It seemed there was a glimmer of hope, upon the wrap-up of the investigation and the filing of the report, that Robert Mueller was actually playing things down the middle after all. Long suspected by the president’s supporters to be a man out for revenge – another NeverTrump partisan who wanted to avenge his good friend Jim Comey – Mueller surprised us by actually adhering to the facts. In a move that inspired howls of outrage from the Democrats, he gave us a report that cleared the Trump campaign and the president of the greatest crime: Colluding with the Russians.
Democrats went into overdrive, attempting to ignore that finding in favor of the report’s other volume – the one in which Mueller refused to make any determination one way or the other about whether Trump obstructed justice. But their efforts failed to gain much traction, mostly because it was so transparently obvious what they were doing. Even Democrat voters could tell their party’s top politicians were scrambling for purchase after falling off a cliff. They were going to need a mighty strong rope to save them.
On Wednesday, Mueller himself threw them that rope.
“The order appointing the special counsel authorized us to investigate actions that could obstruct the investigation. We conducted that investigation and kept the office of the acting attorney general apprised of our work,” Mueller said. “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
This, after saying earlier in his press conference that any Russians indicted by his office should be considered innocent until proven guilty. Apparently, though, that standard does not apply to President Trump. No, when it comes to Trump, the prosecutor must know his innocence beyond a reasonable doubt – a perfect inversion (if not perversion) of the American justice system.
“Mueller claimed his report spoke for itself, then put together a completely unnecessary press conference more than a month after his report’s public release, in which he not just spoke for the report, but expounded on the new legal standards he created to govern its conclusions,” Sean Davis wrote for The Federalist. “These are the actions not of an impartial and independent investigator, but of a scheming political operative.”
Exactly. Any good faith that we might have been tempted to extend to Mueller after the report has now gone up in smoke. He is exactly what we thought he was – a hired gun tasked with the extraordinary challenge of removing a president through extrademocratic means. On Wednesday, he all but told House Democrats, “Have at ‘em.” Whether or not Pelosi & Friends take him up on his offer, Mueller did what they wanted him to do.