1. Setup shot of Robert Ahdieh, vice dean, Emory University School of Law
2. Emory School of Law building entrance
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Ahdieh, Vice Dean, Emory University School of Law:
"So, the former FBI director Robert Mueller is now functioning in essence as a equivalent of a U.S. attorney. He is an employee of the Department of Justice with full legal authority to bring, to conduct investigations, to direct the FBI to gather information, to issue subpoenas for information, and ultimately to bring an indictment. So, in that sense he functions as, in some ways, a surrogate for the attorney general, just as a U.S attorney does. He has the full ambit of authority that goes with that. That extends as far as, and we think of this in some ways as the outer-bound of prosecutorial authority, to investigating the president directly, including going so far as seeking testimony from and even perhaps compelling testimony from the president."
4. Emory School of Law 100 year anniversary banner
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Ahdieh, Vice Dean, Emory University School of Law:
"So as in any criminal case, a prosecutor has to seek an indictment from a grand jury. The very famously, of course, in the expression, 'a good prosecutor can get an indictment against a ham sandwich.' So how much of a barrier that will present to Robert Mueller is unclear. But he is required to go through that process, and again, he has all the full powers of impaneling a grand jury, seeking indictment from a grand jury, bringing witness and testimony and other evidence before the grand jury and the like."
6. Emory School of Law signage
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Robert Ahdieh, Vice Dean, Emory University School of Law:
"You know, there's the famous adage that it's not the crime it's the cover-up. That may have great application here in the sense that there appears to be indication that some individuals with some authority engaged in some contact that was likely at least unwise if not impermissible, if not illegal. The question is what happened after that, and to what extent does the administration now cooperate with the investigation that identifies any wrongdoing and pursues addressing that wrongdoing. The structure now having a special counsel means there is no way to avoid that. There's no dodging that, there's no rallies and political pressure, and demands from members of Congress are not going to deter Robert Mueller. He's going to pursue this where it should be pursued and no further I suspect. But in that sense it's serious that it will be impossible for this to not reach a conclusion because of politics. And if in fact the conclusion it reaches is problematic, if there is evidence of active collusion of some sort of the Trump campaign with Russia of some fashion, that obviously will be very serious for democracy and for our political order."
Robert Ahdieh, Emory University School of Law vice dean and K.H. Gyr professor of Private International Law, and director of the Center on Federalism and Intersystemic Governance, spoke to the Associated Press Friday on issues surrounding the naming of a special prosecutor to lead an independent federal Trump-Russia investigation.
The Justice Department this week hired former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special counsel to lead the investigation.
Ahdieh says Mueller will have 'full legal authority to bring, to conduct investigations, to direct the FBI to gather information, to issue subpoenas for information, and ultimately to bring an indictment.'
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed a special counsel to investigate allegations the Trump campaign collaborated with Russia.
The announcement, the latest in the shock-a-day Washington saga, was made a day ahead of Rosenstein's scheduled closed-door appearance Thursday afternoon before the Senate. Democratic senators had been prepared to press him to appoint a special prosecutor, and his decision defused their complaints, leading to praise instead.