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A Partisan Mueller Seeks, Without Evidence, to Incite Impeachment

Mueller incite impeachment evidenceSpecial counsel Robert Mueller’s deep-seated bias against President Donald Trump was on full display on May 29, as was his willingness to abdicate his duties and obscure the conclusions of his own report.

Mueller said: “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. … We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller explained that Department of Justice (DOJ) regulations preclude charging a sitting president with a federal crime, and, therefore, his office didn’t consider that option. He added, “The Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”

Translation: Mueller failed to charge the president with obstruction, only because a sitting president can’t be charged with a crime, not because there was evidence clearly exonerating the president. But don’t worry, there’s a process for dealing with a sitting president’s wrongdoing—it’s called impeachment.

So what’s wrong with Mueller’s remarks? Plenty.

For openers, it’s not settled law that a sitting president can’t be charged with a crime. Some constitutional scholars argue that the separation-of-powers principle precludes the criminal prosecution of a sitting president, but others note that the Constitution doesn’t expressly so state, as the Founding Fathers easily could have written.

It’s true that the Department of Justice issued a Watergate-era memo, reaffirmed in 2000, stating that its policy isn’t to charge a sitting president with a crime. But that’s DOJ policy, not the Constitution. That’s why Mueller never said the Constitution precludes charging a sitting president; he said DOJ regulations precluded the prosecution of the president, and that the Constitution provided another process, obviously referring to impeachment.

So why did Mueller make that point—or at least pretend—that he was powerless to charge Trump with a crime? Because he wanted it to appear as if that was the real reason he didn’t recommend the prosecution of  Trump.

A Prosecutor’s Duty

In the United States, prosecutors don’t clear the targets of their investigation of crimes—other than by failing to charge. They either charge or don’t charge, based on the evidence their investigation reveals. Whether there is simply insufficient evidence to secure a conviction, or there is affirmative evidence exculpating the target, isn’t for a prosecutor to say. Ever.

The prosecutor is not an op-ed writer, a talking head, or commentator. His role is to charge or not charge. Period. If a prosecutor charges a crime, then it’s up to the charged individual to defend himself in a court of law, and that court, by a jury of the charged man’s peers, either convicts or acquits.

Prosecutors in this country have never (until Mueller) offered to explain why they didn’t charge; they aren’t supposed to say: I think the guy was guilty—I saw no exculpatory evidence proving the target’s innocence—but there was insufficient incriminating evidence, so I didn’t charge him.

Inflaming Impeachment

Mueller’s comments about DOJ policy not permitting a sitting president to be charged with a federal crime were entirely gratuitous, They were designed to inflame an impeachment effort and maximize the political damage to Trump.

If a sitting president can’t be charged with a crime, then what was the point of Mueller’s appointment to begin with? Mueller was still appointed. Why?

For at least four reasons: 1) Mueller, as special counsel reporting to but not within the DOJ per se, could have recommended the president’s prosecution if he uncovered compelling evidence of a serious crime (whether DOJ would follow that recommendation and what would happen, if it didn’t, is another matter); 2) Americans wanted to know whether their president committed a crime, whether or not he can now be so charged; 3) if Trump did commit the crime of obstruction of justice, he could be charged after he left office (if the statute of limitations had not by then run out), which could be as soon as January 2021; and 4) a sitting president can be impeached if he is found to have committed a serious crime.

It was, therefore, pointless to note what we all knew going in—that under DOJ policy, a sitting president cannot be charged with a federal crime. Unless, of course, one’s point is to fan the flames of impeachment. Said another way, if Mueller did uncover evidence of obstruction, he certainly would have, at a minimum, “reported a conclusion” that Trump had committed the crime of obstruction, even without formally recommending that DOJ charge him with such crime.

His point about a sitting president not being chargeable with a federal crime under DOJ policy was therefore intended to obscure his failure to find evidence that Trump committed obstruction, by disingenuously suggesting he only failed to conclude that Trump committed obstruction, because he was powerless to charge the president with a federal crime.

Why a Special Counsel?

But one must ask—why was a special counsel appointed to investigate Trump in the first place?

Recall that Mueller was appointed in the aftermath of Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. The suggestion by the president’s critics, at the time, was that that act itself amounted to obstruction of justice since Comey was then leading an investigation into Russian election interference (though he falsely told Trump he wasn’t a target). Thus, a principal focus of the Mueller investigation was whether Trump had committed the crime of obstruction of justice.

