Robert Mueller

Alan Dershowitz: Mueller wrongly introduces dangerous concept of ‘exoneration’ in review of Trump actions

The word of the day, following the confusing and confused testimony of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller before two House committees Wednesday, is “exonerate” – or more precisely, “not exonerate.” Exoneration is not the job of our legal system. Mueller’s attempt to introduce it is an extraordinary and dangerous innovation that would endanger the presumption of innocence we all have under the law. During and following Mueller’s testimony, much of the media went into overdrive highlighting one sentence in the former special counsel’s 448-page report on Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election, as if it were breaking news. The sentence, which Mueller reiterated in his testimony, said: “Accordingly while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” But this sentence from the Mueller report, which was completed in March, was not news at all. Mueller simply repeated that formulation Wednesday and some Democrats treated it as a breakthrough invitation to begin impeachment proceedings. There is a grave and frightening danger in introducing the concept of exoneration into our legal system. It suggests that a person may still be presumed guilty even if the decision was made not to prosecute him or her, or even if a jury rendered a verdict of not guilty. Surely, this is the impression that the Mueller report and Mueller himself intended to convey by the sentence, which is the last one in his report. Surely, this is the impression that the Democrats are trying to convey to voters. But the truth is that even a full trial doesn’t exonerate or not exonerate anyone, since the rules of evidence limit the testimony and other evidence that can be heard by a jury. Exoneration is for God, historians and other non-legal institutions that have access to the totality of information. It should never become part of our legal system and it should never be used as a partisan political weapon by politicians. Mueller should never have spoken of exoneration in his report or in his testimony. Under Mueller’s concept of exoneration, a criminal investigation would become a three-part multiple-choice test with “guilty,” “not guilty” and “exonerated” as the three choices. In the context of a prosecutorial decision, the choices would be “prosecute,” “don’t prosecute,” “exonerate” and “not exonerate.” But these choices are not part of the American legal system. Our system operates on a binary approach, not a multiple-choice one. When a prosecutor decides not to prosecute, or when a jury renders a verdict of not guilty, that has to be the last word when it comes to the criminal law. By introducing the concept of “not exonerated” the special counsel exceeded his own powers and even those of the Justice Department. There is absolutely nothing in the Justice Department rule book or in the regulations governing the role of a special counsel that gives him or her the power to exonerate or not exonerate. And for good reason Prosecutors and special counsels only hear evidence on one side of the case. Their job is to determine whether there is probable cause to send the case to a judge or a jury for a full trial, with cross-examination, defense witnesses and zealous defense lawyers. Mueller should have been questioned hard about the use of the term “exonerate.” He was asked a few questions, which he studiously avoided answering. There should be a separate set of hearings, both in the House and Senate, to deal, as a matter of principle, with the idea of introducing the dangerous concept of exoneration into our legal lexicon. Scholars and others should be invited to testify about the implications of prosecutors or special counsels using that term in their reports or public statements. To illustrate the dangers of public officials using this term, think back to what disgraced former FBI Director James Comey said with regard to Hillary Clinton’s handling of emails when he held a news conference in the closing days of the 2016 presidential election campaign. Though Comey didn’t use the term “not exonerated” – instead he expressed his opinion that although Clinton would not be prosecuted, she displayed extreme carelessness – he basically told the world that she had not been exonerated. Democrats, including me, railed against Comey for going beyond the traditional statement that a decision had been made not to prosecute Hillary Clinton. But today, some of these same Democrats are exulting about Mueller’s statements that President Trump was not exonerated. This double-standard fails the “shoe on the other foot test,” which demands that the same standards be applied regardless of party affiliation. So let’s redact the words “exonerate” and “exonerated” from the Mueller report, from the vocabulary of prosecutors and from our legal system. These words set an absurd standard that wrongly casts a shadow of suspicion over people who are not charged with crimes or found not guilty after a trial.

