Normally, police investigate crimes (at the local level) or the FBI (at the national level). But there are times when a prosecutor handles the investigation. Robert Mueller is investigating the Trump administration. But he has a special way of working. Here’s how Robert Mueller does it.
How is it like normal police work?
- Like police work, a special investigator gathers evidence. That includes physical evidence, forensic evidence, and evidence from witnesses. In Robert Mueller’s work, evidence is going to probably be digital (emails) or witnesses, for the most part. The agents working for him sift through thousands of communications and interview possible witnesses.
- What if they have trouble getting access to necessary information? Their subpoena power forces people to give-up digital evidence or talk to them.
- Beyond this, Robert Mueller has something even more powerful for the investigation. The authority to charge people with crimes. That power works wonders and here’s how it’s done.
Here’s the special way Robert Mueller works
- Let’s suppose three of you rob a bank. None of you are caught but three months later, the finger points at one of the robbers. Robert Mueller could threaten that person with criminal charges. Unless he is willing to cooperate with the investigation and tell who else robbed the bank. Using the arrested person’s information, Robert Mueller could go after the other two.
- I worked for years as a lawyer in the criminal justice system. I’ve seen defendants race to the prosecutor in order to beat the co-defendants there. That way, the first person who is willing to give information about the others, will get a better deal.
- Is this fair? In the current investigation, Robert Mueller charged Michael Flynn with a crime. Flynn pled guilty. I’m sure he agreed to cooperate and give information about other people’s involvement. The process saves the investigator hours of time and money in the investigation. In exchange for “going easy” on Michael Flynn, Robert Mueller will save the taxpayers a lot. Most people think this is a fair trade.
What kinds of cases does this process work best?
- This method of investigation works best for certain types of crime. If it has been committed by many people and the investigator is unable to crack open the door on the conspiracy. Because if none of them talk, no one will ever be convicted. Often, the only way to do it is by “flipping” one of the criminals into testifying against the others.