In No Apparent Rush, the Grand Inquisitor Plods On

The Robert Mueller "investigation" is a disgrace to the Constitution, to our tradition of ordered liberty, and to the American Way. Tell me: did you ever expect to read a passage like this in an American newspaper?

Though Mr. Mueller doesn’t face any specific legal deadline... [he]has a lot still to do—prepare several reports, bring expected charges against alleged Russian hackers behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee and make decisions on whether to prosecute other cases. Perhaps the most politically sensitive issue he has yet to resolve is whether the special counsel’s office will demand an interview with Mr. Trump. If he can’t get all those things done in the next few months, his probe is likely to stretch into 2019.

Or longer -- to infinity and beyond. Should he wish, Mueller can be at this for the rest of his life, with an unlimited budget, and at taxpayer expense.

But this is not justice in any meaningful sense of the term. Rather, it's the sore-loser Left's latest attempt to overturn the results of the 2016 election by orchestrating, via deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and St. James Comey, a quasi-legal proceeding to demonstrate that Donald Trump is unfit to sit in the Oval Office, and that therefore his presidency must be ended by any means necessary. As Ed Koch, the late former mayor of New York City, famously said: "The people have spoken and now they must be punished."

The point of the Wall Street Journal story quoted above is that with the election season fast approaching, Mueller may have to lie doggo for a while so as not to -- stop laughing! -- influence the fall congressional vote.

Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign will soon run into a dead zone of sorts, in which former prosecutors say they expect him either to wrap up, or lie low and take no visible steps until after the November vote.... He will reach a point this summer when Justice Department habits dictate he would have to go dark so he doesn’t appear to be trying to sway voters’ decisions, which would be at odds with Justice Department guidelines for prosecutors.

Any action by Mr. Mueller that implicates or exonerates Mr. Trump or his associates in working with Russia or obstructing justice could go a long way to determining whether Democrats take control of one or both houses of Congress. Democrats have promised extra scrutiny of the Trump administration if voters pull the lever for their party in November, while Republican candidates have largely sided with Mr Trump, and some have echoed the president’s message that the prosecution is a witch hunt.

This is ludicrously disingenuous -- the very continuance of the Mueller investigation into non-existent Russian "collusion" has already swayed, and will continue to sway, voters, as the Democrats and the never-Trumpers knew it would. Even if they can't get a do-over on 2016, the Left has made it clear that this fall's elections should be a referendum on Trump -- both his fitness for, and his performance in, office.  Indeed, at this point there's nothing Mueller can do not to influence the election. If he fails to bring any charges against the president, or issue an impeachment referral, the Left will scream bloody murder; if he does, the Right will howl. And if he just keeps on keepin' on... well, where there's smoke there must be fire, right?

What he should do, of course -- or what Trump should demand he do -- is to set a date certain for his final report, release all his evidence, show how he has (or has not) abided by the terms of his extra-constitutional mandate to investigate "collusion." At the same time, Rosenstein (the man who wrote the memo justifying Comey's firing, then turned around and appointed Mueller to essentially investigate Comey's firing) should have his feet held to the fire, all of his secret correspondence with Mueller published, and then be fired by his nominal boss, Jeff Sessions (currently in an occultation that rivals the Twelfth Imam).

Mueller has suffered a couple of setbacks recently, including a public tongue-lashing by a federal judge who called out the former FBI chief for his obvious get-Trump agenda; meanwhile, a second federal judge denied his request for a delay in a court hearing from representatives of some of the Russian nationals Mueller pointlessly indicted a couple of months ago.

In a brief order Saturday evening, U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich offered no explanation for her decision to deny a request prosecutors made Friday to put off the scheduled Wednesday arraignment for Concord Management and Consulting, one of the three firms charged in the case.

The 13 people charged in the high-profile indictment in February are considered unlikely to ever appear in a U.S. court. The three businesses accused of facilitating the alleged Russian troll farm operation — the Internet Research Agency, Concord Management, and Concord Catering — were also expected to simply ignore the American criminal proceedings.

Last month, however, a pair of Washington-area lawyers suddenly surfaced in the case, notifying the court that they represent Concord Management. POLITICO reported at the time that the move appeared to be a bid to force Mueller’s team to turn over relevant evidence to the Russian firm and perhaps even to bait prosecutors into an embarrassing dismissal in order to avoid disclosing sensitive information.

In other words, the American lawyers called Mueller's bluff and he reacted by essentially saying, hey, wait a minute -- just as he's also requested a delay in sentencing Mike Flynn for "lying" to the FBI. Which leads one to believe that he's got nothing; that Flynn's dubious guilty plea will be reversed, and that even Manafort (whose head Mueller really wants on a pike) may have his charges thrown out.

Special counsel Robert Mueller on Tuesday requested that sentencing for former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn be delayed by at least two months. Mueller’s team and attorneys for Flynn submitted that Flynn is not ready for sentencing “due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation,” according to  a court filing in the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.

Hmmm... whatever could that mean? But all we know about the Mueller investigation is what the Mueller investigation leaks to its friends in the media -- you know, the mouthpieces who constantly assure us that the man who tried to railroad Steven Hatfill is a "straight arrow" (just like Jim Comey!) and thus above reproach. But as Carl Cannon wrote a year ago:

The third and most important factor tempering my enthusiasm for the new special prosecutor is that Comey and Mueller badly bungled the biggest case they ever handled. They botched the investigation of the 2001 anthrax letter attacks that took five lives and infected 17 other people, shut down the U.S. Capitol and Washington’s mail system, solidified the Bush administration’s antipathy for Iraq, and eventually, when the facts finally came out, made the FBI look feckless, incompetent, and easily manipulated by outside political pressure.

While running for president, Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” He won enough votes, in the right states, to make him president. So here’s the question: How does official Washington, which clearly does not want to be drained, think the 63 million people who voted for Trump will feel about an investigation run by D.C. insiders with a history of grandstanding – an investigation that some Democrats and commentators are saying aloud they hope will end in impeachment? And what will those Trump voters think of uncritical media coverage of this effort by a self-righteous press corps that has suddenly rediscovered its investigative-reporting impulses, and which behaves as if little of this relevant context is even worth mentioning?

A year later, it's clear that the Swamp doesn't want to be drained. And, from all the evidence we've seen so far -- which is none -- Robert Mueller is one of the chief swamp creatures. Mr. Straight Arrow sees his job as making sure that, despite Trump's election, nothing whatsoever changes in the way Washington does business.

Except, of course, the president.