Sally Yates, Preet Bharara stress high bar for criminal charges in Russia probe

The Wall Street Journal reports: Two of the most high-profile law-enforcement officials fired by President Donald Trump said Wednesday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces a high bar in proving criminal conduct in his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, addressing the possibility that he may not bring a case.

Sally Yates, the former acting attorney general, and Preet Bharara, the former Manhattan U.S. attorney, both emphasized in a joint interview Wednesday at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit that Mr. Mueller’s task is challenging.

“I know a lot of people are sort of putting all their hopes into Bob Mueller. And I’ve got tremendous confidence in Bob Mueller,” said Ms. Yates, in one of the few public interviews she has given since she was fired in January after refusing to defend Mr. Trump’s original executive order that suspended immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries. Mr. Trump said the order was needed to protect the U.S. from potential terrorism attacks.

“But the fact of the matter is, he’s going to determine whether there’s proof beyond a reasonable doubt that felonies were committed, that crimes were committed that can be used for prosecution or impeachment,“ she said of Mr. Mueller. That, she suggested, is but one standard by which to judge the president’s conduct, drawing a distinction between criminal behavior and otherwise objectionable conduct. Mr. Mueller “is not going to answer the question of whether anything bad happened here,” she said. [Continue reading…]

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  1. We can hope for an “Iron Curtain” effect, where people simply stop believing, whatever the legalities, and the whole charade deflates. Trump’s tweets commandeer universal attention now, but they would count as little more than blather if a tipping-point mass of onlookers stopped looking on. Mueller’s findings could accomplish this.