Now that the Mueller investigations are finally over, we will have to see how the political class in this country react. Will Democrats pivot from endless investigations and begin to try and move an agenda or will they double down and begin more congressional investigations? The sad truth is that they will begin anew in investigating both President Trump and anyone associated with him personally or in his administration. And this has nothing to do with whether someone is guilty of something but rather one single thing: The 2020 elections.
The Attorney General William Barr has just released his four-page letter to Congress summarizing the Mueller Report. In that letter, he makes several points, two of them that are key in the investigation. The first is “The Special Counsel’s investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election”. What that means is a clear victory on this point for the President.
The second point dealt with obstruction of justice by the President and on this, the Barr letter said “The Special Counsel . . . did not draw a conclusion — one way or the other — as to whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction”. “The Special Counsel states that ‘while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”.
This is not a victory for the President and it is the point that the Democrats in the House will seize on and promise more investigation. Some of the comments and tweets made by the President could come back to haunt him.
On the first point some Democrats, led by Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman, continue to insist that there is strong and convincing that the Trump campaign colluded with Russians. This has been his message all along and if he has some proof that the Mueller team did not now is the time for him to proffer that proof or sit down.
We now know that the Mueller Report does not give the Democrats what they want you can bet that the very same people that praised and defended Robert Mueller will suddenly turn on him. Just a couple of weeks ago John Brennan, the former Director of the CIA under President Obama, predicted that up to 50 more people would be indicted by Mueller and his team and they would all be going to jail. Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Presidential candidate herself, predicted that not only would the President be indicted and impeached but he would be going to jail. Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) came out and said that we need to read the fine print and he believed there was still criminality in the report that Congress can investigate and recommend prosecutions. Fueled by the rampant attacks on the President by the media Democrats in Congress came to assume that the report would conclude there was Russian collusion between the two. It now appears that they were wrong.
This will lead many on the left (not all) to claim that the Mueller team was biased and politically slanted. They will ignore that fact that Mueller team was heavily tilted toward Democrats. We don’t know how many were on the team but at least 17 of them have been identified and 14 of those were Democrat donors and at least 2 of them gave the maximum donation to the Clinton campaign. One of them, Jeannie Rhee, was a lawyer for the Clinton Foundation and Aaron Zebley was the lawyer who represented Justin Cooper, the Clinton aide the destroyed her mobile devices with a hammer. So, it will be difficult to make the claim that political bias influenced the report.
What will happen is that Democrats will demand that not only the full report be made public, but they will want all of the underlying documents that led to the conclusions in the report. That would mean violating current law because much of the information is classified or the result of grand jury testimony, both of which are never revealed into the public domain. Already Speake Pelosi has said that she will reject any classified briefing offered to the “Gang of Eight” which includes the Leaders in both parties of the House and Senate and the Chairman and Ranking Members of the Judiciary Committees of both chambers. But those briefing will eventually take place and then both sides will begin to spin the results. Democrats will claim that there is ample evidence in the report to keep investigating.
Now, these are the same Democrats that have denounced any attempts to have the underlying documents on what brought about the investigation to be made public. These are the FISA warrants and the documents submitted to support the warrant. In their opinion, those should remain confidential. These are the same Democrats that said the underlying documents in the “Fast and Furious” investigation should be kept under wraps and on the IRS Political Bias investigation they defended the Obama administration’s decision to keep those documents private.
And we should not pretend that Republicans are innocent in this process. They demanded the FISA information be made public and now say the underlying documents for the Report remain confidential. This is all about politics as it normally is in Washington.
What Congress should be doing is turning the page and moving on from this investigation. But that will not occur because we are dealing with politicians on both sides of the aisle. After 42 years in Washington DC working in and around the Congress, I have decided that neither side is really interested in doing what the public wants and are more concentrated on getting power and keeping it.
The Democrats will demand that they see more information so they can pick it apart and make their own conclusions and announce to the public that they have arrived at a different decision than Robert Mueller. Republicans will claim that the investigation was all a waste of time and money and nothing more should come of it. And in the end, both sides will serve their interests and further divide the nation.
As I look back on this whole affair, I feel it was born out of some false information in the FISA warrants and the Steele Dossier. It exploded as opponents of the President fanned the flames of possible Russian collusion. There is no doubt that Russia tried to influence the election but most of that effort was done via social media. If anyone allowed their vote to be influenced by social media they should be ashamed. We should all acknowledge that the United States engages in similar activity around the world. President Obama sent a political team to Israel to try and defeat Benjamin Netanyahu as the Prime Minister. Hillary Clinton was caught trying to influence the elections in both Russia and the Ukraine. This is what intelligence services do.
As I stated earlier this week, I would hope that Congress could now pivot and work in crucial legislation. Democrats now run the risk of overplaying their hand similar to the Republican in their effort to oust Bill Clinton. His popularity went up and they may cause the same thing to happen to Trump.
I have one last thought. A friend of mine has read this blog and continually accused me of being so far up Trump’s butt that my own hair is orange. I want to make it clear that I think as a person Trump is not someone that I would hold up to anyone as an example. He is a braggart and says things that are so patently false that you have to laugh. His repeated claim that more people came to his inauguration than Obama’s is simply preposterous. His repeatedly having to say that everything he does is the biggest and best strains credibility. Now I have said this to my friend over and over, but he says that unless I denounce every policy of the Trump administration, I must be a Trump guy. I would put Bill Clinton in the same category as a womanizer, but he did enact some good policy decisions. I attribute that to Clinton be one of the best politicians in history. So yes you can support Trump policy initiatives and not be a fan of the man.