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Tags: beria | ellis | franklin | manafort

Mueller Omnipotent as Long as His Secrecy Lasts

Mueller Omnipotent as Long as His Secrecy Lasts

Portrait of U.S. statesman, inventor, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin as he looks on the $100 bill. Franklin once said, "The sting of any rebuke is the truth." (Aleksander Kovaltchuk/Dreamstime)

Michael Dorstewitz By Monday, 07 May 2018 03:32 PM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

A federal judge’s tongue-lashing Friday brought into crystal clarity a shocking truth: The most powerful person in government today was never elected to any office. That person is arguably special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller is investigating alleged Russian interference with the 2016 presidential election, as well as claims that President Donald Trump’s campaign staff colluded with the Kremlin to gain a leg up in the election.

The Mueller team is prosecuting Paul Manafort, who served as Trump’s campaign manager from June to August 2016, on bank and tax fraud charges stemming from 2005 activities having no connection to the campaign.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III, a Ronald Reagan appointee, questioned whether the special counsel is overstepping his authority by going after Manafort.

"You don't really care about Mr. Manafort's bank fraud," Ellis told prosecutors. "You really care about getting information Mr. Manafort can give you that would reflect on Mr. Trump and lead to his prosecution or impeachment."

The judge questioned how an alleged 2005 bank fraud case could possibly be tied to an alleged 2016 Russian collusion claim.

Mueller’s team claimed that the scope of the special counsel’s authority is sufficiently broad to include Manafort’s decade-old activities, according to the memo appointing Mueller to the investigation, as well as other documents.

But they argued that some of Mueller’s powers have to remain secret because they involve ongoing investigations as well as national security concerns.

Ellis wasn’t buying it. Before ruling on the motion before him, he gave prosecutors two weeks to submit a complete and unredacted version of the powers conferred on Mueller by Deputy U.S. Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

"We don’t want anyone with unfettered power," he said.

Benjamin Franklin once observed that "The sting of any rebuke is the truth," and in this case, the truth is that any power and authority that remains secret to the public is whatever the person holding it says it is.

We know the scope of the authority of:

  • The president

  • Members of Congress

  • The judiciary

The Constitution lays out their duties and limitations of power in black and white. This is so that the people know when government usurps its authority.

If a president, a member of Congress, or a judge exceeds the scope of his authority, he can be impeached.

But so long as the scope of Mueller’s power remains hidden from the public, he becomes the most powerful person in government. He’s the sole arbiter of the limits of his power —it’s whatever he says it is.

With "unfettered power" comes the authority to do whatever he wants with Manafort in his quest to get Trump. Manafort may in fact be guilty of fraud, but a decade-old crime has nothing to do with either the 2016 election or Manafort’s brief tenure as Trump’s campaign manager.

Going after Manafort in this manner reduces our system of justice to that of the old Soviet Union, of which Lavrentiy Beria once remarked, "Show me the man and I’ll find you the crime."

Mueller was shown the man — the president. He was even presented with the alleged crime — collusion. But no amount of hammering can force the square peg of Manafort’s alleged wrongdoings into the round hole of Trump’s presidential campaign.

A federal judge sitting in Virginia knows that also — as do the American people.

After mentioning Ellis’ courtroom tongue-lashing at a Texas NRA convention Friday night, Trump referred to Mueller’s investigation as a "witch hunt."

What’s truly remarkable is that despite the "witch hunt" conducted by arguably the most powerful person in Washington, D.C. as well as a flurry of other distractions, the president has made greater gains for the country in 14 months than his predecessor did during his entire eight year tenure.

Michael Dorstewitz is a retired lawyer and has been a frequent contributor to BizPac Review and Liberty Unyielding. He’s also a former U.S. Merchant Marine officer and an enthusiastic Second Amendment supporter, who can often be found honing his skills at the range. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.

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MichaelDorstewitz
So long as the scope of Mueller’s power remains hidden from the public, he becomes the most powerful person in government. He’s the sole arbiter of the limits of his power, it’s whatever he says it is.
beria, ellis, franklin, manafort
678
2018-32-07
Monday, 07 May 2018 03:32 PM
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