As many of us predicted, Robert Mueller’s investigation seems largely out of control and with no end in sight (this didn’t take genius, by the way, you only had to be sentient during the Walsh, Starr, and Fitzpatrick investigations to see how the movie would end). Where sheer common sense and a smidgen of patriotism required Mueller to address, the issue of campaign collusion and do so fast–keep in mind, the FBI had been investigating the same case for about seven months when Mueller was appointed–Mueller seems intent on investigating just about anything his heart desires. Mueller’s investigation now looks as though it has become what is known as a self-licking ice cream cone (as an aside, the expression is much older than the 1992 date Wikipedia sets). It is an operation whose only purpose is to perpetuate its own existence.
Yesterday, Trey Gowdy was interview by Fox News’s Martha McCallum. He had a similar view and he identified the problem:
“You have seen special councils in the past leave their purview and the investigation goes on for a long time, the next thing you know, you are investigating a Monica Lewinsky case when the president didn’t even know her when the special counsel began his work. You don’t have any fear of that here?” MacCallum asked.
Gowdy said that the Mueller investigation has already wandered away from it’s original intention, but he doesn’t blame Mueller — rather, he blames the person who set the purview for the case.
“Do I have fear that jurisdiction may wander a bit? I think it already has,” he responded. “It has already wandered a little bit. But I would not blame Bob Mueller. I would blame whoever drafted the jurisdiction and the charter that empowered him. If you look at it, it says matters that may arise from the investigation. What the heck heck does that mean? Is that a bank robbery in Topeka, Kansas?”
MacCallum questioned if Rosenstein was the one who wrote that language, and Gowdy confirmed that detail.
“And that language came from Rod Rosenstein?” she asked.
“Yes ma’am,” Gowdy said bluntly.
That is totally correct. Mueller is not a special counsel in the way Lawrence Walsh and Ken Starr were. Mueller is a temporary employee of the Justice Department who is subordinate to the deputy attorney general. His charter and his authority come directly from the deputy attorney general (which is one of the reasons why, despite the pent-up wet-dream material the never Trump folks have stashed away, Mueller can’t take any action against Trump without Rosenstein’s approval). When Rosenstein gave Mueller an open-ended charter he created an employee he can’t supervise without some yahoo accusing him of “obstruction.” (I never knew before that telling employees what to do could be obstruction but apparently, that is the case.) He should have focused Mueller clearly on one question, the collusion nonsense, and directed him to turn over evidence of any other crime he detected to the appropriate U.S. Attorney.
We’ll never see the end of Mueller or his investigation. Ten years from now he might be investigating Trey Gowdy for this interview as evidence of obstruction or collusion.
Here is the clip from the interview:
GOWDY blames ROSENSTEIN for broad nature of MUELLER probe: “I would blame whoever drafted the jurisdiction and the charter that empowered him. And if you look at it, it says matters that may arise from the investigation. What in the heck does that mean?” pic.twitter.com/CBCSB2UXpA
— JM Rieger (@RiegerReport) February 7, 2018