Mr. Mueller will de­fend the rule of law. Repub­li­cans should, too.

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - BY DICK THORNBURGH The writer was U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral from 1988 to 1991.

As a life­long Repub­li­can, I am proud that my party has con­sis­tently revered the rule of law as a cen­tral tenet of our coun­try’s val­ues. I have been hon­ored to serve un­der seven pres­i­dents, in­clud­ing as U.S. at­tor­ney gen­eral un­der Pres­i­dents Ron­ald Rea­gan and Ge­orge H.W. Bush. I know from ex­pe­ri­ence that the Jus­tice De­part­ment ef­fec­tively per­forms the awe­some re­spon­si­bil­ity of en­forc­ing our laws and as­sur­ing that jus­tice is pro­vided equally and fairly to all.

Many re­cent com­ments about spe­cial coun­sel Robert S. Mueller III and his in­ves­ti­ga­tion have been re­gret­table and un­de­served. I was sur­prised to see Pres­i­dent Trump’s lawyer, Ru­dolph W. Gi­u­liani, a re­spected for­mer U.S. at­tor­ney, sug­gest last week that Mueller is “try­ing very, very hard to frame” the pres­i­dent, echo­ing com­ments made by the pres­i­dent him­self that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is “a Witch Hunt.” Those com­ments are the an­tithe­sis of who Mueller is and how he op­er­ates.

I know Bob Mueller as a col­league in law en­force­ment and as a friend, and I highly re­spect his judg­ment and moral com­pass. Mueller is the right per­son to in­ves­ti­gate Rus­sia’s ap­par­ent as­sault on our democ­racy. He pos­sesses the skills and dis­ci­pline nec­es­sary to per­form his role, and his past lead­er­ship as head of the Jus­tice De­part­ment’s crim­i­nal divi­sion and as di­rec­tor of the FBI leave no doubt as to his abil­ity to even­hand­edly con­duct sig­nif­i­cant in­ves­ti­ga­tions. He is se­ri­ous but not sen­sa­tional and loyal to the rule of law.

Mueller must put all ap­pli­ca­ble ev­i­dence be­fore an im­par­tial grand jury that will de­cide whether to bring charges. We must let him do his job.

It is dis­con­cert­ing to wit­ness the un­fair at­tacks on the Jus­tice De­part­ment now oc­cur­ring; they erode pub­lic con­fi­dence and cor­rode the in­tegrity of a core prin­ci­ple of our coun­try. Our coun­try must not let hy­per­par­ti­san­ship di­min­ish the rule of law. That is not who we are, and it isn’t what we should ever be­come. I have great con­fi­dence in the spe­cial-coun­sel process. In­deed, my party has al­ways stood with law en­force­ment, rec­og­niz­ing that its job is both dif­fi­cult and es­sen­tial. Law-en­force­ment of­fi­cials rang­ing from state and lo­cal po­lice to FBI of­fi­cers in the field to pros­e­cu­tors and judges must be able to do their work with­out fear of po­lit­i­cal ret­ri­bu­tion.

I urge all mem­bers of Congress to be­come more vo­cal in their de­fense of the rule of law. Elected of­fi­cials must stress un­am­bigu­ously their sup­port of the role of the spe­cial coun­sel and guard his right to pur­sue this in­ves­ti­ga­tion in a fair and im­par­tial man­ner. Through what­ever means mem­bers of Congress deem ap­pro­pri­ate, they must de­fend the rule of law and the in­tegrity of the spe­cial coun­sel’s mis­sion.

As John Adams said, our coun­try is “a govern­ment of laws, and not of men.” This found­ing prin­ci­ple of our democ­racy must be pro­tected. We will be re­mem­bered by what we say and what we do in this chal­leng­ing time in Amer­ica’s his­tory. We must all speak out and work to pro­tect the spe­cial coun­sel’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion from in­ter­fer­ence. As Repub­li­cans, we owe that much to our party. As cit­i­zens, we all owe even more to our coun­try.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.