Former FBI director and current Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been unrelenting in his investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.
But Tom Fitton, President of the government accountability organization Judicial Watch, questions the legality of the Special Counsel itself. According to a video message Judicial Watch posted to Facebook, Fitton argues that the office of the Special Counsel is unconstitutional because it holds the authority of a US attorney without the accountability that comes with being appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate.
For Fitton, the proper course for the Trump administration would be to dissolve the Special Counsel and begin anew, although he acknowledges that would be a “politically uncomfortable” move owing to immense media scrutiny.
Fitton explains: “Mueller was appointed under these regulations the Justice Department promulgated under [former Attorney General Janet] Reno’s term … and the Special Counsel is appointed by the Attorney General, or in this case the Deputy Attorney General …
“And he’s appointed, given a charge, to investigate X, Y, or Z, and then the responsible official washes his hands. Well, under our constitutional system that’s not the way it’s supposed to work. Under the regulations, Mueller has all the powers of a US attorney, but none of the accountability.”
Fitton continues, saying the current Special Counsel process lacks a “lawful delegation of authority” because Mueller and his team are not supervised “day-to-day” by appropriate Justice Department officials.
As a result, Fitton concludes that Mueller “doesn’t really have the authority under our Constitution to do the work he’s supposedly wanting to do. … It’s not about Mueller at this point, it’s about the Office of the Special Counsel.”
Fitton’s recommendation: “If I were them, I’d go back to square one, no matter how politically uncomfortable it is, to make sure that that office is lawful and lawfully run.”
Fitton goes on to question what he considers “the suspicious circumstances under which Muller was appointed.” He recounts how former FBI Director James Comey testified to leaking memos of his conversations with the President in order to provoke the creation of a Special Counsel. Interestingly, the individual ultimately selected by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to lead the Special Counsel was Mueller, with whom Comey has a friendly “mentor-protege” relationship.
If Mueller knew what Comey was planning, Fitton says he should have recused himself from the investigation due to being “conflicted.” Fitton emphasizes that “obstruction” charges against President Trump are unfounded because he was within his authority to dismiss Comey from the FBI for any reason he deemed appropriate. Fitton said, “The President isn’t above the law. But he’s not beneath the law.”
Judicial Watch argues that the office of the special counsel is unconstitutional because it holds the authority of a US attorney without the accountability that comes with being appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. Do you agree?
Mueller’s Special Counsel has taken a strange turn of events. As Christian News Alerts reports, Mueller is preparing a case against former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, ostensibly in the hope of getting to Trump.
Newsweek notes that the Special Counsel is now investigating the infamous Buzzfeed dossier containing salacious, debunked allegations about Trump. And Bloomberg reports Mueller is having his team research the extent of the President’s pardon power to determine whether Trump could pre-emptively pardon aides under the Special Counsel’s scrutiny.
Mueller is operating with immense latitude. If Fitton is correct that the Special Counsel — as it’s currently operating — violates the Constitution, this investigation can have long-term ramifications for accountability in government.