Past Detroit U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade: Baseless Attacks on Mueller Must Stop
July 8th, 2018, 10:37 PM
Former Detroit U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, a President Obama appointee, has published an opinion piece written with former Alabama U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, headlined: "Baseless attacks on Robert Mueller must end to protect our democracy."
McQuade and Vance, who regularly appear on MSNBC, write in The Hill:
The argument du jour in partisan circles today goes like this: Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation should end because of the alleged bias of FBI agents who resented candidate Donald Trump. Some conservative lawyers have expanded this argument by claiming that the Russia investigation is the “fruit of the poisonous tree.” They are wrong on the law, wrong on the facts, and they should know better.
As former United States attorneys, we have experience prosecuting federal crimes. The Russia investigation had a proper factual and legal foundation, and recent writings are nothing more than an improper effort to wrap inapplicable legal doctrines around discredited fiction to undermine the rule of law.
If we are to preserve the bedrock principles of our democracy, we must call out these partisan attacks for what they are, illegitimate and baseless, and let the special counsel conclude his work.
Start with the unsound arguments assembled to end the investigation, based on the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, which is merely a way for defendants to exclude at trial evidence that was illegally obtained. We have been on the receiving end of defense counsel pitches that an investigation should end for some perceived flaw. Our response is the same: Take it up with the judge. Court is the place to challenge the propriety of any criminal investigation, and only after charges are filed.
♦ Read the full commentary
McQuade teaches at the University of Michigan Law School and Vance teaches at the University of Alabama Law School. Each was appointed as a federal prosecutor by former President Barack Obama.