Special counsels in the United States are generally utilized in situations where a conflict of interest is present. They are appointed by attorney generals, and in some cases, acting attorney generals if the attorney general has recused him or herself. In May of 2017, Robert Mueller, former head of the FBI, was appointed as special counsel to investigate the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, in addition to claims that the Trump campaign colluded and obstructed justice. After 22 months, Mueller and his team of federal prosecutors and experts completed their probe into the allegations. The final report was submitted to Attorney General William Barr, who is responsible for determining whether the report should be released in its entirety. On March 29th, 2019, after facing criticism from Democrats and the public for only compiling a 4-page summary of a report that is 400-pages long, Barr claimed that the report would be made public in mid-April. The details regarding the delivery of the report and how much will be redacted are still unfolding.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.
- ·“Democrats to authorize subpoena for full Mueller report” CNN
- ·“Special counsel: What is it and what is Robert Mueller doing?” BBC
- ·“Mueller report will be delivered by ‘mid-April, if not sooner,’ attorney general tells Congress” The Washington Post
- ·“28 CFR § 600.1 – Grounds for appointing a Special Counsel” Legal Information Institute
- Attorney General Barr’s Summary of the Mueller Probe, Annotated” Bloomberg
- Writing: What was the purpose of special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment?
- Debate: The Mueller report completely exonerates the Trump Administration of collusion and obstruction of justice during the 2016 presidential campaign trail.
- Poll: Do you believe that reports completed by special counsels, such as Robert Mueller, should be released, without redactions, to the public to ensure transparency?
- Short Answer: What powers does the special counsel have?
Current Events Quiz
1.According to various news sources, the President can use which of the following powers to ensure that the report is submitted to them for a review??
a. executive privilege
d. convene Congress
2. The special report investigation cost a total of ______ taxpayer dollars.
a. 1 million
b. 13 million
c. 25 million
d. 31 million
3. How many Trump associates have plead guilty as a result of the charges brought forth by the Mueller investigation?
4. The full report without redaction will be available to both Congress and the public in April. (T/F)
5. No one has been indicted as a result of Mueller’s investigation. (T/F)
6. Attorney William Barr does not intend on submitting the report to the White House for review. (T/F)
Featured Image: Pete Souza/Official White House Photo