Thorner/O’Neil: Will special counsel Mueller become a thorn in the side for Trump?

June 2, 2017

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By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

Democrats have implied and worked hard to prove their supposition of Russian influence in our election; specifically whether anyone on the Trump team had engaged in inappropriate and/or illegal interaction with the Russians.

Democrats have continually indicated there is such a possibility, and although after months of investigations, not a shred of proof has been provided.  Yet, leading Democrats continue to demand there be further investigations into the matter.  It is like  looking for a “needle in a haystack,” searching for something that is either exceedingly small or possibly non-existent.

 

It is becoming obvious we are witnessing stalling tactics, tools to slow down progress, all for political purposes. This borders on treason in that it  intentionally diverts our leaders and the public from that which is far more important to our people and Country.

The tired and worn out issue of Russia’s interference has been continually pushed forward by Democrats, and their loyal Liberal media friends assisted by demanding an investigation.  U.S. Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, immediately and wisely recused himself from leading this investigation,  due to his role as a prominent figure of the Party in power.   He did not want anyone to doubt the integrity of the investigation based on what could be perceived as a conflict of interest.

Due to Session’s decision, as well as public and Congressional pressure, Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel on May 17, 2017, to oversee the federal investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, including potential collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign associates and Russian officials. He seemed the least controversial and certainly had experience with the FBI.   In a brief statement, Mueller said, “I accept this responsibility and will discharge it to the best of my ability.”

George Washington University of Law Professor, Jonathan Turley, in offering his opinion about the naming of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel in theTrump-Russia probe, called it a “healthy dose of Tylenol” for the country.

Turley further believes an investigation will “bring this fever down.” It has not done so to date.  At the same time, Turley cautioned that  the investigation will “prolong the sickness” by potentially taking years to reach a conclusion. Turley also claimed that until Mueller was named, President Trump could not fully clear his name in the face of ongoing leaks and allegations and that the appointment of a special counsel was almost inevitable when the Comey memo hit.

Memo prompting naming of special counsel

How did this mess start?  The unclassified memo raising questions about Trump’s obstruction of justice was first reported by the New York Times  on May 16, 2017.  Neither NBC nor The Times have even seen the memo, but The Times said an associate of Comey’s read parts of it to a reporter in which Trump is alleged to have asked Comey to halt the General Investigation of Flynn’s alleged discussions with Russian officials.

According to NBC News, Comey — who is widely known for keeping meticulous records — wrote a memo on Feb.14, the day after Flynn resigned, that indicated Comey did take such notes.  Anonymous sources have questioned the timing of this suspected note taking, suggesting there is no valid way to determine when a memo was written.   Could it have been written after Comey was terminated from his position?  Comey  enjoyed an excellent reputation until he chose not to prosecute Hillary for known offenses that would have ordered anyone else to be looking through bars for quite some time. There are many ways to examine this issue, but unfortunately the politics of it all has muddied the water.

President Trump made this statement on May 17, 2017, after hearing about the appointment of a special counsel:

“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

In defending President Trump, Rep. Duncan Hunter noted how Trump’s comments to Comey, as revealed in what is described as a “leaked partial memo to the NYT,” could not possibly be construed as an obstruction that merited grounds for impeachment.

However, what many state as a rare bipartisan moment, both parties embraced Robert Mueller as Special Counsel on May 17.  The Washington Post reported how key Washington players are reacting.  Most were full of praise for Mueller.

However, some have raised questions as to whether the close friendship of Comey and Mueller might influence Mueller’s judgement.  Politics have a way of blinding people and leaving them without a clear remembrance of facts.  Everyone at least agrees this important investigation must be conducted without a shred of doubt as to the integrity of those in charge of it.  Can that be said at this point?

Could Robert Mueller be a thorn in the side for Trump?

At first blush,  Mueller’s appointment might seem like a good idea, but since the House and Senate are likewise conducting similar investigations into possible collusion between Trump and Russia, yet another investigation has the look of an overkill to many; some officials have described it as an orchestrated witch-hunt.

That Mueller and Comey have been described as law enforcement twins and “brothers in arms” is problematic.  Can one really assume the man can possibly remain neutral? The two men’s working relationship can be traced back to at least December of 2003 when Comey joined Mueller in Washington after he became John Ashcroft’s Deputy Attorney General where they spent many hours together developing a close partnership.

This relationship was made stronger during an incident in 2004. At the time the Los Angeles Times reported that Comey, Mueller, and a number of other law enforcement officials were on the verge of resigning in opposition to a Bush administration plan to reauthorize a domestic surveillance program that was launched after the terror attacks of 9/11. President Bush eventually agreed to modify the secret program after both men jointly intervened — an experience that is suspected to have drawn them even closer and obviously provided an awareness that their judgement could take precedent over that of a President.  At least it could when personal politics were not part of the equation.

Carl M. Cannon, executive editor and Washington Bureau chief of RealClearPolitics, in an opinion piece on May 22, 2017 in the Orange County Register, explained why he didn’t experience the same rhapsody as others of his capital compatriots when Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Bob Mueller as special prosecutor. He listed these three reasons:

  1. Jim Comey and Bob Mueller have a long history as professional allies.
  2. These two guys, working in tandem, have a track record of bureaucratic infighting — with another Republican White House as their shared adversary — that belies their reputations for being above political intrigue.
  3. Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks.

Recently, on May 20, 2017, Victor David Hanson stated he believes that the whole Trump-Russia collusion story is a big lie. Citing a term coined by Adolf Hitler in Mein Kampf, this Hoover Institution scholar explained that the allegations that President Trump worked with the Russians was created by specific Democrats without a shred of actual evidence.

It also is quite suspect that House Oversight Committee Chair, Jason Chaffeez, R-Utah, announced on Monday, May 22 that a Wednesday hearing on FBI oversight at which former FBI Director Comey had been invited to appear had to be cancelled. Why? Because Comey wants to speak with Special Counsel James Mueller prior to his public testimony.  It appears Mueller is acting as Comey’s counsel rather than an investigator interacting with a witness/target.

Liberal L.A. Times columnist Nicholas Kristof ,gleefully predicted:  “If Trump thought he was removing a thorn by firing Comey, he now faces a grove of thistles.”  However Kristof apparently also has doubts about Mueller’s abilities.  He was quoted in the Orange County Register with this damning example:

“Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled.  They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure.”

Where is the evidence?

According to the Daily Wire, quite a few Democrats are now saying there is no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. Included in this group of Senators are Joe Menchin, Mark Warner, Diane Feinstein, and Rep. Maxine Waters.

Consider the testimony of Mr. John Brennan, the former C.I.A. Director, on Tuesday, May 23.  In testifying before the House Intelligence Committee Brennan expressed concern, but said he was not sure if there was any evidence of collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

Why then are Republicans running for the hills and not supporting Trump?  Even columnist, Charles Krauthammer, a moderate Republican who didn’t endorse Trump in his presidential run, is stunned that Republicans in the House and Senate are not coming to the defense of Trump.

Perhaps Republicans have lacked power in Washington so long, they have not yet adjusted to the fact they are now the Party in power.  As Democrats no longer control either the House, Senate, or Presidency, it is past time for Republican officials to step up and take control.

The American public has given Republicans that responsibility and now they expect more from them.  Our President needs to be supported; the liberal media needs to respect American voters, and citizens deserve to see this issue resolved quickly so that our President and elected officials can begin the work needed to “Make America Great Again.”

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