Last night we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is supposedly issuing his final report about Donald Trump’s crimes as soon as next week. Depending on one’s interpretation of what this means, Resistance members are either positively giddy right now, or on the brink of giving up all hope. Everyone take a deep breath.
First, even though this report is coming from multiple major trusted news outlets, it doesn’t mean it’s true. What if this is merely Team Trump’s latest attempt at planting a false narrative in the media, just to appease an increasingly nervous Donald Trump? But let’s set that scenario aside for a moment and assume that this storyline is true, and that Robert Mueller really is about to issue his report on Trump. Then what?
Despite all the predictable fear mongering on cable news right now, this is not a matter of new Attorney General William Barr ordering Robert Mueller to end his investigation, and Mueller meekly saying “Okay yes sir.” Nothing works that way. Mueller is not a pushover, an idiot, a loser, or a man without a plan. If this is what Barr is trying to do, Mueller isn’t going to simply cave. Instead he’ll shift to Plan B, or Plan C, or Plan M, because guys like Mueller are always just that prepared. So if there are hijinks involved, Mueller will probably still win this.
But if Robert Mueller really is issuing his report on Donald Trump next week, the far more realistic interpretation here is that it’s because he’s done investigating Trump. In other words, he’s uncovered and proven Trump’s crimes, and he’s doing what we’ve all been hoping he would do for some time: he’s making his big move.
Is it a coincidence that Mueller is suddenly making his move just days after William Barr took office? Of course not. But the logical explanation is that Mueller has been sitting on his report, waiting for Trump puppet Matt Whitaker to be gone, waiting for his old friend Barr to take control, so he could file the report with someone he knows and trusts. One way or the other, there is a 100% chance Mueller’s report will become public – whether Barr wants it to or not – because that’s simply how things work. Barr can’t get away with keeping this report in a drawer any more than he could get away with keeping an elephant in his office.
So yeah, if this report about the Mueller report is true, it’s very likely positive news. That said, this is a good time to remind the eternal optimists that even Mueller doesn’t have a magic wand. If he issues his report next week, Donald Trump won’t simply fall through a trap door. It’ll just mean that the whole world will know Trump is a criminal and traitor, no one will be able to deny it, and his ouster will become inevitable – though not imminent.
One more thing to keep in mind: even if Robert Mueller issues his report about Donald Trump next week, it will not necessarily mean that Mueller is quitting, or that he’s abandoning the rest of his job duties. He’s in the middle of taking down Roger Stone. He and his team still have Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort hearings to attend. You can’t just walk away from that kind of thing. It could just be that Mueller is finally ready to move on Trump himself, even as he continues to move on everyone else in Trump’s orbit.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report