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“Nothing to do with collusion”

by Greg Krehbiel on 31 October 2017

As I’ve said elsewhere, I like accountability for anybody with power, and I like the idea of keeping a weather eye on politicians.

At the same time, I don’t like the idea of unleashing government prosecutors with huge budgets sniffing around for any old crime they can find.

That seems to be what’s happening with Mueller et al.

… the indictments of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates have nothing whatever to do with “collusion,” however broadly defined.

Of course someone is going to point out that Monica’s dress had even less to do with Whitewater. Which is exactly right.

It’s not that I like criminals getting away with things. I simply don’t want to live in a state where political adversaries can be attacked with super-charged prosecutors. It’s not right.

If you ask enough people enough questions about enough topics, sooner or later you’re going to catch somebody in a lie.

Precisely.

Independent counsels seem to be necessary, but I think it would be reasonable to restrict their jurisdiction to the subject of the original inquiry.

2017-10-31  »  Greg Krehbiel

Talkback x 17

  1. smitemouth
    31 October 2017 @ 9:07 pm

    So, if a cop is investigating a report of illegal gambling at a house, he can ignore child molestation in plain sight if the illegal gambling report was bogus?


    On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former Director of the FBI, to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this capacity, Mueller oversees the investigation into “any links and/or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation”.[1] As special counsel, Mueller has the power to issue subpoenas,[2] hire staff members, request funding, and prosecute federal crimes in connection with the election interference.[3]

  2. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    31 October 2017 @ 9:38 pm

    A cop is not a special prosecutor with teams of FBI agents at his disposal.

    Do you think it was fair that the Monica Lewinsky mess came out of the Whitewater investigation?

  3. smitemouth
    31 October 2017 @ 11:24 pm

    Trump begged for a special prosecutor by firing Comey. Let him lie in his flea infested bed.

    BTW, both Comey and Mueller are Republicans. Unlikely either of them had a political axe to grind Both seem like standup guys, especially Comey.

  4. William
    31 October 2017 @ 11:30 pm

    What does “fair” have to do with it? In a country “supposedly” governed by the rule of law…if unlawful activity is found during the course of a legitimate investigation, is it not proper (and expected) to prosecute?

    During the Starr investigation there wasn’t much consideration of fairness nor complaining from the right about the findings, length or expense of the investigation. As a matter of fact, the day the Starr Report was publically released conservative media was brimming with commentary and rigorously bemoaning the salacious content. Who knew then that “fairness” was suppose to trump justice?

  5. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    1 November 2017 @ 8:48 am

    Think of it this way. I suspect maybe you’ve committed a crime, so I fund a special prosecutor, who hires a team of 30 lawyers to dig through all your finances, talk to all your friends and relatives, and snoop around in everybody’s business until they find something.

    That just isn’t right, especially when the “crime” that’s often found in these cases is lying to the investigators!

  6. William
    1 November 2017 @ 9:29 am

    @Greg, what’s not right about enforcing the law, lawfully in a country that touts being governed by the rule of law?

    Do you think Ken Starr and supporters were unfair to Clinton? Do they owe him an apology or some type of restitution because of the manner they used to find him guilty of law-breaking? As well, if the circumstances were in the inverse, with an investigation that had potentially detrimental impacts on a Democratic administration, do you think Republicans would use “fairness” as key criteria?

    Lastly, why would you suspect I’ve committed a crime? 🙂

  7. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    1 November 2017 @ 9:37 am

    It all sounds very banana republic to me. You use the power of government to hound your political enemies.

    “Enforcing the law” sounds really nice until your life is under a microscope and your enemies are watching your every move.

    It was fear of this sort of thing that led HRC to come up with her crazy homegrown email server mess.

    We do have a process — the grand jury — to prevent ridiculous prosecutions. But it’s a common saying that any decent prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich.

  8. William
    1 November 2017 @ 10:21 am

    So, was this banana republic when Ken Starr and other special prosecutors were doing their investigations? Who’s pursuing political enemies in this case? Rod Rosenstein made this decision to empower a special counsel and he’s working in a Republican administration. As well, a Republican congress and conservative pundits praised and supported the selection of Mueller upon announcement of his appointment. As well, Mueller is a registered Republican.

    As well, I’m interested in your thoughts on my previous questions…do you think Ken Starr and supporters were unfair to Clinton? Do they owe him an apology or some type of restitution because of the manner they used to find him guilty of law-breaking? As well, if the circumstances were in the inverse, with an investigation that had potentially detrimental impacts on a Democratic administration, do you think Republicans would use “fairness” as key criteria?

  9. William
    1 November 2017 @ 12:00 pm

    PS–Speaker of the HOR Paul Ryan, Republican, second in the presidential line of succession, had little to say but made this statement:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=veeF_BkVjMg

  10. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    1 November 2017 @ 12:13 pm

    Ryan is probably right. That’s how the judicial process “works.” So, from that perspective, Ken Starr has nothing to apologize for. He did what he was authorized to do.

    The process may work, but the process stinks.

    Was Starr “unfair”? Depends on what you mean. He (apparently) followed his commission, which was too broad. He had too much discretion.

