Mueller Investigation Flawed
Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation has revealed no evidence the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.
Yet it grinds on with no end in sight. Mueller has been reduced to playing the part of Lavrenti Beria, the head of Joseph Stalin’s KGB, who once said to his boss, “show me the man and I will find the crime.“
Mueller was appointed in May of 2017 by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein “to investigate Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election“ and any “links or coordination…with [the Trump campaign].“
Eight months into his appointment, and a year and a half into the FBI investigation, Mueller has found none.
He’s brought criminal charges against four men; but none for coordinating with Russian agents to interfere in our election.
The biggest fish netted so far is Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor.
But all Mueller could charge Flynn for was lying to the FBI. That’s the dubious offense charged when there is no underlying crime.
What did Flynn lie about?
He denied asking the Russian government to refrain from retaliating against the US for then President Obama’s imposition of sanctions against them. He also denied asking the Russians to delay or defeat a pending vote in the United Nations.
Yet, Flynn’s requests to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, when he was the incoming national security advisor, – are not crimes.
That Flynn is charged with a crime and facing imprisonment for engaging in lawful conduct is a travesty.
And that’s just one of the more damaging revelations in Donna Brazile’s new book.
Mueller claims Flynn’s false statements impeded his investigation. But how? Flynn’s lawful and proper post-election conversations with the Russian Ambassador revealed nothing about coordination and Russian interference in the election. The guilty plea document does not even attempt to explain how Flynn’s false statements impeded the investigation.
The assumption set forth in Mueller’s appointment, and that provides his investigative authority, is false.
There was no “Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election“ let alone coordination with the Trump campaign.
Neither the document appointing Mueller, the charging or plea documents or Mueller himself has identified any. No one has been charged let alone convicted of any election law violation.
There is some evidence Russian agents attempted to influence the election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s computers. But those are just allegations. The DNC to this day refuses to allow the FBI to examine the actual server.
Mixed-race juries have acquitted police officers charged with shooting blacks. That’s the system at work.
Although hacking is a crime, after a year and a half, the FBI has still not charged anyone for it.
There’s no evidence Trump’s campaign was involved. The alleged hacking was first discovered in September of 2015 – several months before the primary contests when no one thought Trump would win the Republican nomination let alone the general election. In any event, attempting to influence our election is not the same as interposing in a way that hinders or impedes it, which would constitute interference.
Yet, Flynn is now deemed a criminal; even though he not only had the legal right to communicate with the Russian ambassador, he was encouraged to do so by the Presidential Transition Guide the Trump team was provided to guide them through the transition.
The guidebook encouraged them to “coordinate outreach to and interaction with…foreign dignitaries…to build support and momentum for major policy initiatives.“
That’s what Flynn did.
Now there’s speculation that President Trump was attempting to obstruct justice because a recent tweet he sent apparently shows he was aware Flynn had lied to the FBI when Trump allegedly told then FBI Director Comey he “hoped“ he would be “letting Flynn go.“ Trump’s lawyer, however, claims he sent the tweet.
But it doesn’t matter. Comey has already testified Trump never brought up the issue of Flynn again, neither Trump nor any member of the Administration asked him to stop the Russia investigation, closing the investigation of Flynn would not impede the Russian investigation and Trump had every right to fire him.
Nevertheless, Mueller continues onward despite the fact it has become glaringly apparent he is spearheading a crimeless, victimless investigation that is prosecuting individuals for offenses that have nothing to do with his appointment.
And, it has been recently discovered several members of Mueller’s team itself were perhaps more involved in trying to influence the election for Hillary Clinton than the Russians allegedly were for Trump.
Mueller’s team has included several Clinton campaign donors, a former Clinton Foundation lawyer; an FBI agent who edited a memo to include language exonerating Clinton from her email server crime and sent anti-Trump, pro-Clinton text messages to a former investigator; a lawyer who represented Clinton’s aide who set up the private server and destroyed her smart phones and Mueller’s top assistant, a lawyer who donated to the Clinton campaign and the DNC and who partied, at least until the results started to come in, at the Clinton campaign election night party.
All those high-powered Clinton-supporting lawyers and agents and they still haven’t found one election law violation to pin on Trump or his campaign.
Yet, the wheels of justice will continue to grind and more Republicans who have nothing to do with the non-existent Russian interference will continue to be ground down.
Marc A. Scaringi, a 2016 Donald Trump delegate to the Republican National Convention, is an attorney and PennLive Opinion contributor whose work appears biweekly. He writes from Camp Hill.