Agreed!  And well said, professor!  For our new readers, Dr. Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter professor of law, emeritus, at Harvard Law School. His latest book is “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.” Follow him on Twitter: @AlanDersh Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz.  Dr, Dershowitz is also a loyal Democrat, and was a big Hillary supporter.  So, that gives him even more credibility in this discussion.  Thanks Sir!    🙂

Gregg Jarrett: Trump-Russia ‘collusion’ was always a hoax — and dirtiest political trick in modern US history

There was never any evidence that Donald Trump “colluded” with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election from Hillary Clinton. It was all a hoax. It constituted what is surely the dirtiest political trick in modern American history. The hoax was based largely on an anti-Trump “dossier” conjured from the fertile imaginations of two nefarious characters: ex-British spy Christopher Steele; and Fusion GPS Founder, Glenn Simpson. It was commissioned by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democrats, then peddled all over Washington to journalists, the FBI, the State Department and the Department of Justice. It spread like an airborne contagion in a 50 mile per hour wind. The premise of the ruse was as outlandish as the actions of those who advanced it. Steele was fired by the FBI for lying and went into hiding. Simpson eventually invoked the Fifth Amendment and clammed up. There were no credible facts when the FBI wrongfully launched its “collusion” investigation in July of 2016, violating its own regulations. There was still nothing remotely plausible in May of 2017 when fired FBI Director James Comey absconded with government documents and leaked them to the media for the sole purpose of triggering the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller. If you harbor any doubts about the “paucity” of evidence, read the closed-door testimony of FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Comey. Their admissions will stun you. Along the way, the FBI obtained a wiretap warrant on a Trump campaign associate, Carter Page, by concealing vital evidence to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) and deceiving the judges. No one, as yet, has been held accountable for any of that. The last time I checked, perpetrating a fraud on a court is a felony. Several of them, in fact. Oh, and undercover informants were dispatched by the FBI to infiltrate the Trump campaign. Now, after an exhaustive 22-month investigation, we have finally learned from the new Attorney General, William Barr, that “the Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” Trump did not hack the Clinton campaign and Democratic Party organizations. Trump did not hatch a plot in the bowels of the Kremlin to win the election. The infamous Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer was not a crime. Carter Page was not a spy after all. The list of false accusations that Trump has suffered are too numerous to recount here. You’d need a calculator. To Democrats and most in the media such trivial things as evidence never mattered. They didn’t care about that. They treated facts as a mere nuisance. They allowed their political bias and personal animus toward Trump to blind them. Their obsessive belief in a nonexistent conspiracy with Putin consumed all common sense. As their hatred for Trump and his policies grew, they became more sedulous in propagating fictitious stories. Democrats in Congress like Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, Richard Blumenthal, Nancy Pelosi, Jerold Nadler, Maxine Waters, and so many others all claimed without a scintilla of proof that Trump “colluded” with Russia. For two years, they pronounced him guilty in the court of public opinion. Democrats convinced themselves that President Trump’s election was misbegotten. They accepted “collusion” as a matter of faith driven by their own prejudices, and teased by hope out of ignorance. Will they ever apologize? Of course not. They will conjure some vacuous excuse and move on to the next accusation. They’re already doing it. Many journalists were equally reckless and malevolent. Most of them never bothered to examine the facts, evidence and the law. They refused to do their jobs. Instead, they abandoned objectivity and suspended their sense of fairness. They allowed enmity to obscure their judgment. In the process, the media squandered credibility, its only currency. It is no wonder that many Americans have little trust in journalists to be honest in their reporting. Will network brass take action to punish those who so egregiously exaggerated or, in some cases, even lied to Americans? Not a chance. Network chiefs were complicit cheerleaders. The media, together with Democrats, are already parsing and pivoting. Without missing a beat, they are pivoting to obstruction of justice by parsing what Attorney General William Barr wrote in his summary letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. Barr stated, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction of justice offense.” Barr and Rosenstein, the two top officials at the Department of Justice, did not reach this conclusion in a vacuum. They sought the opinions of other lawyers at the DOJ, including the Office of Legal Counsel. They studied the evidence and the law. They consulted the same DOJ lawyers who were guiding Mueller on the subject of obstruction during his long investigation. They reached a firm consensus that, under the law, President Trump never acted “with corrupt intent” to obstruct “a pending or contemplated proceeding.” One of the reasons that led Barr and Rosenstein to their inexorable conclusion is that Trump had committed no underlying crime of conspiracy with Russia or, if you like, “collusion.” In simplistic terms, it is difficult to argue that someone intended to obstruct a non-crime. This is exactly the question Trump has posed on more than one occasion when he asked, rhetorically, “Why would I interfere in something I didn’t do?” Why, indeed. While Mueller was more than willing to conclude that Trump never “colluded” with Russia, he deliberately dodged rendering any decision on obstruction of justice. He left it entirely to Barr. In so doing, the special counsel abdicated his responsibility as the prosecutor who was hired to make this very decision. While shirking this authority, Mueller then took an inappropriate swipe at Trump by writing, “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” This was a blatant cheap shot by Mueller, although thoroughly expected. It’s very much like a prosecutor who loses a case and then claims to the media, “Well, the jury may have found the defendant not guilty, but that doesn’t mean he’s innocent.” Technically, that’s true. But it’s how losers try to justify the result they don’t like. Mueller knew Trump did not obstruct justice in firing Comey. The president was constitutionally authorized to dismiss him for a stated reason or no reason at all. Even Comey admitted it in a letter to his staff, and there were a plethora of reasons to sack the director. The president’s subsequent public remarks about the firing did not come close to exhibiting a “corrupt intent” to interfere in the Russian investigation. Trump’s comments were widely misreported and misrepresented by the media. This should come as no surprise to anyone. As for Trump’s alleged remark to Comey that he “hoped” that his fired national security adviser Michael Flynn would be cleared by the FBI, this did not constitute an attempt at obstruction of justice, as I explained in detail in my book, “The Russia Hoax.” Again, Comey all but admitted this when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In separate hearings, Rosenstein, Comey and Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe all assured Congress that no one had tried to obstruct their investigations. I suspect Mueller ducked his obligation to render a decision on obstruction and inserted the “exonerate” language in his report so that rabid Democrats in Congress would take up the anti-Trump cause as a pretext for impeachment proceedings. Sure enough, within minutes of Barr’s letter, House Judiciary Chairman Jerold Nadler, D-N.Y., commenced the obstruction-impeachment battle when he tweeted, “In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before the House Judiciary in the near future.” The Russia Hoax begat the Witch Hunt… and Mueller has seen to it that the Witch Hunt is far from over.

