Let’s just put it out there without lipstick. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a Swamp Critter and he has to go.
He should step down for the sake of the nation and his own imperiled integrity. And, he should take his already grossly over-staffed team of fifteen liberal partisan lawyers with him.
In fact, the five Congressional committees investigating the “Russian collusion fantasy” and by extension, President Trump, and the FBI’s ongoing investigation should all be shut down, or formally narrowed to actual criminal activity or the investigation of Russian “active measures” during the 2016 campaign only. (Which would not be dissimilar to the U.S. attempts to influence the 2015 elections in Israel, one assumes, when then-President Obama sent a team of his top campaign jockeys to Tel Aviv, funded by a raid on U.S. taxpayer money, to try to defeat Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu. But, I digress.)
Mr. Mueller was appointed as Special Counsel to “investigate” the patently fictional Russia collusion story in May after the President fired the incompetent and disgraced James Comey as FBI Director (about whom I first wrote in July 2016 here). The pretext was the verbal accusation from Mr. Comey that he had “contemporaneous” notes – which no one has yet seen – which hinted that the President might have been guilty of obstruction of justice, even though the circumstances as they are now known make that suggestion preposterous on its face.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein’s spine gave way to the pressure from vengeful Swamp denizens, who demanded Mr. Trump’s audacity to fire Mr. Comey be challenged even if he had every right and authority to dismiss the Director for cause.)
We now know from Mr. Comey’s own bizarre testimony before the House Intelligence Committee that he illegally disclosed and leaked privileged information to the New York Times via a private third party, he claimed, for the express purpose of causing a Special Prosecutor to be named to un-stir the waters he muddied. And who better than his long time “friend and mentor,” Robert Mueller, with whom he had an extensive, not a causal relationship. Mr. Mueller, like Mr. Comey, was a former prosecutor, Deputy Attorney General and Director of the FBI.
The Swamp people immediately rejoiced.
Mr. Mueller was hailed from both sides of the political aisle as a man of towering and unquestioned integrity. The New York Times proclaimed, “Robert Mueller: The Special Counsel America Needs.” All of the rejoicing was devoid of any legal or even political reasoning for the appointment of a Special Counsel in the first place, but that doesn’t seem to matter. A few random dissenters were instantly reminded that they couldn’t question the appointment of Mr. Mueller, or his integrity; he was a decorated Marine and Vietnam combat veteran.
Which is as true as it is admirable, but has nothing to do with his career as the leader of the FBI, nor with his appointment as Special Counsel.
What we now have is a man who has already put together a huge staff, employing far more lawyers than complex criminal cases typically have, and is operating without a budget (or Congressional authority for funding) and can literally spend as much as he pleases. His warrant is without restriction; with unlimited jurisdiction. What can’t he investigate?
Like Special Prosecutors and counsels before him, there is every reason to believe that he will provide the Colosseum with the ritual sacrifice the crowds demand – a “process” charge at least, like the disgraceful Scooter Libby prosecution. The whole affair is the Swamps dream come true.
However, there is a great deal of evidence that suggests that Mr. Mueller is not the man for this position even if there were a reason for a Special Counsel.
His tenure as FBI director was checkered, and his judgement has been called into question on many issues. A review of his twelve years as Director of the FBI is not the stuff of Eliot Ness, but of a modern day politician threading his way in the Administrative State from President to President.
While he only took over weeks before the 9/11 attacks, he and the whole law enforcement and intelligence apparatus tried to hide or at least minimize the incredible intelligence failures of the government prior to the attacks.
Likewise, it was Mr. Mueller himself who finally testified before Congress that the FBI had known about the Chechen-American Tsarnaey brothers responsible for the Boston Marathon bombings even before the Russians alerted U.S. officials to the pair’s terrorist connections.
The FBI also knew that Army Major Nidal Hasan, who murdered thirteen members of the military at Fort Hood, Texas, was exchanging emails with known terrorists and making open threats and pro-terrorist statements. Again, the FBI failed to follow the facts in yet another colossal intelligence failure. Subsequently asked if the FBI had “dropped the ball” in the Nadal case, Mr. Mueller stunningly replied that, “No, I think, given the context of the discussions and the situation that the agents and the analysts were looking at, they took appropriate steps.”
Sadly, these are not the only examples. Nowhere is it evident that the FBI under either Director Mueller or Director Comey has learned how to connect dots. In fact, quite the opposite.
Director Mueller presided over the purging of nearly 900 pages of anti-terrorism training in 2012 from the FBI’s training material. Astonishingly, several of the nation’s largest Islamic organizations advising the FBI on the training were themselves unindicted co-conspirators in the famous 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, which demonstrated that the Foundation was a charitable front group for the Muslim Brotherhood, organized to fund the Palestinian terrorist organization, Hamas. Equally shocking, several of these Islamic groups were also the subjects of extensive FBI field investigations and at times surveillance for their links to radicalism.
These Brotherhood affiliated groups (primarily fundamentalist Wahhabi) were allowed to aggressively lobby and alternately threatened the FBI to allow their external review of the training methodology to be used for working within the Muslim community. Mr. Mueller supported a policy of calculated political appeasement that ignored the link between Islam and Islamic terrorism, and reduced the ability of the FBI to investigate potential radicals in the Muslim community.
Perhaps the worst wound taken by Director Muller against his judgement and management of the FBI involved the train wreck investigation of the anthrax letter attacks in 2001 that claimed five lives and terrorized Washington. It was such a fiasco and botched investigation, directly involving Mr. Muller with layers of political interference, that space doesn’t permit even a casual examination. Suffice it to report that one man’s life was ruined, even though he eventually won a $5 million settlement, and the actual murderer committed suicide seven years later, prior to being arrested after a very expensive, draining, bewildering and bumbling investigation that centered in the Directors office and filtered downward.
The time has come for responsible Republican’s to act like the majority party and exert leadership – for a change. They need to shut this farce down before it consumes their own, and the nation’s agenda. A failed President Trump will doom them as well.
Republican leaders must insist that Mr. Rosenstein suspend the Special Counsel’s inquiry, or at the very least, tightly draw the boundaries of the investigation to relevant issues, if those even exist.
The Congress can also restrict the Special Counsel’s funding, and demand its accountability. This type of open-season hunt looking for an unspecified crime – amazingly not mounted in the last eight years when there was much graver charges that actually had substance – is bad politics and bad policy. The nation deserves better, there are really important things to accomplish. And President Trump deserves better.