Let Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­clu­sion be reached

The Republican Herald - - OPINION -

Be­fore fir­ing for­mer At­tor­ney Gen­eral Jeff Ses­sions, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump com­plained fre­quently that Ses­sions did not ad­e­quately pro­tect him from spe­cial coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Rus­sian in­ter­fer­ence in the 2016 pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

The at­tor­ney gen­eral, how­ever, is not the pres­i­dent’s lawyer, but a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the peo­ple of the United States.

Yet Trump has re­placed Ses­sions, at least tem­po­rar­ily, with some­one who al­ready is on the record as be­ing will­ing to thwart Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion. Matthew Whi­taker, in news­pa­per columns and in­ter­views, has con­tended that the Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion “has gone too far.” And he has sug­gested that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion could be shut down not by fir­ing Mueller, but by cut­ting off the spe­cial coun­sel’s fund­ing.

Those po­si­tions alone should cause Whi­taker to re­cuse him­self from over­see­ing the Mueller team’s work, but he has de­clined to do so.

The Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion al­ready has pro­duced 32 in­dict­ments and sev­eral guilty pleas, in­clud­ing four from peo­ple who worked on the Trump pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

What­ever ev­i­dence Mueller has com­piled would not be lost to his­tory even if Trump or­ches­trates Mueller’s dis­missal, be­cause the new Demo­cratic House ma­jor­ity likely would sub­poena it through the Ju­di­ciary Com­mit­tee.

But Congress should en­sure that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion reaches its con­clu­sion, as de­ter­mined by Mueller rather than Trump. That will re­quire at least some Se­nate Repub­li­cans fi­nally to place the rule of law above their own po­lit­i­cal needs, which al­ready is long over­due.

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