When Robert Mueller was appointed Special Counsel, he was supposed to investigate and prosecute any crimes that Donald Trump and his campaign committed while conspiring with Russia to alter the outcome of the 2016 election. Two years later, Mueller’s work is done – and it’s time to admit that he screwed us all by simply not doing his job.
Yes, there are still a dozen Mueller-spawned criminal cases in progress. But so what? We know who they’re not against. Robert Mueller decided that because of a forty year old DOJ memo that most legal experts have dismissed as meaningless, he didn’t even want to try to indict Donald Trump, despite having discovered that Trump committed a double digit number of felonies. Mueller also decided not to indict Donald Trump Jr for the crimes he committed in plain sight, while offering an insulting explanation that Junior was too stupid to have known he was committing a crime. And Mueller decided not to indict any of the dozen or more White House advisers who criminally conspired with Trump to commit obstruction of justice. So what was this guy even doing?
Mueller took down Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and (perhaps) Roger Stone. Fine. Good. They’re all career criminals. But he spent two years doing nothing beyond taking down these guys – who are relatively unimportant in the scheme of things – while letting Donald Trump drag the country through the gutter the entire time. For that matter, Mueller gave Michael Flynn a free pass for conspiring with America’s enemies, and in exchange all Mueller got was evidence against Trump that knew all along he wasn’t going to indict Trump for. So what the hell was the point of any of this?
Robert Mueller is the only one who knows for sure why he spent two years farting around and pulling his punches, while leaving us all under the impression that he was investigating Donald Trump’s crimes so he could bring Trump to justice. Even if Mueller were under unfairly tight restrictions from Trump’s corrupt DOJ the whole time, Mueller still failed to warn us that his investigation was going to be a years-long waste of time.
The only solace here – if you can call it that – is that because the Republicans were in charge of the House and Senate for nearly the entire time that Robert Mueller was playing footsie instead of doing his job, it’s not as if the GOP Congress would have used that time to investigate Trump. And yes, while Mueller’s plan to simply release a report was wimpy, the real villain here is William Barr, for flat out lying about what Mueller’s report said.
But the bottom line is that for whatever reason, be it cowardice or obsessive fear about his legacy becoming politicized, Robert Mueller screwed us all. Because Mueller didn’t do his job, Donald Trump is still illegitimately in power, and immigrant kids are dying in concentration camps. But hey, at least Paul Manafort is no longer walking the streets.
None of this takes away from Robert Mueller’s status as a war hero. And his takedowns of Enron and John Gotti are still the stuff of legend. But that makes the whole thing all the more confounding. Mueller spent his entire life being a badass – until he became Special Counsel, and then he became such a coward, wuss, and loser, he ended up getting worse results than the average dime store lawyer might have obtained, given the same chance.
House Democrats are now burdened with fighting a court battle to obtain testimony and evidence – in many instances the same testimony and evidence that Mueller obtained and then squandered – before they can move forward with impeachment or any other attempted remedy. You can critique the House Democrats however you like. But the bottom line is that if Mueller had done his job instead of spending two years being a tepid idiot, the House Democrats wouldn’t be stuck fighting Trump with one hand tied behind their back.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report