One must then go on to ask: Why didn’t the DOJ handle the investigation itself, as it normally does? The answer: When a sitting president is the target of a criminal investigation, the DOJ is conflicted because DOJ lawyers serve under and at the pleasure of the president. Thus, a special counsel, though appointed by the DOJ, is needed so that the investigation of the president is conducted by someone not directly under the president’s thumb, so to speak.

Yet, here, what did Mueller do? On a crucial task with which he was charged—determining whether Trump committed obstruction—Mueller punted, sending the determination back to Attorney General William Barr, who works directly under Trump. In other words, after being appointed because someone independent, outside DOJ, was needed to assess whether Trump committed obstruction of justice, Mueller—that independent person—sent that very question back to the head of “Trump’s” DOJ.

Which raises the question: Why would Mueller commit such an obvious abdication of his own assigned duty? The answer is clear: Having found no evidence that Trump committed obstruction of justice, and faced, as a result, with having to conclude he didn’t commit obstruction, Mueller—in a final desperate, partisan act—refused to affirmatively exonerate Trump, and sent the very question he was tasked with answering as a special counsel back to the head of the DOJ, who serves under and at Trump’s pleasure.

Mueller knew that, faced with no evidence of the crime, Barr would make the same determination Mueller would have been forced to make had he done his job—by declining to conclude that Trump had committed obstruction.

Mueller also knew that Barr’s conclusion would be distrusted by many Democrats (and the media)—for the very same reason that Mueller was appointed in the first place: because Barr works for Trump.

Thus, refusing to come to a conclusion on obstruction presented Mueller with the least-worst option from his highly partisan perspective (given the lack of evidence of obstruction). Mueller knew that by abdicating his duty and referring the obstruction determination to someone who works for Trump, he would keep alive the prospect of impeachment and, even in the absence of impeachment, inflict maximum political damage on Trump.

Presumption of Innocence

Mueller’s remarks present a stunning reversal of the presumption of innocence central to our system of jurisprudence. There’s no question that Mueller knew his remarks did just that.

In sum, Mueller didn’t fail to come to a conclusion on obstruction because a sitting president can’t be charged with a federal crime or because there was no clear evidence proving Trump’s innocence, as his remarks were designed to lead Americans to believe. To the contrary, after 2,800 subpoenas and nearly 500 search warrants, at a cost to U.S. taxpayers of more than $30 million, Mueller simply came up empty-handed on obstruction. Mueller was arguably free to recommend prosecution, and certainly free to conclude that Trump had committed the crime of obstruction, without recommending prosecution, but there was just no evidence to support that conclusion.

Knowing that the evidence his exhaustive nearly-two-year long investigation had yielded (or not yielded) compelled the opposition conclusion, Mueller abdicated his responsibility in favor of forcing Barr to issue the “no obstruction” conclusion, so that that conclusion could be assailed as that of a conflicted attorney, leaving the door open to impeachment.

Indeed, it’s no accident Mueller waited while the media’s attacks on Barr’s alleged bias fermented before making his remarks. Yet, absent his partisanship and willingness to abdicate his duties, it’s clear Mueller would have been forced come to the same conclusion Barr did—that Trump didn’t commit obstruction of justice or any other crime. Wednesday’s remarks were merely Mueller’s partisan efforts to ensure the impeachment door remained open, despite his abject failure to find evidence of obstruction.

Reprinted with permission from - The Epoch Times - by Stephen Meister

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Cindy

Sounds like Mueller was being paid off! By who ? Well for starters the Obama/Clinton gang of gutter snipes ! Attorney General Barr has done a great job!!! Here’s to another FOUR Years of Trump !!! May God Bless America and May God continue to Bless and guide President Trump!!!

Wayne D Peterkin

Good article and true. It mirrors an excellent piece by Fox News’ Gregg Jarrett a few days ago that made the very same argument. In part, I think Mueller is trying to insulate himself from any direct blame or criticism for bringing a presidency down by shifting the burden onto a very willing democratically-controlled House of Representatives. Mueller wants Trump brought down but does not want the historical blame. Hopefully if the House were to foolishly impeach a very effective president, conviction would fail in the Senate and a public backlash would develop in the 2020 election over that effort. I voted for this president in 2016 and will do so again in 2020. His policies have generally been excellent even when the wording of some of his tweets and rhetoric make me cringe. I vote for policy over personality (and I like his combativeness if not his wording!).

