13 Shocking Facts About Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller
Talking heads act like Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is fair, impartial and unbiased.
But the facts are a wee bit different …
Failure to Aggressively Prosecute the BCCI Scandal
The BBC noted:
[Mueller] is also known for leading the probe into the 1991 collapse of the Luxembourg-registered Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI).
Williams Safire wrote in the New York Times:
The B.C.C.I. scandal involves the laundering of drug money, the illicit financing of terrorism and of arms to Iraq, the easy purchase of respectability and the corruption of the world banking system.
For more than a decade, the biggest banking swindle in history worked beautifully. Between $5 billion and $15 billion was bilked from governments and individual depositors to be put to the most evil of purposes — while lawmen and regulators slept.
Now the fight among investigators is coming out into the open. Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, who gave impetus to long-contained probes, told a Senate subcommittee headed by Senator John Kerry that he is getting no cooperation from the Thornburgh Justice Department.
Justice’s Criminal Division chief, Robert Mueller, tells me he will have a hatchet-burying session with the independent-minded D.A. next week, and vehemently denies having told British intelligence to stop cooperating with the Manhattan grand jury.
Mueller’s handling of the BCCI scandal as the point man for the Justice Department was widely criticized. As noted by a Senate report written by Senators Kerry and Brown:
Over the past two years, the Justice Department’s handling of BCCI has been criticized in numerous editorials in major newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the New York Times, reflecting similar criticism on the part of several Congressmen, including the chairman of the Subcommittee, Senator Kerry; the chief Customs undercover officer who handled the BCCI drug-money laundering sting, Robert Mazur; his superior at Customs, Commissioner William von Raab; New York District Attorney Robert Morgenthau; former Senate investigator Jack Blum, and, within the Justice Department itself, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Dexter Lehtinen.
Typical editorials criticized Justice’s prosecution of BCCI as “sluggish,” “conspicuously slow,” “inattentive,” and “lethargic.” Several editorials noted that there had been “poor cooperation” by Justice with other agencies. One stated that “the Justice Department seems to have been holding up information that should have been passed on” to regulators and others. Another that “the Justice Department’s secretive conduct in dealing with BCCI requires a better explanation than any so far offered.
Under Assistant Attorney General Mueller, the Department assigned nearly three dozen attorneys to the case. During 1992, the Department brought several indictments, which remained narrower, less detailed and, at times, seemingly in response to the efforts of District Attorney Robert Morgenthau of New York, the Federal Reserve, or both
Suddenly, on August 22, Dennis Saylor, chief assistant to Assistant Attorney General Mueller, called Lehtinen and, according to the US Attorney, “indicated to me that I was directed not to return the indictment.”
The Senate Report also noted:
While the Justice Department’s handling of BCCI has received substantial criticism, the office of Robert Morgenthau, District Attorney of New York, has generally received credit for breaking open the BCCI investigation.
In going after BCCI, Morgenthau’s office quickly found that in addition to fighting off the bank, it would receive resistance from almost every other institution or entity connected to BCCI, including at various times, BCCI’s multitude of prominent and politically well-connected lawyers, BCCI’s accountants, BCCI’s shareholders, the Bank of England, the British Serious Fraud Office, and the U.S. Department of Justice.