The Corner

Politics & Policy

‘The Last Special Counsel’

I make the case on the home page today for not going down the Robert Mueller path again:

In response to Trump’s blustery attacks on Mueller, a bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for legal protections against Mueller’s removal that would be an ill-advised step back toward the independent counsel statute. Instead, we should be thinking of whether this is the best way to hold presidents accountable in the future. As a practical matter, it’s hard to imagine any administration ever permitting such an investigation to get unloosed again.

Even if Trump is fully vindicated, the probe has exacted a significant price, and much of the left considers the Mueller probe a resistance march with subpoena power.

In his famous dissent in the Supreme Court case of Morrison v. Olson upholding the independent counsel law in 1988, Antonin Scalia wrote, “Nothing is so politically effective as the ability to charge that one’s opponent and his associates are not merely wrongheaded, naive, ineffective, but, in all probability, ‘crooks.’ And nothing so effectively gives an appearance of validity to such charges as a Justice Department investigation and, even better, prosecution.”

This is why each side celebrates when it can get such an investigation going — and they know it will ramify in unpredictable, harmful ways.

Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: comments.lowry@nationalreview.com. 

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