Cynthia Stutsman

Why can’t all Americans understand that the political hatred the left has for President Trump is so dangerous that it could destroy our justice system. What the left has done in exonerating Hillary Clinton and creating this Russian hoax is very close to destroying us now.

Paul W

A complete travesty. A) Mueller outright lied when he contradicted what he had actually told AG Barr repeatedly. B) In attempt to garner favor with the dems, he made statements that are diametrically opposed to how law in the United States works. He said that his findings couldn’t prove that the president was innocent. Yo…Bob, in this country you don’t have to prove your innocence. What a deplorable charade. He has already had to start back-walking some of this tripe. He’s also a coward. There’s no way he’s going to testify. Not unless he intends to lie to the House under oath. This fraud knew, no later than his hiring of Weissmann, that this whole thing was a massive hoax and a cover-up of the FBI’s spying on American citizens as well as burying the Clinton email scandal. Take that to the bank!

Barbara Dresser

The swamp of treason runs much deeper than we thought.
—Ben Garrison

Diana

This communist needs prosecuted for all the laws he broke and his illegal attacks on our freedoms while doing the democratics socialist dirty work him and all involved Better be prosecuted for this disgusting behavior of a once decent Country and that includes those hidden in the background of this vile action all because they are afraid everything they have done over the years will come Out and it Better come Out We the People want to Know, heads must roll for this or America is done our Forefathers would have Hung most of these politicians and that’s a fact.

Glory DeGroat

I pray daily for our great country, that God will forgive us of forsaking Him, allowing misfits to govern us. May He bring us through this, which by the way, we don’t deserve. May His mercy be on us & bless President Trump with another 4 years to get us out of this

Robert Worrell

He’s a Democrat pure and simple!

Gail Coury

This is getting ridiculous and disgusting and is harassment by the Democrats. Just makes me more and more for President Trump and I’m not alone !

Linda

He was either paid off or threatened. He looked sick.

cecil

All of these Trump Haters, Democrats, Clintons, Obama lovers are the scum of the earth.

Joe Smaha

Attorney General Barr will do his duty to uncover all the misdeeds of the former FBI leaders and the DOJ co-conspirators and instigate charges against them, maybe if he digs deep enough in the facts, some White House and Obama Administration personnel will be fitted with prison garb. The House Demos will continue to create controversy as long as they can but will not impeach President Trump because politically that could not only cost them the chance for the Presidency but also lose control of the House and also fail to obtain the change in Senate seats therefore not gain Senate Control. We know President Trump was treated unfairly and charged with false accusations by Obama Administration members and by most anyone standards, he followed his personal attorneys advice and fully cooperated with the Mueller staff. Yes he may have been irritated and wanted to stop the investigation because he… Read more »

Mary L Sedwick

How sad this has happened to our president. He’s been cleared now there’s putting doubt back in? Clearly biased against him. May all these evil doers be found out and dealt with severely.

Todd Taylor

We need to demand that the monies that were spent for this bogus investigation be paid back to the American tax payer!

Bob L.

The “deep state” is much deeper and darker than we realize. The forces of evil have been at work, like termites, for more than a hundred years from both within and outside of our government. They have reached a point of power now that they feel invincible and empowered to take off their mask. Just because Donald Trump is effectively making a small dent in it doesn’t mean we are saved from what the radicals are trying to do – end the United Sates as a free Constitutional Republic and bury us in a global, tyrannical oligarchy.

Ken

Can we demand Mueller refund the money he spent? If he knew in his mind he could not being charges against a sitting president, why did he keep the process going, except to line the pockets of everyone he was working with.

Brenda Blunt

Good grief! Either a crime was committed or not!! Apparently, the Democrats and the media have made it their mission to destroy our democracy! How sad!

Robert Sanders

Mueller is just a sore loser. He is following in the steps of another warrior-turned politician-turned bitter old man who wants revenge; then he runs away like a coward, not giving ANY thought to the detrimental impact on the nation that gave him everything he enjoys this day. What a bunch of babies and egotistical self-absorbed elitists we have “running” this country…..into the ground.

Gram

I always get a little nervous when someone says I made this statement of my own free will, no one told me what to say…

Todd Taylor

The unbashful bias, liberal circus must stop! I have witnessed a complete meltdown of the liberal, progressive Democratic Party; I liken it to an undisciplined, spoiled child. It is time to grow up America and move forward for the good of the country.