It is interesting that although Robert Mueller spoke in plain English today, some people misunderstood or misconstrued his words. Of course, those people are Donald Trump’s inner circle, Trump himself, and his supporters. Once again, Trump is proclaiming that he is innocent, that Mueller found nothing, and that this is over.
As Ari Melber said on MSNBC: “If only. The case is far from closed.” He and Craig Melvin got a good laugh out of Trump’s tweet. Melber said, “It’s a serious day, but that tweet is laughable.” What’s even more laughable is how Trump’s people all choose to ignore Robert Mueller’s pointed words.
Mueller threw out so many hints today that a fifth grader should have gotten the gist of his words. Two things stand out very clearly: “If we had had confidence that the President had clearly not committed a crime, we would have said so.” After discussing the DOJ rule that they cannot indict a sitting president, Mueller followed up with “Charging the President with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider.” Is it me, or is this clear as glass?
Much of what Mueller said today clearly contradicted William Barr’s false assertions. For example, CNN points out that while Barr and Rosenstein claimed “there was insufficient evidence to charge a broader conspiracy,” Mueller clarified Barr’s statement by repeating once again that they were not able to exonerate Trump and that his hands were clearly tied by the old, tired DOJ policy. In essence, Mueller was telling us that since they couldn’t indict Trump, they couldn’t do much with what they found. Again, “[c]harging the President with a crime was, therefore, not an option we could consider,” says it all.
It’s not that Mueller and his team found no evidence; it’s that they were not allowed to use the evidence they found. CNN took this one step further by showing a split screen of Barr’s statements next to Mueller’s statements. That video is both damning and telling. Mueller was also clear that because his hands were tied, it is up to Congress to take it from here.
I will not be one of those who constantly criticizes Nancy Pelosi for being cautious with impeachment. I believe she is extremely savvy and she is waiting for the proper strategic time. I agree with her. This is not something that can be rushed. As the anchors on CNN pointed out, it took Congress months to bring Nixon up for impeachment. They gathered the evidence, and once they had incontrovertible proof of Nixon’s guilt, they pounced. Republicans, once faced with the evidence, had no choice but to go along, if only to save their own careers. That may not happen here, but the way she is handling this is the right way.
We’re all tired of being patient. I get that, but if we hope for this to be successful, we have to allow Congress to work. Let’s face it: “President” Donald Trump, his cronies, and his remaining supporters are going to continue to accuse Congress of “partisan” politics no matter what. Perhaps, with the right evidence, they will have to get on board or at the very least, stop actively defending him — just like they did with Nixon.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years