I can’t take it any longer. There are so many statements out there about the Special Counsel Investigation. I want to address the facts, the fallacies and the opinions, both good and bad.
Here is the text of the appointment letter:
ORDER NO. 3915-2017
APPOINTMENT OF SPECIAL COUNSEL
TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIAN INTERFERENCE WITH THE
2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION AND RELATED MATTERS
By virtue of the authority vested in me as Acting Attorney General, including 28 U.S.C. §§ 509, 510, and 515, in order to discharge my responsibility to provide supervision and management of the Department of Justice, and to ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, I hereby order as follows:
(a) Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice.
(b) The Special Counsel is authorized to conduct the investigation confirmed by then-FBI Director James B. Comey in testimony before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on March 20, 2017, including:
(i) any links and/or coordination bet ween the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump; and
(ii) any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation; and
(iii) any other matters within the scope of 28 C.F.R. § 600.4(a).
(c) If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.
(d) Sections 600.4 through 600.10 of Title 28 of the Code of Federal Regulations are applicable to the Special Counsel.
Signed: Rod J. Rosenstein, Acting Attorney General
THE FACTS OF THIS LETTER:
- Rosenstein was the acting attorney general in this matter because Jeff Sessions the actual Attorney General recused himself from all matters which involved the Trump Campaign or Administration.
- Former (before Comey) FBI director Robert S. Mueller III is appointed to serve as Special Counsel.
- An investigation into Russia meddling into the 2016 presidential election had been started by fired FBI director James Comey. This investigation had a focus on the meddling, but also involved investigating the Trump Campaign for possible coordination with the Russians. This investigation had been revealed by the fired FBI director to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
- The Special Counsel is authorized to investigate coordination between the Russian government and the Trump Campaign as well as any matters that come about as a product of that investigation.
- Any federal crimes that the special counsel uncovers, he may prosecute.
- Lastly there is a section of US Code which governs the Special Counsel.
So, all that boringness just says that we have this investigator that is to investigate Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election and whatever else may come of it. Anyone who states otherwise isn’t telling the truth.
Russia meddled in the 2016 election. That is a fact not only backed up by evidence but agreed on by nearly everyone in government especially our intelligence community. Notably the only real opposition to this opinion is the President. The same president who has the most to lose by this being public information and the same president who doesn’t even read his “Presidential Daily Briefing” from the intelligence agencies.
Some more facts:
- Special Counsel Robert Mueller is a life long Republican who was originally appointed to be FBI Director by George W. Bush. He was a US Marine Corps Captain serving from 1966 to 1980. From 1973 until he retired from the FBI in 2013 he was a prosecutor of some type for the federal government. He was the second longest serving FBI director, right after Hoover. His original nomination passed by a unanimous 98-0 vote. Special legislation was created to extend his service from 10 years to 12 and passed in the senate 100-0.
- On August 3, 2017, Mueller empaneled a grand jury in Washington, DC, as part of his investigation. The grand jury has the power to subpoena documents, require witnesses to testify under oath, and issue indictments for targets of criminal charges if probable cause is found.
- Three members of Trump’s campaign — national security adviser Mike Flynn, foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos, and campaign deputy Rick Gates — have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and are cooperating with the Mueller probe.
- Campaign chairman Paul Manafort has been charged with a variety of financial crimes by Mueller. As of today’s date (6/15/2018) Manafort has been remanded to jail to await trail due to tampering with witnesses. Manafort had been out under house arrest with two ankle bracelets. He has now also been indicted with obstruction of Justice.
- Richard Pinedo, of Santa Paula, CA ran an online service called Auction Essistance, through which he bought and sold bank account numbers that would help users circumvent security measures of digital payment companies. Pinedo transferred, possessed and used the identities of other people in connection with unlawful activity, according to a statement of the offense. He pleaded guilty on February 12, according to court documents. Pinedo faces up to 15 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, according to the plea agreement. It said he has no criminal history and that he agrees to cooperate with Mueller’s office.
- In February 2018, Alex Van der Zwaan was charged with lying to the FBI and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about his interactions with political consultant and lobbyist Rick Gates and an unidentified Ukrainian-based long-term associate of Paul Manafort. On February 20, 2018, he pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to investigators. On April 3, 2018, he was sentenced to 30 days in prison and fined $20,000. The Ukrainian Ministry of Justice was his firm’s client and central to the indictment. In 2017, Skadden Arps refunded $567,000 billed by the firm to the Government of Ukraine. After serving a 30-day prison sentence at FCI Allenwood, in Pennsylvania, Van der Zwaan was deported to the Netherlands.
