Robert Mueller Needs to Answer Some Crucial Questions—If Only Republicans Would Ask Them

By | 2017-06-02T18:30:05+00:00 June 20, 2017|
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Editor’s Note:  The following is a memo crafted by the author as it ought to be written to Special Counsel, Robert Mueller from the two Judiciary Committee chairmen in Congress.  

If only . . .

From: Charles Grassley – Chairman, Senate Judiciary Committee & Bob Goodlatte – Chairman, House Judiciary Committee

To: Robert Mueller – Special Counsel, Department of Justice

Subject: Oversight of your office

As our committees consider the Justice Department’s budget request to authorize appropriations for the department’s many activities for the upcoming fiscal year, we try to understand those activities’ scope and efficacy, focusing especially on ones that raise questions with the public. Making well-informed judgments regarding funding and legislative guidance of departmental activities under our purview is our constitutional responsibility. We are confident that you, having been a valuable partner in this exercise of that responsibility during your years as director of the FBI, will answer these questions, because they are essential for the Congress and the public’s understanding of what your office is doing and not doing.

The deputy attorney general established your office to “to inform or consult with the Attorney General or others within the Department about the conduct of his or her duties and responsibilities” specifically about “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump…” .

If we read this correctly, you are to report to the nation’s chief law enforcement officials about their “duties and responsibilities.” The duties and responsibilities of the Department of Justice—correct us if we are mistaken—can only be the enforcement of the laws of the United States.

We hope that you will forswear any investigation not pursuant to the underlying crime, if any, specified in your appointment order, and can assure you that our committees will make sure that no funds authorized by us can be used for such purposes.

This being the case, would you enumerate for us the laws of the United States which you believe “individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” may have broken, who these “individuals” may be, and the “probable cause” for so believing in the possibility of their violation, that suffices as basis for investigating them or anyone else regarding “links and coordination “with “the Russian government.”

The Deputy attorney General’s establishment order also contains the anodyne words “any other matters that arose or may arise from the investigation.” To understand what these words mean to you, we must ask: For you to investigate any person, what relationship need there be between that person’s activities and any violation of a U.S statute related to that person’s “links and/or coordination between  the Russian government…”? Since the Department of Justice’s purview stops at the edge of politics, what do you believe that these words do not authorize you to “inform or consult” about in a prosecutorial manner?

We ask these questions because we believe that while our committees, the Congress, and the country are keen to hold everyone accountable for violations of specific laws, it is in our responsibility and our power to avoid a repeat of the country’s most recent experience with an independent counsel. Patrick Fitzgerald’s supposed investigation of the “outing” of CIA officer Valerie Plame proceeded even though  no violation of law had occurred, although the identity of the “outer” was known, and ended up entrapping a political target for having a recollection of a conversation different from that which Mr. Fitzgerald and his political allies preferred.

We hope that you will forswear any investigation not pursuant to the underlying crime, if any, specified in your appointment order, and can assure you that our committees will make sure that no funds authorized by us can be used for such purposes.

Each of these and many more are patent evidence of violations of a specific law by high officials of the U.S government for which the statute prescribes 10 years’ imprisonment.

The path to uncovering these officials and punishing these felonies is straightforward. Please tell these committees whether you are investigating these patent violations of law, and if not, why not.

Respectfully, we call to your attention the patent violations of section 798 18 US Code that occurred, pursuant to suggestions of “Russian interference” each and every time that officials of the U.S intelligence community informed the Washington Post, New York Times, and NBC News of the existence and contents of U.S electronic communications intercepts. Here are just a few: On January 5, the Washington Post’s Adam Entous and Greg Miller reported that “U.S. officials…said that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications in the aftermath of the election…” On January 19, the New York Times’ Michael Schmidt et al. reported American intelligence officials “are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation…” On February 14, the same reporters wrote in the same newspaper: “Phone records and intercepted calls show …” Each of these and many more are patent evidence of violations of a specific law by high officials of the U.S government for which the statute prescribes 10 years’ imprisonment.

The path to uncovering these officials and punishing these felonies is straightforward. Please tell these committees whether you are investigating these patent violations of law, and if not, why not.

