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10 Things to Hate About Mueller

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A short list of very good, serious, totally factual reasons to be suspicious of the special counsel’s motives.

Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey report:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s got everyone convinced he’s such an upstanding public servant. In The Threat Matrix, Garrett Graff writes that “both political parties respect” Mueller as “a consummate law enforcement professional with a track record, forged in Vietnam, of grace under fire and getting organizations on track.”

Whatever. Don’t be fooled by Mueller’s Boy Scout act. As his critics point out, if America is never great again, it’ll be all Mueller’s fault. We have to admit, they’ve got some good points.

Here are 10 perfectly reasonable — not at all crazy or imaginary — reasons to hate him:

1. The guy’s a leaker.

Breitbart says so. Sure, Muller’s got a rep for rarely speaking in public or giving interviews. But behind the scenes he’s obviously spending day and night dishing dirt on Donald Trump and the president’s oh-so-honorable colleagues to any reporter who will listen. The deluge of daily stories disparaging President Trump, after all, began the day Mueller was appointed; before Mueller, Trump press coverage was constant sunshine and rainbows. Plus, it’s clearly to Mueller’s strategic advantage to have his investigative steps aired to the public in real time. Besides, who else would leak this kind of stuff? Only Mueller and his team have motive. The White House isn’t a factionalist den of vipers; the president’s legal team is a well-oiled machine that never leaks; defense lawyers are paragons of virtue. Don’t even get us started on tight-lipped congressional staff — those guys never talk. The only logical explanation here is information about the investigation is coming from Mueller.

2. Mueller is a highly political actor.

Thank God, Newt Gingrich has seen through Mueller’s act. He tweetedrecently that “Republicans are delusional if they think the special counsel is going to be fair. Look who he is hiring.check fec reports. Time to rethink.” It’s quite a rethink. Mueller is so political that he’s spent his entire career going back and forth between politicians. He worked in the first Bush administration as an assistant attorney general, then he was a prosecutor on murder cases in Washington, D.C. after running the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, and then he flip-flopped back to be a U.S. attorney in the Clinton administration. Get this: he then goes on to run the FBI for both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama (a bipartisan Congress even extended his term for two years at Obama’s request).

The guy is so political he can’t even decide which side he’s on.

3. Mueller is too thorough and taking too long.

This thing is seriously taking forever. Press Secretary Sarah Sanders spoke for all of us in saying that, “the president is frustrated by the continued witch hunt of the Russia investigation and he’d love for this to come to a full conclusion so that everyone can focus fully on the thing that he was elected to do.” You and me, both, friend. Could Mueller go any slower? It’s as if he’s a highly methodical actor systematically gathering strings on multiple broad areas simultaneously: Trump-Russia collusion, Trump Organization business dealings, misconduct in the Trump campaign, and obstruction of justice. He needs to hurry this thing along. Trump just wants to be cleared without the fuss of an investigation. Wouldn’t you? The president knows he is innocent and only wishes to spare us all the pain of this drawn-out ordeal. Of course, Trump recently told the New York Times that “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.” It’s completely reasonable of Trump to be frustrated that this investigation — which doesn’t exist — is taking so long and that Mueller is being so thorough about it.

4. Mueller is too aggressive and is moving too fast.

Slow down, buddy. The New York Times reported yesterday that “The moves against Mr. Manafort are just a glimpse of the aggressive tactics used by Mr. Mueller and his team of prosecutors” and their “shock and awe tactics.” When Mueller isn’t moving at a glacial pace, he’s being unprecedentedly aggressive. The Times reported clucking in the defense bar:

Some lawyers defending people who have been caught up in Mr. Mueller’s investigation privately complain that the special counsel’s team is unwilling to engage in the usual back-and-forth that precedes — or substitutes for — grand jury testimony. They argue that the team’s more aggressive tactics might end up being counterproductive, especially if some grand jury witnesses turn out to be more guarded than they would have been in a more informal setting or invoke the Fifth Amendment.

This well-meaning concern among defense lawyers for the effectiveness of Mueller’s investigation is touching. When they aren’t overwhelmed with concern Mueller is moving too slowly, they’re worried sick that he’s going too fast for his own good.

5. He’s hiring bad people with conflicts of interest.

Trump warned us that Mueller’s staff comprises “some very bad and conflicted people.” Fact check: True. Some of Mueller’s staff attorneys have indeed committed the iniquitous crime of donating to Democratic candidates. This is what matters. Ignore their famed careers as prosecutors or appellate lawyers. Ignore the Supreme Court clerkships. Mueller’s staff actually are just human embodiments of contributions to Democratic candidates. No previous special prosecutor has ever employed people with political affiliations. We can’t recall any Republicans in sight for Kenneth Starr’s investigation and Democrats absolutely fled from … (read more)

Source: Foreign Policy

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One Comment on “10 Things to Hate About Mueller”


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