Mueller Approval Rating Plummets as Trump Investigation Drags On


If you believe that President Donald Trump shouldn’t serve out the entirety of the four-year term as president he was elected to serve by the American people, Robert Mueller’s special counsel investigation is your last, best hope of that happening.

This is because what started as a putative look into Russian interference in the 2016 election has now metastasized to the point where non-disclosure agreements with media-happy porn stars — or “hush money,” in the parlance of media organizations which make their employees sign NDAs all the time — now falls under its aegis.

If you’re on the left, this is all great news. Every febrile Michael Avenatti CNN appearance is basically a feast of anti-Trump comfort food, and every trickle of information out of the Mueller investigation that probably won’t amount to anything substantive is like a gushing fountain of incriminating wine, sating your drunken belief that it’s only a matter of time before 45 is impeached and dragged from the Oval Office.

For the rest of America, however, it’s actually getting kind of annoying.

This isn’t just me opining, however. A new Washington Post/George Mason poll released Friday finds that 45 percent of respondents disapproved of how Mueller was conducting the investigation, significantly up from 31 percent in January.

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The poll found that 49 percent say they approved of how the investigation was being run, compared with 50 percent in January.

The poll, which was taken between June 27 and July 2, had a margin of error of plus or minus 5 points. This means that from a 19-point gap in February, America’s opinion of how Mueller is handling the investigation is now within the margin of error.

And most people have made up their mind about the direction of the investigation. As Naomi Lim notes in the Washington Examiner, “The higher disapproval number for Mueller seems to indicate that more people have decided what they think about him over the last six months, and decided that they don’t approve. In the January poll, 19 percent said they had no opinion about Mueller, but in the new poll, just 5 percent had no opinion.”

Much like Ron Burgandy, this is kind of a big deal. While politically active conservatives have distrusted the investigation from the get-go, most people who aren’t political junkies and haven’t followed the Comey/Mueller/FBI saga tend to trust America’s institutions, politically federal law enforcement.

Do you think it's time for the Mueller investigation to wrap up?

When you have 45 percent of voters openly saying they don’t Mueller or his treatment of Trump — and, let’s be real here, the special counsel’s probe has collapsed into nothing more than a legal disquisition on the legitimacy of the current administration — that should be a damning indictment of the entire process.

If Mueller is able to prove criminal activity, I don’t know a single conservative who wouldn’t want it prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

The problem is that all we’ve seen so far has been small potatoes — politically motivated cases that prove nothing about Russian collusion but serve as legal junk food for liberals to snack upon, all mistaking it for civic sustenance.

It’s worth noting that if reports are correct, this investigation has been going on for two years now, either at the FBI or special counsel level. At that same point in the Watergate investigation, President Nixon was preparing himself to go on television and tell the world that Gerald Ford would be taking the oath of office in this office at noon tomorrow, and scores of the administration’s functionaries were either awaiting trial or sentencing.

In 2018, what we now have is an investigation that hasn’t even wrapped up yet and the only big catches from Mueller’s fishing expedition are Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn. Oh, and maybe they get Carter Page, as well. To quote the epigrammatical NBA draft bust Derrick Coleman, “Whoop-de-damn-do.”

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Beyond the question of misconduct, previous polls have shown that nearly 60 percent of the American people don’t believe Mueller’s probe has uncovered criminal activity. They, of course, aren’t on the investigative team. That doesn’t mean that voters aren’t canny, however — and unless Mueller can show bona fide evidence linking Donald Trump or people high in his campaign to criminal conspiracy with Russian elements trying to influence the 2016 election, it’s time for him to wrap up the investigation of the Trump campaign. As nourishing as the empty-calorie spectacle may be for the left, America simply can’t afford further erosion of confidence in the hallowed law enforcement institutions that we need to trust.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture