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Thu Jan 10, 2019, 08:01 PM

A Justice Department Veteran Explains Why Trump Can't Suppress the Mueller Report

January 10, 2019 12:57PM ET
A Justice Department Veteran Explains Why Trump Can’t Suppress the Mueller Report
Even with a new Trump-friendly attorney general, the final Russia findings will likely become public. Here’s why
By Andy Kroll


On Wednesday evening, Neal Katyal, a former acting solicitor general during Barack Obama’s presidency, published a series of tweets that made the strongest case yet for why the Mueller report will eventually become public.

Two decades ago, as a Justice Department lawyer under Bill Clinton, Katyal helped write the regulations that guided future special counsel investigations. Those rules — which now dictate what Mueller and his team can and can’t do — envisioned two possible reports to emerge from a special counsel’s investigation. The first is a confidential report, sent to the attorney general at the probe’s conclusion, outlining why the special counsel chose to prosecute or not. And then there is a second possible report, from the attorney general to Congress, that explains why the DOJ chose to act or not on the special counsel’s findings.

That second report is the crucial one from a public’s-right-to-know perspective. In it, the attorney general — likely soon to be William Barr, Trump’s nominee to replace Jeff Sessions — must tell Congress why the special counsel’s probe ended and any examples of the attorney general overruling the counsel’s recommendations. Imagine if Mueller recommended prosecuting Trump for obstruction of justice, and Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker or future A.G. Barr chose not to do so — Whitaker or Barr would have to explain that decision to Congress. That explanation could be a few sentences long; it could be a book-length report like Ken Starr’s in the final years of Clinton’s presidency.

That second report, Katyal says, was meant to ensure “Congressional and public confidence in the integrity of the process.” In other words, a check on the attorney general if he or she tries to suppress or dismiss the conclusions and recommendations of the special counsel.

As Katyal writes, the ability of an attorney general to override the special counsel is quite narrow — and that’s by design. The A.G. can only intervene if what the special counsel is recommending would violate “established Departmental practices,” grossly exceeding the past practices at the DOJ.

Practically speaking, Katyal says, if Mueller concludes that Trump cheated to win the 2016 election, just because he won and is the president now doesn’t mean the A.G. can throw out that finding by saying it goes against DOJ practices. “There is no DOJ established practice that says if a Presidential candidate cheats enough and wins the Presidency, that he gets a get-out-of-jail-free card,” Katyal tweeted.

Here’s another key point from Katyal’s thread. If Mueller senses that the attorney general wants to prevent his findings from being released, there’s a card he can still play. Mueller can signal to the A.G. that he wants to take legally sensitive acts as a result of his probe, and force the A.G. to override him, triggering the report to Congress. “It is a safeguard to prevent a cover-up, it creates a mandatory report to a separate and coequal branch of govt,” Katyal tweeted. “So that is why I believe Mueller has a move left to play if Whitaker or Barr (if confirmed) try to stymie him and his full report.”



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Reply A Justice Department Veteran Explains Why Trump Can't Suppress the Mueller Report (Original post)
babylonsister Jan 10 OP
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Jan 10 #1
beachbum bob Jan 10 #2

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Jan 10, 2019, 09:04 PM

2. House sub committee could hire mueller for the impeachment process

The report wil
Be made public one way or another

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