Can Special Counsel Mueller Regain Public Trust in His Investigation?

Things become difficult when the fox is guarding the hen house. That may be the case with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation. Has the original concept of getting to the bottom of possible Russian collusion been contaminated?

At this juncture of the seemingly endless and overly vast investigation, the answer may be a resounding yes. Doubts have been created concerning the objectivity and honesty of Mueller’s Russia investigation.

Directly in the path of this question mark is Peter Strzok, the deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, who was working on Mueller’s investigation until he was removed during the summer. Apparently Mueller discovered Strzok exchanged text messages critical of Trump with a lawyer assigned to the probe.

Those messages were exchanged with a woman he was romantically involved with; his mistress. Strzok is the FBI agent responsible for editing then-FBI Director James B. Comey’s description of Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified emails. He allegedly softened the language from describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”

Thanks to a Congressional investigation, the FBI gave Senator Chuck Grassley a copy of Comey’s draft document dated May 2, 2016. Here is the relevant sentence:

“There is evidence to support a conclusion that Secretary Clinton, and others, used the private email server in a manner that was grossly negligent with respect to the handling of classified material.”

By July 5, 2016, Comey’s statement had morphed into a free pass for Clinton, thanks to the input of Strzok. Comey’s statement changed to:

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information.”

The question is – were there valid reasons to call Hillary Clinton’s actions “extremely careless,” rather than “grossly negligent” or was this a political intervention to save the former Secretary of State?

There is more, and the picture looks worse.

It seems several of the attorneys on Mueller’s team have collectively given over $62,000 in political contributions to Democrats. That produces major questions about whether the investigation is basically political in nature.

One of the attorneys, Jeannie Rhee, actually donated $16,000 to Democrats since 2008. Moreover, she actually defended the Clinton Foundation in a racketeering lawsuit. Add to that the fact she defended Hillary Clinton in a 2015 lawsuit that sought access to her private emails. She also defended Ben Rhodes, deputy national security adviser under President Barack Obama, during the House Select Committee on Benghazi’s investigation.

Mueller has some explaining to do, to both Republicans and Democrats to allay rumors of bias. The special counsel desperately needs to affirm his impartial narrative. That definitely requires solid answers to Strzok’s role, as a minimum. Mueller’s entire inquiry is hanging in the balance. He must quell the notion that the entire process is run by Trump-haters. Without that assurance, the probe will disintegrate into a partisan political circus costing wasted millions to American taxpayers.

Major mistakes have already been made by allowing potentially biased personnel decisions. They have distracted from the investigation and put its credibility in serious jeopardy. Only the public can decide whether the reassurance Mueller must bring is worthy of their notice of its findings.

Muller’s Team looks politically partisan, as reported in this video below.

Dwight L. Schwab Jr. is a moderate conservative who looks at all sides of a story, then speaks his mind. He has written more than 3500 national political and foreign affairs columns. His BS in journalism from the University of Oregon, with minors in political science and American history stands him in good stead for his writing.

Publishing

Dwight has 30-years in the publishing industry, including ABC/Cap Cities and International Thomson. His first book, “Redistribution of Common Sense – Selective Commentaries on the Obama Administration 2009-2014,” was published in July, 2014. “The Game Changer – America’s Most Stunning Presidential Election in History,” was published in April 2017.

Location

Dwight is a native of Portland, Oregon, and now a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area.

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