- Mueller's actions while in Boston as a criminal prosecutor raised questions about his role in one of the FBI's most controversial cases involving the use of a confidential informant
President Donald Trump directed angry tweets at Special Counsel Robert Mueller over the weekend. The tweets were prompted by the Department of Justice’s decision to fire Deputy Director Andrew McCabe Friday as recommended by the bureau’s Office of Professional Responsibility took action on McCabe after the DOJ’s Inspector General handed over evidence that the former FBI agent lied under oath and leaked information to the media.
Why does the Mueller team have 13 hardened Democrats, some big Crooked Hillary supporters, and Zero Republicans? Another Dem recently added…does anyone think this is fair? And yet, there is NO COLLUSION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2018
Trump’s Tweets on Mueller appeared to some Republicans and Democrats to be a veiled threat to fire Mueller. Those lawmakers warned the president that it would be the ‘beginning of the end for his presidency’ if Trump fired the special counsel. They also criticized Trump’s attorney John Dowd for suggesting over the weekend that the Mueller probe should end. Ty Cobb, the president’s personal attorney, reassured lawmakers on Monday that the president does not plan to fire Mueller.
But Dowd is not alone.
McCabe’s firing should raise serious questions as to where Mueller’s investigation is going. Mueller’s past involvement in cases casts a very different light on the former FBI director than the one painted by his proponents and the media, said David Schoen, a civil rights and defense attorney. Schoen has been outspoken on the special counsel and criticized Mueller’s top attorney Andrew Weissmann’s involvement in the investigation, as reported.
“We all have the right – even the obligation – to demand fairness in the process and this process is not the least bit fair and the investigations lack integrity,” said Schoen. He noted that as a defense attorney, Dowd should question how the investigation against Trump and his campaign came to be and if it was based on false information in an unverified dossier paid for by political opponents then the investigation is moot, said Schoen.
The Trump Russia investigation appears to be based, at least in significant part, on unverified and circumstantial evidence, coordinated actions of political opponents and “it is irretrievably tainted from its inception and must end now,” Schoen said. The case was also established by partisan bureau officials who were bent on bringing charges against Trump, he added. Although some lawmakers have asked for a second special counsel to investigate the FBI and DOJ’s actions in investigating Trump, many still continue to support Mueller’s ongoing investigation, which began at the behest of those being accused of wrongdoing in the FBI.
Schoen is surprised that lawmakers have lauded Mueller as a stellar and well-respected former FBI director but have little knowledge about the former bureau director’s past from the criticism during his years in Boston, challenges with the 911 Commission findings when he was first appointed to the FBI and handling of the Anthrax case to name a few, he said.
Mueller In Boston
Local law enforcement officials, the media, and some colleagues criticized Mueller and the FBI for what they believed was the bureau’s role in covering up for the FBI’s longtime dealings with mobster and informant James “Whitey” Bulger.
Bulger was a kingpin and a confidential informant for the FBI from the 1970s in the bureau’s efforts to take down the Italian mafia in Boston. But Bulger’s relationship with his FBI handler Special Agent John Connolly became toxic. It was later discovered that Connolly went out of his way to protect Bulger and aided the crime boss against investigations being conducted by the Boston PD and the Massachusetts State Police. According to reports at the time, Connolly would inform Bulger of wiretaps and surveillance being conducted by law enforcement.
Journalist Kevin Cullen wrote extensively about the FBI’s involvement with Bulger and raised concerns about the old case in a 2011 article in Boston.com after Obama asked Congress to make an exception to allow Mueller to stay on two-extra years beyond the mandated 10 year limit as FBI director.
Cullen said in his story that Mueller who was first an assistant US attorney, “then as the acting US attorney in Boston” had written “letters to the parole and pardons board throughout the 1980s opposing clemency for the four men framed by FBI lies. Of course, Mueller was also in that position while Whitey Bulger was helping the FBI cart off his criminal competitors even as he buried bodies in shallow graves along the Neponset.”
In 2001, those four men, who were convicted in 1965 of Teddy Deegan’s murder were exonerated by the courts. It was discovered that the FBI withheld evidence from the court to protect their informant that would have cleared the men, according to reports. At the time, the bureau buried the truth to protect Vincent “Jimmy’’ Flemmi, their informant, who was the brother of Stevie Flemmi, a partner of Bulger.
Coleen Rowley, a former FBI special agent and former Minneapolis Division legal counsel of the FBI, wrote an Op-Ed in the Huffington Post last year No, Robert Mueller and James Comey Aren’t Heroes stated that when the truth about Bulger “was finally uncovered through intrepid investigative reporting and persistent, honest judges, U.S. taxpayers footed a $100 million court award to the four men framed for murders committed by (the FBI operated) Bulger gang.”
But according to Cullen, Mueller never was asked by Congress, “what did you know about Whitey Bulger, and when did you know it?”
U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner in Boston said the bureau helped convict the four men of a crime they did not commit, and the three of them had been sentenced to die in the electric chair.
“This case goes beyond mistakes, beyond the unavoidable errors of a fallible system,” Gertner wrote in a 228-page decision, which called the FBI’s defense — that Massachusetts was to blame for an inadequate investigation — “absurd,” according to Cullen’s article.
Schoen noted for these reasons alone there should be concern about Mueller’s special counsel.
“As I have mentioned before, under Mueller’s watch in Boston, the second most corrupt relationship between an FBI agent (John Connolly, now in prison for murder-related charges) and his information (Whitey Bulger) unfolded,” said Schoen. “Mueller was neck deep in it and has never answered the questions that the media asked rhetorically, but that should have been asked by a grand jury of Congressional Committee. Even such dubious sources as the NY Times, Boston Globe, and Huffington Post have demanded answers. Many have suggested he should never have been FBI Director.”
“Central tenet of the criminal justice system..to challenge the integrity of the investigation”
Attorney David Schoen
Over the weekend, Rep. Trey Gowdy, chairman of the House Oversight Committee was one of those members.
“If you have an innocent client, Mr. Dowd, act like it,” Gowdy told “Fox News Sunday,” who added Mueller’s probe should continue.
Like Gowdy, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., also stressed that there should be a second special counsel, telling this reporter, “the system is working, we should let it work. Firing Mueller would be a grave mistake.”
But Schoen disagrees with Gowdy and Graham saying, “it is a central tenet of the criminal justice system that one may always challenge the integrity of the investigation/prosecution and it is reckless for a member of Congress to suggest otherwise,” said Schoen.
Schoen and the former FBI official disagree with Graham. The former FBI official, who worked on counterintelligence cases, said if the foundation of the investigation isn’t based on credible solid evidence “then Mueller’s investigation is one in search of a crime and that is not what you want and that’s not how it should be done.”