Agreed!   Thanks to former attorney Gregg Jarrett for that outstanding recap.  Gregg formerly worked as a defense attorney and adjunct law professor. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.”

Alan Dershowitz: Mueller just filed Russia report. Here’s what Barr should do with it

All we know at this point is that Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election to Attorney General William Barr on Friday. What we don’t know is how the attorney general will handle the report. Barr has several options. The fairest would be to immediately turn the report over to President Trump’s legal team and give them a week to write a response. Barr could then issue both reports simultaneously so that the American public could judge the comparative merits of both sides of this adversarial process. But there may well be pressures on the attorney general to send the report to Congress – thus making it public – as soon as he can vet it for possible national security omissions. If that’s what the attorney general does, then it is imperative that the American public withhold conclusions about the report until the Trump legal team has had the opportunity to respond in the court of public opinion. This is crucial because prosecutorial reports – and Special Counsel Mueller is a prosecutor – are, by their very nature, one-sided. Prosecutors only listen to inculpatory evidence rather than including exculpatory evidence. They interview witnesses against the subject, but not witnesses in favor of the subject. That is why the Trump legal defense team needs to provide its assessment of the Mueller investigation. Americans are impatient. The Mueller investigation has gone on since May 2017. So, there will be an impulse to arrive at judgments, at least preliminary ones, without waiting for the rebuttal. The Mueller report itself might give us some clues as to the manner in which the investigation was conducted. How much reliance was placed on bought or rented witness? That is, defendants who were given the opportunity to cooperate with prosecutors in order to reduce their sentences. Great caution ought to be exercised in accepting evidence from any such source, especially since they have not been cross-examined or subject to other challenges. We may also learn about whether there are any ongoing investigations by ordinary federal prosecutors in New York, Washington or Virginia. In addition, we may see a roadmap for further investigations by Congress. It is unlikely that the president will be charged with obstruction of justice for firing FBI Director James Comey, especially since the person overseeing the Mueller investigation, Rod Rosenstein, was centrally involved in that decision, offering the memorandum that justified it. Nor is it likely that the president or his campaign will be charged with any sort of collusion since there is no such crime in the criminal code. It is possible that we may see some allegations of campaign law violations, but those are likely to be rather technical and not rise to the level of an impeachable offense. So hold your breath and stay tuned, America. And please, don’t rush to judgment until you have not only read this report but any response the Trump legal team may offer. You will hear more from me once I’ve had an opportunity to read the report and any response.

