Last night, Fox ran a story on another inexplicable (just joking) personnel decision made by special counsel Robert Mueller. This one is of Aaron Zebley, a former FBI agent with very close ties to Robert Mueller. It involves his representation of a key figure in the Hillary Clinton email investigation, a Hillary Clinton crony named Justin Cooper. This is the Wikipedia entry:
Cooper was one of the key persons that help administer Hillary’s private email server. Hillary’s private server as been part of an ongoing Federal investigation. The internet domain, clintonemail.com, was registered to Cooper, not the Clintons, while she was secretary of state. The domain was registered by Cooper before Hillary became secretary of state on January 21, 2009. Hillary used the email, [email protected], on her private server while secretary of state, rather than use a dot gov account for all of her secretary of state work. Cooper had no US security clearance or expertise in computer security. Cooper also helped the Clintons with other tech support. Later, Bryan Pagliano, the former IT director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign, was hired to maintain their private email server while Clinton was secretary of state, while the domain was still registered to Cooper.
And the from the New York Times:
An aide to Bill Clinton, Justin Cooper, who helped set up the server, told the F.B.I. that he recalled “two instances where he destroyed Clinton’s old mobile devices by breaking them in half or hitting them with a hammer.”
TUCKER CARLSON: Mueller's "right hand man," Aaron Zebley, was an attorney for Hillary Clinton's IT aide Justin Cooper pic.twitter.com/sBDZpiFSlA
— Josh Caplan (@joshdcaplan) December 8, 2017
Team member Aaron Zebley’s wife Catharine Easterly is an Obama-appointed judge on the D.C. Court of Appeals.
— JD (@JDiviv) December 5, 2017
If you listened to the Tucker Carlson report, it seems as though Aaron Zebley, who is one of Robert Mueller’s top deputies, aggressively ran interference to keep Clinton crony Justin Cooper from cooperating with the House Homeland Security Committee’s investigation. I don’t want to get sucked into the same relying-upon-documents-I-have-not-seen trap as CNN but, if Carson is playing it straight with his audience, Zebley didn’t merely represent Cooper’s interests, he worked independently of Cooper to prevent Cooper from ever testifying to the House committee.
One of the basic lessons in public relations is the formula P = R, that is, perception equals reality. Regardless of Zebley’s motivation in obstructing a Congressional committee in its oversight investigation, the optics of having this guy in a senior position on a team investigating the campaign that defeated Hillary Clinton is not good. The slightest bit of prudence or common sense would dictate that you’d want your staff free from even appearance of a conflict of interest. And while it appears that Zebley was not politically active in the financial sense, you can’t ignore the fact that his wife had enough of a political profile to get a nomination to the federal judiciary by Barack Obama. That matters.
Mueller seems to think that hiring Democrat operatives and donors for the politically motivated investigation of Trump’s presidential campaign is perfectly fine. And it is, if your objective is not to clear up an easily disprovable series of allegations but it is to damage the Trump administration. That, I’m afraid, is exactly what is happening.