The appointment of Robert Mueller violates the Appointments Clause of the Constitution. Mueller is not an inferior appointee, but a principal appointee as understood under our constitutional. His powers are more akin to an United States attorney, not an assistant United States attorney. Moreover, his boss, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, treats him as a principal officer — that is, Mueller is mostly free to conduct his investigation with few limits or restraints. The parameters of his appointment were extraordinarily broad in the first instance, and have only expanded since then. Indeed, Mueller is more powerful than most United States attorneys, all of whom were nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate as principal officers. Furthermore, Rosenstein mostly rubber stamps Mueller’s decisions and is not involved in the regular management and oversight of Mueller to any significant extent, underscoring Mueller’s role not as an inferior officer but a principal officer. As such, Mueller’s appointment violates the Appointments Clause. Mueller would’ve had to be nominated for Senate confirmation like any other principal officer in the Executive Branch. Rosenstein did not have the constitutional power to appoint a principal officer on his own anymore than the President himself does. To do otherwise is to defy the procedure established by the Framers for making such consequential executive appointments. It follows, then, that every subpoena, indictment, and plea agreement involving the Mueller investigation is null and void. Every defendant, suspect, witness, etc., in this matter should challenge the Mueller appointment as a violation of the Appointments Clause.
H/T to Northwestern Law School Professor Steven Calabresi, who raised many of these points, and more, with me and a few other friends and colleagues over the weekend, in a well-researched opinion he shared with us. He deserves great credit. I agree completely with his analysis. Please do not miss my radio show this evening or LevinTV, where I will more thoroughly address this. Don’t miss either!