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Why Trump (And Gingrich) Should Stop Whining About Robert Mueller

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Why Trump (And Gingrich) Should Stop Whining About Robert Mueller

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Mueller

When Newt Gingrich humiliates himself by smearing Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it is all too easy to dismiss the former speaker. As a disgraced politician who left office under an ethical cloud, following a decade spent debasing American discourse, Gingrich has no standing to criticize Mueller, a decorated Vietnam veteran who enjoys broad bipartisan esteem after a lifetime devoted to public service.

But others have seized on the Gingrich theme, complaining of Mueller’s supposed bias against Trump, for which the sole evidence appears to be a few donations to Democratic campaigns by lawyers on the special counsel staff. Apparently the only way to guarantee “fairness” is to appoint a hardcore Republican to every position.

Such deep concern over the partisan affiliation of a special counsel or an independent counsel is something new for the Republicans. None of them voiced any qualms when, under the old Independent Counsel Act, a panel of three Republican judges consistently appointed Republican prosecutors to investigate a Democratic administration, as they did several times when Bill Clinton was president.

Blatantly biased against Clinton, that judicial panel — headed by an intemperate, outspoken, and extremely rightwing jurist named David Sentelle — was caught rigging the appointment of Kenneth Starr to replace the first Whitewater independent counsel, Robert Fiske. Although Fiske too was a Republican, he was an experienced prosecutor and a straight arrow who was disposing of the Whitewater charges against the Clintons too swiftly and dispassionately to serve his party’s purposes. Frustrated Republicans on Capitol Hill and in the media demanded his removal.

As Fiske’s successor, Starr had no prosecutorial experience but his partisan credentials were certainly in order: a former Republican judicial appointee and solicitor general, active in the Virginia GOP and the Federalist Society, adviser to right-wing nonprofits and counsel to the tobacco industry and many other Republican-oriented corporations. He was perfect, if perfection meant an independent counsel who would squander tens of millions of dollars, prosecute irrelevant defendants, and instigate a wholly unrelated probe of Clinton’s sex life, all in order to bring down the Democratic president.

Starr himself had no idea how to conduct an investigation. But he immediately hired a thoroughly ideological Republican staff that did — including deputy independent counsel Hick Ewing, a former U.S. Attorney in Memphis renowned for his right-wing fundamentalist zeal; and deputy independent counsel Jackie Bennett, a former federal prosecutor in south Texas, where he pursued cases against Democratic officeholders with mixed success and came to be known as “the Thug.”

Gingrich: Time to rethink special counsel Mueller

Starr’s operation reflected the political orientation of nearly all of the independent counsel investigations under Clinton. And when Starr left, his replacement was Robert Ray, who actually ran for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination in New Jersey in 2002, only months after he filed the Office of Independent Counsel’s final report on Whitewater.

With few exceptions, every independent counsel or special counsel since the Reagan era has been a Republican, whether the investigation involved a Democratic or Republican administration. If a Democratic judicial panel had appointed a series of Democratic prosecutors, the Republicans would still be screaming two decades later.

Trump should consider himself lucky to escape the outrageously biased appointment process used to torment Clinton and his appointees under the Independent Counsel Act, which expired in 1999. And he ought to stop whining about the special counsel, a Republican chosen by his own deputy attorney general.

If Trump had any self-respect, he would have to acknowledge that Robert Mueller is one of the most admired figures in law enforcement and public service of the past 50 years, among Democrats and Republicans alike. Isn’t that why Trump considered reappointing Mueller as FBI director? Gingrich hailed Mueller’s appointment, before realizing that was no longer the Trump party line. And Trump defense flack Mark Corallo, a former Justice Department official, told Politico, “You’ll never hear me say a bad thing about Bob Mueller.” Democratic leaders have echoed those same sentiments many times over, for good reason: It would be difficult to find a figure in law enforcement with a better reputation for fairness, integrity, and professionalism.

