Special counsel Robert Mueller blundered when he failed to issue any charges for illegal coordination between members of the Donald Trump campaign and Russia. As a result, Trump has so far been able to get away with “collusion,” according to a Fordham University law professor who published a detailed inventory Wednesday on The Daily Beast. He claims to detail what he says were Mueller’s errors made in the special counsel’s report.
Even since the redacted report’s public release on April 18, “commentators have implored everyone to just read the report,” wrote law professor Jed Shugerman.
“The problem is not who is reading it — the problem is the report itself, and its many errors.”
The initial order from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, which remains accessible online via Justice.gov, gives Mueller broad authority to investigate “any links and/or coordination” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In his report, readable online courtesy of The New York Times, Mueller says that he defined “coordination” as “requiring an agreement — tacit or express.” Because he could find no such “agreement,” Mueller said that he had “insufficient evidence” to charge anyone in the Trump campaign with illegal coordination.
According to Shugerman, that was Mueller’s first inexplicable mistake. In fact, 17 years ago, Congress passed a law directly contradicting Mueller’s interpretation.
The “Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002,” posted online via Congress.gov, explicitly states that the Federal Election Commission is prohibited from “requiring agreement or formal collaboration to establish coordination.”
So why did Mueller make such an obvious mistake?
“It seems Mueller did not hire any legal experts with experience in campaign finance regulation,” Shugerman wrote, calling that failure “a revealing oversight with serious consequences.”
One of the clearest examples of “coordination,” according to Shugerman, was Manafort’s sharing of significant quantities of internal campaign polling data from key swing states — such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota — with Konstantin Kilimnik, who, according to Vol. 1, Page 6 of the Mueller report, has “ties to Russian intelligence.”
Yet Mueller — in a statement (Vol. 1, Page 30) that Shugerman describes as “dumbfounding” — claims that he “could not reliably determine Manafort’s purpose in sharing internal polling data with Kilimnik during the campaign.” In fact, Mueller appears to accept Manafort’s own explanation, that sharing the polling data would somehow be “good for business,” and was unrelated to the campaign.
By uncritically swallowing that story from Manafort — whom Mueller himself had accused of lying, an accusation upheld by a federal judge, according to The Washington Post — Mueller “bends over backward to a known liar” to absolve Manafort of illegal campaign coordination, Shugerman wrote.
Mueller, as The Inquisitr reported, is scheduled to testify to Congress next Wednesday on July 17. Shugerman concludes his column in The Daily Beast by urging House members questioning Mueller to grill him on why he made those errors.