The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a novel way that President Donald Trump could use the Whitaker appointment to achieve what he has long sought: freezing or even ending the Mueller investigation.  As strange as it may seem, it could actually work if played correctly by the White House.  The White House could theoretically get a court to enjoin the Mueller investigation and keep Mueller frozen in amber until Trump’s final year when impeachment would practically impossible.

Here is the column:

The appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general of the United States this week has raised a chorus of objections over what is viewed as an effort by President Trump to gain control over and possibly scuttle the investigation of special counsel Robert Mueller. Many have cited Whitaker’s past comments criticizing the investigation as evidence of such a nefarious design. But what if the greatest threat to Mueller is not Whitaker’s personal views but Whitaker’s government position?

As an official who was not confirmed by the Senate to serve in the Justice Department, Whitaker could prove to be a type of Mueller antimatter. His appointment makes the status of a special counsel, as one unconfirmed official reporting to another, more problematic. Whether intended or not, Trump may have just sent the Mueller investigation into a serious constitutional challenge. For those hoping for a shazam moment where Trump somehow makes Mueller disappear, that is not likely. However, he could pull off quite a show in having a court shut him down.

In any magic trick, the first move is the pledge where you do something common or ordinary. This whole controversy began with the appointment of a special counsel after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the matter. That was an ordinary step that some of us advocated after President Trump fired then FBI director James Comey.

The status of independent and special counsels in the government has long been a controversy. The appointments clause of the Constitution mandates that high level officials in the executive branch, called “principal officers,” require a presidential nomination and Senate confirmation. Congress may allow a president to simply appoint, without confirmation, other “inferior officers,” as they see fit.

Mueller’s authority has been challenged by Paul Kamenar and the National Legal and Policy Center on behalf of Andrew Miller, a former aide to longtime Trump confidante Roger Stone. They argue that Mueller is exercising authority exceeding that of a United States attorney, a position that requires confirmation. He is, therefore, functioning as a United States attorney “at large” who exercises “principal officer” powers.

Despite excellent and good faith arguments from Kamenar, I have been skeptical of the position because the special counsel, unlike the earlier position of independent counsel, remains rooted within the Justice Department and subject to the authority of the attorney general or his designated subordinate, in this case Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is a principal officer confirmed by the Senate.

That brings us to surprise or “turn” in the trick where something extraordinary happens on stage. This here is the unexpected move of Trump appointing Whitaker, who had been chief of staff at the Justice Department, as the successor of Sessions, rather than simply elevating the deputy attorney general, as has been past practice.The chief of staff largely serves as an aide to the attorney general and does not have substantive duties over the different Justice Department divisions.

Critics argue that Whitaker does not meet Federal Vacancies Reform Act requirements, but I disagree with that argument. I disagree as well with the arguments that his public comments in the media before joining the Justice Department now requires him to recuse himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. However, there remains a more fundamental question, not whether Whitaker is unlawful under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, but whether that law itself is unconstitutional.

The position of the attorney general is clearly that of a principal officer requiring confirmation. Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, Whitaker will carry out attorney general functions without Senate confirmation for 210 days. He can then gain another 210 days if he, or some other nominee, fails to secure confirmation. That includes dealing with succession of the presidency and a host of other critical matters.

It makes little sense for the Constitution to specify that these functions can only be exercised by a confirmed individual unless a president simply declares him acting and immune from the requirements. President Trump could have a difficult time holding the conservative wing of the Supreme Court on such a question of plain meaning, including Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, who has previously written about the importance of such confirmations as a prerequisite to exercising such powers.

We move to the final stage of “prestige” when the magic occurs. The best legal argument in defense of Mueller was that he reported to Rosenstein, who is a confirmed official. Now that Mueller reports to Whitaker, you have an unconfirmed official exercising powers like a United States attorney and being overseen by an unconfirmed acting attorney general.

In other words, by appointing Whitaker, Trump has undermined the position of his own Justice Department in court in the aforementioned Miller case without directly firing Mueller. If Whitaker is left in place, and Trump has said there is “no rush” to fill the post permanently, the court could conclude that Mueller is now exercising powers reserved to confirmed “principal officers.” He could be barred from exercising those powers until an attorney general is nominated and confirmed.

