Prosecuting Hillary: what's the GOP's problem with the regular prosecutors?

This is something I’ve been wondering for a while. If Hillary’s violated Federal laws in ways that rate an indictment, what’s the GOP’s problem with the regular U.S. attorneys in the relevant geographic jurisdictions?

The reason we need an independent counsel for investigating the Trump Administration is so that it isn’t the Trump Administration investigating itself. Even though half the time the idea seems to be stuck in the head of Republicans that the Hildebeest really is somehow magically running things, she isn’t. She holds no office, controls no part of government.

AFAICT, the wingnuts who are pushing for a special counsel for all things Hillary have never made the argument for why the regular U.S. attorneys can’t do the job, especially if the appropriate GOP-controlled Congressional committees use their subpoena power to investigate, and wrap up evidence supporting indictments in a bow and hand it to the appropriate U.S. Attorney.

Is there something I’m missing here? Have they made this argument? (ETA: and if so, what is it?) Or is it just that they’re in love with the notion of having a special prosecutor?

Special prosecutors garner a lot of media attention. It’s a way to distract from Trump’s special prosecutor problems.

Plus, they’re really deranged on Hillary. They should be looking forward to 2018 and 2020 and not looking into the past.

A few examples might help. I did a bit of googling, and didn’t see anything that wasn’t from before the election. But it was unclear from your OP if you’re asking why this is happening or if this is happening (or both).

Lacking any examples, I would say: Wignuts do really crazy things, which is what makes them wingnuts. If they didn’t do crazy things, they wouldn’t be wing nuts, would they?

ETA: I have, of course, heard Trump say that Mueller should be investigating Hillary, but that’s obviously because he wants the attention of that probe focused elsewhere. And he doesn’t understand how government works, so there’s that.

From the AP wire:

Apparently a number of GOP Congresscritters have been calling for a special counsel to investigate various supposed Hillary scandals, and Sessions’ action is in response to that.

At any rate, the question is: since they’re calling for a special counsel, have they made an actual argument about why the existing prosecutors aren’t up to the job of prosecuting Clinton for whatever crimes they imagine she’s committed? And if so, what is their argument?

Rep. Jim Jordan’s argument here is that there’s a lot of different Hillary things worth investigating, so you need a special prosecutor for that.

Here is a link that I read yesterday from the National Review. I don’t know how factual it is but it claims that Hillary got the soft treatment from the FBI and Obama’s justice dept.

The GOP’s problem with regular prosecutors is that they didn’t convict Hillary of anything.

Well, it’s an argument, anyway. Gotta admit I lost the thread before I was halfway in, so I’m not up to rebutting it. But for that reason, I’d be surprised if the Congresscritters demanding a special prosecutor grasp it either.

Not to mention, half that argument is out the window without even clicking the link, since it’s no longer Obama’s DOJ.

Presumably the regular DOJ people could be portrayed as a political vendetta, since they owe their ongoing jobs to Trump. The notion of a one-time special prosecutor is supposed to inure against that.

The tradition, though, is that the US Attorneys are supposed to be independent once hired. So unless there’s a more-than-usual need to protect them against the influence of this President, and unless the special prosecutor could not be fired by Trump, no way nohow, I don’t see how that argument makes any sense.

Not to mention, if you want to have an investigation that’s untainted by pressure from Trump, have it be done under the authority of a House or Senate committee.

“supposed to be”.

As I alluded in my prior post, a special prosecutor could be fired like any prosecutor. But a special prosecutor wouldn’t fear being fired as much, since it’s a one-off job anyway. (Plus, since it would be obvious that he was fired for refusing to bow to political pressure, it would probably be a big career boost.)

There are investigations of Trump-Russia being done by various House and Senate committees, but they’re attracting far less attention than the special prosecutor one these days. This seems to be in part because the H&S committee investigations are bogged down by, and send confusing messages due to, partisan wrangling, and partially due to prosecutors having more power.

Beaten to it.

“We *know *she’s guilty; we just have to find out what she’s guilty of.”

Ken Starr is available.

If Trump loses in 2020, the regular prosecutors will be out of a job then too. Not that big a difference.

There we are. :slight_smile:

The partisan wrangling is mostly on account of the majority party’s President being investigated. While there was partisan wrangling during the interminable Benghazi investigations, it didn’t slow things down because the GOP majority was investigating a Dem. That would be the same here - the same Dem, even.

Yes, prosecutors have more power: they can indict and prosecute. But that’s it. So you staff a team under a House or Senate committee like Mueller’s staffed his team, and when they’ve found all the evidence needed to indict with a likelihood of conviction, they hand it over to the regular prosecutor. If the regular prosecutor sits on the case (and why would he, if it’s a good case, given his party leanings), make the argument for a special prosecutor then.

The whole point of this is exercise it to engage in whataboutism. So the goal is to make Clinton’s case as much as possible like Trump’s. That is also the reason they are concentrating on uranium deal since it also deals with Russia. So now whenever anyone brings up the special prosecutor looking into Trumps dealings with Russia, he can point to the special prosecutor investigating Clintons dealings with Russia. If it was just a regular prosecution the parallel wouldn’t be as perfect.

IOW, “No, YOU’RE the whatabouters!”

The Uranium One deal required approval of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. Since 1988 the United States Attorney General is a member of CFIUS in addition to holding the role of head of the United States Department of Justice.

A special prosecutor investigation related to matters surrounding the Uranium One deal would allow an independence of investigation. The alternative is the FBI, an agency of the Department of Justice, investigating matters which were given approval by the Attorney General. That would be a substantial conflict of interest.

Is there a definition of “conflict of interest” that you’re using here? I would have thought it was a defined term for this context under DOJ regs or statutes, and I’d be pretty surprised if this set of facts meets the definition, since it is a fairly nonstandard use of the term.

It’s entirely possible she had sexual relations with a President in the 90’s.

Of course, there’s always Whitewater.