Poor form in Mueller investigation
January 17, 2019
The Mueller probe is an abuse of office. To protect against unfounded investigations, the Justice Department doesn't open criminal investigations without (1) citing the criminal statute involved and (2) having some verified evidence of the crime. Justice ordered Robert Mueller to investigate "any links … between the Russian government and … the campaign of President Donald Trump." (Order 3915-2017). That doesn't describe a criminal investigation; no crime is specified in the order.
Justice used the ruse of a "counter-intelligence investigation," which can be initiated on mere suspicion, without specifying a crime. But the investigation is a criminal investigation. How do we know?
For starters, Mueller, a career prosecutor, leads the investigation. Further, dozens of other current and former career prosecutors staff it. If it were a counter-intelligence investigation it would be led by an "intelligence analyst" from the FBI (over 40 percent of FBI investigators are intelligence analysts who focus on intelligence and counter-intelligence) and staffed with intelligence analysts. FBI agents confirm prosecutors don't run or staff counter-intelligence investigations because they don't know how to do counter-intelligence. Finally, Mueller was appointed as a "special counsel" under 28 CFR 600.1. That regulation authorizes appointment of a special counsel only for "criminal investigation."
Because it had no evidence of a crime (we know because no crime was specified), Justice couldn't officially open a criminal investigation. But they did it anyway by calling it something else. That is abuse of office. Haters of the president think this is just great because they hate the president. How will they feel when the shoe is on the other foot?