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May 24, 2018

Former Attorney General and Federal Judge Mike Mukasey: End the Mueller Probe Now; It Was Illegitimate and Partisan From Its Still-Secret Origins

Yup.

Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia. Justice Department regulations permit appointment of a special counsel only if (i) there is reason to think that a federal crime has been committed, and (ii) investigating it would present a conflict of interest for the Justice Department or there is another overriding public reason to take the investigation outside DOJ.

Because Attorney General Jeff Sessions had worked on the Trump campaign, he recused himself from the matter, and so the deputy -- Rod Rosenstein --took the decision to appoint a special counsel. The regulations require that such an appointment recite the facts justifying the conclusion that a federal crime was committed, and specify the crime. However, the initial appointment of Robert Mueller did neither, referring instead to a national security investigation that a special counsel has no authority to pursue.

Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to publicly disclose a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president -- Watergate and Whitewater come to mind -- we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here.


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posted by Ace of Spades at 08:04 PM

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