Making this situation all the more intriguing would be if Trump then appoints someone whom the Democrats would likely oppose, such as former New Jersey governor Chris Christie. Yet, if the Democrats rejected such a nominee, they themselves would be the reason for keeping the Mueller investigation enjoined, rather than any direct executive action taken by Trump. That would be the ultimate “prestige” to this trick.

All of this depends, of course, on the court’s interpretation of the appointments clause, which remains unresolved, as well as a delay in the confirmation of a permanent attorney general. Nevertheless, Whitaker’s appointment could have significantly strengthened the challenge to Mueller. Indeed, this sequence of events could magnify the concern of judges about allowing special counsels to hold unconfirmed positions. What may have been seen as mere conjecture about reporting to another unconfirmed official is now the reality at the Justice Department.

Whitaker could remove this threat to the position of his own department by simply recusing himself and leaving the supervision of Mueller to Rosenstein. Yet, given Trump’s long fury over the recusal by Sessions, that likely would not go over well. Or Whitaker could presumably wait for a decision and recuse himself if the court considers his unconfirmed status to be a barrier to the completion of the Mueller investigation.

However, this is why the ultimate trick about this appointment may not be Whitaker’s views but Whitaker himself. Under this scenario, Trump appoints a chief of staff and abracadabra! Mueller disappears. It is admittedly unlikely to happen, but that would be quite a trick.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

211 thoughts on “The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation”

  1. “Acting AG Matt Whitaker Scrutinized over His Radical Judicial Beliefs & Past Dirty Work for GOP”

    NOVEMBER 13, 2018

    “Controversy is growing over President Trump’s selection of Matt Whitaker to serve as acting attorney general following the ousting of Jeff Sessions. The state of Maryland is heading to court today to challenge the legality of Whitaker’s appointment. The state contends that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein should have been named acting attorney general instead of Whitaker, who was not confirmed by the Senate for his previous post—chief of staff to Sessions. Meanwhile, pressure is growing on Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election. We speak with Ian Millhiser, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the editor of ThinkProgress Justice.”

    1. Democracy now, another George Soros/ Open Society recipient. Far left

      RARE 60 Minutes Interview w/ George Soros – he wants it BANNED!

      1. yes thats a good one and it’s great to see the whole clip and not just a wee bit. he’s ruined many nations all over the world.

  2. “The best legal argument in defense of Mueller was that he reported to Rosenstein, who is a confirmed official.”

    Yet that official (Rosenstein) should never have been supervising Mueller since he was integrally involved in some of the key problems with the case.

    “Whitaker could remove this threat to the position of his own department by simply recusing himself and leaving the supervision of Mueller to Rosenstein.”

    What a facile argument since Rosenstein should have been out of the picture on day one.

  3. New York City has 8 million people. How come they have their votes counted but Braward County in Fl. can’t get theirs done on time?

    1. Because they want to first see what they have and then retroactively argue the rules. Corrupt election officials, corrupt sheriff’s office, corrupt school board etc. Broward county is an embarrassment to a state that is otherwise well-run.

      1. At present the Democrats that are in control of the voting process are breaking the law. They are counting ballots ( who knows where they came from) after it is legally permissible to do so. The Democratic lawyers for Nelson and Gillum objected to a rejection of a ballot from a non-US citizen. I think the Dems were stuffing ballots and bringing them in to be counted.

        1. you mean to say there are a lot of noncitizens in Florida who might be voting?

          but the press keeps telling us “there is no evidence” of that!

          1. It’s amazing that days after the election is over cartons of votes appear. Since the lawyers for the Democrats want to include votes of non citizens it shouldn’t be hard for anyone to realize that the Democratic Party is corrupt and doenn’t believe in Democracy.

      2. “Broward county is an embarrassment to a state that is otherwise well-run.”

        Don’t make me laugh…, Bill Martin.

        1. Hyena’s laugh, but they aren’t very smart. Florida is a well run state. Compare how Florida handled the recession with New Jersey a state that wasn’t hit as hard. NJ went into terrible debt. Florida balanced its books and came out of the recession in a good position. The only problem that Florida hasn’t adequately managed is dealing with the Democrats that flee a Demcratic state. After escaping New Jersey those Democrats want to destroy Florida like they did New Jersey.

