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How Sessions’s Firing Could Affect the Russia Investigation

来源:纽约时报    2018-11-09 09:28

        WASHINGTON — President Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appoint Mr. Sessions’s former chief of staff, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting head of the Justice Department immediately raised questions about what the move means for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the Russia investigation.        华盛顿——特朗普总统解雇司法部长杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)、任命塞申斯原来的办公室主任马修·G·惠特克(Matthew G. Whitaker)为代理司法部长的决定,马上引发了关于此举对领导涉俄调查的特别检察官罗伯特·S·穆勒三世(Robert S. Mueller III)意味着什么的疑问。
        What does this mean for the Mueller investigation?        这对穆勒的调查意味着什么呢?
        The shake-up means that Mr. Whitaker assumes oversight of the inquiry from Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general.        此次人事变动意味着,惠特克将取得目前掌握在司法部副部长罗德·J·罗森斯坦(Rod J. Rosenstein)手中对调查的监督权。
        Mr. Sessions recused himself from overseeing cases arising from the 2016 election, citing his role as an active Trump supporter, so Mr. Rosenstein has been serving as acting attorney general for the investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s election interference and whether Mr. Trump obstructed the inquiry itself. He appointed Mr. Mueller as special counsel.        塞申斯主动回避了对与2016年大选有关案件的监督,理由是他在大选中是特朗普的积极支持者,所以罗森斯坦在对特朗普的助手是否与俄罗斯干涉美国大选合谋,以及特朗普是否妨碍涉俄调查本身的调查上,一直起着代理司法部长的职能。罗森斯坦任命了穆勒为特别检察官。
        But because Mr. Whitaker is not recused from overseeing cases arising from the 2016 election, as Mr. Sessions was, he takes over the case. Mr. Rosenstein goes back to his day job overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Justice Department.        但是,因为惠特克没有像塞申斯那样回避对与2016年大选有关的案件的监督,所以他接手了涉俄案。罗森斯坦回到了他监督司法部日常运作的本职工作。
        What is Mr. Whitaker’s attitude toward the Mueller investigation?        惠特克对穆勒的调查持什么态度?
        In August 2017, before joining the Trump administration, Mr. Whitaker wrote in an opinion column that Mr. Mueller’s investigation went too far by looking at Trump Organization financial records and by scrutinizing Mr. Trump’s associates for non-Russia-related crimes in order to encourage them to cooperate.        在加入特朗普政府之前,惠特克曾在2017年8月的一篇专栏评论中写道,穆勒的调查在查阅特朗普集团(Trump Organization)的财务记录,以及细致审查特朗普的助手们是否涉嫌与俄罗斯无关的罪行,从而鼓励他们与调查合作等做法上已经过头了。
        “It does not take a lawyer or even a former federal prosecutor like myself to conclude that investigating Donald Trump’s finances or his family’s finances falls completely outside of the realm of his 2016 campaign and allegations that the campaign coordinated with the Russian government or anyone else,” he wrote, arguing that Mr. Rosenstein needed to rein Mr. Mueller in so the investigation did not become “a political fishing expedition.”        “不需要一名律师,甚至不需要像我这样曾经当过联邦检察官的人,就能得出结论:对唐纳德·特朗普的财务或他家族财务的调查,完全超出了他2016年的竞选,以及有关竞选与俄罗斯政府或其他任何人协调的指控的范畴,”他写道,并提出理由认为,罗森斯坦需要对穆勒加以限制,否则调查将变成“为了政治目的收集信息”。
        How could Mr. Whitaker curtail the Mueller inquiry?        惠特克能怎样限制穆勒的调查呢?
