If Mueller Wasn’t in Charge, Who Was?

Special Counsel Robert Mueller had a bad day last week. The build-up to his congressional testimony rivaled that of Geraldo Rivera opening Al Capone’s vault. Endless fanfare and hype, but both Mueller and the vault were empty, devoid of treasure, or any smoking gun.

At one level, Mueller is a sad figure, a doddering old man, looking foolish on an international stage, after being praised for two years for his legal acumen and integrity.

Was his performance genuine or contrived? Was he trying to salvage his reputation as a card-carrying deep-state elitist by playing a sympathetic old man being badgered by nasty Republicans? Did Democrats throw him under the bus in their unending quest to nullify the 2016 election, regardless of the personal toll on him and his family?

It’s clear he was not in charge of his own investigation. He not only didn’t write the report, which bears his name, but it’s uncertain if he even read it. If he did, he was certainly unfamiliar with the basics of the investigation. Anyone who listens to conservative talk radio or watches any of the Fox News opinion shows knew far more about the “Mueller Report” than its namesake.

Screen grab from shareable ABC News video on YouTube 

Mueller seems to know only what he read in the New York Times or Washington Post, or watched on CNN, understanding little more about the investigation than the average low-information Democrat voter.

Most readers of American Thinker know what Fusion GPS is and the role it played in the Russian collusion hoax. Or who some of the key players are including Christopher Steele, Glenn Simpson and Natalia Veselnitskaya. The former FBI director did not and could only say, “I’m not familiar with that.”

If Robert Mueller wasn’t in charge of the “Mueller investigation,” who was? After his painful testimony, it’s apparent Mueller was a figurehead only. As Thomas Lifson described in American Thinker,  “He was a BINO, a Boss In Name Only, or, colloquially, a front-man.” This leads to many questions.

Who appointed Robert Mueller to be Special Counsel? Did they know at the time of appointment that Mueller was like the “of counsel” lawyer on the law firm letterhead, listed for appearances only, a rainmaker for the firm who does little other than wine and dine clients and tell stories of past glory days?

Or was Mueller sharp as a tack on the day of his appointment, suffering a severe cognitive decline during the past two years? If so, why was he allowed to continue? And why would Democrats want him to testify in the state he was in, embarrassing him only for partisan gain?

If he was to only be a figurehead, adding to the charade of independence and integrity of the investigation, who was intended to actually run the investigation? Who was charged with hiring the team, deciding what and who to investigate, who to indict, who to strongarm, who to ignore, and then to finally write the report?

Mueller wasn’t involved in any of these activities. He did not have “occasion once” to ask members of his team about their political preferences. He did not know that Andrew Weissmann attended Hillary Clinton’s election night party. Or that 13 of the 17 team lawyers were “hardened Democrats” and Democrat donors. Mueller didn’t seem to know or care, but someone obviously did and made those hiring decisions.

Who was that? And more importantly, who was overseeing this investigation?

For the first answer we speculate that Andrew Weissmann was the real special counsel, hiring, directing the investigations, including the Gestapo-style raids, and ultimately writing the report. The investigative style of Weissmann was on display during the entire special counsel term based on past performances with Enron and Arthur Anderson. Did he act alone or was this a team effort? That we don’t know.

Who appointed Robert Mueller? That’s an easy one, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. He also oversaw the investigation until Acting AG Matt Whitaker, then new AG William Barr, assumed oversight.

Therefore, one can reasonably assume Rosenstein was quite happy with this arrangement, a BINO Mueller and an actual SC Weissmann, or others.

This is where it gets interesting. Is Rosenstein a white hat or a black hat, on Trump’s team or against Trump? Trump nominated Rosenstein as Deputy AG. Trump kept him around and repeatedly praised him. Rosenstein stood with AG Barr when Barr announced the Mueller (or more appropriately the Weissmann) report conclusions. Rosenstein concurred with Barr’s determination that there was no obstruction.

Yet this same Rosenstein appointed Mueller as the cigar store Indian in the special counsel’s office, stopping in once a month to collect his paycheck and have a cup of coffee. Rosenstein oversaw this charade and was apparently O.K. with it. Was Rosenstein acting independently or were others pulling his strings? In the deep state, nothing is simple as the waters are deep and the puppet strings are tangled.

Did Trump choose to let Rosenstein do his thing rather than interfere due to the political repercussions? Or was Trump part of the process, allowing Mueller to reach the very conclusion we witnessed in the congressional hearings?

As this entire sordid affair was a political, not a legal, process, Trump had to play by the rules of politics, not law. Most of the D.C. establishment, including many in his own party, opposed him and his agenda, and would have no qualms pushing for impeachment if the political winds blew in that direction. Which they didn’t.

Instead, Trump let things play out, allowing Democrats to make fools of themselves in the process, shifting public opinion against the collusion coup mounted against him. A Politico poll after the Mueller hearings found that: “By a 5-point margin, the poll found that, overall, there’s more skepticism about how the Justice Department conducted its investigation than trust that it was carried out fairly.”

As public opinion shifts in Trump’s direction on the motives and origins of the Russian hoax, the public may be more accepting of what’s learned after declassification. And any subsequent indictments and prosecutions of prominent participants in the hoax. This is new territory for America, the stuff of novels, witnessing an actual coup to overturn an election carried out at the highest levels of government. Exposure and reckoning requires a certain level of public acceptance which is now being reached.

Was Rosenstein a bad actor in all of this or did he play his role in Trump’s grander plan to drain the swamp and weed out the deep state conspirators? Over time we may learn the answer, but at least we can be quite certain that Robert Mueller, the most honorable man in Washington, DC, was nothing but a mannequin in the window of the office of special counsel.


Brian C Joondeph, MD, is a Denver-based physician and freelance writer whose pieces have appeared in American Thinker, Daily Caller, and other publications. Follow him on Facebook,  LinkedIn, Twitter, and QuodVerum.