Former Trump advisor Paul Manfort’s legal team filed a motion to dismiss Mueller’s charges against him, stating that Rosenstein could not appoint Mueller to any investigation outside the scope of the 2016 campaign since Sessions did not recuse himself for anything outside the campaign.
This is a legally correct interpretation of the scope of Mueller’s investigation. If any charges are to be brought against Manafort, it must be done by the DOJ by Sessions’ specific approval.
If we follow that argument that would mean Sessions himself has exclusive authority to appoint a special counsel for non-collusion charges, and Sessions has taken no such action. Sessions himself should make that clear to Mueller, rather than await court resolution. Doing so would remove three of the four areas of inquiry from Mueller’s requested interview with President Trump.
The Constitution compels Sessions to act and enforce the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Additionally, Sessions notifying Mueller that he does not have authority to act outside of campaign-related cases would be exercising Sessions’ court-recognized Constitutional obligation to “direct and supervise litigation” conducted by the Department of Justice.
Also from Law and Crime:
Second, the Constitution’s Appointment Clause requires the democratic process control the appointment of all but “inferior” officers.
This means there can be no principal executive branch officer except those the President personally appoints and the Senate advises and consents to. There is probably no greater domestic power of the executive branch than the power to access a grand jury to indict someone, the power to access a grand jury to subpoena someone’s testimony and records, the power to access the tax records of any individual in the country, the power to request warrants to spy on someone’s activity or search it and seize it, or the power to simply threaten any of the above to an individual American. That is why that power must be limited to principal, democratically-appointed officers.
The special counsel, when not appointed by the President, cannot act legally except as an “inferior” officer, strictly limited to the jurisdictional subject matter limits of his appointment and supervisory power of those above him that have been directly, democratically appointed by democratically elected officials.
So you can clearly see that Mueller has strayed well beyond the boundaries set by the law and the Constitution.
But that’s not all… Sessions, by not acting to limit Mueller’s investigation, is ignoring his oath of office.
Third, Sessions limiting Mueller would enforce the limits intended on Rosenstein’s letter authorization. Contrary to anti-Trump critics, Mueller’s mandate was not “get Trump,” “indict anybody who ever worked for Trump.”
Mueller’s authority is limited to “links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” Any subject matter that does not concern “the campaign,” is a subject matter that Sessions Constitutionally must directly supervise Mueller.
This includes Sessions power to notify Mueller and formally revoke Mueller’s authority at any time in cases that do not concern the campaign itself.
Lastly, Sessions simply must act. Failure to do so will further degrade justice in the United States.
Fourth, Sessions taking formal notice of his authority would remedy what some saw as an over broad authorization by Rosenstein. One argument for Mueller investigating 2005 tax crimes and 2010 bank fraud crimes and 2013 foreign agent crimes was that Rosenstein authorized Mueller to investigate all crimes that “directly arise” from the investigation.
If you’d like to read the details on this legal opinion, please click here.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
March 28th, 2018