Robert Mueller has had his share of screw-ups. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
When he was named special counsel in May, Robert S. Mueller III was hailed as the ideal lawman – deeply experienced, strait-laced and nonpartisan – to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign had helped with Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
But, in a surprisingly ‘fair and balanced’ LA Times story, David Willman exposes the truth that, at 73, Mueller’s record also shows a man of fallible judgment who can be slow to alter his chosen course. At times, he has intimidated or provoked resentment among subordinates. And his tenacious yet linear approach to evaluating evidence led him to fumble the biggest U.S. terrorism investigation since 9/11.
Willmann points out the accolades squared with Mueller’s valor as a Marine rifle platoon commander in Vietnam and his integrity as a federal prosecutor, a senior Justice Department official and FBI director from 2001 to 2013, the longest tenure since J. Edgar Hoover.
He was praised by former courtroom allies and opponents, and by Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
But, as Willmann details, Mueller also is remembered for a headline-grabbing case that ended in failure.
In 1979, the government lodged then-novel racketeering charges against 33 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club. The indictments alleged bombings and murders as well as the manufacture and sale of illegal drugs. The defendants and their supporters were so feared that bulletproof glass was installed in court to shield the judge. The first trial, of 18 defendants, ended with only five convictions. All were overturned on appeal. Mueller, who led the U.S. attorney’s special prosecutions unit, then took over the case. He dropped many of the charges, including against Ralph “Sonny” Barger, leader of the club’s Oakland chapter, whose charismatic testimony had dominated the first trial.
Mueller led a team of four prosecutors in court when the second trial, with 11 defendants, began in October 1980. But after four months, the jury said it was deadlocked, and the judge declared a mistrial. Mueller decided not to ask for a retrial.
Richard B. Mazer, a defense lawyer at both trials, said the government was unable to prove the Hells Angels was a racketeering enterprise. Key prosecution witnesses, he said, seemed unreliable — especially those granted immunity to testify despite having committed violent crimes themselves.
“They made a mess of it,” Mazer recalled. “It was an entirely snitch case. It depended entirely on the quality of snitches.”