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Mueller Investigation Done – But Expect Legal Fireworks

mueller

Yogi Berra famously quipped “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”  Special Counsel Robert Mueller has closed his 22-month Russia Investigation, no further indictments. The long nightmare is over, right?  Do not count on it.  National Democrat leaders – and the media – are upset.   

Democrats are in political disarray, showing signs of emotional distress.  This was not the ending they wanted.  The Mueller investigation was supposed to prove collusion, obstruction, “high crimes and misdemeanors,” impeachment, delegitimize Trump’s win, vindicate them.  None of that happened.

The disappointment is palpable, cymbals crashing – but no sound.  House Intelligence Committee chair and visceral anti-Trump critic Adam Schiff (D-CA) finds it unfathomable.  Despite Mueller and Barr following the law, Schiff swears to stop them from trying to “bury any part of this report” and vows he will “take it to court.”  No doubt, he will.

Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Chair Elijah Cummings (D-MD) offered this tweet:

Surely, Cummings will deploy subpoena power.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will not take any “highly classified” briefing – if one is offered – on this report, wants it all released – presumably along with classified material, private information, names, witnesses, testimony of innocents, anything that will serve as fodder for 2020.  Ditto Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, who says releasing the “full report” is “imperative.” 

Many media outlets are on the same track. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews fumes no criminal charges are falling on President Trump or “henchmen,” asking “how could this happen?”  HBO’s Bill Maher declares “I don’t need the Mueller report to know he’s a traitor,” and CNN’s Jim Acosta complains the White House is filled with “glee” – not so much Acosta.

Watch closely.  This is not over.  Democrats will probably demand release of the un-redacted Mueller report, just to see what is in it – although with no legal right to see it.  They may cherry-pick that document for some vindication of their anti-Trump stance.  What else can they do?

They are likely to then seek grand jury testimony and documents, despite the Constitution’s reliance on grand juries and a clear legal tradition of preserving secrecy.  They will push more partisan hearings on Russia collusion, even after two-years and $30 million of Mueller. 

They can be expected to go to court for the secret grand jury material, despite the profound wrongness of that move.  They would – in that case – be willing to unravel America’s grand jury process for their immediate political purposes.  The goal would be a fishing expedition. 

Of course, they will fret, fume and claim congressional oversight requires piercing grand jury secrecy, despite 230 years of contrary history, privacy rights of witnesses and jurors, prerogatives of the Justice Department and Separation of Powers.  What else can they do?

They can ask a judge to put aside Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 6(e), which says we “must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury.” Likely, they will argue that Congress is special, that these are “special circumstances.”  They will then claim that their congressional hearings are “judicial proceedings,” in order to slide into a formal exception to the rule.  Only, congressional hearings are not “judicial proceedings.”  In fact, there are no articles of impeachment (the only adjudicative role Congress has under the Constitution), no basis for them, and Separation of Powers distinguishes congressional from judicial actions.

Next, they will probably try a clever slight-of-hand.  Grand jury secrecy is challenged on the basis of a suspicious indictment.  Here, there is no new indictment.  In fact, we have the reverse – nothing.  Congress wanted what Mueller denied them, a basis for impeachment.  But they will probably still try to breach the secrecy of the grand jury.

Congressional Democrats may even jump the wire, ignore prevailing law.  They may try redefining grand jury “matters” to be, say, just testimony.  Then they will go after documents, witnesses, juror identities, targets, subjects, dates, and names.  Just watch.  In short, for national Democrats, all the chips were on this square.  There is too much at stake, too many egos in play, to simply accept the Mueller Report and move on.

Failing their assertions of oversight, statutory exception, slight-of-hand and term redefinition, Democrats will look for a sympathetic DC federal judge.  They will want one willing to make-up an exception for them.  Interestingly, a case is before the DC Court of Appeals right now which involves piercing grand jury secrecy – for matters decades old now.  Even there, recent oral arguments seem to tip away from the position Democrats want – so the appellate route would probably box them out, even before they got to the Supreme Court.

In the end, Democrats are furious, fixated and flummoxed.  This was not the unhappy ending they wanted.  Count on attempts to subpoena grand jury witnesses – notably, despite clear laws saying grand jury witnesses are not “compelled to disclose information … in separate proceedings,” even if the subpoenas come from Congress.

As the non-partisan Congressional Research Service has observed:  “Although Congress’s powers to obtain information for legitimate legislative purposes is broad, it is not limitless.” So, if the Democrats were smart – they would pivot away from Russia and over to issues. Average Americans crave normalcy – and deserve more of it.  To paraphrase Yogi:  It ain’t over, but it certainly should be.

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Read more articles by Robert B. Charles

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Sandee Dempsey

If the Democrats want to continue this Witch Hunt the DNC should fund it and not the Taxpayers.

Jack

I think this is all smoke and mirrors to keep a worse issue about the Dems from being discovered and publicized. The “Investigation” was a coverup for what is really going on. Maybe it will come to light around July of 2020 and they will all go to jail.

Bob

The dems won’t ever let this go. It lets them off the hook for doing the important work like running the country and protecting our borders. The also are wasting our money!

Patty L.

Problem with the Mueller report and investigation was that it was ex parte, or in layman’s terms, only a hearing of one side of an issue. The “other” side was not given an opportunity to challenge any of the findings of the report, nor question any of the “witnesses” the Mueller team investigated. If Congress is given the “one-sided” report, along with the results of questioning of innocent people, unquestioned facts will be deemed as certainties and innocent individuals will be defamed. Quite frankly, Democrats definitely didn’t want the Benghazi, Fast & Furious, Lois Lerner, the tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and the then AG reports made public. What hypocrites!

