Was Mueller Worth It?

Vanity Fair just published a 'Trump-Hater's guide to Mueller skepticism.' Objectively, the fines extracted from Paul Manafort have more than paid for the investigation, so it's certainly been worth it for the government financially.

And, too, it has been enlightening to watch Mueller make a lifelong public servant plead guilty to a charge of which he wasn't even suspected -- Flynn plead to lying to the FBI, in spite of the testimony from the agents who interviewed him that he was truthful and forthcoming. If he's willing to do that, well, we know that nothing he produces can be trusted without substantial supporting evidence. It's good to realize just how corrupt the government is, and Mueller himself in spite of his sterling reputation.

Mueller caught Flynn on a violation of working for Turkey without registering, which required altering the enforcement of the law governing those practices. Until recently, you could register after the fact; now it's a thing that you have to follow the law and register if you're lobbying the government on behalf of a foreign country. I suppose that's good, but it's interesting that the conviction required changing common practice.

Flynn eventually lost his house and his job and his security clearance, but even with the guilty pleas he extorted Mueller didn't have enough to ask for even a day in jail. So far the sentences faced by those he's haunted have ranged from two weeks to a month. Manafort will probably get hit harder, but not for anything he did with Donald Trump; and even there, I notice that Mueller mostly made him plead guilty to the charges that he couldn't convict on in court. Mueller's record of actually proving things is pretty weak.

I think we have learned from this that the Department of Justice is entirely corrupt at the top, and should be disbanded and replaced. That's an important insight, well worth the price of an investigation that -- as mentioned -- paid for itself.

So sure, it was worth it. Or will have been, if we follow through on punishing the corruption that it has revealed.


Tom said...

Can you imagine what would happen if Trump just disbanded the top echelon at the DOJ and then replaced it? That would certainly be worth an investment in popcorn and cider.

Tom said...

But Hillary didn't really mean to do anything wrong, so she walks free without any consequences.

E Hines said...

...the Department of Justice is entirely corrupt at the top, and should be disbanded and replaced.

I'm not sure we need it replaced. It could be useful to have something of the sort, but that's not a certainty. We got along just fine for nearly 100 years without one, having only an Attorney General--and a part-timer, at that, for much of that period.

We only have one now because of the explosion of Federal criminal laws. The attendant erosion of the States' police powers has not been an unvarnished good. It may be that, after a proper culling (I'm tempted to start with a random 50%, and then begin pruning from there) of those laws, we still might find some sort of DoJ useful, but....

Eric Hines

Tom said...

Other's are asking about Hillary as well, former House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz for one:


"When I asked Comey specifically if he had reviewed Secretary Clinton’s testimony before the Benghazi Select Committee, he confirmed the FBI never reviewed nor considered that testimony. As Chair of Oversight, I along with JudiciaryChairman Bob Goodlatte sent a formal request to the DOJ. We never even got a response. Note the contradiction: Cohen is forced into a plea deal and Clinton’s lies to Congress were not even reviewed.

"Eric Holder became the first Attorney General (AG) in the history of the United States of America to be held in contempt of Congress. Nearly a year after the formal vote in the House of Representatives, the DOJ said they were going to exercise prosecutorial discretion and not pursue charges. Again, note the contrast. Cohen is prosecuted. The Holder matter is not even presented to a grand jury as required by law.

"Last year the DOJ settled two lawsuits involving 469 conservative groups by paying $3.5 million for the targeting done by the IRS in suppressing their applications based on their conservative nature. IRS employee Lois Lerner and others were never prosecuted by the DOJ. In other words, DOJ pays for wrongdoing by the IRS but nobody is held accountable. Yet, Cohen is the one they do pursue.

"In the Fast & Furious gun running operation, the DOJ knowingly and willingly allowed nearly 2,000 firearms, mostly AK-47s, to be illegally purchased by drug cartels. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with one of those guns. Responding officially to Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, the DOJ flatly denied the critical aspects of the case. Ten months later the DOJ withdrew the letter because of the lies and inaccuracies.

"Was anybody dismissed, reprimanded or prosecuted? No, but now that the tables are turned, Cohen is being prosecuted for the much lesser crime of not fully articulating the extent of Donald Trump’s personal business dealings."

Grim said...

I am entirely open to the idea of replacing DOJ with nothing.

Eric Blair said...

Can't really see that it would be worse than what we have now.