TriggerFinger


Mueller and Rosenstein -- an unwritten agreement


Washington ExaminerSpecial counsel Robert Mueller's recent admission that the May 17, 2017, Justice Department order defining the scope of his investigation was just for show, and that the real extent of his probe is a secret, is reverberating on Capitol Hill.

In court before Ellis, Mueller lawyer Michael Dreeben revealed that the May 17 appointment order is not a "factual statement" of Mueller's assignment. "The regulations nowhere say that a specific factual statement needs to be provided publicly," Dreeben added. "The specific factual statement … was conveyed to the special counsel upon his appointment in ongoing discussions [between Rosenstein and Mueller] that defined the parameters of the investigation."

Dreeben explained that those discussions between Rosenstein and Mueller, incorporated in the Aug. 2 memo, established that Mueller had the authority to investigate Paul Manafort's financial dealings that Manafort contends are beyond the scope of Mueller's investigation into allegations of Trump-Russia collusion in the 2016 election.

What Mueller appears to be claiming is that he received his full mandate as special counsel from Rosenstein exclusively in verbal communications, meaning that only Rosenstein and Mueller together could agree on what was within or without the scope of the investigation.

I do not see how such a claim could possibly be valid or stand up to legal challenge.

Mueller is essentially claiming that, due to the lack of a written mandate, his authority derives from Rosenstein the man rather than the lawfully appointed (Acting) Attorney General. His unwritten mandate is fluid, and can change to meet the needs of the moment he finds himself in.

This is not consistent with the rule of law.

But of course, Rosenstein couldn't risk giving Mueller a well-defined mandate, because Mueller was going on a fishing expedition; he didn't know what he would find, but to be politically useful, he had to pursue whatever he found.

This entry was published Tue Jun 12 12:34:10 CDT 2018 by TriggerFinger and last updated 2018-06-12 12:34:10.0. [Tweet]

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