I thought long and hard about writing this column because you and I are sick at this point of hearing about the Mueller report, collusion, obstruction of justice, etc., etc., etc. Yet there are matters that need to be defined. Since this is never a me-too column, there are topics to be addressed. Just to be clear: this was a disaster for Mueller and the Democrats.
If you don’t think Mueller was a disaster for the Democrats think about this — the Dems had a mock hearing the day before. Yes, a mock hearing. They thought so much was at stake they actually rehearsed their hearing and the role of every single Democrat member of the committee. One must think they wanted the person playing Mueller (a staffer for Jerry Nadler) in the chair during the hearing instead of the real Mueller.
Mueller made something very clear. It has been asserted by some that the entire staff was hired by Andrew Weissmann who I consider a despicable person. He should not be allowed near a courtroom (look into Arthur Andersen LLP) and is a highly-partisan Democrat who attended Hillary Clinton’s 2016 election night party.
Mueller asserted he hired the entire staff, which was largely Democrats, sprinkled with a few “independents” whose leanings we could guess. Mueller stated in 25 years he had never asked anyone their political leanings while working for the federal government. What he said there we can all agree with – every prosecutor should not be subject to professional persecution because of their political affiliation.
On the other hand, why were these people not asked if they have a conflict of interest? Every trial attorney will ask you who you are suing before they take you as a client to assure there is no conflict of interest. I have written many times in this column that the first day of work for a mega-large international accounting firm they instructed us bright-eyed new employees that an appearance of a conflict of interest was the same as a conflict of interest.
Mueller should have asked each member whether they have an actual conflict or even an appearance of conflict of interest. At least six of the staff made substantial contributions to the Clinton campaign and then there is the key staffers Weissmann and Jeannie Rhee who was even more conflicted than Weissmann.
“Have you made any political contributions or been involved in any campaigns that would lead someone to believe you are not an independent person or taint this investigation?” “Or has your spouse?” Simple questions. You don’t need to know who or why; just that they do have a conflict. Quite apparently never asked.
Is that because this was a highly partisan investigation from the start? Gary Cooper (Robert Mueller) was apparently not the All-American straight-shooting Republican as he was touted to shield the hyper-partisan investigators. It is quite apparent that Mueller (the bosom buddy of James Comey) was part of the establishment who reviled Trump. That is the only explanation for the out-of-nowhere 12-minute news conference that was roundly determined to be an impeachment invitation to the Democrats.
Then there is the question: who wrote the two reports? We would expect that staff would be significantly involved in the writing of this, but the final decisions and intimate review should have been done by Mueller. The hearings were conducted and televised because every-day Americans had not read the reports. What the Dems had not counted on was that it seems Mueller had not read them either.
Just ask yourself how could someone had run these investigations and not know about Fusion GPS? Actually, how could you have read a newspaper or researched on the internet and not know Fusion GPS?
It brought images of Mueller walking through his office nodding hello to the underlings, entering his office, closing the door and playing solitaire on his computer. There is delegating and then there is being disengaged. Certainly, seems that Mueller was the latter and that the hyper-partisan, Trump-hating, despicable Weissmann and Rhee were running the show. Of course, all will deny it, but just watch his performance at the hearings and it is easy to reach this conclusion. Since the Republican White Knight Mueller was not who we were sold he is, this all makes sense.
Then there is the matter that should have never been discussed and has raised third-term Texas Congressman John Ratcliffe from obscurity to nationally known politico. Ratcliffe was chosen to dismantle Mueller on an issue that that had irked many of us since the release of his Mueller’s report – his refusal to exonerate President Trump. Ratcliffe made clear what all of us know is that only a jury or a judge can exonerate someone. Prosecutors don’t touch that area. Prosecutors either charge someone with a crime or keep their mouths shut.
Mueller’s willingness to use that language in the report and to not knock it down afterward is prima facie evidence of his partisan distaste for President Trump. He knows that the standard does not exist, so he is making it up as he goes. In fact, in the very first questioning by Congressman Nadler, Mueller had an opportunity to kill this issue, but did not dispute the use of the word by Nadler. Nadler should know better as someone with a law degree, but then he is not really a lawyer. Nadler had a fundraising email out that afternoon claiming Mueller had not exonerated Trump so give us some dough. Nothing like raising money on a blatant lie.
But everyone has been fast and loose with the law on this matter ever since Comey created a new legal standard for not charging candidate Clinton in 2016 after his investigation and also being the one as the head of the FBI to determine who gets charged. The whole idea is to come down on the Trump people and let the others slide like Clinton’s staff, Christopher Steele, Joseph Mifsud and others. That is why despite no conspiracy or collusion, Trump is still being looked at by the Democrats for obstructing justice though a crime was never committed.
Congressman Nadler cannot give it up. His hatred for Trump appears to be the driving force. He is like the knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail yelling flesh wound, as he loses limb after limb.
The reason for this entire matter was to get Trump by dangerous, partisan hacks. That is the real Mueller Disaster even though this episode is over. Unfortunately, this charade is not.