Now that special counsel Robert Mueller has completed his investigation, it is tempting to breathe a sigh of relief and assume that our long national nightmare is over. Resist the temptation, the assumption is false.
We are not close to the end. Not by a long shot.
In fact, I believe the last two years, as traumatic as they were, will prove to be the easier part of the nightmare, because Mueller dealt only with whether Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign conspired with Russia to swing the election. Based on what we know so far, especially that no more indictments are coming, it appears that Mueller’s answer is no, there was no collusion or obstruction of justice.
If true, this is an enormous vindication for Trump, who insisted all along that he had done nothing wrong. Supporters were understandably in a celebratory mood, with some saying on Twitter that it felt like 2016 election night all over again.
Meanwhile, Trump’s vindication is a devastating rebuke to Democrats and their media handmaidens, all of whom insisted his guilt was guaranteed. Their legacy is that they ruined their own credibility, and their continuing efforts to destroy him by innuendo and investigation can only add to their disgrace.
For them, too, Friday night was like a repeat of Trump’s election victory.
Top Findings From Mueller’s Report Are Sent Congress
Attorney general says report offers no conclusion on whether President Trump obstructed justice
By Sadie Gurman and Aruna Viswanatha, Wall Street Journal, March 24, 2019:
- *Attorney General Barr Sends to Congress ‘Principal Conclusions’ of Mueller Investigation
- *Mueller Report Offers No Conclusion on Whether President Trump Obstructed Justice
- *Mueller Report Leaves to Attorney General to Determine Whether Trump Behavior Constitutes Crime
- *Attorney General Concludes Evidence in Mueller Insufficient to Constitute Obstruction of Justice
- *Mueller Says Report Does Not Conclude Trump Committed Crime, but Also Does Not Exonerate President
- *Special Counsel Finds No Evidence of Collusion Between Trump Campaign and Russia
Attorney General William Barrsent a letter to Congress outlining the “principal conclusions” of the special counsel’s Trump-Russia probe, a Justice Department official said Sunday afternoon.
Special counsel Robert Mueller delivered his report to the Justice Department on Friday, ending his wide-ranging investigation that has loomed over the Trump presidency. The report on the investigation, which examined Russian interference in the 2016 election, links between that effort and the Trump campaign, and whether Mr. Trump himself tried to obstruct justice, set up a weekend of fevered speculation about its contents.
While the broad conclusions to be released Sunday will give insights into Mr. Mueller’s investigation, they are unlikely to quell calls for the public release of the underlying report, or at least its delivery to Congress.
Mr. Barr over the weekend worked closely with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and their top advisers to determine what top-line summary of the report they could quickly deliver to lawmakers. The attorney general has said he would now seek Mr. Mueller’s counsel in deciding what other information the law and longstanding Justice Department protocol will allow him to release.
Key questions for the Justice Department will center around how to handle release of classified material or information sourced from a grand jury, how to share information with the White House, and whether to allow select members of Congress to review the report and provide a redacted version for broader consumption.
Even before the principal conclusions were released, Democrats stressed the need to release the report and underlying documents in order for people to reach their own conclusions.
“The American people are entitled to see the Mueller report, and its underlying documentation, for themselves,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) said on Twitter Sunday afternoon. “They do not need or want the Trump Administration to summarize, sanitize, or spin the report.”
Democratic committee chairmen, meantime, stressed in a phone call with lawmakers that Congress is focused well beyond the scope of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which was limited to Russian interference in the 2016 election. “Our work is really far broader,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin (D., Md.). “We’ve got an independent constitutional duty to examine all of the evidence.”
The conclusion of the Mueller probe leaves in its wake about a dozen other probes into Mr. Trump and his associates by an array of federal, state and congressional investigators.
Many Republicans, for their part, asked for the Justice Department to release as much as laws and norms allow, hoping that it would help them frame the argument that the probe represented prosecutorial overreach.
“The American people know what a politically-motivated smear campaign looks like,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted on Friday. “That’s exactly what this is.”
A push toward disclosure has been building in both parties in for weeks, but not all in Congress are in favor of the report’s release. Earlier this month, the House voted 420-0 to pass a resolution calling for the public release of Mr. Mueller’s report, but a Democratic effort to pass the measure in the Senate was blocked by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).
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