My take on the Mueller Investigation
Readers should recall my thoughts on Metrics and Accountability from previous articles. As you know, I feel strongly about there being Metrics and Accountability in Governments – at all levels.
What do I mean by Metrics? What do I mean by Accountability?
In their most simple terms, Metrics are a set of statements by which actions and/or goals will be achieved. These could be laws created by a government; they could be a job description that includes goals. For example, John is hired to sell product “A” within the state of Texas and he must sell 100,000 units each year.
Again, in simple terms, Accountability is measuring how you did, compared to your metrics. Easy, huh?
Close to a year ago, I wrote about Metrics and Accountability at the West Orange-Cove CISD. The State of Texas had set up a process to establish a grading system for the school district itself (as opposed to the individual students). The metrics are the same across Texas. WOCCISD failed every metric except for providing ‘English as a second language” to students that did not understand English, it is assumed they were immigrants from foreign countries.
Getting an “F” in 10 out of eleven grades is a major failure for the Administration. Let’s hope that when the grades come out again this summer there will be a significant improvement. If so, that will show that the Accountability side works. If not, will the community hold them accountable?
But I’m not here to go into school issues today. Rather, I want to talk about Due Process and our legal criminal system, in its most simple description, this means innocent until proven guilty. Expand that a little and you can add “…by a Judge or Jury“. Everyone understands that, right?
So, how does the matter get in front of a judge and/or jury? The police work with court prosecutors to develop enough of a case to charge the defendant and bring him or her to court. The defendant has a Defense Attorney whose job it is to defend their client from the prosecutor’s charges.
We have an adversarial criminal court system – that is, both sides are adversaries. The Prosecutor’s job is for the defendant to be found guilty; the defense attorney’s job is to prevent that from happening. That works at the local municipal court, State District Courts, and up through the federal chain all the way to the Supreme Court.
On May 17th 2017, the acting Attorney General of the United States appointed Robert Mueller to act as a Special Prosecutor/Investigator/Counsel to see if Russia had broken any US laws when interfering with national elections in 2016, or if criminal charges could be brought against the sitting president, Donald Trump.
His metrics for the job were two-fold: 1) to conduct an investigation, and 2) “if it is necessary and appropriate… to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters”.
Almost two years later, In March of 2019, the Special Prosecutor delivered his report, in two volumes, pursuant to 28 C.F.R. § 600.8(c), which states that “[a]t the conclusion of the Special Counsel’s work, he … shall provide the Attorney General a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions [the Special Counsel] reached.”
Prosecutors, at all levels, take an oath to see that justice is done whether that’s a guilty verdict or a dismissal. This is confirmed in the above paragraph. Notice that the metrics here are “Guilty” or “Decline to prosecute” – nowhere in the metrics is “exoneration”.
Volume One covered the investigation into any Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election. The three basic findings of that investigation were:
- Yes, the Russian operations in the 2016 Campaign did violate US laws.
- Although there were links found between individuals in the Trump campaign and Russia, “the evidence was not sufficient to support criminal charges.”
- There were certain individuals who lied to the investigation and they were charged for those crimes.
Volume Two covered an investigation into the possibility of obstruction of justice charges against the President or his campaign in relation to the Russian government interference investigation in Volume One. In this volume, the Special Prosecutor also attempts to build a case as to why the investigation should not be carried out in a normal fashion. In legal terms, I think this is called “without precedent”.
The conclusion of Volume Two is that “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” It goes on to say that, “Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct”. [They were not supposed to.]
Robert Muller was never given the charge of finding anyone innocent. His charge was to find possible reasons to submit what he had to the court systems. He failed to find enough evidence. In his failure to deliver according to his metrics, his report turned into a political football.
After two years and more than $12,000,000 dollars in direct expenses,
- The Russians broke US Law,
- The President did not conspire with the Russians in breaking the law,
- Some Trump campaign officials were charged with lying,
- There was not sufficient evidence to say that the president obstructed justice.
The investigation should be a dead issue now, not the political football that it is. Metrics are set, Accountability is reviewed afterward. That’s it.
It should not be up to the politicians to go do it all over again because they don’t like the outcome. Just like it is not up to individuals to go out and create public havoc if they don’t like the verdict in a case under our laws.
We are a country of laws. Our society is based on laws. Our society has methods to adjust the laws as needed. When groups of people put themselves above the law…that’s anarchy.
Let’s stick to Metrics and Accountability and we will all be better off, so will the United States of America.
- David Derosier consults with small business on planning and marketing issues, and provides web design and hosting services through OhainWEB.com, an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau that is rated A+ by BBB. He can be reached at JDAVID@Strategy-Planning.info