywhere there in my office. But the the. The way that the FBI has grown as a law enforcement agency. You know, the the respect that we have all over the world. The the things that we had the tried and true procedures that we have in placed were created by j Edgar Hoover. So I'm gonna give him some credit for that. You know in fairness, and you absolutely can. Yeah. I mean, he's not one of my favorites. Either. When it comes to race relations and Martin Luther King. Definitely he is is he I I'm not gonna put him on, you know, on overstaying, his welcome. But I stem gency and getting it off the ground. Yes. And being an organizer and putting together organization phenomenal. Yes. In Howard Hughes was a genius to who went nuts. So great. Woodley agree, I necessarily to to defend him at some point. But you know, one of the great things like one of the podcast episodes. I have is with the case agent for Watergate now he's in his eighties. And he never wrote a book, he, you know, very seldom did interviews. And so to have Angelo Lanos on my podcast talking for why hour and a half and was fantastic and others. There's a lot of cases that the case that I have now that that's been posted episodes one hundred thirty eight and one hundred and thirty nine, you know, our with two case agents on a corruption case, it was a Cleveland police department corruption case and one was the case agent and one was the undercover agent, and it was a fantastic case where they convicted thirty thirty Cleveland police officer. Shire's for taking bribes. And that case has never they've never spoken about that case in public. They've never written a book, you know, they've never had a presentation. Yeah. And so, you know, I'm really proud to to how them on the podcast sharing. How they did this case. It's I'm having a great time. And I'm really failing. I told you that I told you when we first started how I liked to correct memorabilia, you know, how I collected all of this stuff from my past and so- collecting these case reviews is just an extension of that. What a perfect way to wrap it up. And I have to say I like you very much, but I'm kind of annoyed with you. Because now you're gonna eat a bunch of my spare time. That show with the backlist. It's all there waiting for. My goodness. I have no time left white. Thank you so much for coming on showing all this with us. I it's my pleasure again, I'm trying to get the the message out to people about who the FBI is. And what the F B I does. And you can find all of that on my podcast. FBI retired case file review. Mr. Hayes is office. How may help you? Andrea. It's Maryland over Kennedy Parker construction, Maryland. Would you like me to connect Mr. Parker to surround the bus shorts? A secretary Chris by design and Bishen. Introducing the direst by Donna Vero green the diaries in the dick the psychological thriller, satirical, suspenseful full of twists available on itunes or anywhere. You get your podcast. Yes. I'm sorry of feeling. Or something. I've said is led you to believe I think you're incompetent. It's just been so long since you've given me any encouragements or compliments. Andrea. I do notice you. That blouse on you very much. Very pretty just as you are right now. Oh, I it's very pretty on you. Thank you. Western of fabric is it. Itself is lovely you've excellent taste in clothes. I notice would you mind removing your cardigan? My sweater. Guess are concerned about since entirety. Why? I like it very much. You see I do notice you, you know, that don't you? I don't have to tell you. I know see things, you know, when like something, don't you? I don't know. I repeated his words in my mind. I notice you. That was it wasn't it. I wanted someone to notice me not Andre the daughter the wife the secretary not even on the artists are at curve. I wanted someone anyone to see me. Wasn't anything? It was Richard. Please don't think unkind of media reader. Quietly inspired by signs. It comes at night and more for the plan to the was ready player. One influenced by avatar record. Ralph in the last Starfighter is hurricane heist more influenced by shark NATO or geo storm these are the kinds of questions, my guest co host, and I discussed on my podcast piecing it together every week. We look at a new movie and try to figure out what other movies inspired it. Whether it's the story the character development tone or even use of music every movie was influenced by something that came before. And we want to figure out what took out piecing it together on your favorite podcast aperture us out on piecing, pod dot com. You can also follow us on social media at pod piecing it together as a part of the all points, west podcast network.
