So this is it, the culmination of almost 2 years of work,
and it is now in the hands of Attorney General William Barr.
Special counsel Robert Mueller, after weeks of speculation,
has turned in his final report on the far-reaching Russia probe.
This likely ends any notion that there will be any more indictments to come out of the case, although we won’t know the full extent until the report is released to the public.
That brings up the next point of order: How much will we be
allowed to see?
AG Barr has not committed to making the full report public,
although he said in his confirmation hearing that he would be willing to
release what was legally feasible.
So what has the 22-month investigation yielded?
Six associates of Trump and his campaign were ultimately charged in connection the investigation with false statements, obstruction, financial crimes and other offenses.
Mueller also unveiled charges against more than a dozen Russians who ran a troll farm in St. Petersburg, Russia, that spread divisive content to American audiences on social media as part of a broader plot to interfere in the election. And the special counsel indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking the emails of high-level Democrats.
Longtime Trump pal and adviser, Roger Stone, was the most
recently indicted member of the Trump circle, having been charged with lying to
authorities about his contacts with Wikileaks, a Russian cutout.
Mueller was given broad powers of investigation when
assigned to this case by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, in May 2017.
Along the way, President Trump has reacted like a scalded dog, spitting insults
at then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who recused himself out of ethical
It was Trump’s belief that the job of the Justice Department
is to run interference for the president.
(I’m going to say he
got that impression from the Obama Justice Department.)
The president has long insisted that Mueller’s work was a “witch
hunt,” and even though he says he’ll defer to Attorney General Barr, as to if
the report should be made public or not, he still acts like a man scared to
“I have a deputy, appoints a man to write a report on me, to make a determination on my presidency,” Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network airing Friday. “People will not stand for it.”
People will stand for it, just fine. They have for this
The probe was seen as necessary after President Trump fired
FBI Director James Comey in May 2017, then said in an NBC News interview with
Lester Holt that he’d done it to stop the Congressional Russia investigation.
The day after he fired Comey, he hosted several Russian
officials in the Oval Office, shutting out the American press and boasting that
firing “nut job” Comey took the pressure off of him, as far as his dealing with
From that day since, there’s been very little difference
between how Trump acts and how a Russian asset would behave.
A heads up, however: Of all the things we already know and
have already seen from Mueller’s work, what we haven’t seen or heard is a basis
for collusion, which would be any conspiratorial acts between Team Trump and
We’ll have to wait until the report is released.
Congress has been pushing for the full report, but South
Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham has blocked that effort, saying he would not
allow it, unless another special counsel is assigned to dig up the bones of the
investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server and rehash it [at least until
the 2020 election].
So now we wait. I doubt very little will change in the minds
of many, regardless of what the report says, but we should at least be given a
chance to hear it.