Politico’s Darren Samuelsohn writes that Trump’s critics, having “spent the past 17 months anticipating what some expect will be among the most thrilling events of their lives: special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report on Russian 2016 election interference,” will, instead, be in for a disappointment.
Samuelsohn interviewed several prosecutors familiar with how the special counsel’s office works and discovered that Mueller’s report will not only not contain bombshell revelations leading to Trump’s impeachment, but will probably not contain any evidence at all of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign.
This should have been clear for months just from leaks from the investigation, as well as what we know from court records. The churning in the media about the impending indictment of Trump and subsequent impeachment has been a mirage. Some of the illusion was self induced. Some of it was certainly deliberately ginned-up outrage to elicit excitement from the Democratic base.
But any way you look at it, Mueller’s report is likely to be a bust for the left.
But government investigation experts are waving a giant yellow caution flag now to warn that Mueller’s no-comment mantra is unlikely to give way to a tell-all final report and an accompanying blitz of media interviews and public testimony on Capitol Hill.
“He won’t be a good witness,” said Paul Rosenzweig, a former senior counsel to independent counsel Kenneth Starr now working as a senior fellow at the nonprofit R Street Institute. “His answers will be, ‘yes’, ‘no’ and ‘maybe.’”
For starters, Mueller isn’t operating under the same ground rules as past high-profile government probes, including the Reagan-era investigation into Iranian arms sale and whether President Bill Clinton lied during a deposition about his extramarital affair with a White House intern. Those examinations worked under the guidelines of a post-Watergate law that expired in 1999 that required investigators to submit findings to Congress if they found impeachable offenses, a mandate that led to Starr’s salacious report that upended Clinton’s second term.
Mueller was hired to investigate whether there was obstruction of justice by Trump when he fired former FBI chief James Comey. Leftist commentators have been saying for months that Mueller has a slam dunk case for obstruction, but the prosecutors who know say the public “shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump” when Mueller gets around to issuing his report.
Mueller is operating under ground rules that could still see some indictments, but with impeachment being a political issue, he is likely to be silent about that.
When Mueller is finished, he must turn in a “confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions” — essentially why he chose to bring charges against some people but not others. His reasoning, according to veterans of such investigations, could be as simple as “there wasn’t enough evidence” to support a winning court case.
Then, it will be up to DOJ leaders to make the politically turbo-charged decision of whether to make Mueller’s report public.
Government officials will first get a chance to scrub the special counsel’s findings for classified details, though, involving everything from foreign intelligence sources to information gleaned during grand jury testimony that the law forbids the government from disclosing.
All of Trump’s aides who have been indicted so far have been charged with crimes totally unrelated to the campaign. The Russians who have been indicted have been charged with interfering in the election, not colluding with the Trump campaign.
Despite it becoming obvious there was no collusion and that Mueller will not indict anyone for it, the left continues to generate hysteria about impeachment. No wonder some wiser heads in the Democratic Party are urging their candidates not to mention impeachment. They will look pretty silly when Mueller’s report has little to say about the subject.
Trump will probably not be exonerated by the report, not with several of his campaign aides pleading guilty or under indictment. But House Democrats, if they take over in November, will have nothing to hang their hat on. They will investigate, for sure, but if Mueller couldn’t find anything after 17 months, sane Democrats know they won’t find anything from a congressional investigation either.
It will be very entertaining to watch liberals’ heads explode when Mueller’s report disappoints them.