How is Robert Mueller Allowed to Be Independent Special Counsel When Special Counsel Statute Specifically Prohibits It Because of Conflict of Interest (VIDEO)
ISN’T THE INDEPENDENT COUNSEL, SUPPOSED TO BE INDEPENDENT?
What would the LEFT be saying today if the individual picked to be the Independent counsel investigating the Russian hacking and any so-called involvement of Donald Trump and obstruction of justice was a friend and mentor of Trump? This is a legitimate question. According to the special counsel statute, it specifically prohibits individuals from serving if he/she has “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the investigation or prosecution.” The language is mandatory as it states “shall” disqualify himself. It does not say, might, kinda or sort of. Shall means shall. Gregg Jarrett of Fox News is 100% correct in that Robert Mueller has no business being the independent counsel. Mueller has a complete conflict of interest. The two men and former colleagues have long been friends, allies and partners. One has to wonder how Mueller was selected in the first place. Unless the fix is in.
28 CFR Section 45.2 provides in part:
Disqualification arising from personal or political relationship.
(a) Unless authorized under paragraph (b) of this section, no employee shall participate in a criminal investigation or prosecution if he has a personal or political relationship with:
(1) Any person or organization substantially involved in the conduct that is the subject of the investigation or prosecution; or
(2) Any person or organization which he knows has a specific and substantial interest that would be directly affected by the outcome of the investigation or prosecution …
(c) For the purposes of this section:
(2) Personal relationship means a close and substantial connection of the type normally viewed as likely to induce partiality. … Whether relationships (including friendships) of an employee to other persons (outside his or her family) or organizations are “personal” must be judged on an individual basis with due regard given to the subjective opinion of the employee.
It does not matter whether Robert Mueller is an honorable man or a Boy Scout. Provisions like this are put in to maintain that there is no appearance of impropriety. It takes the subjectivity out of such an investigation. Honestly, who thinks some one can be objective to the man that fired his friend? If Robert Mueller was truly a man of honor as so many claim, he would understand and admit he is woefully conflicted and recuse himself. The canons of ethics and the law are greater than any one person and the blood lust to destroy them. Or are they?
The Washington Post is reporting that Robert Mueller is now investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice, examining not only the president’s alleged statement to James Comey in their February meeting, but also the firing of the FBI Director.
If true, this development makes the argument even more compelling that Mueller cannot serve as special counsel. He has an egregious conflict of interest.
The special counsel statute specifically prohibits Mueller from serving if he has “a personal relationship with any person substantially involved in the investigation or prosecution.” The language is mandatory. He “shall” disqualify himself. Comey is substantially involved in the case. Indeed, he is the central witness.
The two men and former colleagues have long been friends, allies and partners. Agents have quipped that they were joined at the hip while at the Department of Justice and the FBI. They have a mentor-protégé relationship. The likelihood of prejudice and favoritism is glaring and severe.
So, it is incomprehensible that the man who is a close friend of the star witness against the president… will now determine whether the president committed a prosecutable crime in his dealings with Mueller’s good friend. Mueller cannot possibly be fair in judging the credibility of his friend versus the man who fired him.
Is the special counsel now motivated to retaliate against the president for ending Comey’s career at the FBI? Will he be tempted to conjure criminality where none actually exist?
Even worse, are Mueller and Comey now “colluding” by acting as co-special prosecutors to bring down the president? By meeting in advance of the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, did they plan Comey’s testimony to depict Trump in the most incriminating light? These are legitimate questions that invite serious concerns.
UPDATE I: USA Today – Robert Mueller should recuse himself from Russia investigation: William G. Otis is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University Law Center, a former federal prosecutor, and former special counsel for President George H.W. Bush.
Former FBI director is too close to his successor, James Comey, to be impartial.
Robert Mueller is a man of integrity with a long record of public service. In the abstract, he would be the right selection as special counsel in the Russia investigation. Under the specific circumstances of this case, however, with his longtime friend James Comey at the center of the inquiry, Mueller’s the wrong choice. The public cannot be as sure as it needs to be of his objectivity.
This is true for reasons similar to those that prompted Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself from the same investigation. Sessions testified Tuesday that he felt he had no proper choice because he had a potential political conflict of interest, having been a campaign adviser to President Trump. Mueller should likewise step away because he has a potential personal conflict of interest, having been a longtime friend of a crucial witness, Comey, and Comey’s key ally at the most important moment of his career.
Mueller and fired FBI Director James Comey are best buds. Family vacations, picnics, hours spent at the office, and a few cocktails after work. As an impartial arbiter Mueller will be tasked to determine whom he believes, but Muelller is predisposed to believe his friend Comey. Wouldn’t you? The elements of obstruction of justice can be highly interpretive, so expect some legal exposure for our president.
Comey stated that he “leaked” the Trump meeting memo to The New York Times to stimulate the appointment of a special counsel. That admission is enlightening. As the Director of the FBI, Mr. Comey had the authority, stature and responsibility to deal with a violation of law. What he appeared to lack is courage or conviction.
The fact that Comey leaked the memo places him in some legal jeopardy. He could be charged with two federal violations. Should we expect to place Mueller into the position to investigate his dear friend? Even if Mueller believes himself capable of being impartial, our hearts will usually override our minds.
Why Mueller should step down as special counsel or recuse himself from any aspect of the investigation involving Comey: