Is the Appointment of an Independent Counsel Needed?

The cries in D.C. for the appointment of an Independent Counsel are deafening.  The only justification for doing so has been that “where there’s smoke there must be fire.”  Of course this is all directed at alleged collusion between the Putin Russian government and the Trump Campaign during the 2016 election.  The most important word in the last two sentences is “alleged.”  Multiple sources — including the former DNI Director James Clapper in testimony this week before Congress when asked stated there was NO evidence of any Russia-Trump connection.  That still is not good enough for the Schumer-Democrat Trump Mafia pundits.  They want Donald Trump’s head at all costs, with or without justification.  Why do you think that is?

None of the Politicrats from the Left can actually believe that Donald Trump could beat Hillary Clinton.  They are six months after the election still needing an oxygen hit every day.  Of course from their elitist perspectives, Trump does not have the political experience, the D.C. contacts or relationships, and definitely lacks the tact to live in the White House.  After all, this guy just says what he means — in 140 word tweets every day all day.  He refuses to use the filters of Congress or the Media to put his messages out there.  People really qualified to serve as President just don’t do that.  But he discovered early on that if he tweets to Americans, the Media cannot “interpret” what he says.  (We know just how honest they are)

But the behind-the-scenes torture for House and Senate Democrats is that the table was set for them to maintain control of all things political in the nation for another eight years.  The fact that Hillary was so well known, the wife of the slickest President in D.C. in decades, served as a U.S. Senator and Secretary of State, assured the Left  their victory.  When they faced defeat in November, none slept very well that night.  But early that Wednesday morning the planning began and the calls went out:  “Get Donald Trump, no matter what it takes.  He hijacked our plans.”  And it began.

Before we discuss legal parameters for what they clamor for today — an Independent Counsel to investigate Trump/Putin ties — look for a moment at the facts:

  1. There are multiple bi-partisan Congressional investigations that have been underway for months looking into this matter;
  2. There is an elaborate FBI investigation underway for months looking into this matter;
  3. The Democrat Party has an Intelligence Wing with far greater resources than even the FBI.  That department has been turning over every rock they can find to find Russian dirt on Trump and has been unable to do so.  How do we know that?  Their Intelligence Department is comprised of CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, WALL STREET JOURNAL, NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST and other news organizations that 24/7 do NOTHING but dig with their considerable resources to uncover Russian connections with Trump folks.  Not a shred of evidence of any collusion has been uncovered.  How do I know?  I read headlines multiple times each day.  You can bet your boopie that ANY evidence — confirmed or just alleged — specific in nature that had been uncovered would be on the front page of every major paper in America and the lead story of every nightly newscast for days.  So far — NOTHING;
  4. As Senator Collins said yesterday, “The President did not fire the FBI.  He fired the Director.  All investigations underway will go forward as planned.”  But as of this moment, there is “No there there.”

Certainly the Attorney General (or in this case Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein) can call for an Independent Counsel under certain circumstances.  So can Congress.  It may come as a surprise to you that there is a federal law that governs why, when, and how this process must be executed and operated.  The furor we are all hearing from the Leftist Media, Democrats of every ilk, and even a spattering of Republicans about “Trump’s actions firing Comey warrant an Independent Counsel” are all driven so far by one thing and one thing only:  their hatred for Donald Trump, their opinions that he should NOT be President in total disregard to the fact that Americans elected him, and that with his election he ruined their party plans for eight more years of quiet socialist government implementation in the U.S.  Not one peep you hear or see from them so far is based on a single shred of “evidence.”  And it takes a reasonable belief with facts to take such actions.  Now that we have gotten that out of the way, let’s look at the law:

As a result of Watergate, in 1977 Congress passed the Ethics in Government Act (EGA) which for the first time defined procedures for the appointment of  special prosecutors. Specifically, the Act provided that upon receiving allegations relating to certain “covered persons”, the Attorney General was required to conduct a preliminary investigation.  If the preliminary investigation suggested that further investigation was warranted, the AG was required to petition three judge panel established by the statute and known as the “Special Division,” to appoint an “independent counsel.” Several aspects of the Act require further explanation.

The Act defined two categories of “covered persons” – [1) “mandatory” covered persons and (2) “discretionary” covered persons. Mandatory covered persons were those persons for whom a conflict of interest was presumed to exist by virtue of their close relationship to the President, DOJ or Attorney General. These included the President, Vice President, Cabinet, the Executive Office of the President, and high-level officials in DOJ, the CIA, IRS and the President’s National election campaign.  The Act required that an Independent Counsel be appointed to conduct any investigations regarding such mandatory covered persons.  Discretionary coverage, by contrast, allowed the AG to seek an independent counsel to investigate allegations regarding officials not considered “mandatory covered persons” if he felt that such an independent investigation would be appropriate. Such discretionary coverage was available for members of Congress when appointing an independent counsel would be “in the public interest” or for any person if the AG determined that investigation or prosecution of that person by DOJ could result in a personal, financial, or political conflict of interest.

The Act was triggered when the AG received “information sufficient to constitute grounds to investigate” whether a covered person had committed a serious federal crime. Upon receipt of such information, the AG was required to consider (1] the specificity of the information and (2) the credibility of its source. If the information was either not specific or not credible, the AG was required to close the matter. If the information was not found to be lacking in either specificity or credibility, the AG was required to undertake a preliminary investigation and to notify the Special Division of the commencement of the investigation.

The Act also required the AG to make an initial determination as to whether he should recuse himself immediately from any further proceedings under the Act. The Act provided that AG recusal was required when the allegations involved the AG directly or any person “with whom the AG had a personal or financial relationship.” If the AG recused himself, then the next most senior DOJ who was not conflicted would perform the same functions under the Act that the AG would have performed but for his conflict of interest.

After the initial determination regarding the credibility and specificity of the allegations, the Act required the AG to complete a “preliminary investigation” within 90 days. The purpose of the preliminary investigation was to determine whether there were “reasonable grounds to believe that further investigation is warranted.” If so, an independent counsel would be appointed by the Special Division to conduct that investigation. If not, no independent counsel would be appointed. The preliminary investigation was similar to ordinary criminal investigations conducted by DOJ except that the AG was not permitted to use the grand jury, issue subpoenas or enter into plea bargains.

Summary

Political Correctness, Political Expediency, and Legal Necessity for the actions detailed in the law are NOT grounds for such action.  Thankfully Congress thought through the dangers of taking such actions for political purposes and passed this law with these regulations.  I guarantee that the acting Attorney General — a 30-year career attorney in the public sector — will NOT act with any political purpose but will follow the law to the letter.  Americans should expect nothing less.  All the rancor we see and hear today from politicians and their PR staff — CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC, NY TIMES, WASHINGTON POST, etc. — is driven 100% by one thing:  Get Trump.  Schumer yesterday set the stage and gave his followers their instructions to do anything and everything necessary to force major legal action to go after the President.

If he broke the law, he needs to be held accountable.  Take action if/when evidence appears.  In the meantime, all the meaningless cries for his head do nothing but distract from the job that Americans elected Schumer and his fellow Democrats and all Republicans to do:  repeal and replace Obamacare, cut taxes, fix foreign policy, stop illegal immigration, stamp out ISIS, and “drain the swamp.”  (In fairness a bunch of voters didn’t want that stuff to happen.  But there were more that did)

Put down the personal agendas and subsequent political partisan pettiness.  For once, be the representatives of the American people.  Let Justice do its thing.  Let the President do his.  You guys do yours.


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