The long awaited Trump offense has begun.
President Trump’s legal team is reportedly targeting the relationship between Robert Mueller and James Comey to present a case of conflict of interest that compromises Mueller’s integrity.
The Hill said:
“President Trump’s legal team is zeroing-in on the relationship between former FBI directors Robert Mueller and James Comey to argue that their long professional partnership represents a conflict of interest that compromises Mueller’s integrity as special counsel.
The effort to make the case about a conflict of interest around Mueller’s investigative body comes amid reports that Mueller is looking into whether Trump is guilty of obstruction of justice for allegedly asking Comey to drop an investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump later fired Comey.
The president tweeted Friday that he is under investigation for firing fired Comey — proceedings Trump ripped as a “witch hunt.”
Those making the case that Mueller is compromised because of his relationship with Comey point to a Justice Department statute that says recusal is necessary when there is the “appearance” of a “personal” conflict of interest.
“Mueller is compromised by the close professional — and I would sure think personal — relationship with Comey,” said Bill Otis, the former special counsel for President George H.W. Bush. “That is an encompassing standard…that should be interpreted broadly so that the public will have maximum confidence in the outcome of the special counsel’s work, however it winds up.”
Vice President Pence has obtained legal counsel, as has Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen. Members of Trump’s transition team are being told to preserve materials that might be relevant to the special counsel’s investigation.
The administration’s allies are pushing back back furiously on the special counsel investigation, pointing to donations some prosecutors made to Democratic candidates. Trump’s backers are also fuming over the latest round of anonymous leaks, which they say are designed to keep a shadow of suspicion over the White House.
Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein took the unusual step Thursday of releasing a statement warning that reports citing anonymous officials are not to be trusted, suggesting that the leaks revealing the obstruction investigation into Trump did not come from the Justice Department or the special counsel.
Still, speculation is growing that Trump is laying the groundwork to have Mueller removed special counsel, an action that Trump’s allies warn would backfire and potentially lead to impeachment.”
So, do you think there is a conflict of interest?