Posted by Curt on 31 May, 2018 at 1:25 pm. 43 comments already!


To media critics of President Donald Trump, suggestions that independent counsel Robert Mueller may “meddle’ in this year’s midterm elections were beyond the pale. But a trip through the history pages reveals just how impactful a special counsel can be on voting.

In 1992, special prosecutor Lawrence Walsh got a grand jury to return a high-profile indictment in the Iran-Contra affair days before the election. Many outside observers believe the timing was no coincidence.

“It may have cost George Bush the election, because he was making up a point a day (in the polls) … Those indictments just ruined Bush’s momentum,” presidential history Craig Shirley said.

Trump touched off a fury of commentary with a tweet on Tuesday alleging that “the 13 angry Democrats” — a reference to lawyers os Mueller’s staff who have contributed to Democratic candidates — “will be MEDDLING with the mid-term elections, especially now that Republicans (stay tough!) are taking the lead in Polls. There was no Collusion, except by the Democrats!”

Much of the media interpreted Trump’s use of the word “meddling” to mean the same type of conduct that U.S. intelligence services contend Russia engaged in during the 2016 campaign, improper and illegal attempts to influence the outcome.

Trump’s lawyer, Rudolph Giuliani, explained to reporters Wednesday, however, that the president was referring to the way in which Mueller’s team might handle the investigation — particularly when it comes to timing. He said that if Mueller does not wrap up his investigation and file a report by early to mid-September, “he’s clearing doing a Comey.”

That was a reference to former FBI Director James Comey, who came under intense fire — ironically, from Democrats — for reopening 11 days before the presidential election a closed investigation of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information. Many Democrats, including Clinton, herself, blame Comey for her defeat.

Mueller’s defenders insisted that it is inconceivable that he ever would take actions designed to impact voting in November.

“Anyone who knows the way Robert Mueller operates knows that he would not have done what Comey did during the election, that he would have handled it very different,” CNN chief political analyst Gloria Borger said on air Wednesday.

Shirley said that is something Borger cannot possibly know.

“Does Gloria Borger have a crystal ball?” he said. “Can she tune the future?”

As for Walsh (pictured above), he had been appointed to investigate the arms-for-hostages deal that occurred during President Ronald Reagan’s administration. White House staffers orchestrated a deal in which the United States shipped arms by way of Israel to Iran in exchange for the release of five hostages and then used proceeds from the sale to fund the Contra rebels then fighting the Marxist government in Nicaragua.

Reagan always maintained he had no knowledge of the deal, as did Bush, his vice president.

Reagan’s defense secretary, Caspar Weinberger — who already had been under indictment — got hit on Oct. 30, 1992, with a new charge of making a false statement. That was just four days before the election. That new charge related to Weinberger’s failure to comply with congressional demands for records related to Iran-Contra.

The indictment contained Weinberg’s handwritten notes from a 1986 meeting in which officials — including Bush — discussed the arms proposal.

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