Friday, June 16, 2017

It's a Hot Mess, Not Likely to Cool

Just one month into the job, Mr. Mueller has not yet finished hiring staff members or installing a computer network — deliberately segregated from the main Justice Department — in the Patrick Henry Building in downtown Washington.

“It’s early in the game to begin to impugn the prosecutors,” said Philip Allen Lacovara, a Watergate prosecutor and a Republican. “It’s a pre-emptive nuclear strike. If you’re afraid of what the prosecutors are going to find out, you try to debunk anything they might come up with in advance by attacking them.”

Which seems to me simply postponing the inevitable and ensuring the prosecutors dig hard and long.
At least for now, Mr. Mueller is not responding to the president’s salvos or allowing his staff to answer them.
A wise decision.
Mr. Mueller has now hired 12 lawyers, and several more are in the pipeline. A former federal prosecutor said Mr. Mueller was hiring rank-and-file prosecutors to fill out his office staff, and has been prospecting for detailees from several prominent United States attorney offices, including the Southern District of New York.
Which is significant because that's where Trump's businesses are in legal trouble.
But prospective hires thinking about joining Mr. Mueller’s team are watching those who have signed up come under intense scrutiny of the sort that ordinary prosecutors and corporate lawyers rarely experience, as Mr. Trump’s supporters seek to discredit the investigation.
Which should work to ensure Mueller has only the best and cleanest. The issue Trumpettes have seized on is the political donations of some of them to Democrat campaigns. Exactly what the Democrats did when Ken Starr investigated Bill Clinton. Partisan politics is a staple of two-party systems.  We should expect nothing less.
Even if Mr. Mueller wanted to seek political balance on his team, he would face an unusual challenge. Not only Democrats, but many Republican veterans of the Justice Department have spoken out against Mr. Trump.
I think he'd have to hire dishonest and sleazy attorneys to get anyone on the team who supports Trump.

No comments: