As someone who spent 27 years with the US Department Of Justice (Both with the FBI and as a prosecutor) I wish to offer my thoughts, though unbidden, on yesterday’s carousel of clowns show on Capitol Hill.
At the outset, I want to applaud those members of Congress who truly wanted to establish the truth for the record. Others where just trying to enhance their image while trying to take down the President. It didn’t work, but we know there are other weapons they will use against a the duly elected president. That said, one thing, among others, leapt from the hearings I want to emphasize. I think one Congressman, John Ratcliffe of Texas, touched on this in his limited time with Robert Mueller. He didn’t have a real chance to develop it, so I offer my thoughts to those who might have missed it.
Volume 2 of the ersatz DOJ report speaks to the issue of Obstruction of Justice. I have prosecuted several cases of Obstruction of Justice and nothing the President did approximates a violation of the statutes regarding such behavior. That said, here is the point I want to make. In the report, the author, and we now know it wasn’t Robert Mueller, stated that they do not exonerate the President for Obstruction of Justice. This is nonsensical surplusage.
No prosecutor or FBI agent issues a report exonerating anyone they have under investigation. It’s never done and there is NO procedure for doing so. If there is insufficient evidence to charge, you close the case, as I have done many times in the past.
But the author of the report took the unnecessary and unethical step of leaving an “Irish Pennant” dangling for salivating democrats to jump on. It was a contrivance unworthy of the Special Prosecutor’s Office and should have been edited out, if Mueller read his eponymous report–and it is abundantly clear now he didn’t. Mueller’s experience should have driven him to stricken such language from the report, as it has no place legally or ethically in a prosecutive report. Prosecutors either indict or decline a case. They do not exonerate or state they do not exonerate. It isn’t their job to do so. Bring the case or close it. Those are the only choices.
So, you have to ask yourself why was such language allowed to be included in such an important report? The answer was yesterday’s hearing, and it didn’t go the way the author and his supporters wanted it to go. It was an abject failure on the part of the Congress and the Special Prosecutor’s office to irreparably damage the Presidency for political reasons. This horrible contrivance started under the Obama Administration and ended with Trump being elected.
If you read this, you are now informed. Thank you. Let’s pray it never happens again and those responsible for this are justly punished. God Bless America.
Sal Perricone worked for more than two decades as an FBI agent and federal prosecutor in New Orleans, and is the author of Blue Steel Crucifix and In The Shadows Of Nazareth.