End Game on Mueller Investigation

Conrad Black summarizes the end game on the Mueller Trump-Russia investigation and I could not have stated it better.

“…In their desperation to keep the president on his back foot until the midterm elections, the Democrats joined the Never Trump chorus in the McCain obsequies, and the habitually discredited political gossip Bob Woodward, reinforced by anonymous informants recruited or invented by the New York Times, wrote that the Trump White House was in chaos (irrelevant if the Constitution is not being violated and the policies work). Paid plants heckled at the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings where Democratic senators reenacted a fictitious movie about a first-century slave revolt to protest the confidentiality of documents that had already been released, and Barack Obama hit the trail to rewrite the history of his broadly unsuccessful presidency. Even sensible and moderate commentators who don’t like Trump went back on autocue to announce that this was “the darkest hour” of Trump’s administration, as they have, every six weeks or so since the executive order about travelers from terrorism-plagued or -sponsoring countries in February 2017: Charlottesville, Helsinki, Manafort and Cohen, etc. Trump is about to declassify what congressional committees have been seeking, and the anti-Trump media will have real problems maintaining their implacable righteousness. By then, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe may have been indicted, and the charges won’t stop with him.

I recommend clemency. I don’t believe in a deep state, just an arrogant, smothering, bipartisan mindset that easily construed self-defense as service of the national interest, even when it involved criminal conduct. In this respect it does bear some comparison with the conduct of Nixon underlings in the Watergate era. The mystery is why Robert Mueller, for all his experience and vaunted probity, chose a gang of rabid Trump-haters to conduct this operation, and why, when he must have realized it was a wild goose chase, he didn’t fold it up or turn it into an investigation of the sleazy conduct of Trump’s enemies, which, given the Russian connection, would have been within his mandate. There is now evidence that Steele, even after he was fired by the FBI for leaking material, via senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr “and his lovely wife,” as Trump calls Mrs. Ohr (who worked at Fusion with Steele), moved straight to Mueller’s special-counsel team. Mueller may have mishandled this so badly, he ensnares himself in the misconduct of those who commissioned him. Mueller has prolonged this false cloud over the administration while using his authoritarian office to try to terrorize Paul Manafort into a false inculpation of the president, has mouse-trapped a couple of lesser figures (14 days in jail for George Papadopoulos), and purported to indict a number of Russians who will never appear in an American court and whose names could have been taken from the Moscow telephone directory.

The outcome of the midterm elections may depend on how quickly the administration can counter-attack on the legal front. When the Mueller charade is finally out of the way, everyone involved in the false applications for a FISA surveillance warrant against junior Trump campaign helper Carter Page will face the music, including Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and very prominent members of the Obama administration. Whatever happens in November, all this will unravel. The combination of the jungle ruthlessness of high American politics with the idealism of the Constitution occasionally creates bizarre and sordid dramas. Eventually, just when the pious claptrap about no one being above the law becomes almost insufferable, the puritanical conscience of America rises like a cobra and strikes the wrongdoers. The twist here is that the hunted president, who has broken no laws, will make the kill. It’s reality politics, wending toward a surprising climax…”