Special Counsel Robert Mueller should be censured, if not disbarred, for violating Department of Justice rules and turning the legal system upside down for political purposes — to “get Trump.”
His malpractice was on full display this week with his unnecessary press conference to smear the president’s character and reputation by inferring he committed crimes — without bringing charges.
Our legal system doesn’t work that way.
The accused is either innocent or guilty based on factual evidence — not nuance or smoke and mirrors. If prosecutors have insufficient evidence and can’t bring charges against someone, the case is dropped. And prosecutors aren’t supposed to damage a person’s reputation for spite.
But that’s exactly what Mueller did in violating Department of Justice rules and protocols.
In the U.S. justice system, Americans are afforded the presumption of innocence, and the burden to proof is on law enforcement — not the defendant. But Mueller took a sledgehammer to that foundational principle during his partisan press conference by saying, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. … We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
Seriously, folks? Mueller and his rabid team of partisan lawyers just completed a 22-month exhaustive special counsel investigation into all things Donald Trump at an estimated cost of $35 million. With unlimited resources — and the president’s full cooperation — Mueller and his cabal of pro-Hillary Clinton lawyers interviewed hundreds of witnesses including top White House officials, campaign associates and family members. They reviewed 1.4 million documents provided by the White House and conducted an over-the-top raid of the president’s former lawyer Michael Cohen’s home, forever damaging attorney-client privilege. They raided Roger Stone’s private home — in a heavy-handed, embarrassing spectacle — using helicopters, amphibious vehicles and a dozen heavily armed law enforcement agents to pull the old man out of bed in a pre-dawn arrest.
If that wasn’t enough, the special counsel used strongman tactics to inflict cruel and unusual punishment against Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, putting him in solitary confinement for white-collar crimes from years ago — that had nothing to do with the president, or Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
If, after all that, Mueller and 19 high-priced lawyers couldn’t find sufficient evidence a crime was committed and bring indictments against the president, it’s because it didn’t happen.
It was all a hoax, stemming from a discredited dossier and massive disinformation campaign waged by Trump’s political enemies.
But that fact didn’t stop Mueller during his media spectacle from kicking the president in the shins on his way out the door. He implied that just because he didn’t charge Trump due to Office of Legal Counsel rules that state he can’t indict a sitting president, that doesn’t mean Trump is exonerated. This wrongfully put the burden of proof upon the accused, forcing Trump to prove his innocence.
Turning our system of justice upside down.
Adding to it, Mueller put out a dog whistle to Democratic lawmakers who’ve wanted to impeach the president from day one, encouraging them to “go for it.” He deliberately threw a shiny object to media, whipping up an impeachment frenzy for the next 18 months, during a presidential election cycle, to harm Trump politically. Mueller dishonestly created an innuendo that Trump committed crimes despite Mueller’s office being unable to prove it.
Make no mistake; the special counsel didn’t bring charges solely on the rules that restrict indictment of a sitting president. Attorney General Barr recently testified before Congress saying Mueller told him multiple times — with witnesses present — that he was unable to bring charges against the president irrespective of the Office of Legal Counsel rules.
Here’s the deal: It’s well known that Attorney General Bill Barr has opened a DOJ investigation into the origins of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation and illicit spying operation of Trump and his 2016 campaign. Mueller knows full well that the evidence that’ll be uncovered will be damning.
Hence the real purpose of the Mueller’s presser: He deliberately distracted the media’s attention away from the DOJ investigation and got the punditry talking nonstop about impeaching the president instead.
It’s a politically fueled chess move for all to see.
Adriana Cohen is a syndicated columnist with the Boston Herald. Follow her on Twitter @AdrianaCohen16. To find out more about Adriana Cohen and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.