Elder Patriot – Andrew C. McCarthy is a brilliant legal mind and experience federal prosecutor. He is not a Trump supporter though, with the special counsel having veered so far off the ethical and legal line, he’s beginning to read like one.
McCarthy’s column in NationalReview is a worthwhile intellectual pursuit multiple times each week. His column this past Friday, The IG Report Should End Mueller’s Obstruction Investigation, is a studied analysis of the Dems’ imbalanced application of justice when it comes to their political enemies.
For those of you who want the condensed version – I still recommend reading his entire piece – I’m going to quote him extensively so as to accurately portray his sentiment.
“The IG’s rationale has been vulnerable to attack because of the way it has been distorted by FBI director Christopher Wray and congressional Democrats. They blithely assert that the IG found no bias in the FBI’s decision-making. That claim insults our intelligence.
“The report documents a surfeit of political animus. Chapter Twelve, in which the IG marshals text messages and other recorded communications between investigators, is breathtaking. The report does not say that the investigators’ manifest loathing of Trump, their expressed intent to derail his presidential bid, and their desire to bring about his impeachment were irrelevant. It says that (a) because there were legitimate policy considerations that could have informed every one of their investigative decisions, and (b) because, as a matter of law, the FBI and Justice Department have broad discretion to make such judgment calls, (c) it is not the IG’s place to second-guess those decisions.
“In other words, if there were plausible legitimate grounds to support a discretionary investigative call, the IG must give investigators the benefit of the doubt, assuming that they acted on those legitimate grounds. Given that this is surely the Justice Department’s position, it should pull the plug, forthwith, on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s obstruction investigation of President Trump.”
McCarthy’s conclusion is based on the president’s constitutional authority to fire any subordinate officer at his discretion without reason and at any time. In this case, President Trump did have a reason. Both Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had written letters to the president recommending the termination of FBI Director James Comey prior to President Trump taking action.
Absent evidence of criminal intent, and a year of investigating has failed to uncover any, the President’s actions cannot be questioned anymore than the IG questioned the partisan FBI agents’ decisions.
“… if a president’s actions are lawful on their face, it is not the place of a subordinate executive officer, such as a prosecutor, to question the chief executive’s motives — especially under circumstances in which the president does not need any reason to take the action at issue.”
Keep in mind the IG did cite multiple texts and actions that gave evidence of corrupt or at least extremely biased intentions but he refused to question their decisions based on the fact that Justice Department policy does not permit him making such conclusions as long as a plausible, if incredible, reason to justify their actions exists. For example, Comey deciding that there existed no precedent for charging HRC under the Espionage Act.
“So, let’s compare. President Trump clearly has broader executive discretion than the FBI and the Justice Department. He is the executive; their powers are limited by their subordinate status and the fact that they are created and heavily regulated by statute. It is incontestable, moreover, that the president had abundant legitimate reasons to fire Comey…”
So, to those across the aisle who repeat, ad nauseam, that the IG concluded that bias wasn’t a factor in any of the investigators’ decisions, you are left with no legal justification for ever appointing a special counsel in the first place.
I will repeat that this is only an abridged synopsis of McCarthy’s excellent piece. Do yourself a favor and read it. Better yet send it to a liberal friend to read.