Most of the information we have about the Mueller investigation comes from strategic leaks from those working for Robert Mueller. Other than that, we really don’t know much. Well, it seems that the investigation has not revealed some important items to those overseeing the investigation.
Yesterday John Solomon posted an article at The Hill that raises questions about certain aspects of the Mueller investigation.
The article reports:
But there’s one episode even Mueller’s former law enforcement comrades — and independent ethicists — acknowledge raises legitimate legal issues and a possible conflict of interest in his overseeing the Russia election probe.
In 2009, when Mueller ran the FBI, the bureau asked Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to spend millions of his own dollars funding an FBI-supervised operation to rescue a retired FBI agent, Robert Levinson, captured in Iran while working for the CIA in 2007.
Yes, that’s the same Deripaska who has surfaced in Mueller’s current investigation and who was recently sanctioned by the Trump administration.
The lesson here is simply–whichever side of the political aisle or the investigation you sit on, it pays to be transparent. Mueller has been anything but transparent.
The article concludes with several legal opinions on the matter:
Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told me he believes Mueller has a conflict of interest because his FBI previously accepted financial help from a Russian that is, at the very least, a witness in the current probe.
“The real question becomes whether it was proper to leave [Deripaska] out of the Manafort indictment, and whether that omission was to avoid the kind of transparency that is really required by the law,” Dershowitz said.
Melanie Sloan, a former Clinton Justice Department lawyer and longtime ethics watchdog, told me a “far more significant issue” is whether the earlier FBI operation was even legal: “It’s possible the bureau’s arrangement with Mr. Deripaska violated the Antideficiency Act, which prohibits the government from accepting voluntary services.”
George Washington University constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley agreed: “If the operation with Deripaska contravened federal law, this figure could be viewed as a potential embarrassment for Mueller. The question is whether he could implicate Mueller in an impropriety.”
Now that sources have unmasked the Deripaska story, time will tell whether the courts, Justice, Congress or a defendant formally questions if Mueller is conflicted.
In the meantime, the episode highlights an oft-forgotten truism: The cat-and-mouse maneuvers between Moscow and Washington are often portrayed in black-and-white terms. But the truth is, the relationship is enveloped in many shades of gray.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. There is a lot of information there that needs to be in the public domain.