Special counsel Robert Mueller unexpectedly delivered a public statement with regard to the findings of his two-year investigation into alleged Russian interference and possible collusion with then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign in 2016.
Nothing new or of substance was offered up by Mueller in the Wednesday news conference, save for his not-so-subtle insinuation that Trump, as president, was guilty of criminal obstruction of justice — and an equally unsubtle suggestion that Democrats in Congress should proceed with impeachment efforts.
But outside of impeachment-obsessed Democrats and media figures, Mueller’s commentary didn’t sit particularly well with a lot of people, especially a former federal prosecutor named Fred Tecce, who decried Mueller’s statement as “absolutely reprehensible” in an interview with Fox Business anchor Neil Cavuto on Wednesday afternoon.
Tecce didn’t hold back.
“Quite frankly, I find Mr. Mueller’s comments to be absolutely reprehensible, and the part that bothers me the most is that the bedrock of our system of justice is that people are presumed innocent unless proven otherwise by a — beyond a reasonable doubt,” he said.
Check out the interview here:
“He could have said — and this the part I have a problem with — his report could have said that our investigation has revealed probable cause to believe that the president committed obstruction of justice,” he continued.
“He could have made that report and made that findings available to the attorney general. He did not.”
Tecce explained how it was “not his place” for Mueller — or any other prosecutor, for that matter — to attempt to “exonerate the president” or any other subject of an investigation.
Rather, it is the job of a prosecutor solely to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution, nothing more and nothing less.
“I think that what he did today really was one of the most political things I’ve ever seen a prosecutor do, and I’m deeply disappointed in the Justice Department for his conduct,” Tecce said.
Cavuto noted how special prosecutor Ken Starr in the late 1990s had specifically noted his belief that former President Bill Clinton was guilty of committing specific crimes.
He submitted specific criminal referrals to Congress, which in turn led to impeachment proceedings — something Mueller did not do.
Tecce agreed and said Mueller could have done the same and submitted specific criminal referrals to Congress about Trump.
Instead, Mueller “has to backdoor the whole thing to kind of keep this political firestorm alive for another two years, so he doesn’t make those recommendations, that information is not in his report.”
“He comes on television and makes these comments, which then are nothing more than chum in the water for the Democratic sharks to just start going into a feeding frenzy, and that’s what you’re seeing now,” Tecce said.
Cavuto noted that Mueller hadn’t really taken a position to either exonerate or implicate Trump in any actual crime and wondered, “If you don’t have it either way, why say anything at all?”
“Correct, because if you have nothing then by definition you don’t have enough to establish probable cause,” Tecce replied. “His job, the job of any prosecutor, is not to look for evidence that exonerates, it’s to look for evidence that incriminates.”
He added that if Mueller had truly incriminating evidence against Trump, it was his responsibility to recommend prosecution.
“I have never in all of my life, and I’ve been doing this for 30-some years, I’ve never in my life seen a prosecution of prosecutor come out and say, ‘Well, I can’t tell you that the guy’s innocent.’ Because he is presumed innocent, everyone is presumed innocent, that’s the travesty of all of this,” Tecce said.
Tecce later stated that the ultimate decision on whether to prosecute for obstruction of justice fell to Attorney General William Barr, and given that Barr determined there was insufficient evidence, “Checkmate. End of case. Move on.”
More than two years and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars were spent in the Mueller-led effort to find some sort of impeachable crime committed by Trump, and Mueller utterly failed in that task.
Rather than admit that there was no prosecutable crime or impeachable offense, as any good prosecutor would do, Mueller instead further muddied the water with “political sophistry” and tossed “chum” to the impeachment-obsessed “Democratic sharks” to do with as they wish.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.