Every effort to discredit Mueller, from Fox News Channel to quasi-fascist social media, only underscores the right’s desperation and fear — and sharpens the growing suspicion of Trump’s guilt. His friends would better serve the White House with silence.

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Joe Conason

A highly experienced journalist, author and editor, Joe Conason is the editor-in-chief of The National Memo, founded in July 2011. He was formerly the executive editor of the New York Observer, where he wrote a popular political column for many years. His columns are distributed by Creators Syndicate and his reporting and writing have appeared in many publications around the world, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, The New Yorker, The New Republic, The Nation, and Harpers.

Since November 2006, he has served as editor of The Investigative Fund, a nonprofit journalism center, where he has assigned and edited dozens of award-winning articles and broadcasts. He is also the author of two New York Times bestselling books, The Hunting of the President (St. Martins Press, 2000) and Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth (St. Martins Press, 2003).

Currently he is working on a new book about former President Bill Clinton's life and work since leaving the White House in 2001. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, including MSNBC's Morning Joe, and lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

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39 Comments

    1. Independent1 June 19, 2017

      And that link about Ken Starr is supposed to prove what? Given that wikipedia entries are created by whomever chooses to think they’re expert enough on a subject to make a wikipedia entry – and the entry in wikipedia for Ken Starr was clearly created by a delusional right-wing biased neocon!! What non right-wing neocon would choose to take the time to post something on a right-wing radical like Ken Starr?

      So all your moronic link served to prove is that some right-wing neocon radical took the time to create a whitewashed entry in wikipedia about a nutcase like Ken Starr.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

        When you read the non fiction, “American Dynasty” by Kevin Phillips, you would see the REAL Ken Starr and his ties to the Bush Dynasty.

        Back in their college days they were known as the Bastardly 5, Ken Starr, Karl Rove, Grover Norquist, Eric Blackwater Prince and Revered Ralph “Can’t Keep IT in HIS Pants” Reed.

        The minute William Jefferson Clinton who attended the same college as the Bastardly 5 won his Rhodes Scholarship, these hateful little punks went after him with a vengeance, setting up every lil ole Dixiebelle with hot pants to try and take him down and force Hillary to divorce him.

        So, Starr spends $12 million over 12 years on a bogus trumped up White Water Investigation but Lard Ass says these government investigations are “taking too long?”

        Lard Ass must not have much in the way of WaterGate History, another huge Republican Scandal added to the 2 previous major Scandals like TeaPot Dome and Hoover’s sucking up to Wall Street that caused the Great Depression. Now, this is Strike 4 but this will end the GOP as we know it.

        Why? Because these good ole good ole boys knew Trump’s campaign donations came from Russian money laundered through Trump’s favorite forex bank, Deutschebank.

        What Lard Ass is REALLY most afraid of? If he goes down for money laundering a 2nd time, he won’t get a fine. The only reason he became president was because he thought he couldn’t be prosecuted. No president is above the law.

        1. dpaano June 19, 2017

          Unfortunately, he THINKS he is and intends to make sure that he is!

      2. RichFromShowMe June 19, 2017

        That was a reply to the “lack of investigative experience” Ken Starr had.

        Do you theorize willy had a lot of experience with a cigar? 🙂

    2. Independent1 June 19, 2017

      These excerpts from an article on Newt are more relevant:

      Newt Gingrich: A History Of Hypocrisy

      As disgraced former Speaker Newt Gingrich tweets his way into the GOP presidential race for 2012, we are reminded of his outstanding record of political and moral malfeasance in his decades-long effort to promote himself. From his personal and professional ethical transgressions to his crusade against the working class, Gingrich continues to thrive in the shadows of fiscal corruption and the spotlight of right-wing hyperbole. Despite his rocky marital past and remarkably hypocritical and extremist rhetoric, Gingrich unabashedly vaunts himself as the country’s moral compass without a hint of irony, consistently waging an ideological war in an effort to maintain his own relevance.

