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What Democrats and Republicans don't get about Robert Mueller

A warning to those, regardless of their political bent, who are watching special counsel Robert Muller: prepare for t...

Posted: Mar 4, 2018 6:21 PM

A warning to those, regardless of their political bent, who are watching special counsel Robert Muller: prepare for the possibility of disappointment. The reality is that as an apolitical defender of the rule of law, Mueller will go no further than the evidence takes him.

We have seen what happens when a large swath of society overconfidently looks to federal investigators as the vehicle for validating their electoral wishes. Remember the Hillary Clinton case?

When FBI officials gave the green light for an investigation into Clinton's use of a private email server, they knew the investigation would risk angering either entrenched Republicans or Democrats, depending on its outcome. Due to the binary choice of either seeking or declining prosecution of a major political party's candidate, the feeling among many in the FBI was that, effectively, nobody was getting out alive.

Of course, investigators were never in any physical danger, but the intense political polarization in the country would make it difficult for those blinded by partisanship to stare clearly at the facts of the case and draw a fair and honest conclusion. One party was going to be angry. And angry they were.

When FBI Director James Comey stepped to the microphones in July 2016 to announce the FBI's recommendation against prosecuting Clinton, the right erupted. How could the FBI not see the obvious? She was clearly guilty! The fix was in!

What followed was a cacophony of ridicule from amateur armchair prosecutors -- some of them former FBI employees -- responding with disdain and waxing authoritatively about an investigation in which they had no part. It was lost on no one that many of the most vocal critics, such as Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who had experience as a prosecutor, were also those whose political views were not aligned with Clinton's.

As Comey's special assistant, I met individuals around the country who, to my astonishment, had considered Comey their last best hope against electing Clinton president. It was striking to hear them voice such unabashed political opinions regarding the work of one of America's most important apolitical institutions. They simply could not see past their own intensely-held political beliefs in order to objectively weigh the facts of the case or appreciate the inherent danger of politicizing law enforcement.

To be sure, the pretense was not solely reserved for the GOP. Fast-forward to October 2016, when the surprising discovery of Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner's laptop caused the FBI to reopen its investigation. Democrats were apoplectic, with some, such as Lanny Davis, ultimately blaming Comey for Clinton's loss. To this day, some of my dearest friends on the left still bring up the election loss within the opening minutes of any conversation.

The major problem with our polarized political culture is that it fails to square with the way prosecutors and FBI special agents see the world. Investigators live their lives forward, collecting evidence and going where the facts lead, with no mechanism or fervor to predict the future. Any prosecutorial conclusion is based on an independent review of the information collected in its entirety, not on a desired outcome formulated from the start.

By contrast, in politics, one starts with a desired outcome and then works to achieve that pre-determined goal. Whether it's electing a particular candidate, passing legislation or defeating an enemy, every effort is calibrated to make the best use of resources, personnel and public opinion in order to help one side win.

The two realities described above collide when someone hoping for a particular political outcome looks to law enforcement as the means to that end. Which brings us to Mueller and his independent investigation.

Thus far, the special counsel has unearthed what appears to be serious violations of federal law, including allegations of money laundering, lying to the FBI, and efforts by foreign nationals to influence the 2016 election. However, no one except Mueller knows where the investigation will lead or whom it will ultimately impact.

Because we are all in the dark about the full details of the ongoing investigation, we have no way to know whether Mueller's work is nearing completion or if more shoes will drop. Anyone who claims otherwise is not being honest. Anyone banking on Mueller validating his or her side is being na-ve.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 113876

Reported Deaths: 3238
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7850176
DeSoto685779
Harrison505083
Jackson445084
Rankin388186
Madison377993
Lee350779
Forrest299578
Jones287784
Washington255199
Lafayette245943
Lauderdale2418134
Lamar221238
Bolivar200177
Oktibbeha199354
Neshoba1831111
Lowndes176362
Panola169038
Leflore165187
Sunflower159749
Warren153655
Monroe147372
Pontotoc145819
Marshall139227
Lincoln138557
Pike137756
Copiah136236
Coahoma124736
Scott124729
Grenada121138
Yazoo120733
Simpson120449
Union116525
Tate114939
Leake114340
Holmes114160
Pearl River112259
Itawamba112125
Adams106743
Prentiss103719
Wayne99821
Alcorn98112
George97718
Covington95326
Marion93542
Tippah88121
Newton85227
Chickasaw83626
Tallahatchie83025
Winston82821
Tishomingo80041
Hancock79827
Attala78926
Clarke73450
Clay68321
Jasper67717
Walthall63627
Calhoun61912
Noxubee59617
Smith58916
Montgomery53523
Claiborne53316
Tunica52817
Yalobusha51914
Lawrence50714
Perry48623
Carroll47612
Greene46918
Stone46214
Humphreys42616
Amite42113
Quitman4196
Jefferson Davis40011
Webster37013
Wilkinson33520
Benton3255
Kemper32015
Sharkey28014
Jefferson27410
Franklin2373
Choctaw2046
Issaquena1074
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 155915

Reported Deaths: 2674
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22861374
Mobile14468314
Tuscaloosa10148139
Montgomery9875196
Madison915094
Shelby720462
Lee649665
Baldwin647569
Marshall433049
Calhoun418960
Etowah418749
Morgan403635
Houston369232
DeKalb330229
Elmore314852
St. Clair287142
Limestone276530
Walker272293
Talladega261035
Cullman235724
Lauderdale214841
Jackson210015
Autauga202330
Franklin202131
Colbert196731
Russell19233
Blount189325
Dallas186227
Chilton184132
Escambia171929
Coffee171710
Covington169929
Dale165451
Chambers133643
Pike132313
Tallapoosa130587
Clarke130017
Marion106229
Butler100140
Barbour9979
Marengo99222
Winston91313
Geneva8527
Pickens82417
Lawrence82131
Randolph81216
Bibb81114
Hale74930
Clay72912
Cherokee72614
Lowndes70328
Monroe64010
Henry6396
Bullock63717
Washington63412
Crenshaw60230
Perry5836
Wilcox56212
Fayette56113
Conecuh55713
Cleburne5438
Macon52920
Sumter47021
Lamar4665
Choctaw38812
Greene34216
Coosa2023
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