And we look forward to hearing it, professor! Dr. Alan M. Dershowitz is Felix Frankfurter professor of law, emeritus, at Harvard Law School. His latest book is “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.” Yet, he is a registered Democrat who proudly voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.  So, hardly on the Trump Train.  He’s just a fair-minded, and very respected lawyer.  Follow him on Twitter: @AlanDersh Facebook: @AlanMDershowitz.

Mueller probe is costing taxpayers $25M: DOJ

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe has cost taxpayers nearly $22 million, according to a Justice Department report Friday. Of that total, nearly $4.6 million was shelled out in the six-month period between April 1 and October 31. That’s a slight uptick from the $4.5 million the Mueller probe cost between October 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018. The figures were part of the Justice Department’s six-month expense tally that details the special counsel’s spending. Another six month total from November 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019 will be released next year. So far, Mueller’s team has spent nearly $12 million in things like staff salaries recent and travel. The latest report shows that expenses remained roughly the same in the past six months. During the past six months, about $2.9 million was spent on salaries and benefits for Mueller and his team, compared to $2.7 million during the prior six-month period. Travel costs ran about $580,000 up slightly from $532,000, according to the previous report. Mr. Mueller’s team has indicted 33 people and three companies, including five former Trump advisers and 26 Russian nationals. Among the eight individuals who are not among the indicted Russian nationals, six have pleaded guilty. Another, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was convicted for financial crimes before he committed before he linked up with the future president. He later pleaded guilty in two separate charges in Washington, D.C. Perhaps Mr. Mueller’s biggest catch was getting longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen to plead guilty to lying to Congress. He is now cooperating with the Mueller probe and has said he committed a campaign finance violation at the direction of Mr. Trump. The president has denied the allegation. However, none of the charges have provided any evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election.

Of course not..  Just remember, this fishing expedition has cost we-the-taxpayers $25 MILLION.  You’re welcome Bob Mueller.  Unreal..

Rush Limbaugh: Mueller’s team proving ‘dual system of justice at the highest levels’

Radio host Rush Limbaugh says special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is proving to millions of citizens that a “dual system of justice” exists in America. The man behind the “Golden EIB microphone” told listeners on Wednesday that a large population of Americans view legal battles surrounding President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, along ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, very differently than political pundits. Mr. Limbaugh said that the U.S. Department of Justice’s handling of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s secret email server, particularly when juxtaposed with law enforcement’s focus on Mr. Trump, demonstrates a dangerous development. “There is clearly now a double standard, a dual system of justice at the highest levels of our Department of Justice,” the conservative said. “You can see it in the way the DOJ and the FBI exonerated the Democrat presidential candidate when real crimes were taking place for years and years right under their noses, crimes they perhaps even participated in.” “Those crimes, because they involved the Democrat nominee, were exonerated. The Democrat nominee herself was exonerated,” he continued. “You go to the Trump campaign, the Republican, the opponent, where there aren’t any crimes, there wasn’t any collusion with Russia, there hasn’t been any obstruction of justice, and yet this is where the allegation of crimes is occurring? And it’s occurring with people who are peripheral to the original charge of all this — Russian collusion, stealing the election?” Mr. Limbaugh added that members of the media are essentially casting Mr. Mueller as a “sitting supreme branch of government who has the power to oversee the Trump administration” on a daily basis. “What makes it really frightening, and the reason people are losing faith in some of the greatest institutions this country’s ever had, leading with the Department of Justice, is because it’s plain as day what I just pointed out to you: There is a dual system of justice in this country. If you’re a Democrat you’re going to be exonerated or given one hell of a benefit of the doubt. If you’re Republican, you’re gonna be presumed guilty, and a never-ending pursuit to get you will then commence.” The host’s comments came in the wake of Mr. Cohen’s guilty plea to eight criminal charges in federal court in Manhattan, which include bank fraud, tax evasion and campaign finance violations. Mr. Manafort was found guilty of eight financial crimes in an Alexandria, Virginia, courtroom. Charges included filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts in 2012 and bank fraud charges. “Robert Mueller, as I said yesterday, and his team are plowing through the Constitution. They’re shredding it as they go,” Mr. Limbaugh said. “None of this is about collusion with the Russians to steal an election. These people have an unlimited charter, Mueller, to go anywhere with the express purpose of overturning the results of the election in 2016.”

