Tomorrow, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee about his two-year investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.
While the Justice Department yesterday ordered Mueller to stay within the confines of his report, there are unanswered questions about Mueller’s conflict of interest that have not been answered but are the subject of a pending FOIA lawsuit by the National Legal and Policy Center.
President Trump has repeatedly said Mueller has a conflict for a number of reasons, such as a dispute with membership fees at Trump’s Virginia golf club, his relationship with fired FBI Director James Comey, not getting appointed by Trump to head the FBI, and his law firm’s work with the Clinton Foundation. Here’s what Mueller should be asked:
- On May 16, 2017, you had an interview with President Trump in the White House about the vacancy at the head of the FBI. The very next day, May 17, you were appointed by Rod Rosenstein to be the Special Counsel. The day after that, May 18, you were given a retroactive waiver by the Dept. of Justice for your conflict of interest.
- When were you first approached by Rod Rosenstein to be the Special Counsel?
- What was your conflict of interest and what was the basis for the retroactive waiver?
- Would you agree that the Dept of Justice should release the secret two-page memo explaining your conflict and the basis for the waiver?
- Would it be an obstruction of justice for the President to request that DoJ’s conflict waiver be reconsidered and a new Special Counsel be appointed who doesn’t have any conflict of interest?
The American people are entitled to the answers to these questions to clear up how and when Mueller was approached for the position and the nature of his conflict of interest and basis for the retroactive waiver.
“NLPC calls upon Robert Mueller and Attorney General Barr to release the two-page memorandum justifying Mueller’s retroactive ethics waiver as a matter of law and transparency,” said Paul Kamenar, counsel for NLPC. “The Congress and the media should also demand the disclosure of this secret memo,” said Peter Flaherty, Chair of NLPC.
For a copy of the lawsuit, click here.
NLPC’s support of a year-long legal challenge to Mueller’s constitutionality on behalf of a Mueller witness subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury came to an end in late May when the D.C. Circuit upheld his appointment and denied a stay of the mandate pending Supreme Court review.