Debate Heats Up Over Constitutionality of Mueller Probe

Legal scholars Seth Barrett Tillman and Josh Blackman have weighed in on the increasingly relevant question of whether Robert Mueller’s appointment as Special Counsel is constitutional. I made my views known when I told the New York Times, “The founders feared exactly what we see in Mueller: a runaway federal official. We hope to see Mueller’s operation disbanded, once and for all.”

In an article titled “Is Robert Mueller an ‘Officer of the United States’ or an ‘Employee of the United States'”? appearing on the Lawfare website, Tillman and Blackman examine a number of arguments and offer some of their own:

Recent debates over the constitutionality of Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel turn on whether he is a principal or inferior “officer of the United States.” Steven Calabresi contends that Mueller is in fact a principal officer, who, as a result, must be nominated by the president, and … Read More ➡

Is Robert Mueller’s Probe Unconstitutional?

The question of whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is constitutional is examined by George Will in his latest column:

The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president’s opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, however, not sufficient evidence. Consider the debate between two serious people who have immersed themselves in the history of the appointments clause, which says:

“[The president] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the … Read More ➡

Mueller’s Dishonest Probe Invited Russian Table-Turning

This is rich. Robert Mueller now says that if he turns over evidence to the lawyers of defendants he has charged with crimes, the documents might find their way to foreign intelligence services. Mueller is right, especially when the defendants are Russians with close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.

The problem is of Mueller’s creation. When he indicted three business entities and 13 individuals in February, he knew it was unlikely they would ever show up in the United States to face trial. The indictments were nice window dressing because they had to do with actual Russian meddling in the 2016 election, unlike the rest of the investigation.

The only problem is that one of the defendants, a firm called Concord Management and Consulting LLC, called Mueller’s bluff in April and had its American attorneys show up to enter a not guilty plea. That makes Concord a … Read More ➡