Aired 3 months ago 2:59
AP Headline News Oct 17 2018 16:00 (EDT)
The. AP radio news. I'm Tim McGuire. President Trump says the US has asked her for audio and video related to the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal kashogi saga megani reports rookie officials had said, Saudi agents killed kashogi inside the kingdom's consulate in eastern bull and there are recordings. I'm not sure yet that exists probably does possibly the president says, he wants to know what happened, but a day after warning against a rush to judgment, he stressing the Saudis are key, US allies, tremendous purchaser of not only military quipping, but other things asked if he sent the f. b. i. to investigate the death of kashogi who lived in the US and wrote for the Washington Post, the president would not say, but noted kashogi was not in American citizen saga megani at the White House. President also tells cabinet secretaries to adopt what he calls the nickel plan. When it comes to their next year's budgets. I'm gonna ask each of. View to come back with a five percent budget cut from you'll varies departments whether it's a secretary and administrator, whatever Trump who wants to keep defense spending at seven hundred billion dollars is due to make his fiscal twenty nineteen budget request. Early next year. A treasury department official is accused of leaking confidential, banking, reports of suspects charged in special counsel. Robert Mueller's investigation. An unidentified high ranking colleague was cited in court papers as a co conspirator, but was not charged Natalie. Mayflower sours Edwards who was a senior official at the department's financial crimes enforcement network. His accused of leaking several confidential suspicious activity reports. Paul Manafort Richard gates and others to a journalist who was not named in the court papers, but the papers do list about a dozen stories published by BuzzFeed. This is AP radio news. Twitter is making public known accounts. It says a related to information operations. AP's. Warren Levinson explained Witter says it is releasing everything. It has related to information operations dating back to twenty sixteen when it was first disclosed that foreign entities were using social media to interfere in US elections. The company has released account numbers related to such meddling before now it's revealing the actual tweets. That's forty, six hundred accounts more than ten million tweets. Most traced back to the Russian internet research agency. The group's been indicted for election interference in special counsel. Robert Muller's probe, its earliest posts date back to two thousand nine. The archive is available on Twitter's elections integrity page Warren Levinson New York, a far right German, political party wants to expel original lawmaker who posed in front of wine bottles featuring pictures of Adolf Hitler, German agents, news agency, DP reports of the party's Berlin chapter has started proceedings a force out that politician. I'm Tim Maguire AB. Jio news.
AP Radio News
Aired 4 months ago 33:00
Emergency Podcast: Manafort Is Cooperating
Just a note before we begin, we recorded this emergency podcast. Once we found out that Paul Manafort was cooperating with the Muller investigation, but before his full plea agreement was released. In any case, everything we say, still stands just wanted to point that out. All right. Here it is. Nate. Would you flip and provide witness testimony against me? Oh, man. I'm pretty loyal. I'm pretty loyal. What about me. Pretty pretty loyal. No, no. I mean, I'm pretty loyal, but I don't know if I'm that loyal just so we're on the same page. Nate, I would if if it meant staying out of prison, I throw you under the bus in a second. He's going to prison though, isn't he? Hello and welcome to this emergency edition of the fivethirtyeight politics podcast. I'm Gail Andrew. Paul Manafort President Trump's former campaign chairman has agreed to cooperate with the Muller investigation into Russian election meddling as part of a plea deal. He pleaded guilty to two felonies, Friday morning conspiracy against the United States and conspiracy to obstruct Justice. So here with me to discuss on this emergency podcast, we've got editor in chief Nate silver any, hey, how are you. I'm good. I'm in a number of Friday. It's another Muller Friday. Don't you have a song that are not gonna sit down? I haven't eaten lunch yet, so I'm not really in a very is ordering food right now. Managing editor, Mike account, how low? Thank you. And on the phone we have fivethirtyeight contributor, Amelia Thompson, devote Amelia. Thanks for joining us. Of course. Thanks for having me Amelia. Let's start with you top line. What does it mean that poll metaphor is cooperating with the Muller investigation? Like does he necessarily have damning information against the president or involved in this investigation? In some way, it means that he has some useful information for prosecutors. The fact that we've gotten to the point where there's a cooperation deal means that he's provided some kind of useful information to the Muller team. Prosecutors do not hand out deals until they have sort of gotten some indication that they're going to get something that they want out of a dependent. We don't. Know what kind of information he has to offer or who it might affect at this point. Manafort is essentially agreeing to tell the special counsel everything he knows about potential criminal activity. By any person. The special counsel asks about castor, provide the government with the truth about this, and he has to be willing to testify so it may be that he has damaging information about the president. It may be that he has damaging information