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Mulling Mueller

So… How about that Robert Mueller press conference?

Don’t worry if you—like the happy majority of the country that isn’t glued to cable news shows or Twitter 24/7—missed out on all the fun. It’s already up on YouTube, where you can watch and figure out for yourself what to make of it. One thing I’ll hand to Mueller: he keeps things moving along, and at a brisk nine minutes you’ll spend a lot less time torturing yourself than if you listen to all the talking heads who will be picking this thing apart for the rest of the day.

Since you’re here, though, I might as well chip in my own two cents and maybe save you a few clicks. First off, Mueller said nothing that would change anybody’s mind about anything related to his investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with the Russians to mess with the 2016 election. Quite the opposite—those who can’t stand the President will go on thinking he’s a scofflaw and a scoundrel, while his die-hardiest fans will keep on Trumpin’. Perhaps the only thing worthy of note was a subtle jab Mueller thrust in the media’s direction, when he shot down the notion that his report represented anything but a complete and accurate record of his investigation. Mueller confirmed that Attorney General William Barr did not, in fact, edit out any juicy bits in an attempt to cover for Trump, and expressed his full confidence that Barr only made redactions that were required by law.

CNN and MSNBC were hardest hit.

Beyond that, there was also this tidbit, which raised more than a few eyebrows:

Which is a rather interesting standard of justice. Last I heard, a prosecutor’s job involved determining whether sufficient evidence exists to charge someone with a crime—not whether there’s sufficient proof of innocence. The insertion of “not” in Mueller’s statement above may consist of a single word, but it turns American jurisprudence completely on its head.

It’s also something of a tell as to Mueller’s true motives in calling for this press conference. As he was unlikely to sway anyone’s thinking on this issue—and considering that he muddied the waters far more than clearing them up—I can only suspect that he is threading the needle here, tossing the media and other rabid anti-Trump partisans a bone to gnaw on so they don’t come after him now that he’s returning to private life. After all, those very same people counted on Mueller to deliver the goods with his report and when that didn’t happen they became very unhappy. I’m guessing he doesn’t want to spend the rest of his days getting accosted like he did outside of church last month.

At any rate, nothing has changed. Trump isn’t getting charged criminally, so it’s up to the Democrats in the House of Representatives to impeach him if that’s the road they want to go down. Mueller reminded them of that today, then washed his hands of responsibility. Whether the Dems have the guts to do it ahead of an election year remains to be seen, though. My guess? Trump would love the fight.

The country, on the other hand, would suffer greatly. But since when has that ever made a difference to the denizens of the DC swamp?

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