Robert Mueller’s report conclusion that he could not “exonerate the President of obstruction of justice” left the reader to infer that the President was, therefore, guilty. This is eerily reminiscent of the tactics employed at Stalin’s show trials beginning in the nineteen thirties and extending into the nineteen fifties meant to root out actual or potential “enemies” of the State.
During that dark period, Soviet prosecutors stressed that the lack of material, incriminating evidence in the case of an accused was easily explained by the fact that experienced enemies of the State do not always leave tracks of their misdeeds. Their guilt was obvious, nonetheless. On the strength of this fantasy, hundreds of thousands of innocents perished or were sent off to prison. Only in retrospect has it been made abundantly clear that the accused were innocent and that their cases had been cleverly fabricated by Stalin’s secret police the NKVD.
Stalin’s chief henchman as prosecutor was the notoriously aggressive Andrei Vyshinsky who was charged with the responsibility to root out “disloyal” members of the State. This, he did to a fare-thee-well as he prosecuted many prominent Soviet citizens. Confessions, when they were extracted from the defendants, were made under torture, duress, or intimidation.
Vyshinsky’s opposite number in the Mueller investigation was Andrew Weismann. No less inflammatory and aggressive than Vyshinsky, Weismann’s prosecution of defendants in the Enron energy company accounting scandal included intimidating witnesses, and interfering with witness attorney-client relationships. Weismann’s scorched-earth tactics also destroyed accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and its tens of thousands of employees for its presumed role in the Enron company collapse. Those convictions were subsequently reversed unanimously by the United States Supreme Court. Further emblematic of Weismann’s handiwork was his prosecution of four Merrill Lynch executives who were sent to prison. In the end, a federal appellate court overturned their convictions for conspiracy and wire fraud.
But, Weismann wasn’t done with his debauchery until Mueller hired him in 2017 as his right hand executioner. There, Weismann reached a new low for unethical legal behavior.
Consider how U.S. Army Lieutenant General Michael Flynn was railroaded into committing “perjury”; or how George Papadopoulos, former member of the foreign policy advisory panel to President Trump was accused of making false statements to the FBI relating to contacts he had with Russian agents; or how Carter Page, policy advisor to the President, was suspected of being a foreign agent and was thereby spied upon by the FBI.
Mueller’s investigation was conducted over a period of nearly two years and burned through a minimum of thirty million dollars of taxpayer monies. Mueller employed nineteen lawyers, forty FBI agents, and countless analysts, accountants, and staff. Yet, they came up with nothing of consequence and though many of the investigators’ accusations proved to be specious it is chilling for us to consider that such prosecutorial abuse is now practiced on our shores.