about someone else. We don't really know what the scope at this point. So Amelia, it's mica just to make sure my read on this is right the two Manafort trials, one for like financial crimes, one for unregistered foreign agent activity or whatever were relatively removed from President Trump and the Trump campaign. But that does not necessarily mean that the information Manafort might provide when. He's cooperating is removed right. In fact, we probably believe the opposite. Yeah. Yeah, that's. That's right. Micah, there's reason to believe that the president certainly could be worried about information that Manafort might present. You know, he was the chair of the Trump campaign for a, you know, a short but significant period of time. He was present at the Trump Tower meeting, and yes, he doesn't just get ask questions at this point about, you know, things that are specifically related to the criminal activity. He's admitting anything's fair game. Now we'll get into some of the details of what he pleaded guilty to today. But Nate, how big of a deal is this in the scope of the Muller investigation? And how big of a risk is it to the Trump administration in General Motors scale us, it's one, the five alarm fire. I'd say it's a three alarm fire. Was that lower the new lower than the next. Yeah, I don't think Meller is lacking for sources also like this is like a duplicate almost. I'm sure it's helpful to have. I have. No, I'm not. You know, we're all just guessing I'm after work on this. God damn governors model since the governor's forecasts. But to me, it seems like you know the fact that number one the allegation and Mike, it just made this distinction. Why this? Maybe it doesn't matter, right, but it's not particular to the Trump campaign when he pled on. You know, a number two. I just think Meller is going to find out what there is to know when way or another anyway, regardless of Paul Manafort shipping road in Farrow on team. Let me let me rebut that. Okay. Why would go four or five alarm fire as Melia pointed out Manafort was present and accounted for during a really important part of the Trump campaign. He was in that infamous Trump Tower meeting and given his background than connections with Russia. If there were. Shenanigans going on collusion quote, unquote. You would think Manafort would have been if not neck deep in it than at least prized of it. The other part is political. You know, we had a piece today up by one of our contributors janey Valencia, pointing out that over the last few weeks in particular, since one Manafort was found guilty of the financial crime stuff and to Michael Cohen. Pled guilty to things have happened. One Trump's approval rating has inched down by a few points and to Muller's favourable rating has inched up by few points and on a whole host of other questions. Like, you know whether people think the investigation is fair, whether people trust, Muller Trump, moron at all sorts of those questions. We've seen an improvement in Muller's numbers. And so I think this in terms of helping mother conductors investigation one and, but also in terms of. Giving Muller affirm political grounding to conduct his investigation and the context where his findings you know the, the context, those those findings will come in. This helps on both fronts arrays or Amelia. Nate says it's a three alarm fire mica says it's four and a half, four and a half alarm fire who's right. I think Mike is Ray Diane. For a couple reasons are innate. We're gonna run out of alarm so we can just add more yellow. Let's go up to seven or eight now, I think it's a really big deal. And the first reason I think that is that, you know Manafort has been able to provide some kind of information that was helpful to the special counsel, and we weren't sure that he had that until point. There's been a lot of reporting over the past few months that there have been talks that have happened. It's leaned the Muller team and manafort's attorneys talking about a potential deal, and those of pollen grew and it was like, at this point have had to do with just not being able to get the terms straight. But before we moved it Manafort had information revived. It was totally possible. Those talks were falling because Manafort didn't know anything that was going to help the special counsel. We know the special counsel, it sort of it estimating what's being called collusion. I don't love the word collusion because I, it's meaningless from the perspective. But you know, we're talking about. Poured nation between the Trump campaign and Russia Manafort would eat likely to know something about it if not be involved in it directly. And so the thinking was kind of the if you didn't have information to provide that was suggestive that maybe there was less going on. People had Agean, obviously, huge caveat. We don't know whatever Muller has were kind of guessing and trying to piece all this together from really incomplete information. But I think that's a real big deal. And then politically, I think this is kind of a big law. It's a big win for Muller and the big loss for both Manafort and the because Manafort had now wasted a lot of time and money fighting the special counsel. He would have gotten a much that deal. I Inc if he had just worked with a special counsel from the beginning. And then you know, when we first learned that he was pleading guilty, we weren't sure if he was going to cooperate. And there was kind of speculation that if you plead guilty without cooperating, that could be good for the president because then this big high-profile, I'll is not happening right before the midterm sort of reminding everyone of this, but it's not providing information. He might still be angling