‘We couldn’t find evidence of innocence’ is not a standard any free country should accept

‘We couldn’t find evidence of innocence’ is not a standard any free country should accept
Robert Mueller (Image: Fox News video screen grab)

[Ed. – It’s the same ‘evidentiary standard’ they used in the case of Brett Kavanaugh.]

I’m sorry to be a broken record on this, but this line from Robert Mueller infuriates me:

“If we had had confidence that the president had clearly not committed a crime we would have said so.” Mueller

— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) May 29, 2019

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That’s not how it works in America. Investigators are supposed to look for evidence that a crime was committed, and, if they don’t find enough to contend that a crime was a committed, they are supposed to say “We didn’t find enough to contend that a crime was committed.” They are not supposed to look for evidence that a crime was not committed and then say, “We couldn’t find evidence of innocence.”

I understand that Mueller was in an odd position. I understand, too, that this wasn’t a criminal trial. But I don’t think those norms are rendered any less important by those facts. By asking the executive to investigate itself, it was guaranteed — yes, guaranteed — that we’d have a fight over “obstruction of justice.” For the architect of that investigation to keep saying “We aren’t exonerating our target” is extraordinary. Innocence is the default position in this country.

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