Mueller’s Report: What It Really Means

By

Leonard Zwelling

Democrats were salivating. They couldn’t wait until the report from special prosecutor Robert Mueller III was made public and President Trump was shown to be a Russian agent. Not so fast.

Last weekend, the report was delivered to the Attorney General William Barr who wrote a four-page letter to Congress that basically said there would be no indictments of the president or, for that matter, anyone else in the Trump Administration beyond those already charged, based on the findings of the Mueller probe.

The report itself has not been made public and I am not at all sure that most of Congress has seen it yet either. Supposedly, we are weeks away from that. I suspect that the AG and his handlers in the White House will redact portions or classify others or characterize some findings as being relevant to past or on-going grand jury probes. These parts may not be seen by Congress and certainly not by the rest of us. We don’t really need to see them. Here’s why.

First, anyone who has been paying attention realized that despite some really biased reporting, the overwhelming likelihood was that Mr. Trump was not a Russian agent. Sure, the Russians interfered in the election,
but no one knows if that mattered vis a vis the outcome. If Democrats were looking to have a do-over based on the Mueller report, get over yourselves. Mrs. Clinton was the wrong candidate to beat Mr. Trump in 2016 and then she ran a lousy campaign. He won. Period.

Second, does anyone really think Mr. Trump is that clever? I don’t. Besides, he was too busy being famous to conspire with the Russians over an election he was sure to lose. The only interest Mr. Trump had in Russia was the Trump Tower and I guess the Russians would rather launder their money in Manhattan than in Moscow so that building was never constructed.

Third, the media made monkeys of themselves trying to convict the president long before there was any evidence that he had done anything wrong with regard to Russia. Besides, he has been so crude and so unpresidential, the Russia part of this was just going to be icing on the cake if it were true. Too bad. The media can have its cake without icing. Brownies are good.

Fourth, the likely place that Trump was and is most vulnerable has to be the money—his money, his taxes, his foundation. The clue there is that he never made his tax returns public. It appears that the Southern District of New York and its attorneys will be looking into this and that they may yet find the president guilty of crimes. Surely he paid off a porn star and a Playboy model with whom he allegedly had sex in order to raise his chances of being elected. That probably violated campaign laws, but does anyone really care? I don’t.

So what do we get out of the Mueller report. Not much? Actually, quite a lot. Mueller indicted many including 6 members of the Trump Administration and all appear to be headed for jail. That’s something. He basically has shown that it is unlikely that the Russians were able to turn a major presidential candidate into a Manchurian one though not for lack of trying. That’s good. He did not exonerate Mr. Trump of obstruction of justice charges, but he has left that to Congress if they choose to pursue it. My view is, why bother? The president’s sentiments about Mr. Comey, and the intelligence community, the Democrats and the news media are all well-known. They have been tolerated thus far. His offenses on decency are great, but probably not impeachable and that is the mechanism the Founders developed to remove an offending president. So far, what Trump has done is awful, but is probably not a high crime or misdemeanor—yet. He’s just another awful president and we have had many of those. He needs to be replaced the old-fashioned way. He needs to be defeated at the polls in 2020.

Obstruction is the one area upon which Mueller drew no definite conclusions, although Mr. Barr did. But it was already known that Barr was fine with all the things Trump did that might be considered obstruction from firing Comey, to firing Sessions, to lambasting anyone who suggested that Mueller was doing a good thing.

I still think it will be the money that will get the president in trouble if anything does and that awaits the full investigation of lawyers in New York and Virginia.

For now, the Democrats are wise to pivot their attention to health care. The Mueller report may or may not be fake news. It is surely old news.

Leonard Zwelling