for a pardon the president. You know, that was all kind of good also good for maller. I should say this. This is just good for valor. It's time sack or his team to do this trial. They now have more focus on the actual investigation, but now in up the person who's quite close to the president is potential is providing some kind of issues. Just the campaign manager, you know, like little little tiny chairman campaign. You said two things there that want to follow up on though. So is it first of all? Is there any limitation on the scope of his cooperation? Can you say I will tell you anything you want to know about my dealings with Ukraine, but I'm not gonna talk to you about my time on the Trump campaign. Now you can't do that. If he's agreed to cooperate at this point, it's not like he can say, I'm gonna cooperate on this thing. Not on that thing. He has to just answer all of the questions that they pose. The question is, could the president's still pardon him and then affect things. So that is super interesting question. The president can absolutely slow. Pardon him. A couple things happen if Anna for were to be pardoned, the first is that he would still have to talk to Muller if Muller wants to talk to him. And actually if he gets pardoned than he loses his ability to plead the fifth Amelia with, I'm sorry, the pardon wouldn't nullify the plea. An agreement to cooperate the pardon would if he were no longer, you know if he were pardoned for this crime, then he wouldn't have to cooperate with Muller investigation because the charges would go away. Presumably the president would give him some kind of wanking part. Or maybe a specific part about these charges that you know then, so, okay. He doesn't have to cooperate with Muller anymore. Mull can subpoena him to appear before the grand jury and he can't seem the fifth, right? Any take the fifth. So you know, he either refuses to answer questions and he was charged with contempt of court, or he lies and then he gets charged for that. So it's not like a great out in Nakas back to why the politics of this are important in the kind of Muller's numbers entering up are important because it makes the pardon all the more unfeasible at least politically and to to what we were talking about earlier. I mean, this is from our friends at ABC quote in court Friday morning, prosecutors revealed that Manafort had completed a successful meeting with investigators in which he offered them information. They considered valuable. So even if Trump pardons Manafort now he's already given them something. Yeah. I mean Amelia, does that make a pardon significantly less likely at what point would Trump pardon metaphor? If he was going to do so the cooperation seems to start now or yesterday? Yeah. I mean, I don't think there's really a good time to her Trump to pardon Manafort. You know, if he wants to avoid all of the implications he should wait until his past presidents have done. If he really just feels dad for Manafort feels like Manafort kind of got dragged through the snow is not going to go to prison because of him. He'll wait until the very end of the investigation or after the investigation's over. That's what other presidents when they pardoned people who have been implicated in these investigations have typically done. But if the president is worried about his own liability, I mean, some legal experts are even saying that pardoning Manafort now or then having to re pardon him later if you've been charged with another crime related to, you know, potentially, let's say lying to the grand jury. That you could make an argument that that is actually obstruction of Justice to, you know, this is all pretty hypothetical. This presidency is very good for creating new legal hypothetical. That perhaps we'll be resolved. But yet it just doesn't seem like a great proposition whether that means the president will do it. You know that that's really hard to say, and we're not going to find out exactly what the cooperation books like until Muller files his report. Basically, the news reports said this morning that we don't have much information about the cooperation. When does that get clarified that gets clarified much later. So you know, other people are cooperating with the special counsel, Michael Flynn, for example, you know, we don't know what Flynn is receiving in return. We don't know what they're getting these sort of need to work all this out. And then when Manafort is ultimately sentenced for these crimes that you know, we'll have a sense when we see the plea agreement and we know what prosecutors are recommending. So this is we really don't know that much right now and Muller and his team still have a lot of questions. I'm sure to. I don't. Did you guys read? The amended charges are probably what they're called. The Amelia, you can correct me against Manafort that came out this morning. The preceding criminal information? Yeah, it was like a spy novel almost. I mean there were people involved in this ranging from like heads of state of Europe to, I don't know. Who else did you guys read that document? I pay through it, but I haven't read that. You read the whole thing? It's long. I haven't read though. I didn't read the whole thing. Gotten through the whole thing either. I didn't read the obstruction of Justice part. I only read the conspiracy against the United States part, and that was pretty dramatic. I part of it. What's your take? I mean, just part of it. So I'm not sure what's your take? What's your quarter take? I mean very serious. I mean, when take is like I bet Paul Manafort wishes. He had never decided to go on this little wild adventure, call the Trump campaign because he'd gotten away with a lot of stuff that