The saga of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s public statement about the BuzzFeed bombshell has taken yet another surreal turn, and it’s a big one. Rudy Giuliani is now claiming that Team Trump reached out to Mueller’s office before Mueller issued the statement, a clear cut attempt at tampering, which raises a number of questions about what’s really going on here.
The thing is, we don’t even know if this is true. Giuliani is making the claim to CNN, but he lies constantly, and often in inexplicable fashion. Did this really happen? Is Rudy simply making it up? Let’s assume for now that Trump’s people really did reach out to Mueller and ask him to publicly dispute the BuzzFeed report. Even if so, that doesn’t mean Mueller made the statement because Trump asked him to.
If there is a fundamentally incorrect detail in the BuzzFeed article, even a secondary one that doesn’t change the nature of the crimes involved, then Robert Mueller did the right thing by signaling to House Democrats that they shouldn’t immediately roll out impeachment charges like they had been planning to. Trump could have had a field day if the articles of impeachment against him had even one detail wrong.
There is a second, darker scenario: Robert Mueller issued the public statement because Donald Trump demanded as much. If so, it means Trump is even more out on a criminal limb than ever. But the bottom line here is that Mueller knows what he’s doing. He’s twice as smart as Trump, and he’s ten times more experienced at this kind of thing. If Mueller felt that his best shot at finishing the job of taking Trump down was to issue this (ostensibly technically true) statement in order to keep Trump placated for now, then so be it.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report