Deep meaning of the Mueller probe, by Scott Johnson. Worth following for the corruption and abuse of power in the world’s leading democracy. What is happening to our world? Are non-left governments becoming “illegal”? This is a critical.
The reporters covering developments in the ongoing special counsel investigation conducted by Robert Mueller are so excited by the prospect of President Trump’s removal from office impeachment that they can barely keep their tongues from hanging out of their mouths. They demonstrate what it’s all about even if they don’t have a clue what’s going on.
It is a striking fact that the charge to which Michael Flynn pleaded yesterday involves lying about conversations that were not themselves illegal. Flynn was not charged with any substantive criminal offense under the Logan Act or anything else. Rather, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Andrew McCarthy has distinguished himself among the observers commenting on the case. An experienced former federal prosecutor himself, he knows what he is talking about. He is familiar with the ground rules that are to govern such matters. He reviews them in his weekly NRO column today as he has before, finding once again that Mueller has undertaken an essentially unlimited criminal investigation in the guise of a counterintelligence probe.
From the article by Andrew McCarthy:
The Justice Department did not, as the pertinent special-counsel regulations require, identify specific crimes it suspected had been committed by Trump-campaign officials. …
Instead, Mueller’s investigation was rationalized by the need to conduct a counterintelligence inquiry into Russia’s “cyber-espionage” meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Though there was no probable cause to believe Trump-campaign officials had participated in Russia’s hacking (and remember: the FBI and Obama Justice Department had been investigating for months before the special counsel was appointed), Mueller was encouraged to focus on whether Trump-campaign officials somehow “coordinated” in Russia’s perfidy. …
See, we’re not following the normal rules, in which a prosecutor is assigned only after evidence of an actual crime has emerged. We’re in the wooly realm of counterintelligence, where anything goes. And in the event our aggressive prosecutor can’t find any crimes — which would be no surprise, since the investigation was not triggered by a crime — no matter: The special counsel is encouraged to manufacture crimes through the investigative process. Misleading assertions by non-suspects made to investigators probing non-crimes can be charged as felony false statements.
The end game of the investigation is the removal of Donald Trump from the presidency, either by impeachment (which does not require proof of a court-prosecutable crime) or by publicly discrediting Trump to such a degree that his reelection becomes politically impossible. The latter can be accomplished by projecting the appearance of a critical investigation (notwithstanding that there is no underlying crime), turning administration officials into suspects, and hopefully generating the false-statement prosecutions that help depict the administration as dishonest and icky.
While all that plays out, though, behold the frightening thing Mueller’s investigation has become: a criminalization of politics. In the new order of things, policy differences are the grist for investigation and prosecution.
There is no evidence that Flynn or any other Trump associate was involved in Russia’s election interference. Instead, after being elected on the promise of significant policy shifts from the Obama administration, President-elect Trump directed Flynn, his incoming national-security adviser, to make contact with foreign counterparts, including but not limited to officials from Russia. This is standard operating procedure when administrations change — that’s why they call it a transition. …
The ongoing Mueller probe is not a good-faith investigation of suspected espionage or other crime. It is the exploitation of the executive’s intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers in order to (a) criminalize Trump political policies with which the Obama administration disagreed and (b) frame Clinton’s electoral defeat as the product of a traitorous scheme rather than a rejection of Democratic-party priorities. …
What is going on here is politics, not law. No sensible person thinks the Trump campaign colluded in Russian espionage. … Rather, Mueller’s investigation is a semblance of law-enforcement disguising the brute reality that Trump is being punished for winning the election and defying Obama policy.