Mueller's lead prosecutor blasts judge for appointing 'special master' to Trump case

"Is the extra protection of a special master—and the delay it entails—applicable to all public figures?" he asked.

Published: September 7, 2022 4:41pm

Updated: September 7, 2022 5:17pm

Former lead prosecutor for the Mueller investigation Andrew Weissmann denounced a federal judge's decision to appoint a "special master" at Donald Trump's request to independently review documents the FBI retrieved from the former president's estate.

In an op-ed for the Atlantic, Andrew Weissmann, excoriated District Judge Aileen Cannon for granting the request, calling the decision "untethered to the law." A Trump appointee, Cannon granted Trump's request on Monday, assigning the special master authority to "manage assertions of privilege and... evaluate claims for return of property."

Weissmann said Cannon's ruling "undermines the work of all the other judges who have tried to adhere to their oath to 'administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and... faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent' on the office."

"Her ruling is untethered to the law and presents a skewed recitation of the facts," he continued. "Her actions make the question 'Who appointed the judge?' a sadly relevant one in evaluating a judicial opinion."

Weissmann was one of the leading figures in the special counsel's investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, which was predicated on falsified intelligence such as the Steele Dossier and riddled with allegations of misconduct and political bias.

The investigation ultimately proved fruitless and Weissmann has since become a vocal opponent of Trump, appearing at campaign rallies for now-President Joe Biden in 2020.

Weissmann goes on to assert that Cannon showed Trump unprecedented treatment as a defendant and asks if other public figures and entities should not receive the same.

"Is the extra protection of a special master — and the delay it entails — applicable to all public figures?" he asked. "Would we now have a new rule limiting investigations of government officials like Bill Clinton, as well as leaders of large corporations like Enron and Volkswagen and start-ups like Theranos?"

His reference to Enron in a piece advocating legal propriety is somewhat ironic given Weissmann's own history with that case. In 2019, a string of unsealed documents revealed that Weissmann, who was part of the prosecution efforts against that entity, appeared to engage in witness intimidation, attempting to interfere in attorney-client privilege, and made "veiled threats" against individuals involved in the case.

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