Rachel Maddow and guest Andrew Weissmann explained why the Jack Smith Special Counsel investigation is different from Robert Mueller.
Maddow said to Weissmann, “And I feel like a version of the pitfalls that I’ve seen in historical investigations of that kind happened in the Mueller investigation as well, essentially a political appointee of that president interfering to submarine your work and make sure that it disappeared from the public view. Do you think that’s fair?”
Andrew Weissmann responded:
Yeah. I think the analogy is, I mean, palpable. You have people from outside the nation seeking to interfere and you had people inside the nation doing the same thing in the white house and actually at the Justice Department. That is something Jack Smith is not going to really have to contend with. It is really important to see there is a huge difference between his situation and the Mueller situation. Because you don’t have this sitting president using pardons to try to get people to not cooperate and threatening and dangling pardons and you don’t have the constant threat of being fired.
Every single day we were sitting, wondering whether we would be there at the end of the day. I remember meeting with Rob Mueller where he sort of announced saying you’ve done a great job and we all knew that was the last day. And then lo and behold, we were there the next day. So he doesn’t have to deal with that as well.
He’s no longer a sitting president. A former president. And then you don’t have to White House and at times the Justice Department on the opposite side trying to actively curtailing and thwart what you’re doing. Here you have the White House saying they’ll be completely hands-off. And you don’t have Bill Barr in the Justice Department working to undermine what they’re doing.
The idea that the President Of The United States and the Attorney General won’t be using the power of the federal government to undermine the investigation is huge.
People that are trying to compare Mueller and Smith are missing the point. Smith is not going to have a situation anything close to what Mueller had to deal with. The pressure on Smith will come from House Republicans, but the House GOP can’t control or stop the investigation.
For the first time since he entered politics, Donald Trump is facing an investigation that he has no control over, and that is the biggest difference between the two special counsel investigations.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. 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