Andrew

Dempcrats will never accept truth! THEY are the real enemy of the state.

Jan13

I just hope the new AG will go after those that fabricated this fiasco.
When are they going to look into Sen. Feinstein’s Chinese driver that was an agent for China, Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s Pakistani IT and the DNC not turning over PCs to the FBI. Bill Clinton meeting Loretta Lynch at Phoenix airport ( they didn’t think they would get caught, so hurriedly made up the story of golf & grandchildren) . If there is any justice, there should be investigations.
Waiting on the IGs report also to see if any “ heads will roll” from the bad actors in the DOJ, FBI, and the past administration.

Stephen Russell

I say prosecute Brennan & Clapper & those seeking Revenge report since 2015 alone & allies.
& pardon Stone & Flynn & Greek guy

Susan

Two things; the left is accusing Barr of being biased. Um, Mueller – a registered Democrat is not biased???? Secondly, Yogi, where Trump is concerned, it will never be over. I expect even after he is long gone, the Dems will be bad mouthing him, because they cannot just let it go.

Anna Petrocelli

From the moment I heard the results of the Mueller Report, I was suspicious that the Dems would not accept it. I have spent hours watching and listening to their lame excuses and demands and the more I hear, the more furious I become. It occurs to me that not accepting what the report says, I see that the democratic way of solving problems in our country is gone. Further, our personal safety in the courts is at stake. Unless, we the people, insist on fair treatment in our courts, we can kiss freedom good by. So, now let us all start advocating that it is time we look at the other side of the coin, the one that was initially responsible for the Council to be formed and investigate. I would also like to pledge support for our President that we all come together and make certain he wins… Read more »

Shelley Teal

Why can’t the Dems accept what was a legal investigation. This nightmare started when Hillary lost. They just can’t accept that they lost the election. Hard to believe that this has been going on for two years. Have they done any actual work in the past two years? What a waste of tax payer money and time.

Linda

Maybe now they will go after the real criminals.

Martin

Our southern border is burning up and the fire is spreading though out America and the Democrat controlled and the Rino controlled Senate fiddles while America burns.
The Russian collusion was made up by the Democrats. But the crises on our southern border is NOT a manufactured crises made up by President Trump.
If we had Congress that really want to fix the crises they could do it is vary short time. When the voting age was lowered to from 21 to 18 years old it took less than 90 days to get the bill on the Presidents desk.

Teri smith

This is the most tiresome ordeal in recent history. It would be a true gift to this country if it could be put to death. Probably not in this lifetime. God help us.

Debbie

They cannot believe that people actually did not like Hilary Clinton. I hope this comes back to bite the Democrats

PaulE

1) There was never any collusion between Trump, his campaign and the Russians. It was always pure fiction being pushed by the Democrats and the MSM to both try and undermine the Trump administration and explain away Hillary’s loss. So unless Mueller was willing to open himself up to numerous legal violations of the law that would be punishable by substantial prison time, in order to fabricate non-existence evidence to support the phony Democrat narrative, finding Trump and his administration completely innocent of “Russian collusion” was a foregone conclusion. We just spent $35 million taxpayer dollars and almost 2 years of wasted time putting up with this nonsense to pacify the Democrats for nothing. 2) The only real collusion with the Russians was between the Clinton campaign, the DNC and the various people they hired to fabricate a phony dossier and engage Russian operatives in the creation of it. That… Read more »

Kay Norfleet

Dear Democrats and other left-wingers-Think about what Mr. Mueller unearthed, issued indictments for, interviews conducted, information gathered… doesn’t the outcome make sense? Of course not…to you. You who want so much to be right. But, please, please, try to think of us Americans who do not benefit from your hostility.
Please, please, try to focus on the issue at hand…running the country we are in.

Big Al

Of course there is a lot of discussion about the beginnings being the loss by HRC but the story includes that a person outside the media-politician dog and pony show was selected by the people. We are people who want what is good for this Nation.

Jo Strevel

Why are the Democrats using all the resources, and money to continue these probes into the 2016 elections when it has already been proven some of the Democrats had a hand in tampering. Why aren’t they doing some productive work and trying to get the country unified instead of tearing it apart? Enough is enough, when the Democrats won, you might have heard the Republicans grumble and there might have been some “righteous” discourse about certain issues, but we got over it. I pray everyone pays attention to what is going on and sees how juvenile some of the actions that are going on are. People aren’t being paid for the witch hunts, get off your brooms and do what you were elected to do, serve the people not your injured feelings because you didn’t get your person in office!

Don

Since justice is a slow process usually, let’s start with the Clinton email investigation which, to not leave any stone un-turned, should include the Benghazi investigation and all that should end around late 2022 and then the further investigation of the ‘go nowhere’ investigation of President Trump should be ready to start by late 2024. Now of course by that time the democrats will have lost two future presidential elections and countless Senate and Congress elections.

Ron

All I can say is cry, cry, cry are you Demos. Every happy with anything? No you are not. You just throw things at the wall to see if it will stick! PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEATON YOU AT EVERYTHING YOU THROW AT HIM! You know why you are wining is because there is nothing there! He has not done anything wrong!!
So Quite your ? and do some work! When the Dimwitts are in charge nothing gets done! GRIW UP PASS IMAGRATION LAWS TGAT MAKE SENCE, if that possible !!