        2. Dear Anonymous-Ass, Please stop laughing and explain how you think I got it wrong.

          1. Kathleen Harris and The Hanging Chads performed all over Florida–not just in Broward County.

            Anonymous has a functioning memory. What’s your excuse, Beak Guitar? Attention-deficit disorder?

            1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – First, are you making fun of a disease recognized by the ADA? Second, if it is Natacha, there is no functioning brain much less memory. If you cannot remember to put your nom de plume in, you do not have a memory.

              1. Don Pablo asked, “are you making fun of a disease recognized by the ADA?”

                Of course not. Although that would explain Trump dropping The Caravan Invasion hysteria like a . . . whatchamacallit.

                I’m making fun of Mr. Beak Guitar (nee Tab Lockheed soon to become Check Oil Co.)

                P.S. Who the blazes are the ADA?

                1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – Shirley, you are not that ignorant. Google ADA.

                  1. The Americans with Disabilities Act is not a professional group like the American Psychiatric Association. But if you want to call your shrink Ada, I’m willing to try and understand.

                    1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – the ADA is a law which you can violate.

  4. Lefty loons like Late4Yoga, Dems, lefty media are so consumed with hate that they don’t realize that this is another mind freak by Trump designed to get their collective panties in a bunch. Real power sometimes is letting everybody know you have it, but be in no rush to use it.

    1. “Lefty loons like Late4Yoga, Dems, lefty media are so consumed with hate..”

      Projection, projection, projection…, Bill Martin.

    2. Beak Guitar said, “Real power sometimes is letting everybody know you have it, but be in no rush to use it.”

      The election was held on Tuesday November 6th, 2018. Sessions was forced to resign and Whitaker was appointed on Wednesday November 7th, 2018. Trump was in a big fat hurry “to use” his “power” because Trump does not have “real power.” Because Trump cannot ever submit his written answers to Mueller’s written questions and keep his grip on Trump’s Fake power. Because the emails that Hope Hicks said would never get out had already gotten out to so many Trump campaign associates and Trump Transition Team members that those dread emails most likely are, and probably have been for some time now, in the possession of He Who Will Not Be Deterred, Robert Swan Mueller The Third.

      1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – I would not be getting my panties too wet as yet. Mueller still answers to Whitaker, ONLY. Rosenstein is out of the loop.

        1. When did you first become keen on keeping you panties dry, Don Pablo? On second thought, I really don’t want to know. It’s none of my damned business if Ubi Pablito likes to wear frilly undergarments.

          1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – I wear briefs.

  5. Russian collusion or collision. I was up in Michigan during the Hillary/Trump election and went to a campaign event. People had on name tags and it listed their party. Some guy named M. Lou Inski with a Democrat donkey on the tag stood up and said that he heard that Hillary had sex with a dog. That kind of mud slingling may have affected some voters that day. When I think back on his name it reminds me of some woman that Bill Clinton is supposed to have had sex with. The guy’s name was in gest. He spoke with a foreign accent of sorts. Maybe Russian. I think that Mueller should investigate. Is Mueller pronounced Mull er or Mule er. He is kind of like a mule. Not a Missoura mule.

  6. Excerpted from Michael Dreeben’s brief for The OSC on the Andrew Miller challenge to Mueller’s subpoena:

    Miller asserts that the Special Counsel has the authority to make final decisions on behalf of the United States because the regulation “nowhere require[s] the Special Counsel to seek approval or get permission from the [Attorney General] before making final decisions about who to investigate, indict, and prosecute.” Br. 22. That was also true of United States commissioners—who could issue warrants for the arrest and detention of defendants—but who nonetheless “are inferior officers.” Go-Bart Importing Co. v. United States, 282 U.S. 344, 353 (1931). And it is true for United States Attorneys, 28 U.S.C. § 547, who are also inferior officers. See Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52, 159 (1926); Hilario, 218 F.3d at 25-26; United States v. Gantt, 194 F.3d 987, 999 (9th Cir. 1999); United States Attorneys—Suggested Appointment Power of the Attorney General— Constitutional Law (Article II, § 2, cl. 2), 2 Op. O.L.C. 58, 59 (1978) (“U.S. Attorneys can be considered to be inferior officers”).3 Few inferior-officer positions require a supervisor to review every single decision. See, e.g., Edmond, 520 U.S. at 665; C46 n.22. Thus, the Special Counsel’s authority to act without obtaining advance approval of every decision cannot transform the Special Counsel into a principal officer, requiring presidential appointment and Senate confirmation.