      Meanwhile, Gingrich Used Wife He Had Cheated On To Write Letter Saying He Was A Family Man. As Salon explains:”Jackie Gingrich raised the daughters, worked to put Newt through graduate school and was a loyal political wife during his two unsuccessful campaigns for Congress in 1974 and 1976. In his make-or-break 1978 race, Gingrich enlisted Jackie to attack his female opponent, who had announced that if elected she would commute to Washington and allow her family to remain in Georgia. At Gingrich’s instigation, Jackie wrote a campaign letter declaring that Newt was a fine husband and would take his family with him, although his top aides already knew Gingrich was having affairs and the marriage was falling apart.” [Salon, 8/28/98]

      For far more on Newt Gingrich’s hypocritical actions on the following issues see the link below:

      “Family Values”

      War On The Poor

      Anti-Gay Rhetoric

      Religious Bigotry

      Racist And Anti-Immigrant Rhetoric

      Extreme Rhetoric Against Obama And Democrats

      Sticky Ethical Situations

      Hypocrisy

      http://politicalcorrection.org/factcheck/201105110003

      Newt Gringrich is every much as corrupt and worthless an individual as Donald Trump.

      1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

        Richie is on the “whine” again. Off the White Lightnin’ so out comes his “victim” card.

        None of the Putin hacker trolls have anything they can use as evidence in a court of law that will indict a cockroach.

        1. RichFromShowMe June 19, 2017

          https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/13/15791744/russia-election-39-states-hack-putin-trump-sessions

          “But even if they did that, that still wouldn’t necessarily have affected the election. It’s the counties that upload voter information to the state, not vice versa. So even if all the rolls were deleted at the state level, there was a backup plan in place to restore all the names.”

  1. yabbed June 19, 2017

    It is reported that the FBI has tapes of Gingrich arranging meetings with the Russian ambassador during the campaign. Gingrich is very likely to go down with the other co-conspirators who sold this country out to Russia for personal gain.

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

      This is why Lard Ass wants Mueller gone. Trump already has one record of money laundering in 2013. There is no way he didn’t get money from Russia through Deutschebank.

      Deutschebank already has a $320 million government fine for laundering “Russian” money. This is also the ONLY bank in the US willing to loan Trump money thanks to his bad records of paying what he owes.

      What’s the chances that the $100 million Trump said he donated to “his campaign aka the RNC and Priebus,” was Russian money and now the any Republican who in any way took a dime of that laundered money aided and abetted the Russian hacking?

    2. dpaano June 19, 2017

      Let’s hope that’s true……

  2. marriea June 19, 2017

    The Republicans remind me of a kid who starts a fight with someone they believe won’t fight back and then cry bloody murder when they do.
    It comes down to this.
    If Trump is indeed ‘innocent’ of any wrong doings, then he should welcome an investigation that will clear him.
    But he comes off as a guilty man that been caught doing something or trying to do something he shouldn’t have been doing.
    As a matter of fact, he is telling off on himself with his incessant use of those tweets.
    He’s the one who put himself in the line of fire by trying to prove he’s a better man and therefore presidential than President Obama.
    By his own actions to ‘get rid’ of anything and everything Obama, is telling.
    What will his next attempt be, to get rid of the portrait of the ex president.
    His jealousy of Obama is so apparent and transparent it’s pitiful.
    Even the ties the U S have with other coutries, if it has Obama’s signature on it, he wants to destroy it.
    He’s is in this ever present state to try to outdo Obama.
    Is that why he plays more golf than Obama?
    For all the things Trump is supposed to have going for himself, he’s really a petty little man (child)
    How sad for him.
    How sad for the country..

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

      You just described the reason the Lard Ass in chief got expelled the first time from a military school. Bully Boy Trump back then had balls enough to pick fights. That was just his “training” for his future of intimidation tactics.

      Did you hear his Sunday 4 AM tweet? “Americans should report their neighbors for “any” suspicious activities.

      That’s precisely what we intend to do to Trump.