Mr. Mueller: our committees, the Congress and the country are eager to have plain laws upheld, and sick and tired of seeing political differences treated as nebulous pseudo-crimes. We call on you to answer our questions and to uphold the rule of law as ordinary Americans understand it.

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About the Author:

Angelo Codevilla

Angelo M. Codevilla is a senior fellow of the Claremont Institute, professor emeritus of international relations at Boston University and the author of To Make And Keep Peace, Hoover Institution Press, 2014

  • URstandingwhere

    Why no questions about the involvement of the Russians? Why no curiosity from the WH? Why is the AG not curious, rather than defensive like his boss? I’m sorry to say, as an observer, They act like they got caught steeling candy. They are ashamed of the fact that the truth may emerge. The plump lady will sing sing for them

    • Walter Thomas

      There was a question about the involvement of the Russians. It is:

      ‘This being the case, would you enumerate for us the laws of the United States which you believe “individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” may have broken, who these “individuals” may be, and the “probable cause” for so believing in the possibility of their violation, that suffices as basis for investigating them or anyone else regarding “links and coordination “with “the Russian government.”’

      • URstandingwhere

        The Espionage Act, the Logan Act just for starters, Comrade.

    • Anne Miller

      Right, and of course the Obama administration attempts to influence the Israeli and the British elections should be investigated and Obama should then be tried and convicted for illegally influencing foreign elections.

      • URstandingwhere

        It depend on who’s flag you pledge allegiance too. Stars and Stripes?

    • MaroonVee

      But the media is claiming Trump colluded, that’s what Trump is rightfully complaining about.

  • Dan Schwartz

    Unfortunately, and as much as I admire Prof. Codevilla, he made a crucial error of omission when he cited Rod Rosenstein’s Letter Appointing Mueller Special Counsel: Although he would be correct if his citation of paragraphs (b)(i), (b)(ii), and (b)(iii) ended the letter (with the paragraph (d) boilerplate), the good prof omitted paragraph (c), where Rosenstein “booby-trapped” the investigation:

    (c) If the special counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the special counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters,

    This paragraph adding in after-the-fact “procedural crimes,” such as Patrick Fitzgerald deployed against Scooter Libby to try to get to Karl Rove & Dick Cheney, along with the appointment of deeply-conflicted Mueller, clearly exposes Rosenstein’s motives and agenda to retaliate against President Trump for bungling the Comey firing and making him (RR) look bad.

    Also, as Andrew McCarthy alludes, this turned a non-criminal counterintelligence investigation into a hybrid counterintel-criminal investigation, where the looser evidentiary rules for the former allow more information to be gleened from intelligence agencies; and then through the barely-legal “parallel construction” doctrine this evidence is now forwarded for criminal prosecution where a “parallel method” hidden from the defense is used to garner a conviction. [The SIGINT delivered by “Stingray” cell phone interception to the DEA and then concealed by prosecutors via parallel construction goes directly to this additional point.]

    Here’s the actual document:
    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/05/17/us/politics/document-Robert-Mueller-Special-Counsel-Russia.html

    • Walter Thomas

      Very interesting. Thanks. What do you suggest that Republicans in Congress or the Trump team do now?

      • RJones

        Dude. You don’t get it. This investigation wouldn’t be underway but for certain Republicans. You do recall they are in charge of Congress, right? I agree with calls on Trump to end this nonsense forthwith, but in reality we should be demanding this of Congress. They are the ones frustrating the will of the voters. They did the same to the Tea Party, which is exactly why the IRS got away with their crimes. These folks need to be called out and shown the door. They’re David Brooks/David Frum republicans, not true Republicans.

    • Blackstone

      So Rosenstein is purposely perpetuating the “cloud” of foot-dragging over all the non-evidence of “Russian collusion” that led to Comey’s firing, all because of personal pique over the election of Trump, and his “solution” is to waste millions and millions of taxpayer dollars keeping said cloud afloat until Mueller unearths something juicy, no matter how implausibly or intangibly related to Trump himself or the overarching, original purpose of the investigation (i.e. “Russian collusion” etc.) such a matter might be?

