2 Very Different Views on Trump Special Counsel
'New York Times,' 'Wall Street Journal' offer opposite takes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2017 2:27 PM CDT
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In this June 19, 2013, file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

(Newser) – Robert Mueller is getting bipartisan praise, but President Trump thinks the appointment of a special prosecutor over the Russia-Trump campaign probe is a "witch hunt." What does the media say? Dueling editorials from the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times offer opposite takes:

  • The WSJ argues that special prosecutors are almost always a bust, largely because they're basically accountable to no one. This appointment "opens up years of political risk to the Trump Administration with no guarantee that the public will end up with any better understanding of what really happened," the paper's editorial says. What is really needed is a counterintelligence investigation, but "Mueller will be under pressure to bring criminal indictments of some kind to justify his existence." Full editorial here.

  • The NYT, though, says this is the only way Americans will have confidence that any alleged ties between Trump's campaign and Russia are fully investigated. "Even before the stunning events of the past week, Mr. Mueller would have had plenty to work with," its editorial states. "But after the president's abrupt firing of Mr. Comey on May 9—followed by his apparent admission that he did so with the Russia investigation in mind, followed by reports that he previously pressed Mr. Comey to pledge his loyalty and asked him to drop a related inquiry into Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump's former national security adviser—it became clear that the investigation needed to be kept alive at all costs, and as far from Mr. Trump as possible." Full editorial here.

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