In the past, politicians, mostly senators, have warned President Trump not to fire Robert Mueller. This morning, a legal heavyweight wrote this op-ed offering a different opinion. Michael Mukasey’s opinion isn’t coming from a politically-motivated standpoint. It’s coming from a legal standpoint.

He wrote “Recall that the investigation was begun to learn whether the Trump campaign had gotten help unlawfully from Russia. Justice Department regulations permit appointment of a special counsel only if (i) there is reason to think that a federal crime has been committed, and (ii) investigating it would present a conflict of interest for the Justice Department or there is another overriding public reason to take the investigation outside DOJ.” In other words, based on DOJ guidelines, there wasn’t a legitimate basis for launching this investigation.

Judge Mukasey continued, saying “Although Rosenstein apparently tried to correct his mistake in a new appointment memo, he has thus far refused to disclose, even to a federal judge, a complete copy of it. In other investigations supposedly implicating a president, Watergate and Whitewater come to mind, we were told what the crime was and what facts justified the investigation. Not here. Nor have any of the charges filed in the Mueller investigation disclosed the Trump campaign’s criminal acceptance or solicitation of help from the Russians. The one indictment that relates to Russian criminality charges that the Russians hacked Democratic Party computers and committed other social media abuse, but says specifically that if the Trump campaign got the benefit of it, that was ‘unwitting’ — i.e., without criminal intent.”

The harm this fishing expedition is doing is to the Intelligence Community’s reputation. The Deep Staters have tarnished the FBI’s and the DOJ’s reputations. Who knows how long it will take to repair that damage? The political heat is increasing on Mueller to wrap things up. First, it was Judge T.S. Ellis III who questioned the Mueller investigation’s scope. Now, it’s former Attorney General Michael Mukasey questioning Rod Rosenstein’s appointment of a special council.

Sprinkle in Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter demanding production of Rosenstein’s scope memo. Combine these things and you have pressure building from people who aren’t seen as overtly partisan. That, more than anything, will hurt Mueller’s credibility.

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