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Democrats & Liberals



A multiple-editor weblog dedicated to providing news, opinion and commentary for American politics, particularly from the vantage point of the Democratic Party and liberals.



Last Build Date: Wed, 17 May 2017 18:19:04 GMT

Copyright: Copyright 2017 by the authors
 



Better Late than Never

Thu, 30 Mar 2017 14:23:30 GMT

After months of pleading from Americans across the country, an independent counsel will finally investigate the extent to which Russia interfered with the 2016 Election. The man bequeathed with this responsibility is Robert Mueller, James Comey's predecessor at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Mueller was originally appointed to that job by George Bush. Famously, Mueller joined Comey at John Ashcroft's hospital bed to plead against the authorization of STELLAR WIND. This was the Bush Administration's program to mine metadata of domestic American communication, which erupted into controversy when its existence was leaked to the New York Times in 2006. Many Americans believed that the collection of these data violates the fourth amendment to the US Constitution and its protection from searches & seizures. In this episode, Comey & Mueller likewise prioritized protecting American Constitutional rights over political expediency. It was a tough decision to make, no one likes to diminish America's ability to prevent terrorism, but there are some priorities that must take higher precedence. Most fundamentally, this episode encapsulates Mueller's loyalty to the Republic, its institutions and. most importantly, the rule of law, rather than the people who happen to be running it. Such independence is vital to the ongoing investigation into Russia's influence in last year's election. Particularly when anonymous allegations of White House interference into the original investigation under James Comey populate America's newspapers. Most startling was yesterday's revelation. Anonymous sources alerted The New York Times to the contents of a memo written by Comey earlier this year. Allegedly, the memo directly states that President Donald Trump told Comey to drop his investigation of Michael Flynn. This already comes after last week's bombshell news regarding Trump's firing of Comey and Trump's subsequent admission that the decision to dismiss Comey was made without regard to the recommendation provided by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and that Trump's beliefs regarding the FBI investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election played a primary role persuading President Trump. Needless to say, these aforementioned reports have become cataclysmic earthquakes for many on Capitol Hill. Whispers abound whether or not this constitutes obstruction of justice. Whether or not Comey's firing ultimately broke the law, it is recognized by all that it is mightily difficult for the FBI to act as an independent investigator if its most senior official fears he might be fired if he follows the evidence where it leads him. The FBI's agents need the confidence that they will be supported by impartial leadership and that nobody will cut their legs out from underneath them simply for doing their jobs. The decision to appoint Mueller was made by Rod Rosenstein, Deputy Attorney General: "In my capacity as acting Attorney General, I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a Special Counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command. Each year, the career professionals of the U.S. Department of Justice conduct tens of thousands of criminal investigations and handle countless other matters without regard to partisan political considerations. I have great confidence in the independence and integrity of our people and our processes. Considering the unique circumstances of this matter, however, I determined that a Special Counsel is necessary in order for the American people to have full confidence in the outcome. Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the public must be assured that government officials administer the l[...]