The Corner

White House

‘Not Exonerated’ Is Not a Standard Any Free Country Should Accept

Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after delivering a statement on his investigation at the Justice Department in Washington, D.C., May 29, 2019. (Jim Bourg/Reuters)

I’m sorry to be a broken record on this, but this line from Robert Mueller infuriates me:

That’s not how it works in America. Investigators are supposed to look for evidence that a crime was committed, and, if they don’t find enough to contend that a crime was a committed, they are supposed to say “We didn’t find enough to contend that a crime was committed. They are not supposed to look for evidence that a crime was not committed and then say, “We couldn’t find evidence of innocence.

I understand that Mueller was in an odd position. I understand, too, that this wasn’t a criminal trial. But I don’t think those norms are rendered any less important by those facts. By asking the executive to investigate itself, it was guaranteed — yes, guaranteed — that we’d have a fight over obstruction of justice. For the architect of that investigation to keep saying “We aren’t exonerating our target is extraordinary. Innocence is the default position in this country. If a person doesn’t have enough evidence that someone committed a crime to contend that a crime was committed, he is obliged to presume his innocence. Not exonerated is not a standard in our system, and it shouldn’t be one in our culture, either.

Most Popular

White House

Out of Order

A  question in the spirit of Donald Trump’s tweets this morning might be: Who’s trying harder to crash U.S. markets, the president of the United States or the president of China? After Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell didn’t forecast the loosening of monetary policy that Trump craves and China ... Read More
Film & TV

Netflix Debuts Its Obama Manifesto

This week’s widespread media blitz heralding Netflix’s broadcast of its first Obama-endorsed presentation, American Factory, was more than synchronicity. It felt as though U.S. publicists and journalists collectively exhaled their relief at finally regaining the bully pulpit. Reviews of American Factory, a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Capital versus Tucker Carlson

Advertisers do not advertise on Tucker Carlson’s show to endorse the views of Tucker Carlson. They advertise on his show for the same reason they advertise elsewhere: a captive audience — in Tucker’s case, the second-largest one in cable news — might spare thirty seconds of attention that will, they hope, ... Read More
Natural Law

Are Your Sexual Preferences Transphobic?

Last year, a study exploring “transgender exclusion from the world of dating” was published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships. Of nearly 1,000 participants, the overwhelming majority, 87.5 percent, irrespective of their sexual preference, said they would not consider dating a trans person, ... Read More
Culture

R.I.P. David Koch

Making the click-through worthwhile: breaking news that David Koch, a giant of philanthropy and the libertarian movement, has died; a couple of politicians who warn us about climate-change-driven rising oceans and worsening hurricanes pay millions for oceanfront property; an insane decision surrounding a morning ... Read More