May 17, 2017

Appointment of Special Counsel

Filed under: Probable Cause — Tags: — Bill @ 4:20 pm

SVRlogoHere is the US Department of Justice’s formal announcement of the appointment of Robert Mueller to serve as “Special Counsel to oversee the previously-confirmed FBI investigation of Russian government efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and related matters.”

Here is a link to the formal order signed by Acting Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.  It succinctly defines Special Counsel Mueller’s authority and the scope of his duties.

Acting AG Rosenstein’s order refers to several sections of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).  Here are links to the applicable CFR sections.

28 CFR 600.4 defines the Special Counsel Jurisdiction.

28 CFR 600.5 defines and authorizes Staff.

28 CFR 600.6 defines Powers and Authority.

28 CFR 600.7 defines Conduct and accountability.

28 CFR 600.8 prescribes Notification and reports by the Special Counsel.

28 CFR 600.9 prescribes Notification and reports by the Attorney General.

28 CFR 600.10 is a No creation of rights disclaimer.


  1. Thank you for doing the ‘leg work’ on this subject. God only knows you will not read anything remotely focused on facts anywhere else. Our media has totally lost any semblance of real reporting or investigation. It is horrible.

    Comment by Stebbijo — May 17, 2017 @ 8:20 pm

  2. Stebbijo,

    You’re welcome.

    The DoJ press release was well-written, but in my opinion the real meat of the document was in the press release’s attachment, Acting AG Rosenstein’s order. It’s the order, not the skews media’s interpretation of the press release or off-the-cuff sound bites shouted by unprepared members of Congress that defines and explains former FBI Director Mueller’s authority, duties, and responsibilities as Special Counsel.

    What upset me was that in spite of having the order available for accurate information, some of the initial skews media reports inaccurately referred to the appointment as a ‘Special Prosecutor’ rather than ‘Special Counsel’.

    It was humorous bordering on pathetic to hear a national television skews anchor asking his purported Chief White House Correspondent the ‘What does it all mean?’ questions. Instead of interpreting imprecisely and reporting incompletely as she did on the air, the dingbat could have been succinct and authoritative if she had done fifteen minutes by first reading Acting AG Rosenstein’s order and then going to the Library of Congress’s and the Cornell Law School’s websites and looking up the USC and CFR citations. Instead, she sounded as if she and the other so-called White House correspondents interviewed each other and then wrote their stories based on their echo-chamber interpersonal communications.

    But it wasn’t just television skewsies that were either lazily ignorant or ignorantly lazy with their imprecise writing and reporting. Both the Washington Post (AKA: Bezos’ Bozos) and Business Insider had headlines that inaccurately reported the appointment of a ‘Special Prosecutor’ rather than ‘Special Counsel’.

    The evolution from the title ‘Special Prosecutor’ through ‘Independent Counsel’ to the present ‘Special Counsel’ would be a worthy discussion for middle- and high-school government teachers to have with their classes as part of a larger set of discussions to help students better understand the functions and dysfunctions and nonfunctions of government.

    Comment by Bill — May 18, 2017 @ 6:19 am

  3. Bill, So if there is a crime, does the Special Counsel recommend prosecution or doe he actually prosecute? The order states: If the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate, the Special Counsel is authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.”

    Is it just a technicality on a title?

    Comment by Stebbijo — May 18, 2017 @ 9:02 am

  4. Stebbijo,

    Good reading!

    No, it is not just a technicality.

    The Special Counsel’s primary obligation is to complete the investigation as authorized in paragraph (b).

    Upon completing the investigation, “… if the Special Counsel believes it is necessary and appropriate,” [emphasis mine] he is authorized to prosecute. It does not say the Special Counsel is compelled to conduct any subsequent prosecution if he believes one is necessary and appropriate. Therefore, I believe he has the authority to recommend to the Justice Department that it and not he should undertake a prosecution if he believes that course is either necessary or more appropriate or both.

    What I’m less clear on is what effect, if any, appointing the Special Counsel will have on the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General investigation.

    Shortly before President-elect Trump was inaugurated, Department of Justice Inspector General Horowitz announced his office would investigate the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email server investigation. That would have included Director Comey’s involvement.

    In reviewing the online reports of the OIG, I can find no reference to any reports of that investigation.

    Given the events that have transpired including the Director’s firing and the turmoil that resulted after it, it seems odd to me that neither Trump supporters nor detractors in Congress have even mentioned the OIG’s apparently still active and certainly very relevant investigation. I would have expected someone in Congress to insist that IG Horowitz and possibly AG Sessions present that report to the relevant committees or at least try to find out when the report is expected to be completed.

    The OIG’s report is relevant and material in assessing Director Comey’s credibility and the FBI’s performance in the Clinton email server investigation.

    I don’t know if the OIG investigation will be incorporated into or handled independently from Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

    Comment by Bill — May 18, 2017 @ 9:37 am

  5. I thought of that as well and wondered why there is nothing on the email server investigation, although, I knew it was still under investigation. Comey has no credibility. If anything relevant does come out, Schumer would be screaming like hyenas again. I think appointment of special counsel is just smart.

    Comment by Stebbijo — May 18, 2017 @ 10:28 am

  6. Stebbijo,

    The hyena screams will continue from the Clowns on the Hill and the skews media tapeworms. Hopefully the appointment of the Special Counsel will result in some systematic investigation and deliberate analysis of verifiable facts and rejection of self-serving hyperbole. (I believe in the tooth fairy, too.)

    Comment by Bill — May 18, 2017 @ 11:38 am

  7. So, my husband and I were watching the skews media, and I remarked how the pundits were referring to this witch hunt as a “criminal investigation.” I did not know it was criminal, no crime is indicated. My husband then states something like, Can you imagine if we as a city or another investigative agency,(don’t know who, but you will get it} decided to investigate Duane Hagadone et al. in matters of collusion with the city or various political cohorts for a crime unbeknownst to any of us, but it must be there! I wonder how far we would get?” LOL.

    Comment by Stebbijo — May 20, 2017 @ 4:27 pm

  8. Stebbijo,

    Investigations that result from the unauthorized release, retention, or other compromise of national security information frequently begin as counterintelligence investigations, specifically as damage assessment investigations. Their purpose is to determine what information has actually been compromised and what is the damage to the national security resulting from the compromise. The sensitive nature of the information (presumed based on its classification and compartmentation) often means that even if a crime has been committed, it is not in the best interest of national security to arrest and prosecute responsible parties. Sometimes the positions of culpable parties make it impossible to prosecute them. Persons with diplomatic immunity are among them.

    However, sometimes the CI investigation does reveal prosecutable crimes against people who are within reach of the US court system. That’s why even in the military and federal law enforcement officers with CI duties conducting a counterintelligence investgation have been prepared and trained to conduct CI investigations that comport as closely as possible to the federal rules of criminal evidence and procedure and the UCMJ.

    As for what would happen if some really uninformed Idaho law enforcement officer had the bad judgement to actually develop a prosecutable case against an Idaho “untouchable”? If Kootenai County is any indication, I’m of the opinbiion that the prosecution would be declined because of “insufficient criminal intent.” That’s a variation of the statewide Idaho defense of ignorance: “I didn’t know it was illegal.”

    Comment by Bill — May 20, 2017 @ 7:55 pm

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