The Mueller report is in and the debate is already occurring even before it has been made public. There are some things we can gleam from it though. It is interesting how many, even lawyers, are seeing this from a political lens, rather than a legal one. We debate it on Fox News.
The #MuellerReport is in! What do we know about it?
March 25th, 2019
Female Anchor: For more insight. Let’s bring in our legal expert panel now. Former Prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney, Robert Bianchi and political analyst and attorney Gayle Trotter. Thanks to both of you for your time and for the expertise you’re going to provide us, the free legal expertise you’re providing us with this afternoon. Gayle, I want to go to you first, read the tea leaves for me when it comes to no new indictments from a legal perspective, what does it really mean? Right.
Gayle Trotter: Well, after two years of hysterics and hyperventilating, legal observers see that the Robert Mueller report is going to land with a big thud, and there’s two directions that this can go in. It can either go back to the standards and legal norms that we have had up until this point about how these investigations should work.
Female Anchor: When you say it lands with a thud, are you saying the report necessarily exonerates President Trump?
Gayle Trotter: No, but the fact that there are no, our sources say that they’re not going to be any indictments coming out of this. It shows that the predicate for the investigation which was treasonous collusion by the Trump campaign with the Russians to rig the election, that there are no indictments, there have been no indictments issued on this, there have been no guilty pleas on Russian collusion. And now we know that it’s very unlikely because of these DOJ sources that there aren’t going to be any forthcoming indictments. So, we could go back.
Female Anchor: Then why even bother with the report?
Gayle Trotter: Because the under the law, the Attorney General has to report to Congress the high-level conclusions of why, why Robert Mueller and his team decided not to prosecute anyone or go further. The grand jury testimony needs to be kept private. That should not under law be shared with Congress or with the public, and we can go in the direction of going back to the legal norms where if someone is not prosecuted than the federal government, the smear.
Leyland: Gayle, you’ve just sort of taking the same tac that the Republicans have that this is, this is the victory lap in the exoneration of the-
Speaker 2: No, Not exoneration. No. I would not say that.
Leyland: Okay. It begs the question, Bob, that what is in the report, the narrative part of the report that could come out has potential landmines for the administration in terms of what various people’s desires were or intentions were. Especially as it relates to the Trump Tower meeting with the Russian cutout. It also begs the question, there may not be any indictments by Mueller’s team. We don’t know about any referred investigations or other wrongdoing that was found by Mueller and then referred out to other parts of DOJ.
Robert Bianchi: Really? No, I just say Ditto to what you said. That’s very true. And let’s go back to history a little bit about somebody named Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was investigated and James Comey gave that ill-fated press conference and everybody went apoplectic about that because they said technically it looked like she may have committed crimes. But what this is the DOJ just doesn’t file charges on possibility, speculation. They want to make sure, especially with a high-level target, that they are proof beyond a reasonable doubt. So, while it’s a victory that Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 16 was always a problem for Jared Kushner for Trump Jr., and for the President himself as well as the corollary obstruction. But that report very well could say that they either wittingly or unwittingly involved in trying to undermine the election in an improper way. But just like the Clinton investigation, Prosecutors use their discretion like I used to all the time to say, it’s probably a crime, it could be a crime, there’s probable cause, but I don’t know if I can prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
Female Anchor: The other important, I don’t want us to miss this. The other important finding so far is that there were no conflicts between Mueller’s team and Barr’s team. Bob, tell us about that quickly.
Robert Bianchi: Well, I think that there’s some disheartening pieces about that, that there, there seems to be that this investigation was allowed to go on impeded, the fact that Rosenstein was allowed to stay on it and Mueller was allowed to stay on it. But as Leyland pointed out before, a lot of referrals and sealed indictments are out there right now because I think that Mueller, at least this is what I would’ve done in order to protect my position, would have formed as much out as I could so that this way, if I get removed from office, those sealed indictments are there, and those other investigations and other like the southern district in New York are there as well. So, we need to be careful about the idea that just be because you’re not indicted or you’re not charged, doesn’t mean that that report’s not going to say that there was wrongdoing.
Female Anchor: All right we are out of time. We’ve got to leave it there. Gayle Trotter, Bob Bianchi, thank you so much for your time today. We appreciate it.