Investigating the investigation

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Investigating the investigation
Photo by Jay Phillips
Rep. Matt Gaetz speaks with constituents after his town hall speech in Navarre, Fl.

Rep. Gaetz introduces anti-Robert Mueller bill, asks for special counsel resignation

By Jay Phillips

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida’s District-1 introduced a bill on Nov. 3 calling for the resignation of Special Counsel head Robert Mueller due to his alleged lack of intervention in the 2010 Uranium One Deal.

This deal allowed a Russian based energy agency to buy a controlling share of a Canadian based uranium company, and even mine uranium in the United States. The fact that Mueller was FBI Director from 2003-2013 and did not intervene as nine government agencies, including the Hillary Clinton led State Department approved the Uranium One Deal, has now drawn criticism.

On May 17, 2017, the former FBI Director was selected by Deputy US Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to serve as special counsel for the United States Department of Justice (DOJ). In this role, Mueller would oversee the investigation into “any links and/ or coordination between Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,” according to the archived version of Rosenstein’s document.

More recently, Mueller and his team have filled their first charges against a group of the President’s inner circle. Names such as former-Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and George Papadopoulos headlined the first group. Less than a week later, NBC reported that Mueller had the evidence necessary to arrest Michael Flynn and his son. On Dec. 1, Flynn pled guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Intelligence.

Now, Florida’s District-1 United States Rep. Matt Gaetz has drawn up a resolution to stop Mueller in his tracks. While Reps. Andy Biggs, R-Ariz., and Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, have cosponsored this resolution, it has still caused people on both sides of the aisle to scratch their heads.

Not only does this resolution come on the heels of one of Mueller’s first public progressions into the case, but it also follows bipartisan support for protecting Mueller from being fired. Sens. Thom Thills and Chris Coons have introduced a bill which would allow for a special counsel to contest termination. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Cory Booker did the same, their bill requiring the Justice Department to seek judicial approval before firing Mueller.

Gaetz, Biggs and Gehmert all have the same reasoning behind this bill, and that is that Mueller is biased and needs to be removed. Supporters of this bill are under the assumption. Being that if he were impartial, he would have acted and stopped the Uranium One Deal from happening in 2010.

Yet Gaetz isn’t sold on stopping the investigation— just the man in charge of it.

“My concern is with Robert Mueller’s conflict of interest. I don’t think there is any problem with having folks looking into the 2016 election,” said Gaetz. “What’s problematic for me is that Mueller has clear conflicts that relate to Hillary Clinton, and if you have conflicts of interest regarding one participant then there would be no way to proceed against another participant from that election. I think it would be far better to have this evaluated by someone who doesn’t have a nexus to either candidate.”

In fact, according to Pensacola State College (PSC) Political Science professor Dr. Douglas Mock, “All this bill asks is that the House of Representatives joins [Rep.] Gaetz in expressing its consent that Robert Mueller resigns. That’s really just for the folks back home.”

Dr. Mock backed up his point by highlighting a few of the resolution’s nonsequiturs, such as the verbiage criticizing speeches given by Bill Clinton and paid for by the same Russian company involved in the uranium scandal. While Dr. Mock wasn’t saying the Clintons were upright people, he was saying that Mueller had nothing to do with speeches they gave, and that those parts of the resolution only make the entire thing incoherent.

“If passed, the resolution would have no effect on the investigation. The House of Representatives can’t fire Mueller. Instead this resolution only expresses the House’s sentiment that Mueller resign.”

While support for this bill seems to be coming primarily from the far-right side of the political spectrum, resistance to the proposal is coming from both sides.

A Democratic Sen. from Maryland, Jamie Raskin, even called the bill a “joke,” going on to doubt that Mueller needs any help with his job. Raskin’s reasoning was that Mueller was the longest standing FBI director since J. Edgar Hoover, served for both Pres. Bush and Pres. Obama and was a former Republican US Attorney.

Most experts tend to agree that the investigation into Russian-meddling needs to continue. However, there is a growing crowd pointing towards the points Gaetz brings up in his resolution that could soon be a force to reckon with.