seemed. Yeah, frankly, not that well concealed for very long at. All right. And this was kind of large scale, multiple homes laundering money, right? Working with foreign governments. I mean, it's like this guy wasn't really that subtle about things. You know, that kind of struck me that it was almost sloppy. The other thing is like why this isn't really about the the new document in particular. But you know, I've been, I've been like reading all this like old Watergate stuff just for helpful context and look, the the Watergate comparison is is inherently flawed. But when you read that stuff, you were just struck by. By stone. Many similarities and once already is just as Watergate developed one by one. The president's men were on trial found guilty pled you know, it just sort of had this March quality to it and so it, it just feels like that it feels like how many do we have so far? The presidents of it, it's Manafort for it. He's the fourth in the Muller investigation to plead guilty. And then we have Cohen in the southern district of New York. And when someone pleads guilty you guys, we're getting at this earlier. It does remove some ability to say, oh, the, it's a witch hunt, right? Five of the president's top advisers. Manafort gates won't wouldn't popadopoulos. Well, I was, yeah, that wouldn't call him a top adviser. Okay. So of those five, three, I would argue our senior senior people, you know, the gate. And popadopoulos. I think you could say up Trump could could conceivably say, I never even came across this person. You know, that's not true for Cohen, obviously, or Manafort or Flint. This is stating the obvious, but like shit's getting real. That's right. I was. I was going to urge it a little bit of caution in the Watergate comparison because you know, we have these numbers looking at past special counsel investigations, and at this point in the Watergate investigation sort of this car in and I mean, the Watergate people were arrested and charged in the Watergate investigation before a special counsel is actually appointed some like a little bit of a false comparison. But there were a lot more people connected to Nixon who had sort of been brought into the net at this point. So I think we're not we're not quite there. I mean, I think definitely sort of the thing that strikes me as similar is the way that sort of all these different kinds of criminal activity are. Eating broaden and sort of one thing leads to another and you know who knows what you know, maybe Manafort has information on someone else who has information about the president that that they can. Now, they consider us this information for men for to lean on that person. You know, it's kind of like they're all these links in the chain. And so I think it's the Watergate example is useful to sort of show how it could lay out. And I do think I mean, you know, to add your point, the CFO of the Trump organization has been granted immunity by federal prosecutors, not related to the Muller investigation, but he charges related to Michael Cohen in the southern district of New York. So you, you're right that it's getting closer to the president, and I think it as as all of these kind of links keep getting made. You know, there's just more information out there that that could totally right ending, one that it kind of. Feels like it's just encroaching enclosing in on President Trump and to what Nate said earlier about Muller's gonna figure this out, you know, in Watergate, you could sort of spin alternate history where you know the second Alexander Butterfield discloses the tapes, Nixon burns, the mall in the backyard, and maybe the truth never comes out here. It is just so hard to imagine Muller. Not figuring out what happened. I mean, maybe there's not much happened. Maybe not much happened yet. Muller's going to figure that out. It's hard to it's hard to imagine something crazy happen and Muller misses it. Right. Well, unless he gets fired. If he gets fired at this, but that's the other, it's it's why the po- politics are so important every sort of guilty plea, every person who cooperates gives him a firmer footing. And then if he get it makes firing him or pardoning anyone that much sort of you know risky. So what happens if if the GOP keeps the house in the midterms, it's big disappointment for Democrats. This Trump didn't fire Muller go for. And at that point, why not. Are are in the popular imagination are the midterms about the Russian visitation there about the president? Yeah, because if they were maybe they're not really. I mean, you could argue that like, hey, look, the attempts to derail ObamaCare, but yeah, maybe the tax bills actually not very popular man didn't doesn't poll well and didn't pull. Well. I don't know. They do not feel to me like they're about the Russian Russia investigation in particular, and therefore I don't think that Republicans keeping the house would do a ton to lessen the potential for political backlash to firing Muller. But like certainly it would lessen it somewhat by like in a world where Republicans keep the house, something we'll have changed from now, right? The environment will have swung a bit towards Republicans, but you know, have a a d plus seven. Ven- environment and have Republicans keep the house by the combination of that we are structured and the combination of just like winning lotto the tossups, right? Like our model says that, like at seven points, Democrats would probably win, but certainly well within the margin of uncertainty, even at eight points, I think I know what we have the break even as a today. But if Democrats, if Democrats have a disappointing midterms, it's it's definitely easier to imagine. Trump surviving a step like firing