Former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s appointment Wednesday as special counsel to the Russia investigation is “another self-inflicted wound” by the Trump administration and is “not such a good thing” for the American public, Harvard Law School professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz said.
He referenced news reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was angered at being blamed for James Comey’s firing as FBI director last week by President Donald Trump.
“When the president blamed Rod Rosenstein for the decision to fire Comey, Rod Rosenstein made himself unfireable,” he told Anderson Cooper on CNN. “He became the most powerful person, if not in Washington in the Justice Department.”
Rosenstein appointed Mueller, 72, who headed the FBI during 9/11, to oversee the agency’s investigation into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Despite Mueller’s stellar reputation in intelligence circles, Dershowitz described the appointment as “a mixed blessing.
“For the American public, it’s not such a good thing,” he explained. “We probably won’t learn anything from this investigation.
“It’s going to be in secret. We will never hear from a witness.
“At the end, we will either hear either two words – ‘no indictment’ – or we will hear ‘an indictment.'”
He called for an independent commission – “to the extent that we want to know what really went on” – because it “would have been much better for the American public.
“President Trump probably could have avoided a special prosecutor if he had pressed for an independent investigatory commission earlier.”
Dershowitz also cited another limitation involving Mueller’s investigation.
“It’s very likely no crimes occurred,” he told Cooper. “If there was contact between the Russians and the administration, it might be a terrible, terrible thing – but it wouldn’t be a crime.
“So, Mueller wouldn’t have jurisdiction to look into that. He can’t generally look into things that might be politically bad or morally bad.
“He is focused,” Dershowitz emphasized before referring to the main character of “Moby Dick,” the 1851 classic by Herman Melville. “He is Ahab, looking at that white whale.
“He either gets the whale or he doesn’t get the whale,” the retired professor said. “He doesn’t look at the entire seascape.”