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COMMENTARY: Fire Mueller and Keep Sessions

There is plenty of opinions on this Shakespearean chess game between Mueller, Sessions and President Trump. The answer is not very complicated. Fire Mueller and keep Sessions. The reasons are logical and righteous.

President Trump should open a press conference with the following statement:

“I have just fired special counsel Robert Mueller. The decision was actually a simple one. First off, the special counsel statue should only be enacted if there is, “underlying (evidence) of criminal activity.” When Mr. Mueller was appointed, there was no criminal evidence but just a series of rumors, gossip, anonymous sources and innuendos. That hasn’t changed.

I’d like to read a portion of section D of the special counsel statute, “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause…. The Attorney General shall inform the Special Counsel in writing of the specific reason for his or her removal.

This law specifically defines a “conflict of interest”  as having a “personal or professional” relationship with participants. This describes the exact relationship between Mr.’s. Comey and Mueller since Comey is both a witness and subject in the investigation. The statute demands recusal for even the appearance of a conflict, but this has not happened.

There has been almost unanimous praise for Mr. Muellers’ impartiality and integrity and that may be true in any other investigation. But we have placed him in an impossible situation; to believe the testimony of his protegee and friend or individuals he doesn’t know but with opposing views. That alone, taints his impartiality and places him in a no win situation. The fact that Mr. Mueller has hired attorney’s, all of whom seem to have strong ideological leanings, is yet another indication that this investigation is not impartial. This also is grounds for Mueller’s firing since the statute states for, “other good cause.”

I am not disbanding the special counsel investigation, I am merely firing Mueller and his attorney staff. I will ask that a special committee comprised of democrats and republicans work with the Justice Department in selecting a new special counsel, one with no conflict of interest. This compromise is both fair and just, and will actually protect Mueller from claims of prejudice.  Thank You.”

This action by President Trump will result in an initial hissy fit by both democrats and some republicans. The word, “impeachment” will flow but there is no evidence of high crimes or misdeameanors. Trumps firing of Mueller, though unpopular, does not violate any law. Even Comey’s obstruction claim is not a crime since it falls under the President’s purview to decline an investigation. The Justice Department declines cases every day and routinely engages in selective prosecution. Examples include ignoring Eric Holder’s perjury, Lois Lerner’s IRS corruption, Hillary Clintons, numerous violations and overlooking the Clinton Foundation as a continuing criminal enterprise.  

Trump’s call for an impartial special counsel, will eventually mute the impeachment talk. Ultimately this compromise will be viewed as a fair resolution to the entire special counsel debacle. Trumps base will still support him, the “hate” Trumpers will still hate him but a few months from now, there will be a new crisis to dominate the news.

Attorney General Sessions should remain on duty even though he did violate a basic principle of employer, employee relations. Trump comes from the business world where subordinates keep their bosses informed of major decisions that affect the company or CEO. Sessions is a lifelong bureaucrat and politician who operates with a different rule book. Most beltway politicians, bureaucrats, and media people cannot grasp the concept of a CEO operating the government. A news reporter would never publish a major story placing their employer and business in jeopardy minus editorial approval.

Sessions should have spoken with President Trump, prior, to recusing himself from the Russian probe, since that decision negatively affected both the President and the Presidency. This recusal resulted in Deputy AG Rosenstein appointing Mueller. Rosenstein was aware of the close relationship between Comey and Mueller so I am skeptical of Rosenstein’s motivation. But I would forgive Sessions this sin due to his loyalty to the President. Sessions recently testified before a senate committee on his alleged Russian contacts and provided a reasonable explanation. This testimony clears the way for Sessions to un-recuse himself and be part of the team who appoints an unbiased special counsel. This really isn’t rocket science but politicians always seem to muddle up common sense and logic.  


John Ligato

John Ligato (USMC-retired), is a former deep cover FBI Special Agent and author of the new book, The Near Enemy: A John Booker Thriller. Ligato has been an adjunct college professor, teaching counter-terrorism and international security at Campbell University at Camp Lejeune, NC. John is a South Philly native who found himself with the lead contingent of Marines into Hue' City during the 1968 TET offensive in Vietnam. He captured the 6th NVA flag at the St. Joan of Arc school, which was displayed in the Marine Corps Museum. John was awarded three Purple Hearts for his service in Vietnam in addition to other valor awards. The American Hero channel recently featured John in a documentary titled, Against the Odds. For 10 years, John worked with developmentally disabled children before joining the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where he infiltrated the Italian Mafia and spent 8 years in deep cover. The 2006 movie 10th and Wolf is a loosely based bio of his life. In 1999 John received the Attorney General's and Director's award for investigative excellence.

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