Muller. I'm not try predict he would survive it, but it's easier to imagine as maybe another way. At what point does it become untenable for the folks on Fox News or just your regular Republican to continue to call the investigation a witch hunt? Like is it today? Is it never ever? It's not today today is not the day more Republicans take the investigation seriously. I don't think so. I get this goes back to something we wrote again. All caveats in a meal is right about the water. Watergate comparison. But you know, when the House Judiciary committee voted out the first articles of impeachment these numbers are not exactly right, but they're about right, you know, of the, I don't know, twenty Republicans on the committee or the fifteen to twenty Republicans on the committee, a majority voted against impeachment, right? Which is just to say that party loyalty will hold up through almost anything. It's really a question of of on the margin. So it's the question isn't so much. When does Fox News abandoned Trump or when do congressional Republicans abandoned trumpets? When do you like twenty percent to me? Yeah. When doesn't know it's like when do twenty percent, including Pat Toomey of congressional Republicans stop calling it a witch hunt and wen does who's who's like the reasonable person on Fox News or the most reasonable person, Chris Wallace, but he doesn't most reasonable of the none journalists. One of the most reasonable of the non journalist. That's a difficult question says like this, a fun question then. So Barry brasow real journalist? Yes, he's a real journal. Yeah, certainly he is merely. Do you watch Fox News? Amelia, I I don't know. Bring up. I think. A little bit of overconfidence perhaps about like how the GOP would behave in a postman term environment if they have a bad midterm, if they. Yeah, because right now they're kind of hanging on for dear life. I think Republicans feel like when we've tried to like oppose Trump, it hasn't worked out that well for us, there were some contentious primaries they had to worry about, right. You know, I think they feel like now, boy, you know, if we kind of start going against Trump, it's going to undermine his approval rating even further than that, it will reverberate on us which may or may not be true. But I do think like if they lose the house and certainly they also lose the Senate which require a really big wave than I don't know. Right. I think all of a sudden this kind of halo of being a winner that Trump has cultivated goes away. I think they might think, well, maybe we're damned if we do critique Trump, but we're also damned if we or maybe we don't. I'm very confused now. Right? We're just damned. They're just they're just damned their way and they might say, you know what might or you might say, look, we actually have like a little bit of a window to make. He considered as someone else could Brennan's our nominee in two thousand and twenty. I don't know. I mean, parties react. I would argue even overreact to mature elections. And so like if they have a bad night on number sixth, I don't think past behaviors that predictive of like what they would do. Okay. There's Brett pair. There's Marsha McCallum. That is Tucker, Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingram. This is among the internet is it's sort of a MAC, which is an oxymoron FOX, which is an oxymoron. One hundred percent agree about FOX and friends. I think it's Ingram Dana Perino. We actually have these rankings at one point. Neil Cavuto Shep Smith is a yet. He's a collude owes. I don't think thought it was an opinion. I mean, I think it's like basically Ingram breaks. I. And then between Hannity FOX and friends and Tucker, I think Tucker is the next time. It's an interesting one yet Tucker's he has some strains of the Ben Shapiro kind of like I'm gonna be independent kind of thing. Yeah. Okay. How strains and like the Hannity Hannity would never in a bunker of, I mean, it's yeah. Okay. We've got a little bit off the rails, but a million try to try to get us back on. Well, I mean, I, I know I introduced the hypothetical of what happens if Meller gets fired on. I should also say that Muller has been pretty good about doing things that sort of protect the investigation even if he's fired. I mean, you look at the fact that southern district of New York is investigating Michael Cohen. Not Muller, you know, obviously thought he didn't have jurisdiction over that, but it also has the effect of insulating that part of the investigation. So even if Meller gets fired, you know, there are a lot of people who are working on this. And a lot of kind of line prosecutors who would presumably continue at least some of it though. I mean it also, you know, firing color for late apart from the political ramifications is I think another one of these things that you know, yes, Trump could order his firing, whether that actually helps him legally or actually stopped the investigation in. I don't know if I don't know if he does that. All right. Well, let's wrap up maybe with one final question Amelia at this point. What are the chances that we at some point in the future? See Paul Manafort testify against the president, and I'm looking forward to the closest tenth of a point. So the closest tenth of the point. Well, that's that's a little challenging Gaylon I don't think we never what this point am I allowed to cop out of answering this. You can I mostly just looking for your analysis on this point because that's probably a big question here. Yeah, I mean, I think it's just it's just really not clear at this point. What kind of information Manafort is offering. Our minimum port is on for Muller like. I said, you know, maybe he doesn't have