A former Justice Department prosecutor has filed an ethics complaint with the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility seeking the removal and prosecution of Special Counsel Robert Mueller over leaks resulting from his grand jury investigation into allegations Russia colluded with the Trump campaign in 2016.
Larry Klayman, the founder of Freedom Watch, explained in his complaint that the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and the inspector general are “charged with investigating and remedying unethical and illegal behavior by the special counsel and other DOJ lawyers and staff.”
“Special Counsel Mueller derives his office and powers from the DOJ, as he was appointed, strangely, by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.”
Klayman charged Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein have “failed and apparently refuse to properly police the illegal grand jury leaks and conflicts of interest of Special Counsel Mueller – putting their own personal, political and professional interests before all else – the job falls upon Freedom Watch and OPR and the IG to represent the interests of the American people for truth and justice.”
“If OPR and the IG themselves fail to take action, Freedom Watch will file a court complaint to force them to take appropriate action,” Klayman said.
He said Mueller must be removed “along with his conflicted staff, and then referred to the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia for criminal prosecution.”
The complaint cites a number of leaks of confidential information.
Sen. Tom Coburn has come up with the answer to a Washington bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to care about the Constitution, or American people: An Article V convention, which he describes in “Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop Runaway Government.”
Klayman said Mueller’s staff members are mostly Democratic donors and Clinton supporters who in their positions of trust have “illegally leaked grand jury information to harm President Trump, his family and former and president colleagues.”
Meanwhile, ABC News reported this week, citing sources familiar with the matter, Mueller told the White House he wants to interview at least six current and former White House aides as part of his Russ
Klayman’s letter, to Robin Ashton of the OPR and Michael Horowitz of the IG’s office, calls on them to “thoroughly investigate the torrent of leaks.”
Citing the rules and ethics requirements for the DOJ, Klayman noted in the complaint: “Rarely in our memory has such a shocking river of leaks been so great in quantity, so flagrant and brazen, and so extensive and continuous. The purpose of the [DOJ] rules against leaks of information obtained during criminal investigations includes the fear of deterring cooperation of witnesses with investigators upon seeing their ‘confidential’ discussions with DOJ personnel are splashed upon the pages of the Washington Post or the New York Times and other anti-Trump ‘friendly media.’
“The damage done to DOJ for years to come involving all legal matters, not just this one, in convincing complaining witnesses and factual witness that they cannot trust DOJ personnel to adhere to the department’s own rules and safeguard their confidences is incalculable.”
Further, such leaks “pollute the jury pool,” should a case derive from the investigation.
Mueller was appointed in May by Rosenstein, Klayman noted, “for the purpose of upholding the appearance of integrity in the public view.”
“Unfortunately, Mr. Mueller and those he has hired have failed not only in presenting a public appearance above reproach but in adhering to the legal, regulatory, and ethical requirements of their appointment.”
Klayman noted Mueller has convened two grand juries for his investigation, but federal rules demand grand jurors, interpreters, court reporters, prosecutors and others “must not disclose a matter occurring before the grand jury.”
Wrote Klayman in the complaint: “While it is often difficult by nature to know prior to an investigation who is responsible for leaks, a pattern of a persistent torrent of leaks, considering their nature, makes it clear that the majority of these leaks are coming from special counsel Robert Mueller and his staff, most of whom are suffering from serious conflicts of interest.”
Klayman explained that news reports routinely document “not merely that questions have been asked but what topics dominate the special counsel’s investigation and why.”
It was “three sources” who told NBC that investigators were looking into the president’s help to his son, Donald Trump Jr. Also, anonymous contributors told the network of an investigation “that has widened to focus on possible financial crimes, some unconnected to the 2016 elections.”
The leaks apparently are not coming from Trump’s staff. A lawyer for the president, Jay Sekulow, told CNN the president’s outside counsel “has not received any requests for documentation or information about this.”
“Any inquiry from the special counsel that goes beyond the mandate specified in the appointment we would object to,” he said.
Klayman warned that the New York Times apparently is routinely disclosing to journalists the “daily activities” of the special counsel’s office.
Klayman’s assertion that the special counsel or his staff members are leaking information to the media that damages Trump deliberately is based on a long list of published stories he quotes in which “a source” or “sources” claim evidence of wrongdoing.
“Details about Mr. Mueller’s sharing investigative information and procedures, as well as collaborating with the attorney general’s office of the state of New York – also itself subject to confidentiality of criminal investigations as well – were promptly leaked to the news media.”
The complaint stated, “Special Counsel Mueller has been charged with investigating whether or not Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election in the 2015-12016 election cycle, and if so to what extent and in what ways and whether in collusion with any U.S. campaigns or institution.
“But Mueller’s office has a conflict of interest in exploring all of the alternatives and following the evidence where it leads,” Klayman said. “If the evidence shows that Russia intervened in the election in relation to Hillary Clinton’s support for the sale of 20 percent of the uranium mining reserves of the United States to the Russian Federation as the leading member of the inter-governmental decision-making body the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, Mueller and his team would be ethically prohibited from honestly investigating and exploring the truth.”
Klayman also cites Mueller’s close friendship with former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired by the president, and other issues.
“Simply put, after a swift and thorough bona fide investigation – one that is not whitewashed by the establishment if not so called ‘Deep State’ within the DOJ – Special Counsel Mueller must be removed … as well as his conflicted staff, and this matter referred back to DOJ for the appointment of a new and ethical special counsel who will uphold his or her oath of office, rather than playing sleazy partisan politics with secret grand jury proceedings.”
Sen. Tom Coburn has come up with the answer to a Washington bureaucracy that doesn’t seem to care about the Constitution or the American people: An Article V convention, which he describes in “Smashing the DC Monopoly: Using Article V to Restore Freedom and Stop Runaway Government.”