A federal judge has issued a blistering rebuke of the state’s high court over its decision to hold a grand jury investigation of former Attorney General Richard Carmona, arguing that the move could violate the constitutional separation of powers.
In a decision released Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Peter V. Sullivan said Carmona “is no longer entitled to rely on the grand jury process” because the investigation was “inadmissible” because it was part of a “criminal investigation.”
The move could open the door to future investigations into former Gov.
Mike Huckabee, who is running for president in 2020.
Sullivan ruled that Carmona’s investigation into the former governor “is not part of the prosecutorial function of the Office of Attorney General, as defined by the Constitution.”
Sullivan noted that Carmonas investigation, which he had initiated in 2015, was conducted outside the scope of the attorney general’s investigation, and that he has been a member of the legislature since 2015.
“Carmona’s use of the grand jurys investigatory power to investigate the governor is inadmissible,” Sullivan wrote.
“Carmonas actions in this matter have undermined his judicial independence and the independence of the office of attorney general.
This is all about the money.””
The grand jury investigative process is a federal investigation and thus subject to the restrictions imposed by Article II, section 2 of the Constitution,” Sullivan added.
“There is no constitutional separation between the office and the prosecutorship.
The investigation of a state official is a public official’s investigation and the public has the right to know what that official is doing.
The state is entitled to access to grand jury evidence.”
Sullivan’s decision comes as Trump administration officials, including White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, have been trying to portray Carmona as the victims of a criminal conspiracy against the former attorney general, who has been in office since January 2019.
Trump’s Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling in the U.N. General Assembly.
Sullivan said that the prosecutor’s decision to pursue an investigation into Carmona and other top Trump administration appointees is “clearly not limited to the special counsel.”
“A grand jury investigatory subpoena could be used to investigate, for example, the Secretary of State, the President of the United States, or any other public official for any purpose, including potential violations of the Emoluments Clause of the U,S.
Constitution,” he wrote.”
I conclude that the Attorney General has no constitutional right to investigate his own appointees for any alleged violations of his constitutional oaths,” Sullivan concluded.”
It is a matter of principle that we, the people, have the right not only to have a thorough, fair and transparent investigation into matters concerning our elected officials, but to have such an investigation conducted without the interference of any partisan political interest,” Carmona said in a statement Tuesday.”
This is why the people of Michigan and the nation need to hold the Attorney Generals office to the highest standard of integrity,” Carmon said.
Trump was quick to criticize the decision in a tweet Tuesday, saying, “No, they’re not investigating.
I’ll be making an announcement very soon.”
The decision follows a similar ruling in June from Sullivan, who had found that the state could not use a grand jurisprudence to investigate Huckabee over his 2016 re-election campaign, which involved his use of his position to raise campaign cash.
Sullivan issued a decision in July that found that while the attorney generals investigation was part, in part, of the Attorney Gen.s criminal investigation, it did not constitute “official acts of the Department.”
“I agree with the Court that the Governor’s actions here are improper, because they are in violation of the constitutional and statutory prohibitions against the abuse of grand jury powers,” Sullivan said in his ruling.
“And I conclude that Mr. Carmona has no legitimate basis to seek to justify his use.
The Governor is free to use his prosecutorial powers for any reason, but it does not justify the Governor from abusing his grand jury authority to investigate Governor Huckabee.””
It seems to me that Mr and Mrs. Carmonos actions are not justifiable in the context of the investigation into Gov.
Huckabee,” Sullivan continued.
“But that is not the only reason.
The President is not free to investigate him for his conduct in office, and so the President may not conduct an investigation of the Governor in the way he would like to.”
A spokeswoman for the governor did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The attorney general has previously said he was confident that his office would ultimately prevail in the appeal of Sullivan’s decision.
“We are confident that the Court will agree with us in upholding the integrity of the public’s legal system,” Carmone said.