As usual, “El Rushbo” nails it!  “Dittos” Rush!!

Mueller’s investigation of Trump ‘needs to conclude,’ Sessions says

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Thursday that an ongoing probe into President Trump “needs to conclude” in order to let him focus on North Korea, the U.S.-Mexico border and other world negotiations. Mr. Sessions also said he expects the Justice Department inspector general to finish his investigation into the department’s and FBI’s handling of investigations into Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election in a “few weeks,” saying that will provide more information for decisions on whether there was wrongdoing. Testifying to the House on Thursday, Mr. Sessions was pressed by a lawmaker who said he saw a “double standard” in comparing the ongoing special counsel probe into Mr. Trump, while Mr. Sessions has declined to name a second special counsel to review the way the department and the FBI handled Mrs. Clinton. “At the very root of this, I think my constituents are frustrated, are angry, they see a double standard historically. They want justice,” said Rep. Evan Jenkins, West Virginia Republican, ticking off a number of red flags he said deserved the heightened powers a special counsel should look at. Mr. Sessions said he didn’t want to appoint special counsels “willy-nilly” but said his department is taking deliberate steps. He’s named a U.S. attorney to oversee an investigation and coordinate with the inspector general whose probe has been ongoing for months. He also said they’re sharing an unprecedented amount of information with GOP-led congressional committees who are probing the same matters. “If there’s wrongdoing we’re going to take action about it,” he said. He said he knows the president is “concerned” about the ongoing special counsel investigation into figures surrounding Mr. Trump, and Mr. Sessions said it needs to end so the president can deal with the job of running the executive branch. “He’s dealing with France and North Korea and Syria and taxes and regulations and border and crime every day,” Mr. Sessions said. “This thing needs to conclude. So I understand his frustrations and I understand the American people’s frustrations.”

Opinion: Time to call a ‘timeout’ on the Mueller Russia probe

Washington is full of blather, bombast and bullsh-t, but a line about Robert Mueller was the most important thing spoken or written there last week: “Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office, declined to comment.” Since Mueller’s office never says anything outside court publicly, who knew he had a spokesman or needed one? The line was included in a Washington Post story that said Mueller told the White House that President Trump was not a target of the criminal investigation. The story could be a big deal — if true. But the report is nonetheless remarkable because it was the first leak in memory that carried good news for Trump. After breathless drip, drip, drip reports that had the president practically being frog-marched to a firing squad at dawn, the fever broke. Every dog has its day, and the Washington media decided this president’s day comes once every 15 months. True to form, news outlets immediately pivoted back to their regularly scheduled programming of stories saying Trump is in imminent danger. The New York Times and ABC declared that George Nader, a Lebanese-American businessman, though a stranger to readers, is now Mueller’s hottest witness. Enough. The violent swings of the leaky pendulum make this an excellent moment to call timeout on the Mueller probe. What does he have, where is he going and when is he going to get there? Those are basic questions that need to be answered. The American people deserve facts instead of waters muddied by partisanship, innuendo and special access to biased big-media companies. Mueller’s team includes some active Democrats, and whether they are behind the anti-Trump leaks is, for the moment, beside the point. The point is that the leaks are creating a reality all their own about the investigation and the president. It’s time to clear the air of rumor and speculation and put the facts on the record. It’s not as if the public has been impatient. Mueller was appointed in May of last year to pick up the FBI probe started in the summer of 2016. Although there have been indictments, nothing implicates Trump in wrongdoing.