    Is that his fault? I don’t know. At least partially it is, I suppose. He should have mentioned (maybe he did) that the power of an independent counsel should be more limited. If it was his choice to pursue the Lewinsky thing, then yes, he does owe Clinton an apology. He should not have done that. He should have stuck to Whitewater, etc.

    That “Republicans” praised Mueller doesn’t mean much to me. First, I’m not a Republican and I don’t trust them. Second, many Republicans hate Trump about as much as the Democrats. Third, I suspect there are plots afoot — involving both Dems and Reps — to get rid of Trump.

  11. pentamom
    1 November 2017 @ 12:50 pm

    Didn’t the Lewinsky thing become relevant because the Paula Jones situation was somehow tied up with Whitewater? Was there something about the finances of Whitewater being involved with payoffs to suppress the Jones situation? My memory on that is murky, but as I remember it, there was a clear logical path from “guy is accused of using funds under investigation to pay off people to suppress harassment situation” to “guy has ongoing history of harassment.”

  12. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    1 November 2017 @ 12:54 pm

    You may be right. I have little doubt that Starr followed the law very carefully and precisely. I just think the law is screwy on this point. It quickly becomes a fishing expedition. Or at least it seems that way.

    In cases where the original mandate leads — logically and reasonably — to some other issues, maybe the prosecutor should still have to get authorization to move past the original mandate.

    I’m a boring, law-abiding guy, but I’ll bet a special prosecutor could have me locked up in no time.

  13. William
    1 November 2017 @ 3:03 pm

    QUOTE: The process may work, but the process stinks.

    As Trump alluded to during one of the presidential debates (relative to tax loopholes), if the process is bad, government should change it. You may want to vote for candidates that will change the special counsel process to something you feel is more befitting to law enforcement (assuming it’s constitutional). As for this current administration, there seemed to be agreement at the announcement of the special counsel, amongst Reps and Dems, that Mueller would lead a professional and impartial investigation. Interestingly enough, in exercising his mandated authority, it seems he’s made some of his initial supporters quite uncomfortable.

    QUOTE: Was Starr “unfair”? Depends on what you mean.

    You were the one that raised fairness. Therefore, it’s your definition that’s key in this context.

    QUOTE: I just think the law is screwy on this point. It quickly becomes a fishing expedition. Or at least it seems that way.

    How is it a fishing expedition if, as pentamom said, “there was a clear logical path from guy is accused of using funds under investigation to pay off people to suppress harassment situation” to “guy has ongoing history of harassment”?

    QUOTE: Third, I suspect there are plots afoot — involving both Dems and Reps — to get rid of Trump.

    Are you intimating the Republicans are a political enemy of the head of their party? As well, interesting conspiracy theory about “collusion” between the Reps and Dems to pull off a coup. You have any evidence such?

    QUOTE: I’m a boring, law-abiding guy, but I’ll bet a special prosecutor could have me locked up in no time.

    On what basis could he or she do this if you’ve not broken the law?

  14. Greg Krehbiel Greg Krehbiel
    1 November 2017 @ 3:09 pm

    Yes, of course there are Republicans who are against Trump. Didn’t you hear about Jeff Flake? Haven’t you seen the feud between Trump and McCain?

    Buchanan says there might be more.

    Thus we have Free Beacon neocons, never-Trump Republicans, the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, a British spy and comrades in Russian intelligence, and perhaps the FBI, all working with secret money and seedy individuals to destroy a candidate they could not defeat in a free election.

    And I’ve heard other people say similar things.

    And of course I’ve broken the law. Contrary to federal law, I’ve probably torn the label off a mattress, improperly disposed of toxic chemicals, or used the wrong light bulb. There are so many crazy laws these days I have no doubt that I have broken 20 of them.

  15. William
    1 November 2017 @ 6:27 pm

    QUOTE:Yes, of course there are Republicans who are against Trump. Didn’t you hear about Jeff Flake?

    Really??? Somebody better tell Trump. https://twitter.com/CBSNews/status/923237298229141504. I guess I was so fixed on listening to all the truth flowing from Trump’s lips, I thought reports of disunity was merely “fake news”. Who knew???

    QUOTE: Buchanan says there might be more….And I’ve heard other people say similar things.

    I guess that’s irrefutable evidence of a coup, eh? If that’s the standard for evidence, then Mueller’s job should be quite easy.

    QUOTE: And of course I’ve broken the law. Contrary to federal law, I’ve probably torn the label off a mattress…

    Oh my…say it ain’t so!!! Dude, with crimes like that, don’t ever get caught by a special counsel…you’ll likely get life! Oh, you do know it’s not illegal to remove labels if you are the owner of the product, right? 😉

    https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2010/05/do-not-remove-those-do-not-remove-tags/index.htm

  16. Dave Krehbiel Dave Krehbiel
    2 November 2017 @ 4:58 pm

    My predictions: the Russian investigation will increasingly cause problems for Democrats. The opinion on this that matters most is the midterm elections. Republicans will outperform the polls in the midterms. Present trends continuing, Republicans will pickup seats in both the Senate and the House.

  17. William
    3 November 2017 @ 1:49 am

    Interesting point…time will tell how all this shakes out. As for now, a recent poll gives some insights. We know polls are not totally reliable, especially as they have pertained to Trump. Yet, it’s intriguing to see people’s responses.

    American’s Views on Russia Probe

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