It’s now being weirdly reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller will finish his report and his investigation by next week. The DOJ and the Special Counsel’s office have not confirmed any of this. So, we are in familiar territory.
We know that in the past, the White House has leaked information to the press that they wanted to be true, as if it were true. For months, they said Mueller would be done by November of 2018, then after November passed, they declared he would be all done by January of 2019. This tactic employed by the White House, of leaking what they want to happen, is oddly similar to a tactic Donald Trump used in a meeting described by Andrew McCabe.
McCabe described how Trump said that he had heard that McCabe was part of the “resistance” against Jim Comey. Trump laid out a whole story for McCabe, describing how he (Trump) had heard McCabe was one of the people in DOJ that had been loyal to Trump. None of what Trump was saying was true, but that was not the point. By the time Trump was finished speaking, all McCabe had to do was say yes, in agreement with Trump’s narrative, and McCabe and Trump would have had an understanding.
McCabe would know and agree to the type of behavior Trump expected, and McCabe, as one of the only people in DOJ on Trump’s side, would have clearly received a promotion in the future. In similar fashion, it is possible that it is Donald Trump’s staff that has detailed this story of the “wrapping up” of the Mueller investigation as a very clear message of what they want and expect Barr to make happen.
However, it is just as likely that Mueller will actually be finished with and deliver something to Barr next week. The evidence we know about to support this includes the files and boxes being moved from the special counsel’s office, and the number of staff that have finished their details with Mueller, and returned to their regular jobs at DOJ.
It could be that Mueller will only deliver a report on obstruction of justice next week, with his larger investigations still active and ongoing thereafter. If this is the case, we may not see big arrests or indictments this Friday, and we will still be waiting for the big stuff to drop, and Mueller will remain active as the Special Counsel.
Or it could be true that Mueller will truly wrap up his investigation, make his final indictments and/or arrests, and deliver his report, all within a week. That’s exciting, and if it’s true, then we should see some major actions happen this Friday. It could be the big day with indictments against Donald Trump Jr, and Jared Kushner at the very least. If this happens, expect Mueller to deliver his report simultaneously for a very good reason – he knows before he delivers these indictments, he has to be ready to pack his bags, and leave his job at DOJ.
One thing is very important to keep in mind, and most of America won’t understand it: even this will not be the true end of the investigation. It will mean that Mueller has transferred his (internal DOJ) staff back to other divisions, and he has fully prepared them to continue the investigations under the larger DOJ umbrella. He will have also transferred as much as he possibly could to places like SDNY. Grand juries will still be active and the prosecutors will simply be operating out of regular departments within the DOJ. I don’t know about you, but I am hoping for some big action this Friday, and next week too. But whatever happens, it won’t be the full and complete end game just yet.
Cheryl Kelley lives in the DC area with her husband and young son. She is active in government and politics.