      1. marriea June 19, 2017

        Seriously?, her tweeted that?
        A few months ago on an episode of Samantha Bee, she had an interview with a person from Russia, and she said this is what his regime encourages people to do.
        So it’s true he wants the U S to be ran like Russia.
        Well, I have e to give it to Putin.
        As a KGB leader, he recognized an idiot, a wannabe emperor.
        Putin doesn’t want to rule the US, but Trump is a useful propaganda tool to show that the U S is really a paper tiger.
        And to think his supporters think this is about enriching them

        1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

          He first stated that in his Myrtle Beach speech and repeated it again on Sunday.

      2. dpaano June 19, 2017

        Where do we go to report Trump’s “suspicious activities?” My California Senators already know where he’s coming from!

        1. marriea June 19, 2017

          No kidding.
          His fall from the top is going to be devastating.
          Once he is found guilty, I hope his fine and penalties will be drastic.
          It would be interesting if they do a Bernie Maddox on him and that entire family.

    2. dpaano June 19, 2017

      Even sadder for the individuals that voted for him based on his cons and lies. They will be the ones that will end up suffering the most with the healthcare bill and every other BS that he’s having his cabinet put through!

      1. marriea June 19, 2017

        Well dpaano, I still don’t get it.
        I’ve tried wrapping my mind around what he said during the primary and the general election.
        I just don’t hear it.
        OK, maybe I’m predisposed to not believing any thing he said in the first place.
        I’ve asked myself what are these people hearing that I don’t hear.
        He’s a con, and from my viewpoint not an even good one.
        I’ve heard guys at work use better cons when I was working.
        And the kicker is, some of these people are supposively intelligent folks.
        And his cabinet members, was that stuff reheased.
        It reminds me of a scene from, I believe it was the Ten Commander in which folks from other territories were bringing gifts to ‘honor’ Rameses or was it the Yul Brenner role.
        It was full of praises.
        OK, maybe that’s the way it was way back when.
        BUT TRUMP!!??
        My daughter says it’s the TV role status, coupled by his ‘status’? as a multi millionaire/billionaire?
        Perhaps, but I’ve never seem that celebrity show as I don’t like so called reality TV.
        The one one I do watch is Dancing with the Stars.
        But I tell ya, I just don’t get it.

        1. dpaano June 19, 2017

          Some people just hear what they want to hear no matter how ridiculous it is. Trump can be very convincing to some people, but to those of us who know a con when we see one…..not so much!

  3. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

    Why is anyone in the US surprised that the two men who represent the Republican version of “honesty” whining like two teenage boys who hit on a girl and didn’t get “any?” So what do we know about boys like this? Well, they look for anyone but themselves to blame because immature male minds like these believe in an entitlement to total lack of accountability. Then, when that doesn’t work they try to take down their “opponent” with smear campaigns.

    Wake up people. If you think the Republican white male BS has gone far enough, maybe it’s time to do what all good mature minds do…paddle their asses in public stocks until they can’t sit down.

    Notice how Gowdy of the infamous Roy Cohn McCarthy Era 11 hour interrogation of SOS Clinton is now ignoring the 6 dead in Afghanistan and now more dead on the Navy ship? But but but but whine whine whine whine…Benghazi, Benghazi, Benghazi….Emails. Emails. Emails.

    Skanks like Gingrich and Trump need lots and lots of Mommy’s attention. Their Mommies are the media which they ONLY hate when it isn’t slathering their asses in glory.

    Gingrich knows Trump is going down. Why? Because not even the Republican Party of Bullies dares ignored election hacking. Now, the tally is 39 state elections hacked. But let’s all pretend it doesn’t matter, right? Yep. That way, Gingy and Lard Ass can rig MORE elections until there is only ONE Party rule. Like hell there will be.

    Reply
  4. leonardo311 June 19, 2017

    Mueller was just fine with the President’s gang until it became clear that he wasn’t going to sweep this under the rug and then of course it is now a “witch hunt”.

