Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the Russia/collusion affair. Rosenstein is acting AG only in the Russia/collusion affair, and only because Jeff Sessions was stupid enough to listen to Democrats and recuse himself in that matter. Time will tell whether this will be a helpful or harmful move, but for the time being, a few initial observations:
*The DOJ/Republicans, as usual, fell into the trap. Dems and the Media turned a political spat into a criminal investigation. Perhaps Rosenstein wasn’t merely foolish?
*Rosenstein had no statutory authority to appoint a special counsel. The relevant law requires the appointment of a SC only when a clearly identifiable crime has been committed. That is not the case here, or at the least, the public and Media certainly have no evidence to prove it.
*Is Rosenstein a stealth progressive, anti-Trump operative? Worth considering, watching for and looking into.
*Ideally, a SC will look into only the matter for which he was appointed, and be as willing to admit there are no crimes and no one to prosecute as he is to prosecute. In this case, there are, as far as anyone knows, no crimes whatever.
*Hopefully, Mueller will end this, one way or another, within weeks, months at the outside. In the meantime, Republicans will avoid Mr. Trump like the plague, and healthcare reform, tax reform, etc. will be slowed to a crawl, just as Democrats want.
*If Mueller turns out to be a prosecutor in search of a crime, the damage to the republic will be considerable, perhaps irreparable.
*”Collusion” in most, indeed, virtually all cases, is not a crime. Too many ignorantly conflate the term with criminal conspiracy. Merely talking about pursuing a common goal is not, by itself, a crime, nor is expressing agreement or approval.. Doing business, which is not specifically in violation of criminal statutes, is not a crime.
*The appointment of a special counsel, if done by Mr. Trump, might be a smart political move, but it now appears he had no hand in it, and is less than pleased by Rosenstein’s move. Of course, this too could be a shrewd political move. In any case, it has, for at least a day or two, more or less shut up the Democrats and Media (I know: one in the same).
*Mueller has a reputation for integrity. On the other hand, he and James Comey are reportedly very close, which could be a problem.
*If Mueller does his job efficiently and quickly—there is no professional need for any such investigation to stretch over years—I suspect he’ll announce there is no evidence of collusion–and certainly none of conspiracy–between President Trump, his campaign, and Russia. This will be a good thing, but will not, for a moment, stop the efforts of The Resistance to destroy Mr. Trump and the republic.
*If Mueller goes off the reservation, investigating everything and its dog, this will be very bad indeed for America. This will only encourage The Resistance and hasten civil war.
*Forcing Mr. Trump out of office will not be taken calmly by most Americans. The Democrats and the Media will not like the price they’ll have to pay.
*The lack of backbone demonstrated by Republicans in this debacle will cost them dearly. They have separated themselves from the Americans that voted Mr. Trump into office, and they’ll reap that particular whirlwind.
*If Mueller is honest, the indictments he secures, if any, will be for leaking classified information to the press. He should also be seeking to imprison reporters who revealed information they knew to be classified. There are criminal conspiracies there aplenty and the First Amendment is not proof against them.
*We have already all but set in concrete the principle that special counsels are appointed only to pursue Republicans. This may further solidify that accurate perception.
*Thanks in part to James Comey, the FBI’s reputation is in tatters. Should Mueller’s investigation leak like a sieve, those leaks will by necessity come from the FBI, which will not be helpful to its faltering reputation, and will do continuing damage to our trust in government.
*That’s additional damage to what tiny trust in government remains…