40 Questions Special Counsel Robert Mueller Needs to Answer Now
A Republican lawmaker contends the prosecutor has a lot to explain about his present job and prior posts as well
A firestorm was ignited earlier this week when The New York Times published a list of 40 questions that special counsel Robert Mueller allegedly wants President Donald J. Trump to answer under oath.
It is a revealing list of questions, proving that after a year of strong-arming Trump family and friends, bankrupting Trump campaign volunteers and former staff, and leaking like a sieve, Mueller has found no evidence of any crime by the president whatsoever.
But since Mueller has wasted millions of tax dollars and endless hours of Trump’s time, it’s time for the special counsel to answer some questions. Let’s start with a few on the present runaway railroading of the president, then a look back to prior instances of the same sordid behavior by Mueller.
Regarding Your Trump “Investigation”
1.) Why did you hire only lawyers with backgrounds as Democratic Party donors for your investigative team? Were there no Establishment Republicans willing to help railroad President Trump?
2.) Peter Strzok was removed from your team after more than 10,000 texts between him and fellow team member Lisa Page were found to contain vitriolic anti-Trump tirades. These texts were not simply anti-Trump. They were more in the nature of desperate attempts to stop him from becoming president and talk of a nefarious insurance policy to orchestrate his removal if he were elected. Did they ever speak this way about Donald Trump in your presence? Why were you so determined to have people with outright hatred of Donald Trump on your special counsel team?
3.) Andrew Weissman has unsightly political ties, having attended Clinton’s election-night celebration in New York City. He also sent an email to acting Attorney General Sally Yates, praising her boldness on the night she was fired for refusing to enforce President Trump’s travel ban. Not to mention his vast history of prosecutorial abuses.
Both of you were involved in the investigation into Russia’s illegal efforts to obtain U.S. uranium. Did either of you alert the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States to the crimes being committed? The plea deals? Did either of you profit in any way from the $145 million in donations to the Clinton Foundation or from those who benefited from the sale of U.S. uranium that would ultimately end up in the hands of Russian owners? Do you consider this to be a potential conflict of interest to the current investigation?
4.) What efforts have you undertaken to identify the leakers in your team who’ve revealed investigative details to the media? Were the leaks done with your permission or encouragement? When do you believe the statutes of limitations would run on possible prosecutions of you or your team for any such criminal leaks?
5.) Have you threatened White House officials with investigative actions or public statements regarding opposition by the White House to your partisan personnel decisions? Have you asked staff of the deputy attorney general’s office to issue these threats on your behalf?
6.) Were you aware that Judge Rudolph Contreras, who accepted former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea, also served on the FISA court and had a personal relationship with team member Strzok? Did you know that Strzok interviewed Flynn? Was Contreras angry about being recused for all his conflicts of interest?
7.) Do you believe it was proper for the case against Flynn to be brought before FISA Judge Contreras, even though he was such a close personal friend of Strzok? Did Contreras also hear the Steele dossier evidence in his FISA court? Who actually recused Contreras?
8.) Are you investigating the unmasking of American citizens in these matters? For example, Flynn’s name was somehow unmasked in the NSA surveillance, which apparently allowed the Obama administration to peruse his meetings and conversations. Are you investigating this unmasking of American citizens?
9.) Was Flynn made aware of the exculpatory evidence, before he entered his guilty plea, that the interviewing FBI agents did not believe he intentionally lied to them? Was the judge who took the plea aware of the agents’ belief that Flynn did not have intent to deceive?
10.) Where are the FBI’s notes from the Flynn interview? If they were provided to Flynn, when?
11.) Did you or anyone else on your team get the required signoff from then-national security adviser H.R. McMaster, as required on any retasking of NSA surveillance, in April of 2017 when the direct FISA surveillance of Carter Page and indirect surveillance of Trump was again extended, this time with approval by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein?
Now on to Mueller’s multiple past prosecutorial abuses.
On Mobster Whitey Bulger
As head of the criminal division while assistant U.S. attorney, then as acting U.S. attorney in Boston, Mueller oversaw a cluster of prosecutions tied to protected FBI informant and mob kingpin Whitey Bulger.
Mueller’s stewardship of these prosecutions led to wrongful murder convictions, cover-ups and a $100 million settlement to the victims or their families, as two of these men died in prison. The Boston Globe only had one “lingering question” — I have a few more.
12.) Why did the U.S. Attorney’s office, under your direction, let the FBI protect known mobster Whitey Bulger?
