Mueller Buys Insurance

There’s more than one way for a prosecutor to skin a cat; especially, if the cat has a history of reckless behavior and is ill suited to live within accepted boundaries of a lawful society.

We know that Mueller’s investigation explicitly covers “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Trump.”  We also know he has been transferring parts of his investigation to career prosecutors in various states.  Prosecutorial targets include Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Maria Butina, Paul Manafort, The Podesta Group, Greg Craig to mention a few.

This deliberate transfer to state-based U.S. prosecutors, which began midway into his probe, is tantamount to buying insurance against obstruction of justice caused by his firing or the premature termination of his investigation.   The result, per his calculation, would allow those with compelling evidence of criminal involvement to escape the legal consequences of their actions.

Mueller wants his investigation to be properly and thoroughly adjudicated even if he’s no longer special counsel.  Today, this supports the claims that the office of Special Counsel is approaching its end and that his final report will be a thorough, but not necessarily, weighty document.

There are other contributing arguments in support of Mueller’s insurance, “transfer” strategy:

1 – Mueller knows the work of his office is viewed more as political than judicial and the work of U. S. Attorney’s in District offices is seen through the prism of law and order.  Removing the taint of politics from his findings is paramount.

2 – Criminal investigators are not necessarily the best prosecutors; especially when compared to the experience and track records of career prosecutors.  This allows Mueller’s team of experts to focus more on developing facts having confirmatory effect, i.e., testimony with evidentiary value.

3 – A larger team of prosecutors enhances the likelihood that justice will ultimately prevail.  For example, Mueller’s core group of fifteen prosecutors is dramatically bolstered when the offices of the Southern District of New York is engaged with its stable of more than 220 Assistant U. S. Attorneys.

4 – Subject Matter Experts are on staff in state based District offices; specifically, experts in money laundering, obstruction of justice, financial and tax fraud, bank fraud and RICO – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.

5 – The Dual Sovereignty Doctrine allows federal prosecutors to share their grand jury findings with state prosecutors who can charge federal defendants under state criminal statutes; furthermore, under this doctrine, the double jeopardy clause does not prevent a person from being prosecuted under both federal and state law.

6 – Mueller has deliberately engaged U.S. attorney offices in states where key defendants reside.  For example, he transferred the Michael Cohen case to federal prosecutors in the Southern District in New York, located in Cohen’s backyard:  Manhattan.  Not only did he benefit from all items previously listed, he also made it more convenient for federal prosecutors to share their grand jury findings with New York’s Attorney General’s Office and its cadre of state prosecutors.  This is particularly relevant in providing evidence of Michael Cohen’s role in the NY A/G’s case against the Trump Foundation.

7 – The targets of state prosecutors are not subject to, i.e., beneficiaries of, presidential pardons.  Said pardons are of profound significance and apply only to those convicted of federal crimes.

8 – In the end, Mueller’s efforts have been shaped by the constant criticisms, claims of “witch hunt”, emanating from the Oval Office and evolved from the role of Special Counsel to one of Special Delegator. 

In lieu of being “Trumped” by the tweeter-in-chief, Mueller has pursued an astute, arguably brilliant, political strategy than a pure investigative one.  The cat’s out of the bag (and dressed in an orange jumpsuit).


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