November 17, 2018

How the Mueller Probe Ends

“Perhaps the best argument I have seen in favor of repealing President Trump’s pointless tax cuts is the superabundance of disposable income American liberals apparently spend on things like Robert Mueller bobble-head dolls, “Mueller is Coming” and “It’s Mueller time” T-shirts, Mueller “prayer” candles, and even children’s books featuring a super-buff bare-chested but tie-wearing Mueller lookalike hero. Turning the affectless head of a special counsel investigation into some kind of badass comic-book character who is going to rescue America from the nefarious clutches of — I wish I were making this up — “President Ronald Plump” could not be more childish. Goodness knows how many adults really believe all this stuff.

I feel bad for them, in the way that I feel bad for kids who are about to discover that the Tooth Fairy is fake. After 17 months of appending compound adjectives (“Russia-linked,” “Kremlin-backed”) to the names of an increasingly obscure cast of characters accused of things like sending spam emails and holding pointless meetings that went nowhere, it looks like we are finally getting close to the end of the Mueller probe. A report in Politico suggests that what skeptics have argued for more than a year and a half is true: namely, that Mueller and his team have not found any smoking-gun evidence of “collusion” between Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Russian government because no such collusion took place.

It’s going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late ’80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized. It is also possible that it will never even be released to the public, at least not in full. Unless they are granted permission to review them under various conditions that will be imposed by the Department of Justice, not even members of Congress will be able to read Mueller’s findings. For reasons that have as much to do with Mueller’s own personality and style as they do with the sensitive nature of the material, the text itself is unlikely to be the sweeping anti-Trump manifesto that the president’s fiercest liberal critics are longing for. There is every reason to believe that it will be a straightforward, minimally expansive document that does not volunteer information that is not absolutely relevant to the main findings.”

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