- An additional 17 Russian Nationals & Companies have been indicted in the investigation but are outside US Jurisdiction.
On to the controversy:
Most recent, the FBI IG report which was released today: This report had NOTHING to do with the investigation, yet the president and Fox News are reporting that it shows that there is bias in the FBI against Trump. This report specifically stated that it found no bias in the investigation. What is more important is the investigation it was looking into was the Hillary Clinton email investigation handled by Comey. This investigation revealed that Comey broke from FBI norms, but showed no bias and violated no laws. Trump has tried to say that Comey broke laws and is also stating this report exonerates him in the Special Counsel Investigation which is false. It has nothing to do with the Special Counsel Investigation.
FBI planted a spy in the Trump Campaign: The president has attempted to create yet another conspiracy theory out of something totally legit. He has dubbed this one “Spygate”. What actually happened is the FBI had information that contacted them. They then asked him to meet for additional information. This is standard procedure in any law enforcement action. Even members of Trump’s own party including his supporters like Trey Gowdy have confirmed there is no conspiracy here. This was used, however as a ploy to get investigative materials out of the Special Counsel’s Office.
House wants to Impeach Rosenstein: So for months there have been fights between the GOP and the Justice Department for the DOJ to release documents to the House Intelligence Committee from the Russia Investigation. This is a huge issue for a couple of reason. The first is, with any law enforcement investigation, all materials are kept secret until the actual charges are filed. You never want to tip off your defendant until you are ready to charge and required to by law. The next issue, it that the committee’s chairman Devin Nunes recused himself because of dishonest behavior involving himself and the White House and evidence. He has since started having a role in the Congressional Investigation again which taint’s everything. FOR this reason alone, the evidence shouldn’t be handed over because he will likely give anything and everything to the White House. This fight has caused the GOP to threaten to “impeach” Rosenstein. It is worth mentioning that Rosenstein is a republican appointed by Donald Trump!
The Republicans are claiming that the Investigation is unfair because there are alleged democrats on the team: This is the most desperate claim. Firstly, since Nixon it has been tradition that any Special Counsel is from the opposing party being investigated. This was done with Nixon and Clinton. Well, in this case Trump got a republican, Robert Mueller! Either way, Mueller’s integrity is unimpeachable and when he was appointed both Democrats and Republicans were fully in favor because everyone knew he would be fair and follow the facts. This has since changed on the Republican side as they look for ways to attack everything including their own party. There are allegedly democrats on the team. These people aren’t politicians they are career prosecutors. Their political affiliation is irrelevant. Federal regulations prohibit Mueller from considering political affiliation in hiring decisions. If being investigated by the opposing party makes it illegitimate, then nearly every congressional investigation involving a politician is invalid. This is simply a tactic and is very petty with no basis in reality.
The Deep State: This cracks me up. For years this was a theory of the left about the right. The thing everyone forgets, especially the Republicans, is that Trump used to be a democrat. Trump, anytime he is in hot water, tries to point to some conspiracy against him. He is like a 12-year-old. When he gets caught, it’s always well what about so and so. When that doesn’t work he attacks whomever is bringing the charge against him. Law Enforcement is predominantly republican. That is just a fact. The Republican party have always been champions of the DOJ and FBI as well as most Law Enforcement. NOT NOW, Trump starts peddling his conspiracy theories and Fox runs with them, suddenly half the country hates the FBI and DOJ. The truth is Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were having an affair. Republicans will not miss a chance to point that part out. They are the party of family values after all. (let’s forget the elected someone accused of sexual assaults and paying off porn stars for affairs) These two were anti Trump. We can all agree on that; their texts are totally public, and they used FBI phones. These two were so foolish. The Republicans want you to think that Strzok being involved in the investigation makes the whole thing invalid. BUT Mueller removed him from the investigation as soon as he learned of the texts that was a year ago. During the time he was on the team, only 2 or 3 months nothing happened. All the arrests, interviews and everything else has happened since his removal, so I doubt he had any influence on anything.
I don’t like Trump. That’s no secret, but I could impartially investigate him. I have seen no evidence that he is guilty. I have seen a lot of circumstantial stuff that makes me glad there is an investigation, but I don’t want him locked up unless we prove he is guilty. People on both sides need to be reasonable. Fox News and Donald Trump are peddling in conspiracy theories and lies.