Trying to take in this idea that the Mueller investigation is wrapping up/being wrapped up in the next week or so. I know I am supposed to have clear thoughts on this, but I have to be honest, I don’t. Or rather I have a thousand.
First, I don’t know whether the reports are true. And if they are true, I don’t know why they are wrapping up. Are they done? Were they pushed into wrapping up by Barr (and Whitaker)? If they are done could they have possibly wrapped up every line of inquiry?
If they were forced to wrap up were they stopped in mid-investigation? How? By whom? Were their contingencies in place with other prosecutors and sealed indictments that may be triggered in this circumstance? Will there be a public report? How will it differ from the full report?
Will there be hearings? Will we see dueling hearings between the committee of Trump lackey Lindsey Graham and that of Rep. Nadler in the House? What would happen if those hearings found that there had been pressure on the investigation?
Will the full report be briefed to the Gang of Eight? How much of it will leak? Will parts of the investigation be carried on actively and aggressively by SDNY and if so, will there be pressure from DOJ to shut them down? How will the public react to all this?
Will it cause great controversy, or will it blur into all the other breaking scandals? How will this impact the on-going efforts by the Russians to attack our democracy yet again in 2020? Will the administration be able to continue to thwart efforts to stop/track Russia?
How will the seemingly imminent firing of DNI Dan Coats fit into this? The departure of Rod Rosenstein? What would Mueller’s public posture be post investigation? Will the House investigations be able to effectively pick up where Mueller left off?
How can an investigation like this wrap up when Stone has yet to be brought to trial? Yet to have pressure placed on him to flip? When additional pressure of big sentence has yet to produce results from Manafort? When the role of Wikileaks has not been fully explored?
How can the investigation be done without more the financial ties of Trump to Russia or to the Saudis or others? Is the House investigating these areas because they already know Mueller will not? How can it be done as the news about the Saudi nuke deal is breaking?
How can the investigation be done as the president’s pattern of obstruction of justice continues? How will that be handled if the DOJ maintains its stance that a president can not be indicted? How would this report impact an impeachment process if there are many loose ends?
Would an inconclusive or “no-smoking gun” Mueller report stop such a process? Or would it make such a process our only hope of arriving at some sort of justice? What do other intelligence agencies know that might leak if the U.S. investigation is quashed or incomplete?
If the report contains major revelations of crimes by the president and or his family will Barr try to hide those or diminish them or ignore them? What recourse would there be if he did? Who will take up the lead on investigating this deeply compromised and corrupt president after Mueller? Will a real investigation have to wait until thereis a Democratic president and Senate to work with the Democratic House? How intensively would a new administration work to prosecute wrong-doing by Trump, his family and his protectors, enablers and accomplices?
Will justice have to wait years more to be done? Will Trump…and as importantly…Putin get away with their crimes? If Barr is seen to have put pressure on Mueller to end this–& I have no evidence to know he did or did not–will he become part of the obstruction investigation?
My mind is reeling. All the questions are compounded by the fact the evidence already on hand makes it absolutely clear that:
- the Russians sought to help the Trump campaign,
- the Trump campaign welcomed the help,
- the Trump campaign was compromised by their $ interests,
- Trump and his aides repeatedly lied to law enforcement about Russian intervention, e.) Trump repeatedly thought to obstruct justice to squelch this investigation,
- McConnell, Ryan, Nunes, Whitaker and others abetted Trump in this efforts,
- Trump and his aides worked on major concessions to Russia as soon as they took office,
- Trump departed from decades of US policy to Russia to grant them key concessions–despite having publicly embraced their intervention in the campaign during the campaign,
- Trump met secretively with Putin in ways that violate all protocols and historical precedents,
- Trump revealed classified information to the Russians in the Oval Office,
- Trump was lax with security regarding his own cellphone and with regard to WH security clearances,
- Trump’s entire inner circle–his family, Flynn, Manafort, Stone, Gates, Ross, and others had major business interests in Russia that continued for many after the election, and m.) all that amounts to the biggest betrayal of the US by a president in our history.
In fact, Mueller report or no Mueller report, it is absolutely evident that no American in our history has betrayed the country as egregiously or damagingly as Trump and that it is vital that we recognize this fact or the risks of further damage will be compounded.
First, we have to protect ourselves against further damage in 2020. Then, we must recognize that only by having all the facts and all the wrong-doers publicly tried and brought to justice can we ensure we do not suffer similar attacks and betrayals in the future.
Finally, we must ensure that somehow the facts are presented in a way that enables us to do what seems impossible now and transcend party and resolve as unified country to protect ourselves in the future.
So, as I say, this news may just be a rumor. But if it is true, we must have the patience to answer all the questions that are raised and then return to the overarching goal of seeking the truth and to protect the national security of the U.S. via every means available to us.
The Mueller investigation has been important and Mueller has conducted himself admirably to date (as have the FBI, the Intelligence community and others denigrated by Trump). But it is not the end of this story.
Its submission will simply mark the end of one chapter and the beginning of another in a long legal, national security and national political process that will likely go on for many years to come.