    More recently, Congress has enacted legislation allowing for the appointment of U.S. Attorneys by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, 28 U.S.C. § 541(a); by a court, id. § 546(d); or by the Attorney General, id. § 546(a)—the latter two appointment authorities manifesting Congress’s understanding that U.S. Attorneys are inferior officers. And every court that has considered the question has concluded that U.S. Attorneys are inferior officers. Thus, to the extent that the Special Counsel “can be accurately characterized as a U.S. Attorney-at-Large,” Br. 17; see 28 C.F.R. § 600.6 (Special Counsel has the “investigative and prosecutorial functions of any United States Attorney”), the Special Counsel, like any U.S. Attorney, would fall on the “inferior officer” side of the line.

    [end excerpt]

    So, if Whitaker can’t validly supervise Mueller because they are both inferior officers, then Whitaker can’t validly supervise any U.S. Attorney, either, because they are all inferior officers. But Rosenstein and Francisco can validly supervise both Mueller and any U.S. Attorney, because Rosenstein and Francisco are principle officers. Thus, Turley’s claim that a U.S. Court could enjoin Mueller from issuing subpoenas, bringing indictments or filing appeals would, if true, create the chaotic possibility that a U.S. Court could enjoin any U.S. Attorney from issuing subpoenas, bringing indictments or filing appeals. That’s FUBAR for real. If Trump were innocent, Trump would not do it.

    1. reading this garbage ties one’s brain in a pretzel. boy are you smart ms!

      as for the Turley’s premise of freezing Meuller in amber– as Nike says

      JUST DO IT

      1. Turley’s premise is that somehow, someway a United States District Court Judge is going to issue an injunction against Mueller exercising the powers of a United States Attorney while at the same time leaving the powers of all of The U.S. Attorneys entirely intact and unfettered by Whitaker’s disability–pretty please with a cherry on top.

  7. Neal Katyal, Your own description of reasons one can not be holding positions of power within this subject, also holds the same truths of recusal for Roseinstine and Muller!! If one uses the Whitaker Statement about starving out funding for Miller’s investigation as a reason! Look at the Myriad of actual events Muller & Roseinstine played parts in befor and throughout this investigation!!!! Who The Hell Should Be Thrown Off This ?

    1. Excerpted from the article linked above:

      In this case, the Senate has confirmed two officials who could continue to oversee Mueller: Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who has been supervising the case ever since former attorney general Jeff Sessions recused himself, and Solicitor General Noel Francisco. Notably, Congress’s succession statute for the Justice Department lists those people as next in line, not a handpicked mere staff member from the bowels of the department.

      President Trump is treating the midterm elections like a mandate to do what he wants. He does not quite have it, says columnist Dana Milbank. (Gillian Brockell, Kate Woodsome, Breanna Muir/The Washington Post)

      But even if the defenders’ claims were true, all that would mean is that Whitaker is an inferior officer who doesn’t need to be confirmed by the Senate. In that situation, someone else, a principal officer, would still need to be in place to supervise Mueller — who is also an inferior officer. That responsibility would fall once again to Rosenstein under the succession statute Congress authorized.

      [end excerpt]

      Oddly enough, there is at least one other “principle officer” besides Rosenstein or Noel Francisco to supervise Whitaker and Mueller, alike; namely, Trump, himself. But just think about that for a second or two. Can the subject of an investigation, Trump, supervise the investigator, Mueller? Wouldn’t that be the ultimate conflict of interest? Or might that be something far stronger still such as an abuse of power? Everybody knows that The POTUS does not require Senate confirmation to become That Principle Officer better known as The Chief Executive of the United States. But the Appointments Clause would be meaningless if The Chief Executive could bypass every last Senate-confirmed principle officer capable of supervising an inferior officer such as a special counsel or a United States Attorney for the express purpose quashing subpoenas for that Chief Executive’s written interrogatories to that special counsel’s questions or, worse, preempting that special counsel’s indictment of that Chief Executive’s son, or son-in-law, or some other campaign official or campaign associate. Are you really sure that you want to enable A POTUS not named Trump to do the exact same thing someday? If so, then why?

