Former FBI Director Robert Mueller will be at front of a special council tasked with investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Could this lead down the road to President Trump’s impeachment?
Robert Mueller, 72, has got a serious job ahead of him as the newly appointed special counsel (aka prosecutor) that will “oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election, and related matters.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the groundbreaking announcement about the former FBI director’s appointment on Wednesday, May 17. Daria Roithmayr, constitutional law expert, professor and chair of law at USC spoke EXCLUSIVELY with HollywoodLife.com about what this investigation means and if it could lead to the end of President Trump’s run in the White House.
The question on everyone’s mind has been: could this get the ball rolling toward President Trump’s impeachment? “In my view, this is likely a move answering to the growing drumbeat for some kind of accountability,” Daria said. “An investigation taken up by an independent well-respected actor in good faith itself is valuable, to have that accountability. That’s true even if it produces no impeachment. Whatever the motivation for the investigation, Mueller is sufficiently well-respected that it likely won’t be ‘just for show.'” Daria explained that Rosenstein made a really good choice in appointing Mueller to special counsel.
“This is a good thing,” Daria told us. She explained Mueller is “someone who is well-known for his independence and meticulous attention to detail will be taking over the inquiry from DOJ [Department of Justice]. Mueller can request additional resources, make his own calls about where to point the investigation, and in general can operate in some sense more autonomously than an ordinary US attorney because of the designation ‘special counsel.'” Mueller’s next step will be to create a budget for the investigation’s resources together to be approved by Rosenstein in 60 days.
Don’t expect to hear much once the investigation gets started, Daria warned. “This is a criminal investigation, it will take place in secret,” she explained. You might remember President Trump fired the last head of the investigation and previous FBI director James Comey on May 9. His booting made a ton of politicians super angry and many demanded a special prosecutor. Mueller’s investigation will definitely have a lot of eyes on him.
“The standards applied will be the ordinary standards that govern criminal prosecution,” Daria told us. “It’s possible that though Mueller may come to believe that Trump violated the law, he might not find sufficient evidence to prove it.” Mueller will obviously have to report his findings to someone. Daria said that he won’t be reporting to Attorney General Jeff Sessions because he’s already recused himself from any investigation relating to the presidential campaign. Mueller will have to answer to Rosenstein because the investigation has been classified as “special” and not “independent.” Daria called the special counsel “second best” compared to the Office of Independent Counsel, but that “ceased to exist in 1999.”
HollywoodLifers, do you think Robert’s appointment could lead to President Trump’s impeachment? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!