Mueller’s (secret) mandate

I have followed Andrew McCarthy in pointing out the deficiency of Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel under the applicable Department of Justice Regulations (28 CFR § 600.1 et seq.). The regulations require a specific factual statement of a transaction giving rise to a suspected crime. The order under which Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller — a copy is posted here by the New York Times — doesn’t cut it. Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort thus brought a motion to dismiss the charges against him on this basis.

CNN reports that Mueller responded to Manafort’s motion late last night. Mueller’s response indicates that Rosenstein instructed Mueller in a classified August 2, 2017, memo to investigate allegations that Manafort was “colluding with Russian government officials” to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein also instructed Mueller to investigate Manafort’s payments from Ukrainian politicians.

The classified memo was not previously disclosed, even to Manafort. Quoting Mueller’s filing, CNN explains that Rosenstein’s public order appointing Mueller omitted details so it didn’t confirm “specific investigations involving specific individuals.”

CNN has just posted a copy of Rosenstein’s August 2 memo here. With the exception of the instructions directed to Manafort, the memo is entirely redacted.

Notice: All comments are subject to moderation. Our comments are intended to be a forum for civil discourse bearing on the subject under discussion. Commenters who stray beyond the bounds of civility or employ what we deem gratuitous vulgarity in a comment — including, but not limited to, “s***,” “f***,” “a*******,” or one of their many variants — will be banned without further notice in the sole discretion of the site moderator.