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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

The Mueller News Conference/5/29/2019

      The bizarre news conference called by Robert Mueller did not help clear up the mess he had made of his 2-year effort to bring down President Trump. To follow are 2 excellent reviews of what Mueller said and what it all might mean.

 

Richard Viguerie’s

CONSERVATIVEHQ

Mueller’s Bitter End

George Rasley, CHQ Editor | 5/30/19

Note to Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his band of angry Democrats: There is insufficient evidence to charge me in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa, but that doesn’t mean that you should encourage Congress to spend the next two years harassing me about it.

Robert Mueller’s hastily called press conference yielded one thing, and one thing only; a last opportunity for Mueller to encourage the overthrow of the President he despises, but was incapable of overthrowing himself.

Beyond infuriating Democrats by announcing that “…the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress…” Mueller stated only the obvious: “…there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy” and “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

The further problem for Trump-haters is that buried in Mueller’s statement was an important statement of fact that further exonerates President Trump:

“…the [Department of Justice] opinion explicitly permits the investigation of a sitting President because it is important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available. Among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.” (Emphasis ours.)

In other words, had there been evidence uncovered that Donald Trump conspired with anyone to obstruct justice, the co-conspirators could have and would have been charged, even if the President is shielded from such a charge by the Constitution.

After Mueller’s exhaustive investigation no co-conspirators in any cover-up or conspiracy to obstruct justice were charged and the Special Counsel announced when the final report was filed there would be no further indictments, ergo, there is no conspiracy to obstruct justice or cover-up for House Democrats to investigate.

Many anti-Trump media commentators and all of the radical Leftists vying for the Democratic nomination for President seem to have interpreted some of Mueller’s remarks as an invitation or referral to Congress to begin an investigation and impeachment hearings.

And that may be Robert Mueller’s fervent wish for the outcome of his investigation and yesterday’s press conference, but that is not what he said. What he said was not a reference to specific conduct that might be impeachable, but rather a simple statement of fact:

“…second, the [Department of Justice] opinion says that the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing. And beyond Department policy we were guided by principles of fairness. It would be unfair to potentially — 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 — that is the office’s final position, and we will not comment on any other conclusions or hypotheticals about the President.”

The Department of Justice “requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting President of wrongdoing,” but there is no statement of any fact that constitutes criminal wrongdoing to trigger that process, no co-conspirators charged in an alleged cover-up or obstruction of justice. Far from making an “impeachment referral” to Congress, all Mueller did was to state the well-known constitutional law that governs the decision not to charge a sitting president, any sitting president, with a federal crime.

Somewhat like those of the ancient oracle of Delphi, Robert Mueller’s pronouncements will be interpreted to justify the desires of those hearing them. So, regardless of what Robert Mueller said yesterday, or what is in the plain language of the Special Counsel’s report, in the end Trump-haters, House Democrats hungry for TV time during impeachment hearings, and the radical Far Left Democrats running for President, will all do what they perceive to be is in their political self-interest. And, recognizing that that is their motivation, fair-minded Americans should not allow them to get away with claiming otherwise.

 

Daily Wire

4 Key Takeaways From Robert Mueller’s Farewell Address

Alex Wong/Getty Images

By Ben Shapiro

@benshapiro

May 29, 2019

On Wednesday, Special Counsel Robert Mueller finally emerged from the shadows to make a declaration: he’s leaving, and he’s taking the dog. According to Mueller, his job here is finished, since his 448-page report on Russian election interference and Trump administration obstruction has concluded. What’s more, according to Mueller, the country is better off for the Mueller investigation having taken place, despite two years, billions of dollars in media coverage, and no actual conclusion.

 

Trump Reacts To Mueller Statement: ‘Nothing Changes…Case Is Closed’

Well, then.

There were a few key messages in Mueller’s valedictory.

  1. Mueller’s Original Brief Was Limited. Mueller began his statement by recognizing that his original brief was to investigate “Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.” He proceeded to outline the fact that this interference was highly damaging to the political process: “As alleged by the grand jury in an indictment, Russian intelligence officers who are part of the Russian military, launched a concerted attack on our political system.” All of this is fine and dandy; there’s little controversy over any of it.
  2. Mueller’s Investigation Never Should Have Included Obstruction by Trump. Mueller then moved on to his explanation of his investigation of obstruction. Unlike the election interference investigation, which began as a counterintelligence investigation inside the FBI, the obstruction investigation began as a criminal investigation — and a criminal investigation that Mueller admits he never had the authority to conclude. Mueller stated regarding Russian interference, “It was critical for us to obtain full and accurate information from every person we questioned. When a subject of an investigation obstructs that investigation or lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of their government’s effort to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable.” That would be true of Trump’s associates. That would not be true of Trump himself — Mueller recognizes that he never had the authority to indict a sitting president. He explained:

[U]nder longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. A special counsel’s office is part of the Department of Justice, and by regulation, it was bound by that department policy. Charging the president with a crime was therefore not an option we could consider.

