Last week, many were encouraged to see that the Justice Department – in the wake of a brutal string of self-inflicted embarrassments by the Trump White House – has appointed Bob Mueller as special counsel to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Most experts agree that Bob Mueller, a former prosecutor and former director of the FBI, is qualified to lead the investigation.
It is perhaps unsurprising, then, that the Trump administration is maneuvering to neuter Mueller’s investigation in its earliest stages. As reported by Reuters: “The Trump administration is exploring whether it can use an obscure ethics rule to undermine the special counsel investigation into ties between President Trump’s campaign team and Russia.”
“Within hours of Mueller’s appointment on Wednesday, the White House began reviewing the Code of Federal Regulations, which restricts newly hired government lawyers from investigating their prior law firm’s clients for one year after their hiring, the sources said.”
“Mueller’s former law firm, WilmerHale, represents Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who met with a Russian bank executive in December, and the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort, who is a subject of a federal investigation.”
Trump continues to proclaim his innocence, and to cast himself as the victim of an unprecedented political witch hunt. It is hard to square this position with the fact that he attacks each and every person tasked with investigating the ties between Russia and his campaign. This does not appear to be the behavior of a man with nothing to hide.