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For my readers who do not live in the United States, Alan Dershowitz is a famous lawyer, author and the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School.

He has given countless interviews and made just as many television appearances over the past few decades and, although he is probably a Democrat deep down, he looks at legal cases from an impartial viewpoint.

Dershowitz recently wrote an article for Gatestone Institute, ‘Provoking New Crimes Rather than Uncovering Past Crimes: Mueller’s Modus Operandi’, which is well worth reading in full.

These are Dershowitz’s headlines (emphases mine):

  • Even if Mueller could prove that members of the Trump team had colluded with Julian Assange to use material that Assange had unlawfully obtained, that, too, would not be a crime.
  • Merely using the product of an already committed theft of information is not a crime. If you don’t believe me, ask the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and other newspapers that used material illegally obtained by Assange with full knowledge that it was illegally obtained.
  • In the end, Mueller should be judged by how successful he has been in satisfying his central mission. Judged by that standard and based on what we now know, he seems to be an abysmal failure.

Dershowitz reminds us of the objective of the Mueller probe: to find evidence of Russian collaboration, not collusion, by the 2016 Trump campaign:

It was always an uphill struggle for Mueller, since collusion itself is not a crime. In other words, even if he could show that individuals in the Trump campaign had colluded with Russian agents to help elect Trump, that would be a serious political sin, but not a federal crime. Even if Mueller could prove that members of the Trump team had colluded with Julian Assange to use material that Assange had unlawfully obtained, that, too, would not be a crime. What would be a crime is something that no one claims happened: namely, that members of the Trump campaign told Assange to hack the Democratic National Committee before Assange did so. Merely using the product of an already committed theft of information is not a crime. If you don’t believe me, ask the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Guardian and other newspapers that used material illegally obtained by Assange with full knowledge that it was illegally obtained. Not only did they use information from Assange, but also from Chelsea Manning and from the stolen Pentagon Papers. The First Amendment protects publication by the media of stolen information. It also protects use of such information by a political campaign, since political campaigns are also covered by the First Amendment.

Instead, it appears as if Mueller is trying to create new crimes. Why would he do that? To cover up his own sins over the past 20+ years, including his involvement in Uranium One while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State.

The new crimes Mueller is trying to create are what are known as ‘process crimes’, which could trigger counts of perjury. Here is an example:

Q: Where were you at 3:15 p.m. on January 21st 2018?

A: I was walking my dog.

Q: No, you were at your Aunt Sally’s house at that time.

A: Well, I went to see Aunt Sally after I walked my dog.

Q: Sorry, you’ve already said — under oath — that you were walking your dog. You realise, don’t you, that you could be charged with perjury.

That’s a simple example of a process crime.

Back to Dershowitz:

It is important to note that Special Counsel Robert Mueller does not have a roving commission to ferret out political sin, to provoke new crimes, or to publish non-criminal conclusions that may be embarrassing to the President. His mandate, like that of every other prosecutor, is to uncover past crimes. In Mueller’s case those crimes must relate to Russia. He also has the authority to prosecute crimes growing out of the Russia probe, but that is collateral to his central mission. In the end, Mueller should be judged by how successful he has been in satisfying his central mission. Judged by that standard and based on what we now know, he seems to be an abysmal failure.

Precisely.

Last year, just before Christmas, pundits and others supposedly ‘in the know’ said that the Mueller investigation would end early in 2018.

A year later, we are still waiting.

Just before leaving for the G20 in Buenos Aires, President Trump tweeted:

$40,000,000!

And where’s the new sheriff in town, Acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker? He could do something about it:

It would be wonderful if someone or something could put an end to this. Don’t forget: American taxpayers are footing the bill for Mueller and his lawyers.

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