        The acting attorney general establishes the special counsel’s jurisdiction and budget. He could tell Mr. Mueller to stop investigating a particular matter or could refuse any requests by Mr. Mueller to expand his investigation. He could also curtail resources to the Office of the Special Counsel, requiring Mr. Mueller to downsize his staff or resources.        代理司法部长制定特别检察官的管辖权和预算。他可以指示穆勒停止对某一特定事情的调查,也可以拒绝穆勒扩大其调查范围的任何请求。他还可以削减特别检察官办公室的经费,要求穆勒缩减人员或开支。
        Moreover, Mr. Whitaker could block Mr. Mueller from pursuing investigative steps, like subpoenaing Mr. Trump or issuing new indictments. When Mr. Rosenstein appointed Mr. Mueller, he decreed that the Justice Department’s regulations for special counsels would apply to the Russia investigation.        此外,惠特克可能会阻止穆勒采取调查措施,比如传唤特朗普或发出新的起诉书。罗森斯坦任命穆勒时在颁布令中说,司法部有关特别检察官的规定将适用于涉俄调查。
        Among other things, that regulation says that while the special counsel operates with day-to-day independence, the attorney general for the inquiry can require him to explain “any investigative or prosecutorial step,” and may overrule any moves that he decides are “inappropriate or unwarranted under established department practices.”        除其他内容外,规定还包括,虽然特别检察官的日常工作是独立的,但负责调查的司法部长可以要求特别检察官解释“任何调查或起诉步骤”,并可以拒绝他认为“从司法部既定做法来看不合适或不合理”的任何行动。
        Under the regulation, if Mr. Whitaker were to block any of Mr. Mueller’s steps, Congress must be notified.        按照规定,如果惠特克要阻止穆勒的任何行动的话,必须通知国会。
        Mr. Trump was “clearly” motivated to replace Mr. Sessions to affect the Mueller investigation, said David Kris, a founder of the Culper Partners consulting firm who led the Justice Department’s national security division during the Obama administration.        特朗普用撤换塞申斯来影响穆勒调查的动机很“明显”,戴维·克里斯(David Kris)说。克里斯是卡尔博合伙人(Culper Partners)咨询公司的创始人,曾在奥巴马政府工作,领导过司法部的国家安全部门。
        An open question, he said, is what Mr. Whitaker will do — and what reactions that will provoke from Mr. Mueller, other federal prosecutors and House Democrats.        他说,悬而未决的问题是,惠特克会做什么,穆勒、其他联邦检察官,以及众议院民主党人会做出什么反应。
        “What guerrilla-war tactics will he try to take to limit Mueller’s activities?” Mr. Kris said of Mr. Whitaker. “Under the regulation, he has a bunch of supervisory actions he can take and if he does undertake those actions, the more extreme they are, the more likely they will provoke reactions from other players in this drama.”        “他会试图采取什么游击战略来限制穆勒的行动?”克里斯提到惠特克时说。“按照规定,他有一大堆可以采取的监管行动。如果他真的采取这些行动的话,行动越极端,就越有可能激起这场戏剧性事件中其他参与者的反应。”
        Can Mr. Whitaker fire Mr. Mueller?        惠特克能解雇穆勒吗?
        The regulation that Mr. Rosenstein invoked when appointing Mr. Mueller also made it more difficult to fire him. It said that the attorney general may remove the special counsel only for cause, like misconduct of some kind, rather than at will.        罗森斯坦任命穆勒时使用的规定,也让解雇穆勒的难度加大。规定说,司法部长撤换特别检察官必须有原因,比如因为某种不当行为,而不能随意撤换。
        Mr. Whitaker could decide that Mr. Mueller has committed misconduct and fire him, or he could revoke the protections that the regulation provides to Mr. Mueller and then fire him without cause.        惠特克可以认定穆勒有不端行为,从而将其解雇,或者惠特克可以宣布为穆勒提供保护的规定无效,然后不需要原因将他解雇。
        Can Mr. Whitaker quash a Mueller report?        惠特克能废止穆勒的报告吗?
        When Mr. Mueller completes his work, he is to deliver a report about his findings to the attorney general, according to the regulation. It would then be up to the attorney general — now Mr. Whitaker — to decide whether to turn that document over to Congress or keep it secret.        按照规定,穆勒完成了自己的工作后,将向司法部长提交一份有关调查结果的报告。然后,由司法部长——现在是惠特克——决定是把报告交给国会,还是将其封存。
        Of course, next year, when Democrats take over the House of Representatives, they could issue a subpoena for such a document, but if the Trump administration wants to fight that subpoena by asserting executive privilege, it is not clear what would happen.        当然,民主党人明年控制众议院后,可以用发传票的方法获取这种文件,但是,如果特朗普政府要以维护行政特权的名义来对抗传票的话,接下来会怎样还不清楚。
        Why isn’t Mr. Rosenstein the acting attorney general?        为什么罗森斯坦不是代理司法部长?
