May 18, 2017
With only an hour's notice, Deputy Attorney General of Justice Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller III as special counsel for the Russian investigation, given political blowback over President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey. Rosenstein stated that his decision was not the result of any findings that crimes had been committed or any prosecution warranted, but rather due to the unique situation and that he felt that the public interest warranted a special prosecutor outside the normal FBI chain of command. The WSJ responded by calling it the "Special Counsel Mistake," arguing that Rosenstein caved to the political pressure from Democrats giving them the ability to "bedevil" the Trump administration possibly for the next four years.
President Donald Trump issued a short response late yesterday, saying: "There was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly."
The explosion in the media, particularly the leftist "mainstream" media, should be no surprise, as talk of impeachment is already being bandied about -- even though not a shred of evidence that a crime was committed on the part of the embattled president has been produced. Congress, of course, continues to want Comey to testify in their ongoing investigations into Russia's influence on the election due to Michael Flynn's admission that he had lied to Vice President Pence about having had contact with Russians.
While investigation into any wrongdoing must be taken seriously, jumping to conclusions as so many Democrats have over the firing of Comey (do they not remember that only a few months ago many of them called for Comey's ouster?) is entirely and purely political. Speaker Ryan offered the right approach to this situation. While welcoming Robert Mueller as special counsel, he urged that ongoing investigations should "follow the facts wherever they may lead," and reiterated his confidence in the president. It's entirely presumptuous to talk of impeachment, as even two House Republicans Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-Fla.) did. Democrat leaders such as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) who is the lead Democrat on the House intelligence committee investigation and no friend to the administration -- ironically has called for Democrats not to "rush" to talk about impeachment. That had little effect on members like as Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), who spoke on the House floor of the need to impeach the president.
John Adams reminded us that facts are stubborn things, and a clear uncovering of facts in various investigations from the Clinton emails and server to Michael Flynn's admitted connections to Russia, and any effort to obstruct justice must be pursued and prosecuted, if that is what the facts demand.
As House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) observed, we should always welcome examinations into facts and truth. Only those who don't want the truth have reason to fear such investigations. As Chairman Goodlatte also noted, perhaps the previous administration should have taken similar matters seriously enough to ensure they were independently investigated.
Regardless of this special counsel appointment, I am confident that the Left will continue its apoplectic and irrational pursuit to undermine the president's pro-American agenda at any cost -- facts be damned. Robert Mueller is a respected former FBI director who served under President George W. Bush and even President Barack Obama. His challenge is daunting. Not only must he seek just the facts, he must ignore the political missiles being lobbed by anyone who doesn't like what the truth reveals about President Trump. He must also be thorough, but expeditious in completing the investigation so as not to become a tool of the Left to further hinder and hamper the change Americans demanded in November.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.