Jonathan Turley has defended former special counsel Robert Mueller against President Trump’s “unrelenting attacks,” but he’s obliterated Mueller over his recent press conference in an op-ed for The Hill.
He found his presser “baffling” and “conflicted”:
In that twinkling zone between man and myth, Robert Mueller transcends the mundane. Even in refusing to reach a conclusion on criminal conduct, he is excused. As Mueller himself declared, we are to ask him no questions or expect any answers beyond his final report. But his motivations as special counsel can only be found within an approved range that starts at “selfless” and ends at “heroic.” Democratic Representative Mike Quigley of Illinois defended Mueller’s refusal to reach a conclusion as simply “protecting” President Trump in a moment of “extreme fairness.”
Yet, as I noted previously, Mueller’s position on the investigation has become increasingly conflicted and, at points, unintelligible.
MUELLER DEFIED ORDERS, CAUSING A DELAY IN THE RELEASE OF HIS REPORT
Professor Turley, a constitutional expert, said that he was very surprised to find that both Attorney General Barr and his Deputy at the time, Rod Rosenstein told Mueller to note the areas to be classified/redacted, but Mueller didn’t. That delayed the report by weeks.
As we all know that delay was weaponized against Bill Barr and the President.
Why would a special counsel directly disobey his superiors on such a demand? There is no legal or logical explanation. What is even more galling is that Mueller said in his press conference that he believed Barr acted in “good faith” in wanting to release the full report. Barr ultimately did so, releasing 98 percent of the report to select members of Congress and 92 percent to the public. However, then came the letter from Mueller.
Then came the letter:
Mueller sent a letter objecting that Barr’s summary letter to Congress “did not fully capture the context, nature, and substance” of the conclusions reached by his team.
Yet, Mueller knew there were parts that could not be declassified by law and he knew that Barr offered to let him read the summary before it was published to make corrections but he refused.
Again that was weaponized by the Democrats in Congress, and Mueller let Bill Barr hang out there.
OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
Mueller refused to reach a conclusion on obstruction of justice although it was expected in his role. Additionally, he was ordered to do so by AG Barr and Deputy Rosenstein. Turley writes:
Mueller contradicted himself [lied] in first saying that he would have cleared Trump if he could have, but then later saying that he decided not to reach a conclusion on any crime. I have already addressed why his interpretation of memos from the Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel is unprecedented and illogical. He concluded that, in barring the indictment of a sitting president, those memos meant prosecutors can investigate but not reach conclusions on possible criminal acts.
It is not just his legal interpretation that is incomprehensible. Mueller was appointed almost two years before he released his report. He was fully aware that Congress, the Justice Department, the media, and the public expected him to reach conclusions on criminal conduct, a basic function of a special counsel. He also was told he should do so by the attorney general and deputy attorney general. Yet, he relied on two controversial opinions by a small Justice Department office.
He could have asked his superiors for an opinion over the course of the two years but he didn’t.
Mueller said in his presser that it was impermissible to reach a conclusion. Turley asks, “If Mueller truly believed such conclusions are impermissible, then why did he not submit the matter in question to the Justice Department inspector general?”
Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and liberal, Jonathan Turley believes we cannot rule out political motives in Mueller’s case.
We knew that for two years. The man hired Trump hating Democrats to investigate. That is more than suspicious.