• user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:080a23a838dc410a6b6b9784dd6ea724' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>ROBERT MUELLER: May 30, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Lowry.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n<p>In the end, by-the-book Robert Mueller departed wildly from the book.<br />\n He invented an extraconstitutional legal standard for his obstruction investigation and acted, at best, in violation of the spirit of the special-counsel regulations.<br />\n His departing act was a public statement meant to influence the public debate in a manner inappropriate for a prosecutor, in part because the long public report he wrote that was also inappropriate for a prosecutor lacked clarity.</p>\n<p> A HALLMARK of the Trump era is that the norm-defying president goads everyone appalled by him to violate norms. The former Marine and G-man Robert Mueller would seem least likely to fall prey to this dynamic, but here we are.<br />\n First and foremost, Mueller ditched the presumption of innocence. In the normal course of things, all of us are considered innocent unless a jury finds us guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Mueller switched this around. Rather than finding conclusive evidence of Trump&rsquo;s guilt, he had to find conclusive evidence of his innocence. Since he didn&rsquo;t find this exculpatory evidence, Mueller deemed Trump &ldquo;not exonerated.&rdquo;<br />\n In surely one of the more gobsmacking utterances ever made by someone from a Justice Department podium, he said that &ldquo;if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.&rdquo;<br />\n If this standard had been applied to any person other than Donald Trump, it would have been widely denounced, and the American Civil Liberties Union would be crusading against it.<br />\n Naturally, Trump&rsquo;s critics immediately concluded from Mueller&rsquo;s statement that if Trump hadn&rsquo;t been found innocent, he must be guilty. The snarky headline on a New York magazine piece put it aptly enough: &ldquo;Mueller: Trump is Not Not a Criminal.&rdquo;<br />\n Well, you might say, of course Robert Mueller departed from standard operating procedure &mdash; he&rsquo;s a special counsel operating in novel circumstances that require novel approaches.</p>\n<p> BUT THIS is not his writ. A special counsel, under the regulations, has the &ldquo;investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney.&rdquo; He is supposed to &ldquo;comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies of the Department of Justice.&rdquo;<br />\n One of those rules, set out by the department&rsquo;s Office of Legal Counsel, famously says that a sitting president can&rsquo;t be charged with a crime. Mueller explained in his public statement that this ruling led his office to conclude that it couldn&rsquo;t &ldquo;reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.&rdquo;<br />\n So, Mueller, by his own account, conducted a two-year investigation knowing from the beginning that he wouldn&rsquo;t make the either/or decision that prosecutors exist to make.<br />\n Mueller offered several reasons for conducting an obstruction investigation anyway. One was to preserve evidence. But for what? The idea that a post-presidency Trump will get prosecuted as a private citizen for firing FBI Director James Comey is manifestly absurd. Another was that the president can be accused of wrongdoing in &ldquo;a process other than the criminal justice system,&rdquo; i.e., impeachment by Congress.<br />\n Here, Mueller is basically describing Volume 2 as an impeachment referral. But this isn&rsquo;t a purpose contemplated by the special-counsel regulations, which say that the special counsel &ldquo;shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions.&rdquo;<br />\n They don&rsquo;t say a special counsel shall fail to reach a prosecution or declination decision, then write a long report for congressional consumption anyway, and additionally go out and make a public statement to catalyze congressional action.</p>\n<p> IT SHOULD be up to Congress, not an inferior executive branch, to launch such an inquiry or not. Even more bizarrely, since Mueller considered Trump&rsquo;s public statements as potential obstruction, any objections by the president to this quasi-impeachment inquiry were more evidence of alleged wrongdoing.<br />\n An institutionalist who lost his way, Mueller will be lionized for the duration since he&rsquo;s been so useful to Trump&rsquo;s opposition, but his performance won&rsquo;t age well &mdash; and shouldn&rsquo;t.</p>\n', created = 1576185101, expire = 1576271501, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:080a23a838dc410a6b6b9784dd6ea724' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:434d7f773655f6de675da5342728ca70' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>ROBERT MUELLER: May 30, 2019</p>\n<p><img alt=\"\" src=\"http://www.conservativechronicle.com/sites/default/files/Lowry.gif\" style=\"width: 300px; height: 116px;\" /></p>\n', created = 1576185101, expire = 1576271501, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:434d7f773655f6de675da5342728ca70' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:26332461bfe9df08f9ac8dde4bed3db8' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<p>\n Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit <a href=\"/content/subscribe\">subscription page</a>. If you are already a subscriber, please <a href=\"/user\">login to the site</a>. You can also request a free sample by using our <a href=\"/content/free-sample-issue\">request form</a>.</p>\n', created = 1576185101, expire = 1576271501, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:26332461bfe9df08f9ac8dde4bed3db8' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '2:1cd77f7184da2bafaa6a089469bc2384' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: UPDATE cache_filter SET data = '<div id=\"fb-root\"></div>\n<script>(function(d, s, id) {\n var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0];\n if (d.getElementById(id)) return;\n js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id;\n js.src = \"//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=452921018151594\";\n fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);\n}(document, \'script\', \'facebook-jssdk\'));</script><div class=\"fb-like-box\" data-href=\"http://www.facebook.com/conservativechronicle\" data-width=\"275\" data-colorscheme=\"light\" data-show-faces=\"true\" data-header=\"true\" data-stream=\"false\" data-show-border=\"true\"></div>\n', created = 1576185101, expire = 1576271501, headers = '', serialized = 0 WHERE cid = '2:1cd77f7184da2bafaa6a089469bc2384' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 112.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/conserva/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/conserva/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/conserva/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/conserva/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/conserva/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • user warning: Table './conserva_drupal/cache_filter' is marked as crashed and should be repaired query: SELECT data, created, headers, expire, serialized FROM cache_filter WHERE cid = '5:26776aa5ca60f6f8eb4e7f92178ff26e' in /home/conserva/public_html/includes/cache.inc on line 27.

The wayward special counsel

ROBERT MUELLER: May 30, 2019

Full text and e-editions are available to premium subscribers only. To subscribe to the digital edition, please visit subscription page. If you are already a subscriber, please login to the site. You can also request a free sample by using our request form.