Fred Henneke, Attorney & Counselor-At-Law
Today the now former Special Counsel gave a brief statement to the assembled press throng, and retreated into his Cave of Solitude. He expressed his fervent desire that the statement today be his one and only public appearance regarding his work as Special Counsel and the report. Good luck with that.
As is my practice, I have read the text of his brief statement. Here are what I consider the salient points of his statement:
- As Special Counsel, Mr. Mueller was an employee of the Department of Justice and therefore bound by the policies of that Department. It is the stated policy of the DOJ that it is unconstitutional to indict a sitting president. A sitting president may be investigated, and evidence preserved, but not indicted.Thus, the Special Counsel did not draft or prepare an indictment involving President Trump.
- “If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime”. In other words, the ultimate determination as to whether a crime was committed by the president will have to be made elsewhere; I have officially punted.
- Russian military officers and a Russian private entity were indicted for concerted attacks on our political system during the 2016 presidential campaign. What will be done to prevent that from happening again?
So, what now? It is my OPINION that Speaker Pelosi will recognize the inevitability of movement in the direction of impeachment and authorize an official impeachment investigation in order to gain and keep control of that process. Having several House Committees independently investigating aspects of potential impeachable offenses is a recipe for chaos without results. Ms. Pelosi will want to keep firm control over the process; With a special impeachment investigation committee, she can name the members of the special committee and guarantee a more orderly process (If that is even possible).
President Trump will howl about “double jeopardy” and how he has already been exonerated without understanding what those concepts mean – they just sound righteous. Republicans will look for a hole to hide in and pray for anonymity while hoping the Democrats overplay their hand.
And the vast majority of Americans – actually, everyone except political junkies like me (and you?) – will hunker down, go about their lives, working and raising children, and grow increasingly frustrated over the ineptitude of our elected so-called leaders.