The FBI would rarely initiate a case based on gossip or anonymous sources. Our informants must be flesh and blood, and provide reliable information. FBI supervisors will put an agent on the clock to either find evidence or close the case. A preliminary inquiry lasts 90 days and can only be extended by new facts and circumstances, and not unproven allegations.
But special counsels have no time restraints and can go years before putting a scalp on the board. They usually go fishing outside the scope of their original intent. Mueller has already cast a massive fishing net in addition to investigating Russian collusion into our 2016 election. This is inevitable with special counsels, and victims include an assortment of dead and injured fishes ranging from guppies to whales. Mr. Mueller is showing his partisan hand by the mere act of selecting the targets of his investigation.
To assure a balance of Lady Justice’s scales, Mueller must consider the following individuals and violations:
- Obstruction of justice by President Trump and Loretta Lynch.
- Financial investigation of Jared Kushner and the Clinton Foundation.
- Perjury by General Flynn and Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin.
- Destruction of evidence by President Trump (alleged tape) and Hillary Clinton, (30,000 emails).
- Collusion (not a legal term) with the Russians by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Hillary and Bill Clinton, and John Podesta.
- Violation of the public records act by James Comey and Hillary Clinton.
By their nature, investigators have a predatory mindset. They often make assumptions of guilt simply because someone had to do it. They view the lack of arrests, indictments or convictions as a personal failure. When you add ideology and emotions, impartiality becomes the victim. Robert Mueller cannot be impartial as a special counsel as long as James Comey remains in the mix.
Here are the facts. James Comey and Robert Mueller are friends, but Donald Trump fired James Comey. Mueller is now placed in the untenable position of deciding if his friend is a liar. James Comey strongly inferred that the President attempted to obstruct justice but Mr. Trump said, “It ain’t so.”
The obvious danger with a prosecutor who lacks impartiality is the interpretation of laws. Some laws are not open to interpretation. But obstruction of justice is highly interpretive, and two attorneys can view identical facts and come to different conclusions. The law makes it a crime to threaten, intimidate, or retaliate against participants in a criminal or civil proceeding.
The exact conversation between President Trump and James Comey will never be known. Voice inflection, background, personal style, ethnicity, and even hearing loss can change the entire meaning and intention of a sentence. And, as anyone who is in a relationship will attest, people interpret words differently. This makes it legally and morally impossible to determine guilt in this case.
There is also an irony in a special counsel’s investigation. Though some laws such as obstruction are interpretive, others are crystal clear. Hillary Clinton blatantly violated Title 18 USC 1924, which makes it a crime to have classified information at an “unauthorized location.” Just ask General David Petraeus. Her guilt is apparent from the facts and in the plain language of the federal statute. It’s called a prima facie case: clear on the basis of known facts. And the individual who waived his legal magic wand and proclaimed Hillary stupid but innocent was none other than James Comey. The circle of life.
It’s time for Mueller to recuse himself and replace Lady Justice’s blindfold. It’s time to prosecute individuals without considering their race, political affiliation, net worth, or athletic abilities.
John Ligato (USMC-retired) is a former deep-cover FBI special agent and author of the new book “The Near Enemy: A John Booker Thriller.”