Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Comey on Comey and Mueller
Here's a quote from the Stephanopoulos interview I find fascinating by fired FBI head James Comey:
...anybody who's actually done investigations knows that if you've been investigating something for almost a year and you don't have a general sense of where it's likely to end up, you should be fired because you're incompetent.
Hmmm. So what did Comey say about his almost a year investigation of the Russian dossier to see if it was reliable or not? He testified generally that it was unverified and he told Stephanopoulos that he didn't know if it was true or not. At least he was fired.
But you can apply the statement to Mueller's investigation into everything as well. I'll start by stating that the original purpose was to find if there was evidence of collusion between Trump campaign and Russians to get Trump elected. Of course, the general course of special counsels is that they investigate anything they want, damn the original charter. Here Mr. Rosenstein is supposed to be monitoring Mueller's investigation and give guidance if necessary to keep it on track. He's supposed to be supervising Mueller. We know, however, that he is writing memos after Mueller does things which post facto authorize them. That seems the opposite of supervising to me.
Now at this point, I'm supposed to say that we don't know the extent of what Mueller has uncovered so we should be careful about stating what the investigation has uncovered. True in the abstract, but there has been so much leaking of investigation results over the past near year that only a fool would believe that Mueller has found evidence of the very collusion he was charged with investigating but nobody on his task force is reporting that to the media. So Mueller after nearly a year has no idea generally where the investigation into Russian collusion is going.
So Comey thinks Mueller is incompetent and ought to be fired.
I know, I know, that would be a constitutional crisis or something.
"President Obama is a very smart man who understands the law very well. To this day, I don’t know why he spoke about the case publicly and seemed to absolve her before a final determination was made. If the president had already decided the matter, an outside observer could reasonably wonder, how on earth could his Department of Justice do anything other than follow his lead.” (italics added)
[Me] This outside observer reasonably wonders, "Why would the U.S. Dept. of Justice do anything OTHER than continue to investigate the matters with all the legal means and methods available, and follow the evidence to whatever conclusion it leads?"
Why would an honest and ethical man, much less a lawyer and FBI Director, even consider doing anything else?
S'far as I can see into the Mueller probe, absent any findings re: Russia, Russia, Russia, he's digging for info on Trump's business dealings. I believe that he would dearly love to find something shady, illegal, tax evasive, or otherwise perjurious (is that a word?) and/or impeachable enough to destroy the Trump presidency.
Sounds paranoid, I know, but...
Q: how's come a judge, in open court, can compel a lawyer to publicly reveal the names of his clients or quasi-clients (who themselves are not under investigation, e.g., Hannity)?
I sure wish that there were more nationally-known lawyers like Dershowitz who has the chops to voice their apprehensions about the envelope-edge-nearing actions of our legal system in all its forms.
I have no idea what your daily blog traffic is like, but I do highly value your interpretation of things legal. Please write more. There is ample source material, yes?
Aha. McCarthy just put up a post at NRO. #4 addresses the Hannity exposure issue.
I don't care for Hannity, don't have a TV to watch him, and only rarely will I bring up a video clip of his show. But he should not have been put on the spot like this, nonetheless. It stinks of political opportunity, and is inappropriate absent legal necessity.
Re: pardons. Were I Trump, I'd let the play go for all 5 acts, as the opposition seems to be doing a great job of destroying its own credibility. Isn't there some saying about not interfering when your enemy is self-destructing? Were he to use his pardon power prematurely, the opposition* would jump on that as obstruction, hiding his culpability (for what, they never have to say), and any positive resolution of all this controversy would be forever placed out of reach.
* that includes the Dems, the media, most of the Republicans in Congress, the media, the never-Trumpers, the media....