Yet Mueller proceeded to write two hundred pages about Trump himself, and his conduct. This means that Mueller spent tens of millions of dollars and years of time investigating unindictable conduct. So what the hell was he doing? Mueller provided two separate explanations for the investigation of Trump’s conduct: first, he said, the investigation was permitted because it is “important to preserve evidence while memories are fresh and documents available.” Evidence of what, though? A crime? But Mueller refused to allege a crime. So evidence of something — something that wasn’t prosecutable right now, and that Mueller refused to suggest amounted to a crime for the future. Mueller himself said the investigation was justified because perhaps it would have resulted in evidence that “could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now.” But Mueller didn’t charge co-conspirators in obstruction. This is bizarre, at least.

Mueller’s second justification is more obvious: he essentially said he was doing Congress’ impeachment groundwork for them. “The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” Mueller stated. This is an invitation to impeachment.

But that’s not Mueller’s job. He is a member of the executive branch. He is not an independent counsel. He is not a legislative investigator. A criminal investigation that cannot possibly result in charges is a conflict in terms. Mueller never should have agreed to such an investigation under the law, and Mueller’s own standard makes that clear.

 

  1. Mueller Wants Trump To Go Down, But Wouldn’t Call For Prosecution. Mueller infamously stated that there was “insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.” So far, so good. That’s a prosecutorial statement in prosecutorial language. But then Mueller wildly exceeded his brief. In fact, he pulled a James Comey: he effectively indicted Trump for supposed non-crimes publicly, the same way Comey did Hillary Clinton. Of course, he said he would never do that: “It would be unfair to potentially — it would be unfair to potentially accuse somebody of a crime when there can be no court resolution of the actual charge.”

That’s pretty rich, coming just paragraphs after Mueller accused Trump of a non-crime without the possibility of resolution of the actual charge:

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….we concluded that we would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.

Trump’s opponents have hung their hats on this statement to show that Trump only escaped prosecution because he was the president, and because of the Department of Justice regulations. But that’s not quite right. In actuality, Mueller said that the DOJ regulations created a threshold barrier to a decision: he had no right to make a decision, he said, because no prosecution was available. Thus, he made no decision. Instead, he decided to publicly say he could not exonerate Trump. Now, presumably that remark was directed toward Trump’s false statements that he had been totally exonerated. But it was partisan and inappropriate for a man of Mueller’s stature: the comments effectively shifted the burden of proof from Mueller to Trump himself.

It’s not Mueller’s job to exonerate anyone. It’s his job to prosecute or not prosecute. Instead, he told everyone that Trump might be prosecutable, but he couldn’t really say, but still, there might be impeachment available. The proper language here would have been the same as the language surrounding collusion: “insufficient evidence.” But instead, Mueller refused to say even that.

Was any of this supposed to be in the purview of Mueller’s activity?

 

  1. Mueller Didn’t Expose Barr As A Perjurer Or Obstructor Of Justice. Barr stated in public testimony that Mueller told him “several times in a group meeting that he was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction.” Here, Mueller stated that he could not prosecute, and that he would not say whether Trump had committed a crime. These two statements are not actually in conflict. Mueller may well have told Barr that he had not reached a determination on obstruction, and that he saw no reason to do so. That’s what he told the public, after all. Furthermore, Mueller explained that he didn’t question Barr’s “good faith” in his decision to “make the entire report public all at once.” So much for Barr’s supposed obstruction.

Then, Mueller said that he was out. Done. Finito. He explained that, having created a political Rorschach test, he would now act like Watchmen’s Rorshach: “all the whores and politicians will look up and shout: ‘Save us!’ And I’ll look down and whisper, ‘No.’” Mueller stated, “the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.”

Did Mueller clarify anything today? Only that he exceeded his original mandate — that after conducting a thorough investigation, he was willing to inject himself into the political process rather than sticking to his role. That’s damning not just for Trump — who will now have to face down Democrats calling for his political head — but for a career prosecutor who decided that the business of criminal prosecution was too difficult, and that he’d prefer to serve as a roadbuilder for impeachment.

 

 

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