“Indictment Day,” as the public has now called it, has become a staggering success for FBI Director Robert Mueller. President Donald Trump’s opposition are celebrating Mueller’s move since this shows some level of progress even though the indictment is not directly related to the election and Russia.
As the White House finds a way to balance the reporting with their own claims, one scholar argues that this should not even bother Trump and his administration because the indictment would not even be held valid, according to Newsweek.
Pepperdine University Professor of Constitutional Law Douglas Kmiec said the indictment will not be valid simply because Mueller’s appointment to the Russia probe is not constitutional. Kmiec highlighted his concern about Mueller not undergoing proper channels for hiring.
“Everyone is focused on can he [Donald Trump] fire Mueller. You don’t have to fire someone who wasn’t properly appointed in the first place.”
Kmiec added that Mueller’s power in the investigation is almost as broad as someone who should be a principal officer or a Cabinet member whose nomination should both be approved by the senate. However, according to Kmiec, Muller was simply appointed the post by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein.
Kmiec said that this appointment should have been unnecessary in the first place.
“The only time you need a special counsel is when the Department of Justice is incapable of performing its job because the highest levels of the Department of Justice are recused with regards to a criminal matter,” Kmiec said.
“What is the basis for appointing a special counsel when there is no real evidence?”
Before FBI Director Mueller, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after he said he did not communicate with Russia in his Senate confirmation hearing. On the other hand, there was evidence found that Sessions has met with a Russian official twice.
Mueller’s appointment also came after FBI Director James Comey was fired. Comey also revealed that Trump asked him to stop pursuing the Michael Flynn investigation and Russia.
However, another legal expert chimes in to face Kmiec’s argument.
Professor Neal Katyal from Georgetown University argued that Kmiec’s stance was simply “preposterous.”
“I can’t imagine such an argument flying in the courts.”
Katyal added that after this indictment, Trump would not go untouched if he decided to simply fire Mueller just because he caught one of his political and campaign advisors.
“President Trump has acted in a conditionally reckless manner before,” Katyal said.
“Anything is possible when it comes to him. Firing Mueller would create a constitutional crisis.”
Another scholar, Professor Jed Shugerman at Fordham University, concludes that if ever Trump would decide to fire Mueller, this will be the last straw for his administration.
“And we should all be thinking about what the appropriate legal steps would be, starting with impeachment [and] including ultimately an indictment for the obstruction of justice,” Shugerman said.
[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]