Rachel Maddow and guest Andrew Weissmann explained why the Jack Smith Special Counsel investigation is different from Robert Mueller’s.
Maddow told Weissmann, “And I feel like some version of the pitfalls I’ve seen in those kinds of historical investigations happened in the Mueller investigation, essentially a political appointee of that president stepping in to get your work done.” undermine it and ensure that it disappears from the public eye. Do you think that’s fair?”
Andrew Weissmann replied:
Yes. I think the analogy, I mean, is palpable. You have people from outside the country trying to interfere and you had people inside the country doing the same in the White House and even the Justice Department. That’s something Jack Smith won’t really have to deal with. It’s really important to see that there’s a huge difference between his situation and the Mueller situation. Because you don’t have a sitting president using pardons to try and get people to disobey and threaten pardons and dangle, and you don’t have the constant threat of getting fired.
Every day we sat and wondered if we would still be there at the end of the day. I remember meeting with Rob Mueller where he kind of announced that you did a great job and we all knew it was the last day. And behold, we were there the next day. So he doesn’t have to deal with that either.
He is no longer a sitting president. A former president. And then you don’t have to actively restrict and thwart what you do with the White House and sometimes the Justice Department on the other side. Here you have the White House saying they will be completely hands-off. And Bill Barr from the Justice Department is not working to undermine what they are doing.
The idea that the President of the United States and the Attorney General will not use the power of the federal government to undermine the investigation is huge.
People who try to compare Mueller and Smith are missing the point. Smith will not face a situation close to what Mueller faced. Pressure on Smith will come from House Republicans, but the House GOP can’t control or stop the investigation.
For the first time since entering politics, Donald Trump is facing an investigation beyond his control, and that is the biggest difference between the two special counsel investigations.
Jason is the editor in chief. He is also a White House Press Pole and a congressional correspondent for PoliticianUSA. Jason has a bachelor’s degree in political science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association