When special counsel Robert Mueller took the podium in Washington on Wednesday, the official purpose was to put a formal end to his two-year investigation of the “Russia collusion” charge that has colored Donald Trump’s presidency since even before it began.
But its real purpose became clear before Mueller finished speaking:
Kicking off the next two years of baseless, ankle-biting attacks by Democrats who still haven’t come to terms with the results of the 2016 election.
The most important part of Mueller’s statement — and one Democrats and the mainstream media will no doubt ignore — came near the beginning, as Mueller described the first volume of his 448-page report.
The volume documented Russian attempts to influence the last presidential election, Mueller said, “as well our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”
“Insufficient evidence” is a nice, lawyerly way of avoiding saying that two years and tens of millions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted.
Or, as Trump might put it: “No collusion.”
Check out Mueller’s statement here:
And since “Russian collusion” was what Mueller was hired to find, that really should be more or less the end of it.
But this is the American political world of 2019, a time when liberal politicians, the mainstream media and top law enforcement officials think their opposition to the man in the White House justifies any course they care to take.
Now, that course is going to focus on “obstruction of justice” — or an alleged cover-up of a crime even the special prosecutor can’t prove happened.
That’s going to be handled by congressional Democrats and their braying allies in the media pack. Mueller, hiding behind a long-established Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, opted not to make a public determination on whether he thought Trump is guilty of … something.
“So that was Justice Department policy,” he said in his statement. “Those were the principles under which we operated, and from them, we concluded that we would — would not reach a determination one way or the other about whether the president committed a crime.”
But Mueller made sure to note that “the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”
It didn’t take Democrats long to perk up their ears at that dog whistle.
In Congress and on the campaign trail, liberals rushed to say Mueller had just opened the door for impeachment proceedings to begin in the House of Representatives.
Here are just a few of the utterly predictable responses:
Mueller’s statement makes clear what those who have read his report know: It is an impeachment referral, and it’s up to Congress to act. They should.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) May 29, 2019
Robert Mueller’s statement makes it clear: Congress has a legal and moral obligation to begin impeachment proceedings immediately.
— Cory Booker (@CoryBooker) May 29, 2019
This is as close to an impeachment referral as it gets. Robert Mueller could not clear the president, nor could he charge him — so he has handed the matter to Congress, which alone can act to deliver due process and accountability.
— Pete Buttigieg (@PeteButtigieg) May 29, 2019
What Robert Mueller basically did was return an impeachment referral. Now it is up to Congress to hold this president accountable.
We need to start impeachment proceedings. It’s our constitutional obligation.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 29, 2019
So Democrats are going to declare they want to hold Trump “accountable” for obstructing justice to cover up something their own hero basically said never happened.
For that they have the option of impeachment, of course. But if House Speaker Nancy Pelosi keeps up her waffling ways — accusing the president to satisfy her base while avoiding impeachment because it would be a political disaster — they can keep up their guerrilla attacks on Trump aides with an endless series of subpoenas from the House.
After all, didn’t Mueller himself, in citing Justice Department policy, refer to it allowing investigations of presidents because “among other things, that evidence could be used if there were co-conspirators who could be charged now”?
Mueller might as well have fired a starter’s pistol to get the Democrat/media mob off in hot pursuit of perpetrators he all but admitted committed no crime in the first place.
His statement had one other aspect besides setting the tone for baseless Democrat attacks for the next two years:
Mueller also essentially all but closed the door on the possibility that any further testimony of his own will be any more illuminating.
“Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” he said. “It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
That’s too bad, really.
It might be good for the country if Mueller would clear up one thing at least: When did he know for sure that there was no collusion case against Trump? And why did he not close up shop right then and there, saving everyone a lot of money and time and political angst?
The answer, of course, is that wouldn’t have served the real purpose of the “collusion” probe, which was to hobble Trump as much as possible and provide ammunition for his critics to attack.
And it’s hard to escape the conclusion that that was the real purpose behind Mueller’s statement Wednesday, too.
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