  8. The Dums have already indicated they are coming hot and heavy for removal of President Trump and Justice Kavanaugh. They have a list of people they plan on calling to that end as soon as they takeover. So does that mean Mueller has nothing in the way of collusion and this article is pointless.

  9. Turley wrote, “If Whitaker is left in place, and Trump has said there is “no rush” to fill the post permanently, the court could conclude that Mueller is now exercising powers reserved to confirmed “principal officers.” He could be barred from exercising those powers until an attorney general is nominated and confirmed.”

    The Solicitor General of the United States, Noel Francisco, is a Senate-confirmed principle officer who has already approved each and every last one of Mueller’s appellate filings. United States Attorneys also require the Solicitor General’s approval for their appellate filings. Even so, U.S. Attorneys report to, and are supervised by, the Attorney General of the United States as well as to The Solicitor General of the United States.

    What makes an executive office holder a principal officer is that they report ONLY to The President. Thus the Attorney General and The Solicitor General are both principle officers but the U.S. Attorneys are inferior officers just like special counsel Mueller. The fact that The President nominates and The Senate confirms U.S. Attorneys does not make U.S. Attorneys principle officers, because they still must report to, and be supervise by, both the Attorney General and The Solicitor General of the United States.

    Nice try though.

    P. S. Can the courts enjoin Whitaker from supervising special counsel Mueller while at the same time permitting Whitaker to supervise every last United States Attorney? Wouldn’t every last United States Attorney be in more or less the same boat that Mueller is supposedly in with respect to Whitaker’s supervision? Are we the people of The United States of America about to find out The True Meaning of FUBAR?

  10. Or Whitaker could simply fire Mueller as the holder of a conflict of interest and conclude the investigation in Trump’s favor which would accomplish the same end without all the hocus pocus. The House Dems would impeach and the Senate Republicans would exonerate and Trump would go back to running the country. The press would howl and Hollywould tear up and hurl fbombs but having already done that at every turn they have the credibility of the boy who cried wolf. So either way works.

    1. I support this tactic. Payback is a bitch. Pro tip: trashing the Constitution isn’t popular amongst real Americans.

      this is to mespo

      1. The NPC Marky Mark Mark runs the trashing of the Constitution script, however leaves out that it is being done in Broward County, FL.

        1. They say that The Attorney General is supposed to be a “principle officer” rather than an inferior officer. The man who wrote the special counsel regulations for The Justice Department, Neal Katyal [linked upstream from here], says that the special counsel is supposed to be an inferior officer. The simple fact that Trump appointed one inferior officer to supervise another inferior officer in no way whatsoever obviates the prior fact that Trump is still the subject of the special counsel’s investigation and cannot, therefore, directly supervise Mueller. Rosenstein and Francisco are both Senate-confirmed principle officers fully capable of supervising Mueller. The order of succession to the Attorney General’s office enacted by Congress places Rosenstein next in line and Francisco next in line after Rosenstein. Since Sinema will be Don Pablo’s next Senator from Arizona, and if Nelson comes out ahead in the Florida recount, Trump might not be able to rely upon an acquiescent Senate come January of 2019. Are you really sure that Trump is a Grand Master of 4D chess? He acts more and more like a desperado everyday now.

      2. Mark M:
        “Pro tip: trashing the Constitution isn’t popular amongst real Americans.”
        Everything I suggested is constitutional. The POTUS is the head of the Executive Branch (Art. II). He can hire and fire at will which is the essence of Executive Authority. Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926). The DOJ is not an independent agency, nor should it be, but merely an arm of the Executuve Branch. Judiciary Act of 1789. It is not obstruction of Justice to exercise powers specifically conferred by the Constitution as such powers are in and of themselves lawful. Trump is not the target of the investigation per Mueller so no ethical issues are at stake. Thus Trump can direct Whitaker to fire Mueller. All he’ll get is more hate from the Dems — like they could hate him more?

        Pro Tip: Have an argument based on law before taking on a lawyer.

        1. Pro Tip: Have an argument based on law before taking on a lawyer.

          Now that would be a magic trick if Mark actually heeded your advice.