        Under normal circumstances, Mr. Rosenstein would become acting attorney general. A federal statute governing Justice Department succession says that the deputy attorney general takes over if the office of attorney general is vacant.        在正常情况下,罗森斯坦会成为代理司法部长。有关司法部继任的联邦法律规定,如果司法部长职位空缺,则由副部长接任。
        However, there is another law, the Vacancies Reform Act, that applies generally across the executive branch. It gives a president other options to make temporary appointments without Senate confirmation.        但是,还有另一项名为《空缺改革法案》(Vacancies Reform Act)的法律,适用于所有行政部门。它让总统有其他选择,可以在不需要参议院确认的情况下做临时的任命。
        There is some dispute among legal scholars about whether Mr. Trump can bypass the Justice Department-specific statute and use the vacancies act mechanism in a situation where he has fired the attorney general. But that appears to be what he has purported to do.        特朗普解雇了司法部长,在这种情况下,他是否能绕开具体到司法部的联邦法规来使用空缺法案这种机制,法律学者之间有些争议。但那似乎就是他表明要做的。
        Under the vacancies law, a president can install a departed official’s first assistant or install someone whom the Senate confirmed for a different position in the executive branch. The third option — which Mr. Trump is apparently relying on for Mr. Whitaker’s appointment — is to put in place a sufficiently senior official from inside the department, even if he has not been confirmed by the Senate for that role.        根据空缺法,总统可以任命离职官员的第一副手,或任命一位已经过参议院确认在行政机关其他部门担任职务的人,来填补空缺。特朗普任命惠特克显然用的是第三种选择,既任命司法部内部一名资格足够高的官员,尽管他的职位没有得到过参议院的确认。
        “Under that third category, that person is often a senior careerist, but the Vacancies Reform Act doesn’t require them to be a careerist,” said Anne Joseph O’Connell, a Stanford law professor who specializes in issues related to appointments. “It can be a politically appointed person, so long as he has served 90 days in the department and is being paid at a sufficiently high level.”        “在第三种情况下,那个人通常是一名资深的事业者,但《空缺改革法案》并不要求他们必须是事业者,”斯坦福大学法学教授、专门研究与任命有关问题的安妮·约瑟夫·奥康奈尔(Anne Joseph O’Connell)说。“也可以是政治任命的人,只要他在司法部已经工作了90天,而且所得的薪酬水平足够高。”
        How long can Mr. Whitaker serve as attorney general?        惠特克能担任多长时间的司法部长?
        After an administration’s first year in office, an acting official appointed under the Vacancies Reform Act may serve up to 210 days. But Mr. Whitaker could serve longer than that while someone else’s nomination to be attorney general is pending.        政府执政的第一年结束后,根据《空缺改革法案》任命的代理官员最多可任职210天。但如果被提名司法部长的其他人有待确认,惠特克的任职时间可以比法定的长。
        If the Senate were to reject that nomination, or if it returned the nomination without acting on it because the congressional session had ended, Mr. Trump could start the process over and Mr. Whitaker could serve another 210 days or longer. But Ms. O’Connell said that Mr. Trump could not nominate Mr. Whitaker himself because under the Vacancies Reform Act, an acting head of a department cannot be the nominee for that job.        如果参议院拒绝该提名人,或者因为一届国会已经结束,参议院没有采取行动就退回了提名的话,特朗普可以重启提名过程,惠特克也可以再得到210天甚至更长的任期。奥康奈尔说,但是,特朗普不能提名惠特克本人,因为根据《空缺改革法案》,一个部门的代理主管不能是该职位的提名人。
        “There is something a little odd,” Ms. O’Connell said, “that this gap-filling measure allows putting someone who is not at a senior position, like a deputy, temporarily into one of the most important positions in the country.”        “事情有点奇怪,”奥康奈尔说,“这种填补空缺的做法,让一名不具有比如副部长这样的高级职务的人,临时担任美国最重要的职位之一。”

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