13.) Why did you work so hard to prevent the parole of the four men who were exonerated for the murder of Teddy Deegan?
14.) Did you purposefully allow these innocent men to remain in prison for murder to protect FBI informant Vincent “Jimmy” Flemmi?
15.) Whom do you think should be held responsible for the $100 million paid to compensate the four defendants wrongly framed by FBI agents on your watch?
16.) Did you leak or authorize the leaks of any information to anyone associated with organized crime during the Whitey Bulger investigation? There was a pattern of leaks to organized crime figures to disparage your targets in the Whitey Bulger investigations.
Rep. Curt Weldon Defeated by Mueller’s FBI
In the wake of 9/11 while Mueller was FBI director, Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) tried to hold those accountable in the FBI and CIA that he believed mishandled actionable intelligence from a top-secret program organized at the request of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff using intelligence assets to focus on al-Qaida. This secret program was called Able Danger.
17.) Though you were not yet director of the FBI, do you know why the FBI would not accept the intelligence information from the U.S. military regarding 9/11 attacker Mohammed Atta? In January and February 2000, one year before 9/11, members of the program Able Danger identified the Brooklyn al-Qaida cell and Mohammed Atta. In September 2000, Able Danger attempted to provide information to the FBI on three separate occasions, but administration lawyers denied the transfer of information.
18.) If the FBI had received that information from the Able Danger team, what actions could have been taken to prevent 9/11?
19.) Did you leak information to the press or authorize the leak about nonexistent allegations against Weldon? Did you leak to the media or authorize a leak about the raid of the Weldon family property? Whose idea was it to do the search two weeks before Weldon’s re-election? Could the FBI’s raid have achieved its purposes if it had been done two weeks after Weldon’s re-election? Did you investigate how the media knew of the raid and its location?
20.) Was a grand jury convened to hear evidence in the alleged investigation of Weldon and his daughter?
21.) What was the outcome of that investigation, if there was one? What follow-up has occurred to attempt to remedy the loss that the FBI participated in causing?
Mueller’s Illegal Raid on Congressional Offices
Rep. William Jefferson (D-La.) was secretly videotaped taking bribes in an undercover sting and, subsequently, Mueller’s FBI found $90,000 in cold, hard cash in his freezer during a raid at his home.
The Constitution frames our government with three coequal branches, but Mueller doesn’t seem to care too much about constitutional restraints. Mueller’s FBI agents raided the offices of a sitting member of Congress — for the first time in our nation’s history — without attorneys in the House of Representatives first reviewing the material seized to ensure nothing privileged was obtained by the FBI.
The Supreme Court sided with the legislative branch against the executive branch to throw out Mueller’s illegal raid of Jefferson’s federal office. There are set processes by which these coequal branches cooperate for warrants. Which leaves this lingering question:
22.) As FBI director, why did you authorize the raid of Jefferson’s office without first consulting with House of Representatives attorneys? Did you intend the raid to put fear into members of Congress that you could raid them whenever you wanted? In the wake of that raid did you state that you might decide to assign 400 agents to investigate all of the members of Congress, or words to that effect? Was it your intent to intimidate members of Congress and dissuade them from asking further questions or making demands upon your office?
National Security Letter Abuses
National Security Letters (NSL) are a tool that allows the Department of Justice (DOJ) to bypass the formality of subpoenas, warrants, and instead simply send a letter to an individual, business or any entity they so choose to demand documents.
The letter also informs the recipient that it is a federal felony to reveal to anyone that the letter was received or what it requires to be produced, and if he or she has done so, prosecution will follow. Under Muller’s tenure as FBI director, there was incredibly widespread abuse of the NSLs.
23.) Are you responsible for the FBI’s misusing the Patriot Act, NSLs and other methods to obtain information on American citizens without probable cause?
24.) Other than the attorney general, did anyone lose his or her job as a result of the widespread abuse of NSLs and the Patriot Act?
25.) When you said at the time that you were accountable for that massive assault on the constitutional rights of American citizens, how exactly were you held accountable? Did you write or find some way to apologize to or compensate the thousands of Americans whose records were improperly seized?
Mueller’s Witch Hunt Against Sen. Ted Stevens
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was falsely charged and prosecuted in 2008 just 100 days before his re-election bid for what the FBI alleged was not paying full price for improvements to a cabin he owned in Alaska. In the midst of the prosecution, Stevens lost his re-election bid and, two years later, lost his life.
