Robert Mueller is facing backlash for failing to determine whether President Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice in the special counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States election, as The Inquisitr reported. Now, Mueller’s former assistant is suggesting that the lack of a decision stems from “defective” regulations surrounding Mueller’s Department of Justice Position.
Michael Zeldin, who worked with Mueller in the early 1990s, told Newsweek that there was a disagreement between the Department of Justice and the Office of Special Counsel over the facts presented in the case.
“My thought is that the special counsel regulations are defective, because of the problem we see in this case, which is the special counsel is really not a truly independent counsel.”
Mueller was reportedly not managed by the Department of Justice during his day-to-day operations of the investigation. However, special counsel regulations still require him to follow Department of Justice policy, and Zeldin suggests that Mueller may have had to give them preference. And if Mueller objected to any of their decisions, he must notify Congress.
Zeldin claims that when he worked for Mueller in the justice department, there were different regulations. After the expiry of a law passed in 1978 that gave special counsels more freedom, they became more bound to the attorney general and the Department of Justice.
“The problem we find ourselves in today in part is Mueller went along with the Department of Justice’s policy that he felt that he was really duty bound to.”
Zeldin also suggests that modern special counsel regulations make it more difficult to release documents, shedding doubt on the possibility of the Mueller report being made public.
“So now we have the situation where everyone is clamoring for an understanding of what underlies Mueller’s belief that the evidence does not exonerate the president, and we don’t have an easy way to get it.”
Per Salon, on Monday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a resolution put forth by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer that would release the full Mueller report. Schumer attempted to unanimously pass the measure, which passed the House of Representatives in a 420-0 vote earlier this month.
McConnell does not agree with Schumer’s effort, suggesting that it is up to Attorney General William Barr — and Mueller himself — to determine what information from the report is made public. He also added that, given the length of the investigation, the special counsel and the Department of Justice should be given time to review the document as responsibly as possible.