By KENNETH DEL VECCHIO
The Robert Mueller special counsel investigation is rotten at its core, given that it was initiated with a specious cause: to investigate alleged illegal collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and “Russians” to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. While Mueller, his staff, Rod Rosenstein and others may have had a good faith belief in rumors that personnel from the Trump campaign had such dealings (and therefore believed an investigation was warranted), the rumors were riddled with wild innuendo, substantial ambiguity, and political animus.
The totality of these distasteful issues, coupled with wholly insufficient evidence, should have resulted in a decision to stop the special counsel investigation before it started. The investigation is not only a gross misuse of tens of millions of tax dollars, but it has damaged many innocent persons lives. And it has been a persistent, unnecessary albatross wrapped around the neck of America and its international reputation.
Wrongful legal conclusions have abounded, causing a daytime TV-like melodrama which, daily, delivers one silly pundit analysis after another. There has been a serious misunderstanding of the law – by not only the media and politicos, but also by many purported legal minds – regarding the core of the special counsel investigation. Here is the legal truth:
There is nothing illegal in American companies doing business in Russia, with Russian citizens, and/or the Russian government.
There is nothing illegal in American political candidates receiving campaign contributions from Russians.
There is nothing illegal in American political candidates colluding with Russians to defeat an opposing American political candidate. The act of “collusion”, meaning “working together”, is not unlawful – unless the parties are colluding to commit a crime, such as bank fraud, identity theft, computer hacking and/or one of hundreds of criminal offenses.
Special Counsel Mueller understands all of this. The man is both highly intelligent and highly experienced.
The massive flaw with the investigation, beyond the fact that it never should have begun, is that it clearly appears that there has no been no credible evidence whatsoever found to demonstrate that Donald Trump and/or any person associated with his campaign colluded to commit a crime with any Russian national. Given such, the investigation should be terminated immediately, as substantial time has passed with no results corroborating the dubious basis for its launch.
More so, there has only been minimal information regarding Trump campaign personnel dealings with Russians in any matters. If a prosecutor is scratching to find criminal conduct, he may look to lawful dealings to determine if there may have been illicit conduct beneath the legal activity. Such prosecutorial investigations, in layman’s terms, are unfair, but in some cases are permissible. It appears that Mueller has been looking at lawful dealings in an effort to attempt to locate unlawful acts. These lawful acts, according to all publicly available information, have not germinated into any evidence of illegal collusion between Trump and/or Trump staffers and Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election. Given such, at this stage, those who felt they had a good faith rationale for this special prosecutor investigation to occur, must realize that, in the interests of justice, the investigation should be immediately terminated.
Mueller and his team know that the Donald Trump Jr et al meeting with the Russian lawyer did not involve any acts of illegal collusion. They also know that Trump’s purported desire to build a hotel in Russia – and all of the dealings that may have been involved with same – do not amount to any unlawful collusion whatsoever. They, of course, also are well aware of the Carter Page/FISA Warrant debacle, and that there obviously was no illegal activity connected to that matter—except, perhaps, by members of law enforcement. In totality, per their substantial legal acumen and experiences, they must realize that all roads do not lead to Trump and, in fact, none do; they must realize that there is no credible evidence that Trump and/or his campaign staff illegally colluded with Russians to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
A caveat to the above is that media and, therefore, the public, may not know everything that Mueller Special Counsel investigators know. If there is credible evidence of unlawful collusion, the investigation has a just reason to continue. However, per the public information available (which is extensive, if not all-inclusive), it does not appear so. Accordingly, if such is the case, the warrant for Trump Organization documents should not have been issued, and the continuation of the investigation should cease immediately – to relieve taxpayers of this undue economic burden and to relieve America of the frustrating soap opera angst that travels daily with the investigation.
Notwithstanding the specious basis for the special counsel investigation, Rod Rosenstein and Robert Mueller indeed had the lawful authority to initiate it and carry forward with it. A few ancillary good indictments have flowed from it (the Russian nationals who committed identity theft and bank fraud). And now, they indeed have the authority to end the investigation. And, indeed, that is exactly what they should do.
Kenneth Del Vecchio is the author of some of the nation’s best-selling legal books, including a series of criminal codebooks published by Pearson Education/Prentice Hall and ALM/New Jersey & New York Law Journal Books. He is a former judge, a former prosecutor and a practicing criminal/entertainment attorney for 23 years, wherein he has tried over 400 cases. Mr. Del Vecchio is also an acclaimed filmmaker who has written, produced and directed over 30 movies that star 100+ film and TV stars, including several Academy Award and Emmy winners and nominees. His films are distributed through industry leaders such as Sony Pictures, NBCUniversal, Cinedigm, and E-1 Entertainment. He has starred in numerous movies, as well. A best-selling political thriller novelist, he penned his first published novel at only 24-years-old. Additionally, Mr. Del Vecchio is the founder and chairman of Hoboken International Film Festival, called by FOX, Time Warner, and other major media “One of the 10 Biggest Film Festivals in the World.” A frequent legal and political analyst on networks such as Fox News Channel, Mr. Del Vecchio formerly served as the publisher and editorial page editor for a New Jersey daily newspaper.
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