    • Crutch

      Beautifully reasoned!

    • olderwiser

      And this is why the extra-Constitutional appointment of special prosecutors/counsels should be immediately abolished. We already have an expensive Federal law enforcement agency and ranks and ranks of prosecutors. If they can’t handle little things like this, what the hell are we paying them for?

      • J. G.

        You got that right. They cost a fortune and they never deliver justice. Just a political outcome masquerading as justice.

    • J. G.

      Trump needs to hire you

    • WillB

      Whitewater? Where did that lead?

  • Robert Meuller needs to be fired. This is a political, not a legal battle. If President Trump listens to his lawyers and fights a political battle with legal means – he will loose. As for the leakers in the intelligence community – we don’t need a Congressional committee investigating leaks – that will only lead to more leaks. None of this should be done in public. The President needs to appoint a team within the FBI to crack down on leakers within the FBI and do it out of the public eye. We’ll know it works when the leaks stop or when, as the President has correctly noted – the only thing the mainstream press can do is publish fake news, citing “anonymous” officials. Fighting this political battle is crucial because it is all about public opinion. If President Trump defers to the Swamp and pretends that the Swamp is interested in the rule of law, he will legitimize the Swamp, which is NOT interested in the rule of law, but in a coup or at the very least at weakening the President’s approval ratings and helping make sure he is not reelected. The President must fire anybody who investigates him and use the FBI to strike fear into the heart of his domestic political enemies. He should not fear impeachment – because in this political battle his enemies will seek impeachment under any circumstances. I do not believe that there is a nice, legal methodology whereby the President is magically rescued from attacks. Impeachment is a risk, sort of like death is a risk in war. But if he fights a war he will show his enemies that they also run a risk. He did this in 2016 and won. He must do it again.

  • This is a political, not a legal battle. President Trump should fight it as such and fire Mr. Meuller. The President is being accused of punching even though he is standing still. In that case: punch. It cannot get any worse and he may actually hit something if he fights. The lawyers are wrong. It’s a political fight to impeach or weaken him for the next election. He needs to fight back.

    • swek

      There is a certain point at which the Senate Rs will realize that they can separate themselves from Trump without personal liability
      And, at some point, they’ll turn to fatso and just tell him to stfu

  • chuck334

    I understand the use of all these “impartial attorneys” that Mueller has hired will be to go fishing for crimes real or fabricated. First thing that anyone contacted by these attorneys should do is refuse to cooperate unless they have legal counsel and video recording by a neutral 3rd party with both parties receiving raw copies. Secondly Sessions, Ryan and the Turtle need to grow a pair and start hauling in Rice, Jarrett, Powers, Holder and Comey and all the other Oboma sycophants before Congress and put them under oath and do a little fishing themselves.

  • Black_Saint

    Democrats and the elites from around the world have found a better way to total power and control of the masses by the left than competing by ideas and competency.

    Destroy western civilization by a tidal wave of low IQ welfare lovers and criminal from failed cultures around the world that will be content to live on welfare and crime and voting as directed by the elites.

    • Haskel Pippin

      That’s what they’re essentially doing already and why they continue to welcome welfare seeking recipients from south of the our borders, not to mention, the hundreds of thousands of Democratic criminals, living inside and outside of our prison walls.

  • blaine

    Obstruction of justice can include crimes committed by investigators and prosecutors – an interesting example being malfeasance.
    I was wondering why all investigating officials when under oath continue to publicly deny there was any evidence of collusion, or that Trump was ever under investigation… How could he not have been?
    Obstruction of Justice can include crimes committed by prosecutors and investigators when they cast public aspersions on someone who they know has not committed a crime and publicly investigate them for ulterior motives, e.g. political reasons (which is malfeasance).
    Publicly stating under oath that there is no evidence of collusion, and that Trump was never under investigation, is a good defense against charges of malfeasance leveled by Trump against those investigating him. I believe he would certainly charge them with this if he could.
    The flip side of this is that if there really is no crime, investigator’s, even a special prosecutor and or those who appointed one, really are open to accusations of malfeasance. It is a real crime, and investigators can and have been convicted of it in the U.S.
    Ironically, the investigators themselves in this case may need to be investigated by a special prosecutor for malfeasance, which is itself a type of obstruction of justice.

