The Mueller project continues on its inevitable path, yet every day the synthetic Trump-Russia collusion scandal appears more absurd. It appears more absurd every day not only because of the absence of evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, but also because of the actions undertaken by the administration adverse to Russian national interests. The Frankenstein monster nevertheless lumbers on.
The Mueller project, not to put too fine a point on it, is to remove President Trump from office. Think of it as the Mueller switch project. You’d have to be a fool not to see it. Yet that is far from the only problem with it.
Special Counsel is not a creature of statue; his appointment and jurisdiction is governed by regulations promulgated by the Department of Justice. Unlike many regulations, these are relatively brief and to the point. They are accessible online here. Under the applicable regulation, Special Counsel may be appointed when the Attorney General or his surrogate “determines that criminal investigation of a person or matter is warranted,” and that the Justice Department’s handling of “that investigation or prosecution of that person or matter” in the normal course “would present a conflict of interest for the Department” (emphasis added).
In his capacity as Acting Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as Special Counsel. Rosenstein cited the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of alleged Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election as the matter to be investigated. Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller does not comport with the regulations; a counterintelligence investigation cannot form the basis of a matter to be investigated by Special Counsel.
As Andrew McCarthy has repeatedly observed, the FBI counterintelligence investigation doesn’t fall within the scope of the regulations: “a counterintelligence investigation is not a criminal investigation. There need be no suspicion of crime before a counterintelligence probe is commenced.”
Mueller’s appointment lacks a legal predicate. This failure is fundamental.
From it other failures have followed in undue process. McCarthy hands up a devastating indictment of Mueller’s conduct of the investigation and resulting charges in “Mueller’s Investigation Flouts Justice Department Standards.”
These departures from law and practice cannot be justified by necessity or the supposed good works of Mueller’s probe. The Mueller investigation remains a continuing affront to due process. As I say, one would have to to be a fool not to see the object of Mueller’s probe. I am not an optimist by nature, but I think one would also have to be a fool to doubt that there will be a day of reckoning.