Large-scale misconduct was revealed through a whistleblower in an audit of the case, in which FBI agents and prosecutors, among many other things, withheld exculpatory evidence.
26.) Were you aware of any exculpatory evidence, or attempts to conceal evidence, that would have exonerated Stevens?
27.) Did you take any actions of any kind to prevent FBI agent Mary Beth Kepner from being fired? Did you take any actions to pursue disciplinary procedures against her for the wrongdoing in the Stevens case?
28.) Why was the whistleblower, FBI agent Chad Joy, permanently restricted from participating in any more criminal cases? Whose decision was that? Did you approve of it? Is it true that whistleblowers against the FBI while you were FBI director were routinely disciplined or dismissed, despite any wrongdoing they unearthed or caused to be corrected?
29.) Why was a critical witness in the case with exculpatory evidence sent back to Alaska by FBI agents before the information could be shared with Stevens’ defense attorneys? Did you ever consider advocating to have the case against Stevens dropped when you learned of all the improprieties, instead of waiting for a new attorney general to take over and drop the charges the following year?
Ruin of Dr. Steven Hatfill’s Reputation, Productive Life
And a few questions on the wrongful, malicious prosecution of Dr. Steven Hatfill, accused by Mueller of mailing anthrax letters in the wake of 9/11, a Mueller/Comey twofer. They ruined Hatfill’s life and his relationship with friends, neighbors, and potential employers.
30.) Despite a 100 percent absence of any admissible evidence of Hatfill’s guilt, why did you work so hard to convince people he was the perpetrator? Did you find it helpful for your purposes to move public attention away from the radical Islamic jihadis who had attacked us on 9/11 and instead place the attention on a white male?
31.) Was any research done into the disposition of cases involving the dogs you had brought in from California to smell Dr. Hatfill? Did you know these same dogs were involved in many cases in which the defendants were later exonerated? Do you believe that every time a dog seems to appreciate having his ears rubbed, as these did when Dr. Hatfill petted them, it is an “alert” to evidence of a crime?
33.) Whom do you feel is most responsible for the settlement in excess of $6 million paid out to Dr. Hatfill for your FBI’s maliciously and wrongful persecution of an innocent man who never had any contact with anthrax?
The Framing of Scooter Libby
Another Mueller/Comey twofer came in 2003 — a fabricated and politically charged FBI investigation “searching” for the leak of CIA agent Valerie Plame’s identity to the media.
34.) Did you encourage James Comey to ask then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to recuse himself from the Plame investigation? Did you bother to discern that Plame was not in a protected status at the time her identity was allegedly outed and before Scooter Libby, a former aide to Vice President Richard Cheney, was wrongfully convicted, as we now know?
35.) When did you learn that the source of Plame’s identity leak was Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage? Wasn’t it before U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (godfather to one of Comey’s children) was sworn in as special counsel? Why, as FBI director, did you not stop the witch hunt, since you knew that there was no crime committed — and if there was one, Armitage committed it? Did it cross your mind that not only would you avoid an innocent man’s being convicted, but also save millions of dollars to stop the unnecessary special counsel prosecution? How much did Fitzgerald’s investigation cost American taxpayers?
36.) Was Scooter Libby at all involved in the leak of Plame’s identity to reporters?
Mueller’s Unethical Acceptance of Special Prosecutor Appointment
Federal law at 28 CFR 600.7 prohibits anyone from serving as a special counsel if there is the appearance of a conflict of interest.
37.) How long have you been a mentor and friend to Comey? Did he mention to you that he was thinking about leaking information to try to get a special counsel appointed? Have you spoken to Comey since you have been special counsel? If so, was it recorded? Were there witnesses to your conversation? Did you write a 302 memo immediately after your conversation?
38.) Have you reviewed the standards for recusing oneself from prosecuting a case? Are you aware that under 28 CFR 600.7, you are prohibited from serving as special counsel even if there is only the appearance of a conflict of interest?
39.) Do you have a conflict of interest in your relationship with Comey? Since Comey is necessarily a witness in any potential case against Trump regarding a potential obstruction of justice, can you admit that you are disqualified from investigating or prosecuting the case?
40.) Do you consider your role as special counsel to be the protector of those who want President Trump removed from office because you believe he never should have been elected? Do you realize that actions to remove a duly elected president for crimes he did not commit may reasonably fit the definition of sedition?
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) is a member of the House Judiciary Committee and former chief justice of the 12th Circuit Court of Appeals (Texas).