        2. Sorry for your loss. The day glo bozo commits offenses against both the spirit and the letter of the Constitution on a daily basis. Although, he advertises that he’ll keep the dusky types in line, so that makes it all good for some of you folks, I guess.

          this is to mespo

      3. lol NPC Mark M should stick to writ writing

        btw feel free to stay in your urban megapolis enclaves with your version of “Real Americans”

        the other kind of real Americans out here in flyover, are not safe for exurban transplants

  11. Perfectly useless waste of words. The Mueller investigation is a fraud. Closing it down is simple administratively – fire them all and turn their files over to the Criminal Division – but requires attention to public relations. The Administration doesn’t need Prof. Turley’s advice on such matters because that simply isn’t his book. There is no danger from impeachment proceedings. There aren’t any grounds for that which would persuade any Republican senator not named ‘Jeff Flake’ and a great many Democrats voting for such a resolution would know perfectly well it’s all humbug, but vote for it anyway because the Democratic base is largely populated by cretins who insist on it. In the interim, you can twist a knife into Mueller by publishing the remit given him by Rosenstein and can stick it in Rosenstein and Wray by disclosures.

    More important than closing Mueller down is purging the Department of Justice. Any attorney under the Holder / Lynch regime should be considered suspect and fired unless they were demonstrably on the square.

    The sad aspect of the recent elections is that reogranization of federal law enforcement and reforms to the federal criminal code are now off the table if they were ever on the table.

    1. ” but requires attention to public relations.”

      Blame many Republicans for looking out for themselves instead of the nation. Had they been more supportative of the President from the beginning a lot of this never would have happened and the nation would be better off.

      I haven’t calculated the results of this election only recognizing that a lot of Republicans have been culled voluntarily or through election from the group. Their Republican replacements will likely be a lot more supportive of the President. Some of the Democratic replacements by Democrats might turn out to have better instincts than their predecessors. I don’t think there is enough for much progress in the House so the next two years may not be anything more than trench warfare, but there is always a chance.

    2. the Dem base are NOT cretins they are just folks who take the soup

      the Dem ACTIVISTS in the major metros are the cretin cadres

      in a deteriorating civil conflict the Dems in flyover would look and act very differently than their “compatriots” in the major metros

      the BIG SORT is underway

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-four citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after twenty-three weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – Shakespeare couldn’t build a 58-story skyscraper in Manhattan and then convince the residents it was actually 68 stories tall. Sir Christopher Wren was crap at writing plays, Shakespeare was crap at building cathedrals. To each stable genius their own.

    1. I have to include the subordinate clause, stating the obvious, because PCS couldn’t figure it out on his own…

  12. Trump is flying by the seat of his pants. The strategy you posit Machiavellian and Rube Goldberg attributes Trump does not possess.

    1. Doubt that The Donald could hold still long enough to read “The Prince”.

      1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me twenty-four citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after twenty-three weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – both Alexander the Great and Julius Caesar were leading armies at 15, they are The Prince. Why read the book when you can be it? BTW, have you read The Prince?

        1. The Prince is a short book stating the obvious, for example:

          “If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared” >>>>> that’s the theme of about half of the episodes of “Walking dead” the past decade


    It sounds like the Professor is advertising his services to Donald Trump. “Summon me to the White House and I’ll explain this in depth”.

    The Professor calculates that Trump will be impressed enough to dismiss Whitaker and appoint Turley Acting Attorney General.

    Don’t do that, Professor, it’s a bargain with the devil! Trump is radioactive active to anyone in his orbit. No honorable Christian wants a morally bankrupt boss.

  14. Dr. Turley,
    If your hypothesis is correct, and if it was intentional on Trump’s part, what is your short list of persons who may have thought of this brilliant move? I wonder if Allan Dershowitz thought of of this move for Trump?

    Allan wrote a book title “The Case Against Impeaching Trump.” Allan and Donald likely disagree on politics more than they agree, but Allan certainly knows that Donald never colluded with Putin and/or Russia to corrupt the election.

  15. I had seen this move but had wondered if someone would be stupid enough to challenge Whitaker on the same grounds that Mueller is being challenged on. Clearly, if they go after Whitaker, they go after Mueller. They cannot have it both ways. In the world of 4-D chess Trump as them in check. They either keep Whitaker or they lose Mueller.

    1. Which leaves the challenger, if successful and as JT pointed out, the reason Meuller is shut down as a mnimum up to finding his situation equally illegal. .

      In many ways this bears a relationship to the situation in which the DNC finds itself. Having challenged and won they now hold the responsibility to produce but not the power to produce.