Exactly!!  For on this outstanding op/ed by Michael Goodwin, just click on the text above.

Gregg Jarrett: Mueller’s allegedly lawless acts have corrupted his probe and demand his removal

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is accused of acting in complete disregard for the law and must be removed. And so, too, must his entire team. There is devastating new evidence to suggest that Mueller and his staff of lawyers improperly, if not illegally, obtained tens of thousands of private documents belonging to President-elect Trump’s Presidential Transition Team (PTT). The material includes emails, laptops and cell phones used by 13 PTT members. Critically, a “significant volume of privileged material” was taken by Mueller, according to the Trump transition lawyer, and then used by the special counsel team in its investigation. Mueller’s staff apparently admits this egregious violation, which the law strictly forbids. Under the law, the only remedy is Mueller’s dismissal from the case. The Presidential Transition Act states that all records of transition operations are private and confidential. On November 16, 2016, roughly ten days after Trump was elected president, the Chief Records Officer of the U.S. Government sent a letter to all federal agencies reminding them that “the materials that PTT members create or receive are not Federal or Presidential records, but are considered private materials.” Yet Mueller seems to have ignored the law. Without a warrant or subpoena, his team of lawyers brazenly demanded these private records from the General Services Administration (GSA) which held custody of the materials. The GSA does this as a service to all incoming presidents out of courtesy, but it neither owns the documents nor is authorized to release them to anyone under any circumstances because they are deemed entirely private. Counsel for the Trump Transition Team has sent a letter to Congress alleging the Fourth Amendment was violated in “failing to obtain a warrant for the search or seizure of private property in which the owner has a reasonable expectation of privacy (Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443, 489).” Mueller might contest the claim of an unlawful seizure because the GSA willingly handed over the documents, but this disregards the fact that the GSA broke the law and Mueller surely knew it when he pressured the agency to do so. The most serious charge against Mueller is that he obtained, reviewed and used material that is privileged. For months, Mueller allegedly failed to disclose to the transition team that he acquired these privileged documents. Under the law, he and his lawyers are not entitled to possess or read any of them. Even worse, the transition team says it warned the special counsel six months ago that it had no right to access the records without gaining permission from the PTT. Courts have clearly stated what prosecutors are supposed to do under these circumstances: “An attorney who receives privileged documents has an ethical duty to cease review of the documents, notify the privilege holder, and return the documents.” (U.S. v. Taylor 764 Fed Sup 2nd, 230, 235) Did Mueller do this? Apparently not. He never notified PTT when his staff of lawyers encountered the privileged documents and he compounded his violation of the law by possessing and accessing them for months. Only the owner of such materials can waive the privilege that protects them. Since the GSA does not, under the law, own the records, only the transition team can make such a waiver. It did not. Hence, if any illegally obtained documents have been used in the Trump-Russia case, then the results are tainted and invalid. This is a well-established principle of law. The use by Mueller of even one privileged document can, and must, result in his disqualification from the case. The case of Finn v. Schiller, 72 F.3rd 1182, 1189 spells out the required remedy for this violation of the law: “Courts have frequently used their supervisory authority to disqualify prosecutors for obtaining materials protected by the attorney-client privilege.” Statutory law also demands Mueller’s removal. Pursuant to 5 C.F.R. 2635.501, government employees, including prosecutors, are directed to “take appropriate steps to avoid an appearance of loss of impartiality in the performance of his or her official duties.” The lawyer for the Trump transition team states that the special counsel’s office admitted in a telephone conversation on Friday that it failed to use an “ethical wall” or “taint team” to segregate any privileged records. This is often done to keep them isolated from lawyers and investigators involved in the case. Yet, Mueller did not adopt such precautionary measures. Instead, he apparently allowed his team to utilize the documents while questioning witnesses in the Trump-Russia case. If true, Mueller’s conduct is not only unethical and improper, it constitutes lawlessness. On this basis, he must be removed and replaced. Given the insular nature of the special counsel operation, it is reasonable to conclude that all the lawyers and investigators likely accessed the privileged documents. Therefore, not just Mueller, but his entire team must be dismissed. This would include Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein who oversees the case. Either Congress should take aggressive action or the Presidential Transition Team (now Trump for America, Inc.) must petition a federal judge to order their removal. The integrity of the special counsel probe has been deeply compromised by numerous allegations of corrupt acts. In its current composition, it seems beyond repair.