information that damages the president, but he does have information that damages someone else knew hasn't permission that damages the president. You know, it's sort of I, I've talked to prosecutors about how these cases get built and it's really about sort of like four Jimmy's connections and figuring out how to get leverage on the people have the information you need to make the case. So you know, I don't know how likely it is that Manafort is going to testify against the president. It certainly could happen. It also could happen that this is a really important moment because Manafort has information about people who are really close to the president, and they're the ones who kind of get caught in the net XT. So what are the incentives for him to be a good witness though? What can he be? Like kind of passive aggressive in semi helpful looking. I'm cooperating. It will help me, right? Let's look, man doesn't wanna die in prison. I kind of, you know, blunt way to put it, but like he's sixty nine. And if he doesn't is not helpful to prosecutors, then they're not going to help him. So they'll come to a conclusion of the of this like you fully cooperated. Or they could say, during this process like you're not really cooperating your going to file these charges against you, do that with gates Amelia there was there was like some back and forth about gates in the numbers. Also some back and forth about half adopt Lewis to. Yeah, and I mean, this is sort of the the beginning. It's like a tentative agreement between them and you know Justin's, they don't know exactly what they're going to get from Manafort, you know, Manafort has to has to play ball with them. You know, he can't. It's not gonna help him to kind of be, you know, sulky and and not answer their questions directly. If he's cooperating with them at this point, it's because he's, he's decided to cooperate. I think we should. Leave it there. Their final word, my only other final word and and people might not like hearing this, but I would just recommend if for no other reason than to good excuse to talk about the subject, our colleague, Maggie Kurth Baker has a great piece that she wrote several weeks ago, but which we re up today about this whole idea of witnesses who flip incentivized witnesses. The peace isn't really about, you know, Manafort or co in importation. It's about the the group as a whole and sort of the lack of transparency, the lack of data on sort of how, frankly, how reliable these type types of witnesses are. You know, I sort of wonder whether the parties were reversed here and we had a democratic president, whether we'd see a lot of media stories about whether we can trust in a weather, mother can trust Manafort whether they can trust Cohen. Liberal bias, man. Well, yeah, you know, I don't mean sort of the the rigorous press. I mean, I mean kind of more of the more the commentators, but it's just an interesting. It's an interesting subject of like how you know incentivise witnesses are crucial for investigators so so much of what they do. You know you start at the bottom, you work your way up, right? And you. That's kind of how you get the big fish, but there are problems with at and there's there's a lot, we don't know. All right, let's leave it there. Nate, thanks for being on with us. Thank you for having waded. I convince you that to four that Amelia convince you to four lawn fi. But relative to what? What what five relative to the number five. Yeah. Tell scales work. Nate. I'm just saying jennif- five alarm fire and. This is one half less than. But your your point is what happens when he fires Muller or he fires Muller when he pardons Manafort, which I guess maybe doesn't matter as much now when Manafort provides information that Trump knew about the Trump Tower meeting, I think that's a different scale or just when the Muller work comes out this, I don't want to get too personal domestic life, but it's like it's like the notion that, but I'm about to the notion of like a budget means you have one budget. Ho said it's like, oh, that was paid for out of a different budget then. But I, my, I think our five alarm fire scale is for reading the tea leaves. When something happens when Muller comes back with findings, if Trump fires Muller, that's sort of prime officia a big deal, a new paradigm, a new paradigm. Yeah, that's one. We'll break out the the paradigm shift noise that we have stored away saying the audio files. Okay. I was trying to say goodbye to you folks mica. Thanks. Thanks for being on my pleasure. Sorry for derailing thing and Amelia. Thanks as always. Hopefully we didn't destroy. Are you on vacation right now? I think. Are you on vacation? I I mean, yes, I'm I'm remotely today, but yes, I am at the beach in Michigan. Well, enjoy the beach in Michigan. Thank you for taking time out of your day. Michigan doesn't have any beaches. Why skew have you ever heard of Lake? Michigan. Okay. It has more than like chore lines along the way are not a beach. Okay. No, I'm putting the kabosh on right now. Factually untrue. Each means ocean, you need sand sand. Okay, that's just wrong. My looking to end listeners, please please send in at five thirty a. politics shouldn't beach just refer to oceanfront shorelines. This is coastal bias. If I have ever heard of it literally coastal by. Lead land during midwestern western beach. Okay, let's leave it there. I'm going to Tony child is in the control room, and you may have heard on the podcast yesterday on model talk that we have a live show coming up in New York on September twenty fourth to get tickets and find out more information. Go to fivethirtyeight dot com slash live, but have a great weekend everyone. And we will see you on Monday.