    Reply
    1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

      Trump and Gingrich both have always used the strategy of “reputation erosion.” This isn’t the first time Trump has hacked away at someone’s reputation using petty BS to create the image of scandalous behavior.

      Look at what he says about Hillary and the Russians. No proof, just Trump’s smears and lies. Look what he said about Obama and the wiretapping. NO proof. Just smears and lies.

      Yet, dare to smear his Lard Ass and his family of grifters and he gets up at 4 AM to TWEET his rants packed with lies.

      But then? He expects trust? He expects credibility? The man who entered the White House with a money laundering fine on his record?

      As for the GOP’s whining about Scalise, they got what they asked for. Typical hicks. They love to start fights but when they have to put their dukes up, they run like chicken crap or they pull out their “victim” card.

      It was okay for Scalise and King, two hick state Reps. to mouth off about liberals and call for Hillary’s murder, but don’t dare shoot one of them in their asses. They cry for “unity?” Really? When they won’t even allow the Dems to see the Trumpcare legislation or take part in a vote on it?
      That by the way is a violation of the US Constitution.

      1. dpaano June 19, 2017

        I’m still waiting for Trump to bring forth those alleged “tapes” that he says he may or may not have. I thought he said a week or so ago that he’d talk about that soon…..still waiting!! He has NO tapes, and he knows it, but he thinks that he can intimidate us into thinking that he “may” have tapes! Someone needs to remind him that he was supposed to let the nation know about the so-called “tapes.”

        1. Eleanore Whitaker June 19, 2017

          Trump’s game is based on his strategy of “erosion.” He can erode truth and facts and all he has to do is make lame ass statements he knows are lies. Then, because he is so mentally ill, he has the media eating out of his hand trying to figure out if what he says has any shred of factuality.

          1. dpaano June 19, 2017

            He reminds me of the story about the boy who cried wolf…..he’s lied so often and about so much that many don’t believe ANYTHING that he says anymore! Unfortunately, he is his own worse enemy! He’ll bring his downfall upon himself with no help from anyone else…..even his attorneys have advised him to keep quiet! He just can’t let ANYTYHING go when it comes to criticism of his actions!

          2. Eleanore Whitaker June 20, 2017

            I agree. If Trump does resign, it will only be because he stupidly thinks that would stop the special prosecutor’s investigation into his ties to Russia.

            Trump always brings himself down. He always has. His truest dirty secret is how much that has cost him over his lifetime. In order for him to keep his 2 ex wives silenced, Kasowitz has to monitor every word out of their mouths to the media.

            Trump must have thought he could get a redoux of that in the White House of all places.

            When he tried demonizing “leaks,” he forgot that journalists always rely on “leakers” to provide the First Amendment Right to free press. The only time a leak is criminal is if the leak comes from classified documents such as that of Edward Snowden.

            Odd isn’t it? Snowden got a glad hand from his right wingers for leaking US classified information but now that a woman, Reality Winner did the same to out the Russian hackers in 39 states, SHE is the bad one who has to go to jail?

      2. Kathrynlsmith June 20, 2017

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  5. opinioned1 June 19, 2017

    What trump fears the most–“FOLLOW THE MONEY”–!!
    Once the trump family money laundering trail at Putins directions has been established, and it will be, trump and his minions will be praying for obstruction of justice charges. Mueller isn`t playing the game trumps use too, and for that reason it`s all a bigly witch hunt. One presidency and five new federal numbers to be issued.

    Reply
    1. dpaano June 19, 2017

      I don’t understand why Trump doesn’t understand that if he’s as innocent as he says he is (constantly), then he needs to let the investigation go through to prove that he’s innocent. Apparently, he’s guilty or he’s sure showing that he is by his vehement tweets about the investigation! His lawyers aren’t much better….they actually think he’s innocent. If so, then let the investigation go forth!

      1. opinioned1 June 19, 2017

        He’s flat out GUILTY! Nobody creates a chitstorm of lies like this fool when you are innocent…

      2. queenbee June 19, 2017

        I’m not sure if trump knows anything, he definitely doesn’t know how to be President of USA!

