by WorldTribune Staff, April 22, 2019
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on the Russia investigation was “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,” former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy noted.
“This is exactly why prosecutors should never speak publicly about the evidence uncovered in an investigation of someone who isn’t charged,” McCarthy wrote for the New York Post.
“The obligation of the prosecutor is to render a judgment about whether there is enough proof to charge a crime. If there is, the prosecutor indicts; if there is not, the prosecutor remains silent.”
If Mueller believed there was an obstruction offense, “he should have had the courage of his convictions and recommended charging the president,” McCarthy wrote. “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.”
In finding there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, perhaps the most important point of the Mueller report was the special counsel’s finding “that the president’s frustration wasn’t over fear of guilt — the typical motivation for obstruction — but that the investigation was undermining his ability to govern the country,” McCarthy wrote.
“The existence of such a motive is a strong counter to evidence of a corrupt intent, critical because corrupt intent must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt in an obstruction case.”
But, in his 448-report, Mueller didn’t resolve the issue of obstruction, McCarthy noted.
“If he had been satisfied that there was no obstruction crime, he said, he would have so found. He claimed he wasn’t satisfied. Yet he was also not convinced that there was sufficient proof to charge. Therefore, he made no decision, leaving it to Attorney General William Barr to find that there was no obstruction.”
The “most remarkable thing” about the report, McCarthy noted, “is how blithely the prosecutor reversed the burden of proof on the issue of obstruction.”