The Justice Department is refusing to reveal details of the process that led up to former FBI Director Robert Mueller being granted an ethics waiver to serve as special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.
In response to a POLITICO Freedom of Information Act request, the agency released a one-sentence memo Friday confirming that Mueller was granted a conflict-of-interest waiver in order to assume the politically-sensitive post.
The waiver is believed to relate to Mueller’s work in recent years as a partner at the WilmerHale law firm, which also represented former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.
However, the document signed by Justice’s top career official, Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools, provides no detail at all of the grounds for the waiver. In fact, it’s so vague that it doesn’t even convey why anyone would think Mueller needed such a release.
“Pursuant to 5 CFR 2635.502(d), I hereby authorize Robert Mueller’s participation in the investigation into Russia’s role in the presidential campaign of 2016 and all matters arising from the investigation,” Schools wrote in the “authorization” signed on May 18, one day after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein formally appointed Mueller to the position. Read more…