In the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s bizarre press conference, famed lawyer Alan Dershowitz slammed Mueller, a man he has previously defended, for exceeding his role as special counsel. “The statement by special counsel Robert Mueller in a Wednesday press conference that ‘if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime we would have said that’ is worse than the statement made by then FBI Director James Comey regarding Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign,” Dershowitz wrote in an op-ed for The Hill.
Comey was universally criticized for going beyond his responsibility to state whether there was sufficient evidence to indict Clinton. Mueller, however, did even more. He went beyond the conclusion of his report and gave a political gift to Democrats in Congress who are seeking to institute impeachment proceedings against President Trump. By implying that President Trump might have committed obstruction of justice, Mueller effectively invited Democrats to institute impeachment proceedings. Obstruction of justice is a “high crime and misdemeanor” which, under the Constitution, authorizes impeachment and removal of the president.
Dershowitz noted that prior to Mueller’s press conference he repeatedly defended Mueller against allegations he was a partisan. “I did not believe that he personally favored either the Democrats or the Republicans, or had a point of view on whether President Trump should be impeached. But I have now changed my mind,” he wrote. “By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.”
Virtually everybody agrees that, in the normal case, a prosecutor should never go beyond publicly disclosing that there is insufficient evidence to indict. No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict.
The motivation for Mueller’s press conference couldn’t be more clear to Dershowitz. “I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action.”
Mueller’s partisan motives appear clearer when you consider Mueller’s claim that the special counsel was powerless to come to a conclusion on the issue of obstruction. As PJ Media’s Roger L. Simon noted earlier, “Mueller’s hiding behind the canard that he could not charge a sitting president on obstruction makes a mockery of his initial assertion that there was no collusion.”
Guy Benson of Townhall also made the following observation:
If he had the evidence, Mueller could have identified criminal conduct & *recommended* charges, then let DOJ decide whether OLC guidance would or would not permit those charges being filed against a sitting POTUS. Instead, he decided not to recommend anything.
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) May 29, 2019
While Democrats are now seeing an opening to start impeachment, it is clear to those paying attention to these details that something is amiss with Mueller’s contradictory statements. As Alan Dershowitz said, “Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage.”
Matt Margolis is the author of The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the bestselling The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. His new book, Trumping Obama: How President Trump Saved Us From Barack Obama’s Legacy, will be published in July 2019. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis