Mueller’s Wide Discretion and Balch & Bingham

The Office of the Special Counsel will maintain the independence to investigate Jeff Sessions’ closet allies.

We wrote a post last year that the Office of the Special Counsel of the U.S. Department of Justice has the power to investigate “any crimes that he might discover.”

Paul Manafort, the indicted former Trump campaign manager, has argued that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein had exceeded his authority. A federal judge rejected the argument yesterday.

According to The Washington Post:

Manafort’s attorneys have argued that Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein acted improperly when he appointed Mueller in May 2017 to investigate not only collusion with Russia but any other issues that “may arise” from that investigation.

In her opinion, [Judge Amy Berman] Jackson rejected those arguments.

Jackson said the regulations are not meant to allow investigation targets to use them to challenge criminal charges, but are intended to provide independence and accountability in sensitive investigations, giving a special counsel wide discretion while requiring department consultation and approval, which she said was done.

In March, we wrote to Rosenstein directly, calling on him not to fire Mueller as  John M. Dowd, President Trump’s lead counsel in the Special Counsel investigation, had suggested. We also outlined the allegations against Balch & Bingham and wrote:

We want to reemphasize that Balch & Bingham is entrenched politically in Alabama and has supported every major elected-official from the state, including former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions. Balch thought they were immune until the federal indictments were handed down in September by [U.S. Attorney Jay E.] Town.

Their hubris is still strong. Last month, we uncovered the fact that the indicted partner Joel Gilbert was still on Balch & Bingham’s payroll as of December 30, 2017, even though he had been suspended indefinitely.

You cannot let this alleged unscrupulous, egregious, and what appears to be criminal behavior go uninvestigated.  The Office of the Special Counsel will maintain the independence to investigate Jeff Sessions’ closet allies.

Ironically, Dowd resigned days after his foolish suggestion.