Since Special Counsel Robert Mueller cut a deal with Donald Trump's former national security advisor, General Michael Flynn, the media has been speculating about who Mueller will sweep up next. As was previously reported by the Inquisitr, Flynn entered a guilty plea to a charge of lying to the FBI, and court documents showed that he was under instruction from a senior member of Trump's team when he made contact with Russian officials. It has been widely reported that the most likely senior Trump officials directing Flynn were Donald Trump Jr. and President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner.
As reported by the Guardian, the Mueller investigation is now at the heart of the White House, and President Trump may be tempted to fire Mueller as he did former FBI chief, James Comey. Donald Trump's problem is that one strand of the Mueller investigation is looking at whether Trump's sacking of Comey amounts to obstruction of justice. As the Guardian article points out, "in most circumstances, arresting the president's campaign chairman and his national security adviser would be seen as the culmination of a successful investigation."
The fact that the Mueller investigation seems nowhere near its conclusion shows that those charged so far are not Robert Mueller's target. The Mueller investigation seems to be following standard investigative practice when tackling organized crime groups. Low key targets have been charged and offered plea deals to give information on those higher in the organization.
Michael Flynn would have been a huge scalp for the Mueller investigation. The national security advisor role is one of the most important in the entire U.S. government. Flynn could have faced very serious charges over his financial dealings and his alleged actions as an unregistered foreign agent for the Turkish government. By cutting a deal and charging Flynn with a relatively minor offense, the Mueller investigation showed that they are after the biggest fish of all, President Donald Trump himself.
Of course, President Trump continues to paint the Mueller investigation as a Democrat inspired "witch hunt," a claim he repeated on Twitter this morning.Trump once again denied any collusion between his election campaign and Russia and launched another tirade against what he calls the "fake news" media. As reported by NBC News, President Trump seems confident that he will be exonerated when the Mueller investigation wraps up. However, their chief White House correspondent, Hallie Jackson, was speaking on panel show Meet The Press, when she said that "you can't overstate the paranoia" within the White House.
Jackson went on to state that we are "seeing this escalation of real questions being raised about Mueller's credibility with the FBI agent [Peter Strzok] who was let go" when it emerged that he had sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague.
As reported by CNN, Strzok's removal from the Mueller investigation team has led to Republican claims that the investigation is tainted by politics. President Trump has used the dismissal to claim that the reputation of the FBI "is in tatters." Another CNN article reports that former Attorney General Eric Holder was less than impressed with Trump's attack on the FBI, and responded by saying that it is Trump's reputation, not the FBI's that is in tatters.
"The FBI's reputation is not in 'tatters.' It's composed of the same dedicated men and women who have always worked there and who do a great, apolitical job. You'll find integrity and honesty at FBI headquarters and not at 1600 Penn Ave right now."Former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates added that "the only thing in tatters is the President's respect for the rule of law. The dedicated men and women of the FBI deserve better."
NBC's Hallie Jackson was right when she talked about the questions "being raised about Mueller's credibility," as some of the more right-wing media are continually claiming that the Mueller investigation is politically motivated. The generally apolitical USA Today, a publication famed for taking an opposing view in the interest of balanced reporting, points out that several members of Mueller's team have made political donations to Obama and Clinton campaigns. They are calling for the Mueller investigation to be suspended.
If the Mueller investigation were to be suspended, what would be the next move? Is it possible to have an investigation team that is entirely apolitical? Should Mueller's team be made up entirely of Trump supporters? Members of the Mueller investigation team are bound to have their own political views. They are, after all, human beings and American voters.
In any investigation, it can be argued that the investigators must put aside their own views and opinions, gather evidence and present that evidence to a jury who will decide whether the evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt the accused's innocence or guilt.
The U.S. justice system is based on the weight of evidence, not on the personal views of investigators.