Agreed!!  And well said, Gregg.  Gregg Jarrett is a former defense attorney, and current legal analyst at Fox News and Fox Business Network.  Excellent analysis!!

Gregg Jarrett: How an FBI official with a political agenda corrupted both Mueller, Comey investigations

How is it possible that Hillary Clinton escaped criminal indictment for mishandling classified documents despite incriminating evidence that she violated the Espionage Act? Why did Donald Trump become the target of a criminal investigation for allegedly conspiring with Russia to influence the presidential election despite no evidence that he ever did so? The answer, it seems, comes down to one person who played a vital role in both cases: Peter Strzok, deputy director of counterintelligence at the FBI. Strzok was exchanging politically charged texts with an FBI lawyer that denigrated Trump and lauded Clinton at the same time he was leading the bureau’s criminal investigation of Clinton. He is also the one who changed the critical wording of then-FBI Director James Comey’s description of Clinton’s handling of classified material that resulted in no charges being brought against her. Then, Strzok reportedly signed the document launching the 2016 investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election and whether the Trump campaign played any role. After leading the FBI’s probe into Trump, he then joined Robert Mueller’s special counsel team as an integral investigator. Thus, it appears that one man with a strident political agenda accomplished his twin goals of clearing Clinton and accusing Trump, evidence be damned. And then he was caught. The Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, discovered the electronic texts Strzok exchanged with his lover, FBI lawyer Lisa Page. The messages were so politically incendiary and so threatened the integrity of Mueller’s investigation that Strzok was quietly canned over the summer from the special counsel team, where he was a pivotal participant. Did Mueller or anyone else notify Congress that both the Trump investigation –and the Clinton case before it– were corrupted? Of course not. This was covered up. Mueller surely knew that if the truth were revealed, it would further discredit a Trump-Russia probe that had already taken on the stench of dead fish. The House Intelligence Committee could smell it and knew something was amiss. It demanded answers. But the Justice Department and the FBI refused to respond or otherwise produce relevant documents that the committee subpoenaed. They are still stonewalling many of Congress’s valid requests and should now face contempt charges. Importantly, all of the anti-Trump and pro-Clinton messages should be made public. Americans should decide for themselves whether our system of justice has been compromised by unscrupulous influences. Just how rife with political prejudice and corrupt motives is the special counsel’s investigation? Instead of choosing prosecutors who could be neutral, fair and objective, Mueller stacked his staff with Democratic donors. Apparently, he conducted little or no vetting of both prosecutors and investigators. How else does one explain the presence of Strzok and Lisa Page on the investigative team? It appears that Mueller selected people of a particular political persuasion without discerning review or scrutiny. We were supposed to simply trust Mueller’s judgment, notwithstanding his own disqualifying conflict of interest under the special counsel statute that demanded his recusal. The Trump-Russia investigation is now awash in illegitimacy. Mueller and those who work for him have squandered all credibility. It is imperative that the special counsel be dismissed, the current staff fired, and a new counsel appointed to re-evaluate the evidence objectively. Do not expect Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to make these changes. He, too, should be removed in his capacity as Mueller’s supervisor. As both a witness and prosecutor, Rosenstein has his own conspicuous and disabling conflict of interest. Yet he has refused to step aside. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is duty-bound to remove both Mueller and Rosenstein. Given what we know about the composition of the special counsel team, there may well be others who harbor a blatant political bias and have expressed their animus toward Trump in emails or texts. The computer accounts of the entire staff need to be examined by Congress and the DOJ Inspector General. Failing that, news organizations should file a request under the Freedom of Information Act. The examination should begin with Andrew Weissmann, who has close ties to Hui Chen, whom he hired at the Justice Department and with whom he worked at the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Eastern District of New York. Documents show the DOJ approved a salary for her position of $711,800 for two years of work, which is more than the attorney general earns.

