Both Parties Relieved There’s a Special Prosecutor
Democrats are of course pleased and it’s a win for them-and the American people.
The White House didn't want this. Republicans didn't want this. Americans who spoke out made this happen. https://t.co/fvZJvyMLmV
— Tom Perez (@TomPerez) May 17, 2017
Today's a good day for Democracy. Thank you DOJ for following Title 28 of Code of Fed Regs & appointing Robert Mueller as Special Counsel!!! https://t.co/EoAfwOymVs
— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) May 17, 2017
The Washington Post with initial Dem reaction:
“Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the House minority leader, praised the pick of Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor, calling him a “a respected public servant of the highest integrity.”
“She said that did not go as far, however, as the creation of an independent commission. Pelosi said that would be more free of the Trump administration.”
“The Trump Administration must make clear that Director Mueller will have the resources and independence he needs to execute this critical investigation,” Pelosi said in a statement.
“Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) was more positive, though echoed Pelosi’s praise of Mueller.”
“Former Director Mueller is exactly the right kind of individual for this job. I now have significantly greater confidence that the investigation will follow the facts wherever they lead,” Schumer said in a statement.
But the GOP too-though they fought the idea of a Special Prosecutor-feebly claiming it wasn’t needed-also sound relieved.
“With a few exceptions, Republican lawmakers have generally resisted the idea of appointing a special prosecutor as pressure mounted in recent days. As news broke minutes ago that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has decided to appoint one, some of the initial conservative reactions expressed support, even relief about the idea.”
“It’s one less question we have to answer about an extremely confusing and contentious issue,” said Rep. Ryan Costello (R-Penn).
Mueller is a great selection. Impeccable credentials. Should be widely accepted.
— Jason Chaffetz (@jasoninthehouse) May 17, 2017
As Jennifer Rubin says, both sides have reason to be pleased:
“In one sense, this is a tremendous boost for Democrats who have been imploring Rosenstein to appoint a special prosecutor. They rightly argue that the Justice Department itself is now implicated in potential wrongdoing, as is the president of the United States. However, Republicans in Congress also should breathe a sigh of relief. They will still be hounded to appoint a select committee to oversee the entire matter, if not an independent commission, but they no longer have to resist the demands for a special prosecutor.”
Regarding Robert Mueller, he sounds like a pretty good choice at first glance:
Having known him for years, I believe special counsel Mueller is a very good thing. He is one of the best — independent and no-nonsense. https://t.co/nMQo6aHalM
— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) May 17, 2017
Some things you might want to know about Bob Mueller. This is very good news if you want to find the truth. https://t.co/uBtGluiPPo
— Barton Gellman (@bartongellman) May 17, 2017
Matthew Miller endorses this pick.
Was just trying to find this story — best profile of Mueller I've ever read, and worth your time. https://t.co/8tLF5xSo4d
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) May 17, 2017
So this is very good news. There was some debate about a Special Prosecutor vs. an Independent Commission but it seems to me, a SP is far superior to an IC-which is just a disparate group of academics sitting around hairsplitting where it’s final report is pure mush-in order to make it acceptable to everyone.
Some have warned about possible problems with SP-like David Frum arguing that it can only go after crimes.
“In previous decades, special prosecutors were usually appointed under a statute commonly referred to as the independent counsel law. That measure—formally part of the Ethics in Government Act—expired in 1999 amid considerable controversy over the spending and conduct of a slew of independent counsels during the 1980s and 1990s. They included Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth Starr, whose investigation morphed repeatedly, eventually resulting in the impeachment of President Bill Clinton.”
But a SP worked pretty well for Watergate and it worked pretty well for when the Bush Administration outed Valerie Plame for political reasons.
“The best-known such appointment in recent years came in 2003 when Comey—then the deputy attorney general—named U.S. Attorney in Chicago Patrick Fitzgerald to oversee an investigation into the leak of the identity of CIA operative Valerie Plame.”
“Fitzgerald never charged anyone with the leak, but obtained an indictment of Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff Lewis Libby for lying to investigators and obstructing justice in the probe. A jury convicted Libby, who was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. President George W. Bush commuted that sentence, but declined to wipe out Libby’s conviction.”
The other ingredient from Watergate? A Select Committee. This also needs to happen in the near future and considering the kinds of things the GOP has used for a SC it surely can’t deny this too requires a SC. John McCain and Lindsay Graham have said all along this is needed.
Finally Rod Rosenstein salvages his reputation with this move.
Ok. So this is a major moment for the #Resistance folks. By no mean is it over-it’s not over till Trump takes his illegitimate self out of the Oval Office for the last time. But we have stood up and we have been counted. Let’s keep keeping on.
UPDATE: Trump says the SP will discover nothing.
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity,” he said. “I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
Not surprising that he says that but it’s fair enough for him to make that claim. Now let’s see what the evidence shows. At least now we have a real investigation and not just some attempted whitewash in some backroom somewhere.
Meanwhile Robert Mueller already has a couple of big leads:
NBC News: Mike Flynn and Paul Manafort have emerged as key figures in Russia investigation Mueller will leadhttps://t.co/bC6nrcJucS
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) May 17, 2017
Yep-Manafort and Flynn, Trump’s version of Howard E. Hunt and G. Gordon Liddy.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.