Friday, March 22, 2019
What Has Mueller Really Done? Think.
Special counsel Robert Mueller has a lot to show for his two-year investigation. He's indicted some 37 individuals. Of those within his reach, most charged have pleaded guilty. Others have been convicted at trial. The remainder await trial.
The local gang have mainly been indicted for lying to investigators. Manafort added witness tampering to his caseload. There have also been indictments for tax evasion and other commercial crimes that surfaced through the investigations.
Two issues are conspicuous by their absence - obstruction of justice and Russian interference with the 2016 elections. There are a number of obvious offences there but they've never resulted in charges, at least not that we know.
Why has Mueller indicted no one for either of those issues? Not even one indictment. Why?
Part of the art of criminal law is identifying what's missing. For example the Crown may develop a theory of the crime and then it's up to defence counsel to scour all the discovery evidence and look not just at what has been produced but what has not, stuff that should be evident if the Crown's theory was valid. Prosecutors do the very same thing when it comes to dismantling alibis or other exculpatory evidence. In this way each side seeks to cast doubt on the other's case and, with the Crown bearing the onus of proof beyond a reasonable doubt, that's a powerful weapon.
What's missing in Mueller's case, the part that has already been aired in public? Pretty much everything dealing with obstruction or Russian interference in the 2016 election. Do you think he overlooked that, the very essence of his appointment? The absence of that is hardly proof of its absence. That would be preposterous especially given Mueller and his team's stature. These are the 'Pros from Dover.'
Mueller spent two years doing more than sleuthing out amateurs like Papadopoulos, and middle-grade scoundrels such as Cohen, Manafort and Flynn. Most of those who pleaded guilty sang like canaries. Others, who escaped indictment, like David Pecker and Allen Weisselberg, also sang like canaries. Lesser characters who were grilled emerged saying that Team Mueller knew more about them than they did themselves.
So think. Think like a lawyer. Put this all together and what do you come up with?
Mueller was commissioned to investigate and report. He was not ordered to indict and prosecute. When he did indict what was his purpose? That's obvious. He was doing what American prosecutors do in RICO cases. He was using the prospect of jail time, years in the Greybar Hotel, to loosen tongues. He wanted evidence going to the two foundational issues of his investigation, Russian meddling in the election and obstruction of justice.
Now, once again, think like a lawyer. Why do you think we've heard nothing about either of those matters?