April 20, 2018

The now-retired federal judge who presided over the case just destroyed the allegations by Sean Hannity and apparent Supreme Court Justice auditionee Alan Dershowitz that special counsel Robert Mueller allowed four men to remain wrongfully imprisoned in the 1980s.

As Media Matters noted, Hannity smeared Mueller, the head of the Russia probe, by trying to tie him to a hideous chapter in FBI history on four consecutive broadcasts last week. One of those instances was during a chat with Dershowitz.

In another instance, as a large graphic titled "THE MULLER CRIME FAMILY?" dominated the screen, Hannity said:

“During Mueller’s time as a federal prosecutor in Boston, four—four men wrongfully imprisoned for decades framed by an FBI informant and notorious gangster Whitey Bulger, all while Mueller’s office looked the other way. … And, by the way, in that case with Whitey Bulger, $100 million payout and two of the four people died in jail that were put in there and they were innocent.”

Today, retired federal judge and Harvard Law School senior lecturer Nancy Gertner set the record straight in a New York Times editorial:

In an April 8 interview with John Catsimatidis on his New York radio show, Mr. Dershowitz asserted that Mr. Mueller was “the guy who kept four innocent people in prison for many years in order to protect the cover of Whitey Bulger as an F.B.I. informer.” Mr. Mueller, he said, was “right at the center of it.” Mr. Bulger was a notorious crime boss in Boston, the head of the Winter Hill Gang, and also a secret source for the F.B.I.

There is no evidence that the assertion is true. I was the federal judge who presided over a successful lawsuit brought against the government by two of those men and the families of the other two, who had died in prison. Based on the voluminous evidence submitted in the trial, and having written a 105-page decision awarding them $101.8 million, I can say without equivocation that Mr. Mueller, who worked in the United States attorney’s office in Boston from 1982 to 1988, including a brief stint as the acting head of the office, had no involvement in that case. He was never even mentioned.

But the evidence — or rather, lack of it — hasn’t stopped the piling on against Mr. Mueller, particularly by Mr. Hannity. In a March 20 broadcast, he said, “Robert Mueller was the U.S. attorney in charge while these men were rotting in prison while certain agents in the F.B.I. under Mueller covered up the truth.”

Gertner also notes that a subsequent House committee investigating the FBI’s use of secret informants made only a favorable reference to Mueller: he offered to work with the committee to reform the practices.

Gertner concluded by saying that if Hannity or anyone else has evidence to back up their accusations, they should produce it. “If they don’t, they should stop this campaign to discredit Mr. Mueller,” she wrote.

Hannity has never let facts stand in the way of a smear in service to Donald Trump. I’d like to believe former Harvard Law professor Dershowitz has a bit more fidelity to the truth. But given that he seems to have done no research before joining in this baseless attack, I’m not counting on it. Especially since we all know that facts matter even less to Trump than to Hannity. So long as Dershowitz makes Trump look good on television, Dershowitz’ chances at that SCOTUS nomination are probably as good as ever.

Watch Hannity smear Mueller over Bulger above, from the April 11, 2018 Hannity.

Originally published at Newshounds.us

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