by Frank Holmes, reporter
After years of investigating a “Russiagate” scandal that he knew never happened, Robert Mueller may facing hot water himself.
He may have to answer for his investigation in front of a Republican-controlled Senate committee.
The fracas began over the weekend, when President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of onetime campaign ally Roger Stone.
Stone had been convicted as part of Mueller’s special prosecutor probe into alleged Russian collusion by the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. Mueller wrapped up his two-year investigation by admitting he had found no proof to substantiate the charges — a nothing burger — and said he didn’t want to discuss the case again.
Friday evening, Mueller’s work was unraveled when the White House commuted Stone’s 40-month jail sentence and said the 67-year-old Stone had been a “victim of the Russia Hoax.”
“Such collusion was never anything other than a fantasy of partisans unable to accept the result of the 2016 election,” the White House said.
So, Mueller and his team “spawned endless and farcical investigations, conducted at great taxpayer expense, looking for evidence that did not exist.”
Once “it became clear that these witch hunts would never bear fruit, the Special Counsel’s Office resorted to process-based charges leveled at high-profile people in an attempt to manufacture the false impression of criminality lurking below the surface.”
Experts agreed with Trump that Mueller focused on Stone and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in order to multiply the importance of his own investigations.
“The Stone prosecution is just the latest example of a well-documented phenomena: the way special prosecutors, desperate to justify their commissions, end up charging marginal players with tangential crimes — often related obstruction of the investigation itself,” wrote legal scholars Brett L. Tolman and Arthur Rizer.
The White House also criticized Mueller’s “corrupt investigation,” which “failed to hold anyone in the Obama-Biden Administration accountable for their negligence toward Russian interference or for spying on the Trump Campaign based on a Democrat-funded dossier full of lies, and instead wasted taxpayer dollars trying to undo an election.”
Mueller hit back Saturday morning, defending his team’s honesty.
“We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law,” according to an op-ed in The Washington Post published under Mueller’s name.
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Mueller said every single man and woman in his office “acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.”
Thanks to his comments, Mueller may have the opportunity to defend his team again — this time, under oath.
“Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing – and also capable – of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post,” Graham tweeted. “Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted.”
Apparently Mr. Mueller is willing – and also capable – of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) July 12, 2020
Democrats, who once insisted Mueller testify before Congress, now say that Graham’s decision to give them what they demanded is a dirty trick.
“I suspect all Lindsey Graham wants to do is continue his counterfactual – that is, that Donald Trump was somehow the victim,” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told CNN.
Some left-wing commentary websites chose to spin Graham’s decision as “proof” that Trump’s Republican allies are abandoning him.
“The rats are leaving the sinking ship,” wrote Salon.com.
But Graham, who ran a vicious campaign against the president in 2016, is no Trump ally and having Mueller testify before Congress won’t help the Democrats.
If Mueller returns to Capitol Hill, it will come almost exactly one year to the day that the 75-year-old gave fuzzy, foggy, muddled testimony to Congress. Even Democrat-friendly commentators called Mueller’s performance a “disaster” for Democrats.
But some Democrats still think they can pull a decent performance out of Mueller, especially months before the election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said, “I think Mr. Mueller is a man of extensive brain cells and can well recall the situation.”
If so they will have to do better than they did with former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who threw Mueller and the FBI under the bus during Congressional testimony last month. Mueller may be in legal trouble himself, as he was accused of lying under oath.
If Mueller has to face the music in front of the Senate, he could be the first of many. Graham, who has the power to subpoena witnesses, has a list of 53 people he’d like to call before his committee — although Barack Obama is not one of them. At least, not yet.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”