Legal means of bringing an end to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe have finally been eliminated. Mueller’s investigations can now only be ended illegally, through an act or acts of obstruction of justice.
The U.S. Justice Department has now fully backed Mueller’s probe as part of a lawsuit filed against him by Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager. The U.S. Justice Department has made an argument that Manafort’s case should be dismissed, which will now provide even more legitimacy to Mueller than he had before.
Manafort initiated a Hail Mary lawsuit against Mueller on January 3rd and argued that Mueller’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election had exceeded its legal authority.
The lawsuit specifically accused Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, of exceeding his legal authority to “grant Mr. Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across.”
The Justice Department responded yesterday, saying that, “These claims lack merit. The Special Counsel’s investigation and prosecutions are entirely lawful. The appointment of the Special Counsel was squarely within the Acting Attorney General’s authority and consistent with the Department’s Special Counsel regulations. The Special Counsel is properly operating within the scope of his authority, including with respect to Manafort’s ongoing criminal prosecution.”
Trump and the GOP have mainly attacked the legitimacy of Mueller’s probe, but the Justice Department has just legally confirmed the legitimacy of it. The whole Nunes’ FBI bias memo was an attack on the legitimacy of the Russia investigations, but now Mueller has been protected under law, by the Justice Department itself.