Opinion

Mueller Speaks: No Collusion But Lots Of Confusion

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Posted: May 31, 2019 8:30 AM
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Mueller Speaks: No Collusion But Lots Of Confusion

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

When I heard that Robert Mueller was going to issue a statement Wednesday, deep down I hoped that he’d be the grown-up in the room and end all the obstruction-impeachment talk.  After all, he struck this match.  

He’s known from the start that there was no collusion.  If he had ended the collusion investigation back then, there would’ve been no quibbling about obstruction. Without Volume I of his report, there would’ve been no Volume II.  Prolonging the investigation created the environment for creating crimes.

The collusion investigation was bogus from the start – a witch hunt.  Obstruction laws don’t apply when a president wants to stop a witch hunt.  Given Robert “Moses” Mueller’s 10 Trump Obstructions that he scrounged up during the investigation, Trump did a horrific job of obstructing justice since he directed senior officials to freely testify, asserted no claim of privilege, and gave investigators unfettered access to 1.4 million pages of White House and campaign documents.  

Nevertheless Mueller, looking feebler than all the stock footage we’ve been seeing, flew in on a political Stealth bomber, dropped a nuclear bomb, and blew the trumpet for congressional Democrats to open a new front in the Resistance War: Impeachment.

Mueller’s statement was just as muddy as his report, causing many to ask, “What’s he talking about?  What’s he saying?  What does he mean?”  It was no collusion, lots of confusion, with no questions.  He left us guessing on statements like, “… if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime – we would have said so.”  Why not just say, “Our investigation found crimes – here’s the list.”  Did Trump break the law, or not?  By saying it so mysteriously, Mueller poured more strychnine into an already poisoned political environment.  

Or, “… the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing.”  A process other than the criminal justice system?!  Just say impeachment!  

Also, Mueller said about Volume I of his report that it included “a discussion of the Trump campaign’s response to this activity, as well as, our conclusion that there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy.”  

Insufficient evidence?  Is “insufficient evidence” the same as saying, "[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign inspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” as Mueller’s report stated?  “Insufficient evidence” is language that’s used as fodder for the impeachment frenzy. Instead of being straight-forward and conclusive, Mueller’s statement was defensive, convoluted and very political.  

But Mueller’s 9-minute statement was crystal clear to Democrats.  They’re good at hearing dog whistles.  Within the first hour, a regiment of Democrats – armed to the teeth with confirmation bias – marched to microphones with verbal grenades to kill off any narrative that gave aid and comfort to Trump and Barr.

“Although Department of Justice policy prevented the Special Counsel from bringing criminal charges against the president,” said Jerry Nadler, clinging to a written statement, “the Special Counsel has clearly demonstrated that President Trump is lying.  He’s lying about the Special Counsel’s findings; lying about key witnesses in the Special Counsel’s report; and, above all, lying and saying that the Special Counsel found no obstruction and no collusion.”

Nancy Pelosi was “very clear” about Mueller’s message in her reaction at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. “He (Mueller) also was clear in saying if you thought the president could be cleared, he would have cleared him, but he didn’t,” she said.  “That is very clear.”  

Beto, Booker, Buttigieg, Harris and other screechy 2020 presidential candidates parroted that Mueller was sending Congress an “impeachment referral.”  

Mueller was mushy on exonerating Trump but made clear that he and his boss, Attorney General Bill Barr, have dueling theories about how the obstruction law applies to Trump’s actions during the investigation.

The two theories are the crux of the matter.  Mueller’s obstruction theory was what prompted Barr to write a 19-page memo to then Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in June 2018.  He called Mueller’s theory “fatally conceived,” … “premised on a novel and legally insupportable reading of the law” and that if used would have “grave consequences far beyond the immediate confines of this case and would do lasting damage to the Presidency and to the administration of law within the Executive [B]ranch.”

Mueller, according to Barr, was pursuing an obstruction case based on a residual clause of the obstruction law, Section 1512(c)(2), which was never intended to be relied on in isolation.

Calling Mueller’s application of the obstruction law overly aggressive, Barr’s biggest concern was that making it a crime for the president to influence an investigation, even when it involved him, interfered with the discretionary powers vested to him by the Constitution.  As designed by the framers, the president is not part of the Executive Branch, he is the Executive Branch and cannot recuse himself in matters involving his prosecutorial discretion; especially in highly disruptive bogus investigations conducted by ill-willed political opponents.    

That doesn’t mean the president is above the law like so many pundits are saying Barr believes.  “… if a President knowingly destroys or alters evidence, suborns perjury, or induces a witness to change testimony, or commits any act deliberately impairing the integrity or availability of evidence, then he, like anyone else, commits the crime of obstruction,” Barr wrote.

Committing bad acts “to deliberately impair the integrity or availability of evidence” would be what Hillary Clinton did when she used BleachBit to permanently delete her emails, and had her aides take a hammer to her electronic devices.  

“She and her lawyers had those emails deleted,” said then Rep. Trey Gowdy in an August 2016 interview.  “And they didn’t just push the delete button; they had them deleted where even God can’t read them.  

Mueller, the Moses of Trump-haters, could have put the Russian collusion-obstruction mess into context, and into the history books. He failed. It wasn’t enough that he continued the investigation after he knew there was no collusion, he deliberately unleashed more political Hell onto the body politic, giving fresh meat to monomaniacal Trump-haters who, to this day, can’t believe he won in 2016.

Good riddance, Bob Mueller.