Still Not a Justice System For Most of Us

Is Mueller more concerned about following DOJ rules than how rule of law operates in the interest of average Americans?

Publisher Riff
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If there is one big takeaway that few, if any, experts will acknowledge while unpacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s seemingly impromptu press conference today, it’s that the American people have many reasons to despise and lose faith in their “justice” system.

Here’s Mueller earlier today …

A president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office. That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view, that, too, is prohibited. Charging the president with the crime was not an option that we could consider. If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.

Of course, media - as if there’s nothing else pressing to report - will force the public into another brutal cycle of speculation and Washington innuendo. We will continue wringing hands over Mueller’s motivations for the press conference: Was it just simple pro forma, the official wrap-up of the investigation? Or, is Mueller feeling conflicted, internally bothered by the suggestion that he is too “boy scout” and “by-the-book” to a fault and at our collective national expense? Or, maybe this is his special way of moving forward with some path to eventual prosecution of Trump? Giving Mueller some credit, he does understand that Trump has built a successful business career (regardless of how many times he’s bankrupted business operations) on being consistently litigious, constructing an empire simply on the strength of one lawsuit after another. Hence, one way of looking at it is that Mueller needed to err on the side of legal prudence and calm, long-game execution to a desired goal.

Or it all simply means that the American “justice” system works well for those with clout, money, good lawyers and power. Americans, especially those of a darker hue, are routinely prosecuted and jailed years on end for much lesser crimes. Just look at the contrast between the multitude of allegations and clear crimes Trump has managed to avoid prosecution for and the case of 27-year old former Air Force drone program veteran Reality Winner. Winner is serving the longest ever prison sentence in American history - 5 years - as a journalistic source who blew the whistle on NSA intel showing knowledge of direct Russian cyber attacks on U.S. voting machine software. Clearly, one mountain of crimes sought to undermine a nation while another set of supposed technical “crimes” weren’t really such and sought to protect it. Yet, because the latter, Winner, isn’t wealthy and has no political clout, she goes to prison for making a decision based on the common good. Paul Manafort got less time in jail for worse crimes.

A larger problem is that the American public is losing its faith in the American justice system, realizing that there is no administration of justice. Instead, it’s the administration of legal, reputational and monetary fixes for those with better means and connections. Willow Research’s November 2018 survey shows us troubling numbers when questioning citizen confidence in the courts, with only a third putting any confidence in the judiciary …

Confidence in institutionsConfidence in institutions

And yes, Americans do have it right: the courts are political …

Politics and the courts

GBA Strategies “State of the State Courts” survey also breaks down that lack of confidence in state court systems by racial demographic, which is important to consider …

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