With just three weeks to go before the elections, it now seems apparent that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not planning an October surprise. That’s not to say he won’t necessarily bust anyone in the Trump-Russia scandal between now and November 6th. But as far as Mueller’s big move on Donald Trump himself, that’s pretty clearly going to happen after the elections. There’s a reason for that: Mueller will know what his options are.
If the Democrats win the House of Representatives, then Robert Mueller can simply give his report on Donald Trump to the House, knowing that impeachment hearings will move forward accordingly. The fate of the Senate is far less important to Mueller’s plans, because removal via impeachment requires 67 votes. The point of the impeachment process is not to get to that final vote, but to destroy Trump politically during the process itself, thus forcing him to resign.
In the less likely scenario in which the Democrats don’t win the House, Mueller will be in a position where simply filing a report would go nowhere. He would need to take a different strategy, whether it be attempting to indict Donald Trump while he’s still in office, or going public with the report, or some combination of both.
If we’ve consistently seen one thing from Robert Mueller in his long career, it’s that he’s always as aggressive as he needs to be in order to get the job done. But depending on how the midterms go, he might not need to take a bulldozer approach to get it done. If you’re wondering how soon after the midterms Mueller might make his move, consider that Trump has reportedly begun answering Mueller’s questions. This suggests that Mueller gave Trump a hard deadline, and that it’s imminently approaching. Interviewing the kingpin is always the last step in any multi-tiered investigation – so it sounds like Mueller is just about there.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report