      It also leaves the challengers supporters in ‘another fine mess you’ve got me into’ (Stan not Olly.) situation as the most they can do is a rather phony shut down more a slowdown where The Magician can plunk his magic twanger and rid himself of a large portion of these meddlesome priests – to string a lot of these well known sayings together – . but permanently.

      To put a name to what the Professor postulated using The President in the role of the Magician it is an elegant situation meaning solves more than one problem with one action.

      My thanks to Frederick T. Gremlin the III


      1. MA-“plunk his magic twanger”. Have not heard that in years, many years. Andy’s Gang every Saturday or Sunday Black and White TV and it goes “plunk your magic twanger Frogy”.

    2. Awesome. He mentions “4-D chess” as if his hero has ever completed a game of tic-tac-toe without help. Nice. Thanks for your contribution.

      this is to “what is that ticking sound?” paulie-georgie

      1. When his opponent defeats him at tic-tac-toe, Trump rips up the paper, eats it before the archivists can tape it back together again and declares himself the historic victor.

        1. to the ungracious daily critics of Donald Trump who now say he has no strategy:

          You guys are great at mocking a guy who is so high above you in social achievements that we are to him as ants are to us.

          do you feel good when you mock someone who has mastered at the highest level, not only real estate development, but also television, and also politics? i mean, is it not obvious that trump is in fact an utterly clever, sober, hard working mastermind? … if he isn’t who is? the lady he beat in the election?

          it’s ok for trump. he would not notice if they approved or not

          i find it normal that many people dislike trump. i find it ungracious that so many of these can’t admit that the person has powerful personal traits that have lead him to the level of success that he manifestly has achieved

          it’s about like the people who say hitler was a coward. well, hitler may have been a very bad leader and evil and what have you; but there is zero evidence he was a coward. here is what wiki says about his early service.

          “During the war, Hitler served in France and Belgium in the Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment 16 (1st Company of the List Regiment).[5][6] He was an infantryman in the 1st Company during the First Battle of Ypres (October 1914), which Germans remember as the Kindermord bei Ypern (Ypres Massacre of the Innocents) because approximately 40,000 men (between a third and a half) of nine newly-enlisted infantry divisions became casualties in 20 days. Hitler’s regiment entered the battle with 3,600 men and at its end mustered 611.[7] By December Hitler’s own company of 250 was reduced to 42”

          say it again: his company took 83% casualties.
          “five to one, one in five, nobody here gets out alive”

          it was not just the Allied combat infantrymen that were brave. it was the Germans too. including the despised and monstrous Corporal Hitler.

          the whole thing makes about as much sense as saying that Chinggis Khan was a bad horserider. Well he may have been a genocidial murderer but he was almost certainly a good cavalryman

          you are entitled to hate Trump and you can make up whatever interpretation of facts you like. but the fact is that he is and has been for decades a supremely successful person at the highest levels of American society. fact, fact, fact.

          1. Trump’s a bully. And an arrogant one at that. He stirs up hate and promotes division.

            1. hate, that’s what an adversary calls the enemy’s cohesion and vigor

              division, that’s what an adversary calls their lack of effectiveness at getting what they want

      2. The NPC Marky Mark Mark runs the ticking sound script pretending it actually means something in the game.

    3. Don Pablo Eschoolbus said, “In the world of 4-D chess Trump has them in check. They either keep Whitaker or they lose Mueller.”

      Mueller’s grand jury information is wholly in the purview United States District Judge Beryl Howell. That’s the whole and sole unreason that Turley is coughing up this latest hail-Mary hairball full of grace as a prayer to Judge Howell to enjoin Mueller from issuing subpoenas and bringing indictments. You’re welcome to chase Turley’s latest hairball under the couch if you simply must. But it will not have any adverse effect upon the summary reports of Mueller’s grand jury information (a.k.a. The Road Map) being sent to The Democratic Majority in The House of Representatives–unless Judge Howell says otherwise. Judge Howell will not withhold The Road Map from Congress. I guarantee you that Whitaker knows that full well and will adjust his own behavior accordingly or suffer the long-term deleterious consequences to his career.

