As a former long-time journalist, I like to sometimes write a straight news story based on the actual news and not leftist agitprop. If straightforward, honest, non-pack journalists were covering last week’s surprise press conference by Robert Mueller, this is how a news story might read.
Surprise Mueller Statement Questions Universal Presumption Of Innocence
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III broke from long-standing judicial tradition in the United States Wednesday when he laid out two tiers of jurisprudence when it comes to a basic presumption of innocence.
In a hastily called press conference announced just 90 minutes before it began, Mueller read an eight-minute prepared statement, in which he reiterated what was in his 448-page report he delivered to Attorney General William Barr earlier this month. He decline to answer any questions from the media and announced he would close the Special Counsel’s office and return to the private sector.
In the statement, Mueller reiterated his final report that a grand jury indicted Russian intelligence officers for using cyber techniques to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election, and that a private Russian entity ran a social media operation to further interfere with the election.
“These indictments contain allegations, and we are not commenting on the guilt or the innocence of any specific defendant. Every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty,” Mueller said, which aligns with long-standing American jurisprudence.
He also reiterated that his two-year investigation did not find that either President Trump or the Trump campaign conspired or colluded with Russia in these attempts, essentially clearing the President again on the point for which he was appointed Special Counsel.
The second part of the press conference, which restated the second part of his report, covered the obstruction of justice investigation that was launched during the Russian investigation. In this portion, Mueller appeared to apply a different standard in referring to President Trump, than when discussing the Russian operatives.
Mueller said: “…after that investigation, if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so. We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
This statement was seen by some to be a break from the presumption of innocence standard and the general practices of prosecutors who do not share negative information from an investigation if there are no charges.
Alan Dershowitz, former Harvard Law School professor and constitutional scholar, said he was deeply disturbed by Mueller’s statement and his apparent dismissiveness of the presumption of innocence standard.
“That was absolutely inappropriate for him to say. It was worse than anything that (former FBI Director James) Comey said when he exonerated Hillary Clinton and then said, but she engaged in extremely careless conduct,” Dershowitz said.
Comey was widely condemned by both Democrats and Republicans for laying out a criminal case publicly, but then not charging Clinton. That also seemed to be a step away from legal norms in the United States, but was not impacting the presumption of innocence standard.
“Everybody condemned that. This is much, much worse,” Dershowitz said.
Everything in this story is factually true, including Dershowitz’s quotes. There is, of course, much more that could be written on it. But you get the gist. There are so many news stories which could be written and covered entirely differently, without the leftist bias.
But the mainstream media would not even recognize this as a news story because their own biases are so ingrained in journalism itself that they are institutionally blind to them.
Rod Thomson is an author, past Salem radio host, ABC TV commentator, former journalist and is Founder of The Revolutionary Act.
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