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

By | 2017-07-12T14:53:42+00:00 June 20th, 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).