      1. L4Yoga/Annie/Inga enables David Benson, and the NPCs R. Lien and Marky Mark Mark – Judge Howell is not beholden to Congress or the DOJ. And Mueller reports to Whitaker, not the Democratic House members. He can be hamstrung just like Strzok was by the DOJ lawyers. And Whitaker does not have to share. He can play the same game that Holder did over contempt of Congress.

        1. You’re wrong. Mueller’s grand jury information belongs to The Judicial branch–not The Executive branch. Mueller’s subpoenas come from the grand jury. Were Whitaker a valid AG, instead of an invalid AG, Whitaker could deny any request from Mueller to ask the grand jury to issue a subpoena in the future. But Whitaker cannot retroactively deny any subpoena that the grand jury had already issued. Therefore, Whitaker cannot suppress any of the grand jury information that Mueller has already gathered from witnesses who answered those subpoenas and testified before the grand jury. Judge Howell can and will send summaries of Mueller’s grand jury information to Congress. There’s nothing that Whitaker or Trump can do to stop that Road Map from arriving in Congress.

          1. a prosecutor is part of exec branch. they work in the judiciary but they are most definitely part of the executive itself. this is elementary

            1. A prosecutor is not a grand jury. A grand jury is not part of the executive branch. A grand jury is part of the judicial branch. A grand jury is overseen by a United States District Court Judge. That Judge determines the fate of the grand jury’s information. Whitaker is not that Judge. And neither is Trump.

              You are not Sherlock Holmes–that is elementary, you kindergartener, you.

      2. why would someone that so dislikes what turley says reappear here day after day to insult him and denigrate his thoughtful analysis?

        i do not agree with turley on all things but i respect the man for his careful and well informed opinions and the opportunity to post on his blog.

        kind of like a lot of Democrats, they never tire of insulting, those they enjoy taxing

        1. why would someone that so dislikes what turley says reappear here day after day to insult him and denigrate his thoughtful analysis?

          Because for a brief period of time they get to pretend they are one of his peers; armed with Turley’s credentials and experience. They don’t stop there however, they’ll also masquerade as one of the founding fathers, but one with a far deeper understanding of human nature and of course the system of government necessary to control it. What they don’t have is the humility to see how flawed they really are.

        2. “why would someone that so dislikes what turley says reappear here day after day to insult him and denigrate his thoughtful analysis?”

          It’s free.

        3. The poor country lawyer, Matlock, asked, “[W]hy would someone that so dislikes what [T]urley says reappear here day after day to insult him and denigrate his thoughtful analysis?”

          Why would someone who reappears here day after day never read a single word of Turley’s “thoughtful” analyses? Turley is praying that a U.S. District Court Judge will issue an injunction against Mueller issuing subpoenas, bringing indictments, filing appeals, making plea deals and granting immunity to witnesses because Mueller was not confirmed by The Senate and neither was Whitaker. That’s literally dumb as dirt, Matlock. And had you only read it, even you would’ve realized it. So listen up.

          If Whitaker does not require Senate confirmation [Turley says he doesn’t], then Mueller definitely does not require Senate confirmation [Turley says maybe not, but then again maybe so]. There is no maybe not, maybe so about this one. What distinguishes a principal officer from an inferior officer is that the principal officers report to, and are supervised by, The POTUS and no one else but The POTUS. Senate confirmation is not what distinguishes principal officers from inferior officers. All of the U.S. Attorneys are confirmed by The Senate and are inferior officers because they report to, and are supervised by, both The Attorney General and The Solicitor General of the United States. IOW, Turley is just plain flat out wrong.

          But supposing otherwise, if any U.S. District Court Judge could issue an injunction against Mueller exercising the powers of a U.S. Attorney because Whitaker has not been confirmed by The Senate, then any other U.S. District Court Judge could issue an injunction against any other U.S. Attorney exercising the powers of a U.S. Attorney because Whitaker has not been confirmed by The Senate. That is so because it is not the Senate confirmation of U.S. Attorneys that grants those inferior officers their powers. Instead, it is the Senate confirmation of those principal officers known as the Attorney General and the Solicitor General to whom the inferior officers report and who supervise those inferior officers known as U.S. Attorneys and Special Counsels that grants those inferior officers their powers.

          No U.S. District Court Judge is going to issue an injunction against Mueller exercising the powers of a U.S. Attorney.

          1. Matlock, thank you. in fact i have a seersucker suit like him and nobody around here dislikes Andy griffiths. you got me pegged!

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