  • donqpublic

    Fat chance, but great questions.

  • Democrat EBTbaggers

    Sending incriminating evidence to one’s own library where it cannot be examined for 5 years is obstruction of justice.

    • MaroonVee

      Like Obama , right?

    • champ

      Comey got Frank Quattrone and Martha Stewart on obstruction of justice charges, charges that were thrown out when appealed.

  • J. G.

    As said below, “fat chance.” Nice try though.

  • pej

    Why is this not a matter for the Supreme Court to consider? Why would it not be proper for the Trump administration to petition the court directly, in order to stop the witchhunt and to take it out of the hands of the conspiring Left? Why does it have to drag on and do persistent damage to the administration and allow a sea of false accusations?

    • J. G.

      Trump should just end this quickly and get it over with. Fire Mueller and fire the SOB Rosenstein who appointed him. And fire anyone else who tries to appoint a special counsel. These lawyers will litigate us to death, and cost us a small fortune in the meantime.

  • J. G.

    All good sense on this matter disappeared when Dep AJ Rosenstein appointed a special counsel. This business of independent prosecutors, special counsels should end. Our history shows, whether you are a Rep or Dem, from Clinton to Libby, that it all comes down to this: a cop follows you home from work convinced you are a drug dealer; he has no evidence of it, but on the way home you fail to give a turn signal. Gotcha. You committed a crime. And you go to jail big time for that. We are producing a nation of lawyers who litigate us to death, we have criminalized political differences. This should end, no matter what political persuasion you are of, this is not good for a civil society.

  • Robert Mueller was installed as director of FBI on September 4, 2001. 9/11 was his job.
    Advanced thermitic material is present in all World Trade Center dust.
    https://unitedresistance911.wordpress.com/nanothermite/

  • swek

    defending the indefensible
    Trump is a traitor; he sold the country out to Putin.

    You guys can try to defend him, but he’ll drag you down too.

    • Eric377

      Such a hypothetical is clearly covered by the grant of authority and responsibility to the special counsel.

    • Mark Hamilton

      Hillary lost because she sucks. Get over it.

  • AugustWest85

    If the Trump Administration didn’t want to rouse suspicion, and the inevitable investigations, special councils, etc, it would have been wise not to omit details on forms and in sworn testimony of it’s contacts with Russians.

    • WillB

      Or to have made what looks like multiple attempts to shut the investigation down, either in its entirety or just of Flynn (who obviously knows something special about the whole affair). The eagerness with which Republican and pro-Trump stalwarts seek to justify Trump’s actions, downplaying the obvious attempts at obstruction and supporting sacking the Special Counsel, actions they would and continue to find unacceptable and instantly impeachable if practiced by a Democrat (especially if their surname starts with ‘O’ or ‘C’) is a truly a wonder to behold. The narrow partisanship that has delivered this moral vacuum will damage the US politics for decades more to come.

  • 4Justice

    Great article. Thx.

  • Charles Robison

    PS: Do you propose to investigate the ties of the obama administration to Russia before and during this election and the previous 2012 cycle, where obama asked Russian leaders to avoid causing problems during the election because he would be more “flexible” afterward. Just how “flexible” was he and his administration?
    Why, if all this interference was known many months before the actual 2016 election, didn’t the obama Administration do something about it? Were the, in fact, colluding with Russia in hopes that the Russians would undermine the eventual winner of the presidential election of 2016?

  • SCP

    Be careful what you wish for. But no prosecutor will show their hand until all the evidence has been collected and evaluated. It’s the American way. It’s what is fair to those being investigated. So Mueller not discussing his investigation with YOU doesn’t mean it isn’t valid, real, or may lead to the revealing of what seems so evident are criminal acts by Trump associates at the very least.

  • SCP

    And p.s. Mueller is a life-long Republican with a stellar reputation. How much fairer an individual could there be. Because he knows one man who would be of the obstruction charge, a man all of Washington knows, he’s conflicted? No special counsel would satisfy you Trumpsters. Be an American first, and a Republican second.