When Robert Mueller was first appointed Special Counsel, I thought, given his generally good reputation, that this might be a streamlined process with fewer leaks, focused on either proving or disproving allegations of Russian interference.

But I did acknowledge, for example in this radio interview, that there was a risk that in the wrong hands the powers vested under the Order appointing Mueller could be abused:

“He will have the authority to investigate and the authority to prosecute any crimes that he finds, and the scope of what he’s investigating under the order is fairly broad, it’s anything related to Russian interference in the campaign and any collusion, or any matters arising out of that. So it’s very broad, and very easily in the wrong hands could be a prosecutor in search of a crime, as opposed to a prosecutor prosecuting a crime.”

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Q. Do you think Robert Mueller is the wrong hands [for the investigation]?

A. I don’t think so, I have no reason to believe that … but until you get there, you don’t know. If we see this turning into what I’ll call ‘process crimes,’ which is somebody wasn’t completely truthful, or was evasive, not necessarily perjury, but obstruction of justice …. If that’s where this ends up, then this would be another example of a special counsel, or special prosecutor, gone wrong.

That interview was before James Comey testified that he manipulated the media and DOJ into appointing a Special Counsel by leaking a memo of his conversation with Trump about the Flynn investigation to the NY Times.

Ever since that disclosure, the Special Counsel process and Mueller specifically, has been tainted. I argued that Mueller needed to step aside because of his friendship with Comey, Robert Mueller should step aside: Friends shouldn’t be investigating friends:

“… the case has dramatically changed since James Comey was outed, or outed himself, as the leaker of a memorandum to the NY Times and testified before the Senate. Remember this case started as an investigation of Russian involvement.

We now know from Comey’s testimony that as of the date Comey was fired in late May, Donald Trump individually was not under investigation for anything, not criminal, not counter-intelligence. So there’s nothing for Mueller to be investigating about Donald Trump individually except for one thing, which is James Comey’s conversations with Donald Trump regarding the Michael Flynn investigation. That’s where Comey famously quotes Trump saying ‘I hope you let it go, he’s a good guy,’ I’m paraphrasing there.

That is now the center of attention. That involves James Comey as a key witness. Who is James Comey personally and professionally friendly with? Robert Mueller.

Robert Mueller, if he is going to consider the alleged obstruction of justice asserted by James Comey, should not be the prosecutor or investigator in this because he is friendly with a key witness, James Comey. So that’s what I meant when I said ‘friends should not be investigating friends.’ And Robert Mueller, if he is considering Trump’s asserted obstruction of justice, cannot and should not be the investigator on this case.”

Everything that has happened since then leads to the conclusion the Mueller as Special Counsel is not investigating an alleged crime, but searching for a crime.

Andy McCarthy argues persuasively that this is not a proper role of Special Counsel under the regulation creating the position, Mueller’s Empire: Legions of Lawyers, Bottomless Budget, Limitless Jurisdiction:

So I’ve been wondering: Why on earth does a prosecutor, brought in to investigate a case in which there is no apparent crime, need a staff of 14 lawyers?

Or, I should say, “14 lawyers and counting.” According to the press spokesman for special counsel Robert Mueller—yeah, he’s got a press spokesman, too—there are “several more in the pipeline.” …

And all for a single investigation that the FBI has described as a counterintelligence probe—i.e., not a criminal investigation, the kind for which you actually need lawyers….

The way this is supposed to work is: the Justice Department first identifies a likely crime, and then assigns a prosecutor to investigate it. Here, by contrast, there are no parameters imposed on the special counsel’s jurisdiction. Mueller is loosed—with 14 lawyers and more coming—to conduct what I’ve called a “fishing expedition.” But it is actually worse than that, as sagely observed in these pages by my friend John Eastman, the Claremont Institute scholar and former Chapman Law School dean. Mueller’s probe is the functional equivalent of a general warrant: a boundless writ to search for incriminating evidence. It is the very evil the Fourth Amendment was adopted to forbid: a scorch-the-earth investigation in the absence of probable cause that a crime has been committed….

These lawyers, overwhelmingly, are Democrats. Powerline’s Paul Mirengoff and the Daily Caller’s Chuck Ross have been tracking it: Mueller’s staffers contribute to Trump’s political opponents, some heavily. The latest Democratic talking-point about this unseemly appearance is that hiring regulations forbid an inquiry into an applicant’s political affiliation. That’s laughable. These are lawyers Mueller has recruited. They are not “applicants.” We’re talking about top-shelf legal talent, accomplished professionals who have jumped at the chance of a gig they do not need but, clearly, want.

Alan Dershowitz has been arguing against the type of investigation that Mueller appears to be launching, finds fault both with the friendship with Comey and the selection of Clinton-related prosecutors:

Put this Mueller staffing in perspective. My home State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations frequently is used as a unit of measure.

The entire U.S. Attorney’s Office for Rhode Island, including both the criminal and civil branches, numbers only about 20 attorneys. This for a State of a million people with a long and rich history of organized crime, labor racketeering, and political corruption. We also have our fair share of narcotics trafficking and violent crimes, including multi-state gang activity.

Mueller’s Special Counsel probe is approaching the staffing level needed to deal with an entire state.

Something is not right here. They are not investigating a crime. They are organizing a search party to find a crime.