As he departed the Justice Department, Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered a valedictory address in which he reiterated the main points of his office’s written investigative report. In doing so, he explicitly confirmed what many of us have recognized from the beginning, i.e.,that the efforts of his handpicked team of Hillary Clinton acolytes comprised first, last, and always a taxpayer funded exercise in political opposition research masquerading as a criminal investigation of Donald Trump.
Regarding whether or not the president had obstructed the special counsel’s investigation of possible collusion with the Russians by the Trump campaign, Mueller cited the well-founded and long-standing legal opinion by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel that the Constitution prohibits the indictment of a sitting president. In recognition of that prohibition, Mueller stated that criminally charging Trump was “not an option.”
“As set forth in the report after that investigation,” said Mueller, “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. Beyond department policy we regarded by principles of fairness, it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge. So that was Justice Department policy, those were the principles under which we operated, and from them we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime. That is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the president.”
So, if Team Mueller knew all along that the Constitution prohibited criminally charging a sitting president, why did they devote so much time and effort investigating the possible ways that Trump could have obstructed justice? Why did half of their written report go into such detail about Trump’s purported efforts to thwart their investigation? Why did they try to force the president to testify under oath? Were they using the obstruction investigation as a means of luring Trump into a perjury trap? But if Trump can’t be criminally charged, why set the trap? Just what was Team Mueller’s goal?
In his remarks, Mueller provided a not-so-subtle answer to all of these questions. “The Constitution,” he intoned, “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
Anybody want to guess what “process” he’s talking about? Here’s a clue: it’s spelled with an “i”.
So now we know. For the last two years, the supposedly apolitical Department of Justice has spent tens of millions of our tax dollars to fund a pre-impeachment investigation of President Trump conducted by fervent and unabashed supporters of the candidate that he defeated at the polls. You might think that, under such grubby, shameful, and nakedly political circumstances, Mueller would have had the decency and sense to keep his mouth shut and quietly resign his position. Instead, by his public remarks, he has made a show of passing the impeachment baton to the Democrats in the House of Representatives.
But, in so doing, Mueller has divested himself and his cohort of Hillary Clinton sycophants of the last pretense of prosecutorial legitimacy. By his ill-advised farewell address, the special counsel has conclusively laid bare the true political purpose behind Team Mueller’s investigation as well as its detailed report. Thanks to Mueller’s speech, there can be no doubt remaining that Team Mueller’s two volume report is, for all intents and purposes, nothing more than a political manifesto calculated to advance the deep state’s ongoing conspiracy to undo the outcome of the 2016 election.
As such, the fact that this nakedly partisan political operation was publicly funded and allowed to pass itself off as a legitimate exercise of law enforcement power and authority marks an historical low point for the United States Department of Justice. To that limited extent, we should be grateful that Mueller, however unintentionally, highlighted and reinforced the desperate need for the Attorney General to expeditiously and thoroughly investigate, expose, and prosecute those who have corrupted federal law enforcement and the intelligence community for the purpose of usurping the power of the people to elect a president of their choice.
George Parry is a former federal and state prosecutor. He is a regular contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer and blogs at knowledgeisgood.net. He may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.