Breaking Down the Bombshell Trump Prosecutor Resignations
September 22, 2022
It looks like Robert Mueller’s legal team just got a lot weaker. Two of his prosecutors have resigned, including one who played an integral role in helping to convict former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on multiple fraud charges last month. By now, you’ve probably heard that Greg Andres and Brandon Van Grack stepped down from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, but what does that mean for the Trump presidency? How much trouble is he in? What does this mean about the integrity of the investigation going forward? What does it mean about the integrity of justice in America? Those are all important questions.
Mueller Team Members Who Just Resigned
Rod Rosenstein just announced that 4 of Mueller’s team members (including Michael Dreeben, who’s argued more than 100 cases before the Supreme Court) are leaving. These resignations weren’t a surprise to anyone, considering it’s fairly typical for lawyers to switch jobs when their boss changes.
But what was surprising was how fast they were leaving. Mueller’s team is only 7 strong, and they’re losing 4 members in less than a month. The ones who have already left had three months on the job max – before Donald Trump was even President!
What these resignations mean for the investigation
Monday’s bombshell resignations by three of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecutors came as a surprise, but once we dig into them and put them in context, it becomes clear what a big deal this is.
For one thing, these are all accomplished lawyers who have concluded that they cannot do their jobs because of something involving Donald Trump, who seems to think he can stop any investigation just by tweeting about it. And there was a lot more here than meets the eye.
We don’t know how bad things will get when Mueller concludes his investigation, or even whether they’ll involve criminal proceedings or not. But if nothing else, this shows that Robert Mueller and his team care about finding out the truth–something that should give everyone some hope going forward.
The implications of the resignations
The resignation of four US attorneys from their posts at the Department of Justice on Friday has been causing a ruckus, and for good reason. The US attorney’s office is supposed to be independent of politics so that it can fairly prosecute cases; if someone in power could potentially veto decisions,
it would be concerning. All eyes have turned to the President who has shown little interest in preserving this independence by denying that he had any part in pushing out Preet Bharara from his post as Southern District of New York (SDNY) Attorney, who many expected would continue his pursuit of targeting Wall Street bankers and lawyers involved with Donald Trump’s ills.
Why such a public resignation?
Now is not a time for half-measures. Now is a time for heroes. None of these individuals could say they were proud of this president, and they would be hard-pressed to find somebody that can say that with any measure of sincerity. That’s why these resignations were so significant and so explosive:
to send a message, to those in positions of power, that it is unacceptable for individuals who care about values like respect and empathy to stay silent in times like these. To all Americans who care about dignity for everyone, I say you’re welcome.
What could have caused these resignations?
The final straw seemed to be a personal phone call with the president. According to a source familiar with the matter, Mr. Trump asked Rosenstein whether he was on his team.
When Rosenstein said no, Mr. Trump advised him that he might want to resign. Rosenstein felt pushed out and, in an ironic twist of fate, sought some dignity.
The double-edged sword of working for Mr. Trump is clear: When you succeed at your job it means nothing if your boss wants you gone anyway; when you don’t, it’s unlikely anyone would feel too sympathetic about your plight and you end up as a scapegoat for someone else’s failures.
What happens next with this part of the investigation?
The prosecution team is reportedly so integral to Mueller’s probe; it would be virtually impossible for him to continue his investigation without them. Furthermore,
three prosecutors from within the office of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe have been either removed or resigned from the investigation since March.
This team may know more about potential Trump campaign collusion with Russia than anybody else and were likely reporting back their findings to top bureau officials- making them a central part of this entire matter.
It remains unclear as to who will take over Mueller’s probe and if anyone at all can step in and complete his assignment. There are investigations within investigations going on that are incredibly complex and multifaceted; for this reason,
it will likely be some time before any decisive action is taken.
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