      3. pmbalele June 19, 2017

        Young lady, please note that Repubs and TPs always want to waste tax-payers money. You remember when they had investigation on Benghazi. Bill O’rielly, who had anointed himself as little Jesus, was always screaming why Repubs were not investigating Benghazi. Well they did and wasted 10,000,000 hiring their relatives; but coming out empty. Thank God Hillary gave them the middle finger. Repubs and TPs are raised bad people. They are ready to sale this Country to the highest bidder regardless of intent of the bidder. I am surprised you Republican women vote for them. Take Nancy Pelosi words: “I wonder why women vote republican when they know are treated as token there.”

  6. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 19, 2017

    its hard to understand the GOP gang of pinheads . seem all the ones that are doing the investigations on the GOP party are just Republicans by trade anyways .and the DUMPSTER & his DITCH GINGRICH wannabe clown (then he is the big clown of his own time in office anyways ) keep crying and whining about anything and every thing . there’s a sad pair that swings from the back of a bull . would that pair of nuts feel better if there was Democrats leading the investigations ?

    Reply
  7. dpaano June 19, 2017

    Why does ANYONE listen to Gingrich? It’s because of him that we have such a divide in our government as it is! When he was Speaker of the House, he told the Republicans that they could no longer socialize with Democrats or they would be censured. This stopped all aspects of “reaching across the aisle” or “negotiating” any bill that came before the Senate! Because of this idiot, we now have a blatant divide that was NEVER there prior to his being the Speaker! He’s as deranged as our president!

    Reply
    1. Theodora30 June 20, 2017

      Don’t forget Newt’s infamous list of words he urged Republicans to use when speaking of Democrats….”sick”, “corrupt”, etc. When people suggested that right wing anti government talk radio might have played a part in influencing Tim McVeigh Newt went ballistic. When Susan Smith drowned her kids Newt pinned the blame on the decadence of our society as a result of liberals, just like he tried to blame “the left” for last week’s shooting of Republican Congressmen. (When it turned out that Smith’s had been sexually abused by her Christian Coalition step father Newt went silent.) I once read that he helped Rupert Murdoch fast track his US citizenship so he could buy up media outlets for his propaganda machine. Newt has done until damage to our democracy – not that Republicans believe in democracy.
      http://www.thedailybeast.com/newt-gingrich-hypocrisy-pioneer

  8. Thoughtopsy June 19, 2017

    Republicans like Gengrich have zero integrity, and Republican voters appear to be too stupid to understand why hypocrisy is a bad thing… or even what hypocrisy is…

    It really makes me wonder why anyone pays ANY attention to the garbage Gengrich speaks. The guy is a walking indictment of human values.

    Apparently to be a hero on the right all you have to do is lie in a way that promotes outrage. The more the better.

    Reply
  9. busdrivermike June 20, 2017

    These guys are already plotting to blame Obama when a terrorist attack hits America. Whether they will successfully be able to complete the takeover of America in the name of Security will be the question.

    Reply
  10. ivory69690@yahoo.com June 21, 2017

    OK A POST FROM A JOKE >the American people voted for freedom of choice over kissing the government butt…..
    they have seen government fail at everything, the VA medical system being a prime example…..
    and then the disaster of Obamacare…. /// some choice kissing DUMPSTERS butt and eating his BULL CRAP . wake up clown . im sure you will when its too late and then your brain dead head will say WOW HOW DID THIS HAPPEN TO US // and you think that THE DONNY DUMP DONT CARE HEALTHCARE PLAN IS GOING TO WORK ? WHAT A SIMPLE AND TRULY BRAIN DEAD MIND YOU HAVE /// one can set back and complaining about every thing it dose not help seem the country has to be put back in the DIRTY BUSH grave again before thy wake up and see just what the Republican has done to the country and the people AGAIN !!

    Reply

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