Former South Carolina congressman Trey Gowdy believes that special counsel Robert Mueller’s report should never have been released publicly, and more notably, that Mueller should have just gone ahead and just charged President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice.
While the latter belief may sound like the congressman throwing the president under the bus, it’s not. Keep reading and you’ll understand why. And remember, Gowdy is a former federal prosecutor, so he’s able to understand what’s 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,” he 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 report’s release hasn’t resolved anything is because the special counsel refused to exonerate President Donald Trump 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 pussyfooting.
“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 Neil Cavuto.
His argument essentially was that Mueller should have gone ahead and issued charges against Trump for obstruction of justice. Why? Because that would have at least allowed the president the opportunity to challenge the allegations against him in a court of law.
Instead, the special counsel left the issue hanging 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 the president as corrupt.
Andrew McCarthy offers ‘devastating critique’ of Mueller slyly shifting burden of proof on obstruction https://t.co/Mly8IHFkDa pic.twitter.com/tzHOnpkhpS
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 19, 2019
“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 explained 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 Gowdy’s point.
Listen to the rest of his discussion with Cavuto below:
“[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,” he 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 the president 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 have been for Mueller to issue a definitive conclusion on both collusion and obstruction, and for his report to have then disappeared into the dustbins of history without ever being seen by anybody but the attorney general, Gowdy essentially maintained Friday.
HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE MISSING …
He also addressed House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler’s demand for an unredacted copy of the special counsel’s report. As noted previously, it was redacted because of certain legal concerns.
“Jerry Nadler should know that it is against the law for Bill Barr to share everything with him. You cannot give grand jury material,” he said, adding that he expects Democrats to continue issuing more demands.
“That’s not going to be enough. They are going to want to see the underlying data, they are going to want to see the documents, they’re going to want to read the witness transcripts. Because the objective is not a resolution, the objective is to make this an issue until the fall of 2020.”
Therein lies the reality of the Mueller investigation. Because impeachment is impossible given the GOP’s control of the Senate, the final decision on obstruction will be made by the public come 2020. If they think Trump obstructed justice, they’ll vote him out of office. If not, they’ll reelect him.
And in the interim, you can expect the Democrats to use every piece of data and allegation contained within the Mueller report to endlessly smear the president and his top officials.