Former South Carolina congressman Trey Gowdy claims that special counsel Mueller’s report should never have been released in public, and that Mueller should have just gone ahead and charged President Trump with obstruction of justice.
While the latter belief may sound like the congressman throwing President Trump under the bus, it’s not. Keep reading and you’ll understand why. And remember, Trey Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor, so he is able to understand what is happening in a way the average person can’t.
“I was in a really small universe of people that did not think this report should be made public,” Gowdy initially revealed during a discussion Friday on Fox News’ “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”
“I didn’t think it was going to change anybody’s mind and I didn’t think it was going to resolve anything. And for once in my life, I was right. It’s resolved nothing.”
“You’re going to have two more years of investigations. They’re not going to go forward with impeachment because that’s dicey, but they are going to go forward with investigations on four or five different House committees, and the verdict will be rendered in November of 2020.”
The reason the Mueller’s report release hasn’t resolved anything is because the special counsel refused to exonerate the President on obstruction of justice. Instead, he left the issue open.
“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” Mueller had written. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, however, we are unable to reach that judgment.”
Gowdy wasn’t pleased by this.
“What I would say with respect to Mueller is if you have enough on obstruction, then charge him. And then let a jury of 12 decide whether or not your evidence carries the burden of persuasion. But what we have now is a hung jury,” he complained to host Cavuto.
His argument was that Mueller should have issued charges against President Trump for obstruction of justice. Why? Because that would have at least allowed Trump the opportunity to challenge the allegations against him in a court of law.
Instead, the special counsel left the issue open via a report loaded with “a bunch of insinuations and interpretations,” as one commentator put it, that are now being used by congressional Democrats and their media allies to smear Trump as a corrupt politician.
“This is unbecoming behavior for a prosecutor and an outrageous shifting of the burden of proof: The constitutional right of every American to force the government to prove a crime has been committed, rather than to have to prove his or her own innocence,” renowned former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy claimed in an op-ed for the New York Post this week.
“If special counsel Mueller believed there was an obstruction offense, he should have had the courage of his convictions and recommended charging the president. Since he wasn’t convinced there was enough evidence to charge, he should have said he wasn’t recommending charges. Period. Anything else was — and is — a smear. Worse than that, it flouts the Constitution.”
This was exactly Trey Gowdy’s point.
“[T]here’s no resolution, half the country is going to think the President obstructed justice, the other half’s going to think he didn’t,” Gowdy continued.
“There’s no resolution. So why issue the report?” he added, returning to his original point. “You don’t do it in any other — the President is not above the law but he ain’t below the law either. Find me another American other than what Jim Comey did to Hillary Clinton that has had an oppo research paper investigated by the Department of Justice, no charges and then disseminated?”
By “oppo research paper,” he meant Mueller’s report, which contains a litany of embarrassing discoveries about Trump and his top White House officials. For instance, the report reveals that White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders once issued a slightly exaggerated claim. This claim has since been used to smear her as a liar who deserves to be fired.
The best outcome would’ve been for Mueller to issue a definitive conclusion on both collusion and obstruction, and for his report to disappear into the dustbins of history without ever being seen by anybody but the attorney general, Gowdy essentially maintained Friday.