No kidding!!  To read the rest of this spot-on legal op/ed by former defense attorney, and current Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett, click on the text above.  Excellent!!

French: The Incredible Tale of a Reckless, Partisan FBI Agent and Our Partisan Bureaucracy

If the story hadn’t been verified by virtually every mainstream-media outlet in the country, you’d think it came straight from conspiratorial fever dreams of the alt-right. Yesterday, news broke that Robert Mueller had months ago asked a senior FBI agent to step down from his role investigating the Trump administration. This prince of a man was caught in an extramarital affair with an FBI lawyer. The affair itself was problematic, but so was the fact that the two were found to have exchanged anti-Trump, pro-Hillary Clinton text messages. Here’s where the story gets downright bizarre. This agent, Peter Strzok, also worked with FBI director James Comey on the Clinton email investigation. In fact, he was so deeply involved in the Clinton investigation that he is said to have interviewed Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, and to have been present when the FBI interviewed Clinton. According to CNN, he was part of the team responsible for altering the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in handling classified emails (a finding that could have triggered criminal liability) to “extremely careless” — a determination that allowed her to escape prosecution entirely. After the Clinton investigation concluded, Strzok signed the documents opening the investigation into Russian election interference and actually helped interview former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. In other words, it looks like a low-integrity, reckless, biased bureaucrat has played an important role in two of the most important and politically charged criminal investigations of the new century. Yes, it’s good that Mueller removed Strzok when he discovered the text messages. No, Strzok is not solely responsible for the conclusions reached in either investigation. But his mere presence hurts public confidence in the FBI, and it does so in a way that further illustrates a persistent and enduring national problem: America’s permanent bureaucracy is unacceptably partisan. Remember President Obama’s second term, when the IRS Tea Party–targeting scandal erupted? The bureaucrat at the fulcrum of the scandal, Lois Lerner, was unabashedly partisan, launching a comprehensive and unconstitutional inquiry into conservative groups even as she was “joking” that “she wanted to work for the pro-Obama group Organizing for America.” It’s hard to overstate the effect of the IRS scandal on conservative confidence in the federal government. Yes, there were some progressive groups that faced scrutiny, but the sheer scale of the attack on conservative groups was unprecedented. The IRS sought confidential donor information, passwords, and information about the political activities even of family members of those involved with some scrutinized groups. I remember. I represented dozens of these organizations. When it came time to launch a criminal investigation of the IRS, the Obama Department of Justice put an Obama donor in charge of the probe. The decision to offer her the job was inexcusable, as was her decision to accept. At a time when half the country was losing confidence in the integrity of its public servants, the Obama administration raised its hand and extended a big middle finger. While there are certainly some biased, partisan conservatives in the federal bureaucracy, the ideological imbalance in the civil service is striking. It’s not quite at university-faculty levels, but it’s getting close. For example, in the 2016 election cycle, Hillary Clinton received an astounding 95 percent of all federal-employee donations. The danger here isn’t just the kind of naked display of partisan bias that we saw in the Obama IRS. It’s also the emergence of groupthink. As we know from other liberal-dominated enclaves, such as academia and the mainstream media, ideological uniformity can lead to a startling degree of ignorance and incompetence. It’s hard to govern (or educate, or report on) an entire country when you aren’t sufficiently exposed to contrary perspectives and experiences.

Agreed…and well said, David.  Attorney, and Army Reserve officer (Major), David French is responsible for that piece.  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.