How confident are you of Mueller’s integrity in his new role? Before you answer, read on.
(You might have questions about Rosenstein by the end of it, too.)
Does anyone remember the whole POINT of having a Special Council doing an investigation in the first place? It is intended as a last resort when the objectivity of those parties who would normally investigate was questionable.
The whole point was to be that the Special Council is beyond reproach, and their integrity would be “beyond question”.
Well, one year in… is it?
William A Jacobson doesn’t think so.
Who is William A Jacobson? Besides being the author of the piece we’ll be citing, here’s the top line in his bio:
William A. Jacobson is a Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Securities Law Clinic at Cornell Law School.
So he might know a thing or two on the subject.
He made the following observation:
The August 2, 2017, Rosenstein memo clearly is being used by Mueller to affirm Mueller’s authority to investigate Manafort’s non-election-related, years-old business dealings. But the timing jumped out at me.
By the time of the August 2 memo, Mueller already was investigating Manafort’s business dealings and gathering evidence for an indictment (which would be unsealed less than three months later).
On July 26, 2017 — a week before the Rosenstein memo — Mueller’s team raided Manafort’s home, as the Washington Post reported on August 9, 2017:
Mark Levin had him on his show, where he discussed the details, in a quick 3-minute clip here:
The point where he referenced Sessions’ right to reign in Rosenstein in such areas not affected by his recusal seemed especially interesting. (Maybe someone could remind Sessions about that detail.)
The August 2, 2017 memo was classic boostrapping. It purported to confirm Mueller’s authority to go after Manafort’s business dealings, but Mueller already was doing that and had been doing it for weeks, culminating in the July 26 home raid.
So to the extent the Rosenstein August 2, 2017 memorandum is supposed to instill confidence that Mueller is receiving proper DOJ oversight, it does just the opposite. As least as to the portion revealed about Manafort, it shows a willingness to give post hoc justification for conduct of Mueller that does not appear authorized by the text of the original May 17 appointing Order.
So, we’re seeing words like ‘post hoc’ to describe it.
But basically, it seems like Mueller is operating under the principle it’s easier to ask forgiveness than permission.
Sessions needs to take back control of any areas under which he is not limited by recusal.
And we need answers — NOW — on just how political the FISA requests that kicked this off in the first place really were.
Becuase more and more, from here in the cheap seats, this is looking like a witch-hunt.
What do you think?