Deputy Attorney General appointed Robert Mueller to serve as Special Counsel investigating (to borrow the title of the Todd Rundgren album) something/anything. Rosenstein’s appointment of Mueller does not comply with the applicable Department of Justice regulations. Mueller’s appointment lacks a lawful charter. As Andrew McCarthy has repeatedly pointed out, this is (or should be) a problem.
In the linked column, McCarthy reviewed Rosenstein’s remarks to Chris Wallace on FOX News Sunday addressing the premise of Mueller’s investigation. McCarthy searched in vain for anything like a lawful predicate.
In an interview with USA Today, Rosenstein touched on this issue: “The special counsel is not an unguided missile. I don’t believe there is any justification at this point for terminating the special counsel.”
“Not an unguided missile” is a metaphor couched in a double negative. Mueller is a guided missile. The implication may be that Rosenstein is his guide, or that Mueller has his conscience as his guide. We can only guess.
I will not attempt to translate Rosenstein’s defense of the Mueller investigation into a justification that bears on the applicable regulations. I will only observe that Rosenstein’s remarks raise the issue again in a particularly troubling formulation.