In a photo taken Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
The special counsel investigation into possible “collusion” between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government appears to be coming to a close a lot sooner than many would expect.
It’s not that Mueller has signaled the end – to the contrary, Mueller hasn’t signaled much of anything. However, the pace of the investigation and the movement of the case through the courts seems to indicate they are running out of steam. And, if this is the case, then it’s all but assured that’s it’s going to be “Game Over” for Mueller and the Democrats.
Things have stalled. The Department of Justice is now being challenged in court, and some judges do not appear to be amused by some of the antics that have been going on. In both of those cases, those are the highest-profile indictments the investigation has doled out, and if they are in trouble, then the investigation itself is in trouble.
A lot of Republicans, however, seem hellbent on taking matters into their own hands. They are demanding the firing of Mueller, and they have drafted articles of impeachment against Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. This all but ensures the investigation would continue in some form or another, and it casts even darker clouds over the Trump administration.
Rosenstein’s firing would be little more than a shot across the bow at Jeff Sessions, who is increasingly looking to be the weakest man in this administration. It would do very little in keeping the DOJ in line. Mueller’s firing, meanwhile, only serves the purpose of keeping the “WHAT IS HE HIDING?!” talk going and looking really ugly going into the midterm elections and beyond.
That’s why the Trump administration should stay the course. I wish Trump could be convinced to stop talking about it, but we all know that’s not going to happen. Given that they know what Mueller wants to ask Trump, thanks to a handy leak to the press, Trump’s lawyers should draft written responses and send them to Mueller’s office.
From there, I think both sides will finally admit to themselves what no one has wanted to say since this began – “We don’t have an exit strategy.” It’s clear that someone really thought they’d be able to nail Trump with something and it is increasingly becoming clear they won’t. There is certainly nothing impeachable in any of his actions, and there isn’t much to indicate that Trump ever gave an order for anyone to bring the Russians on board with the campaign.
Jared Kushner and Don Jr. are not Donald Trump himself, and even if they are found to have done something wrong, it’s going to be extremely difficult to prove that Trump gave the order.
Part of me thinks this is really why Giuliani was brought on. He’s going to talk a tough – and, at times, insane – game. He and Mueller will strike a deal, and both sides will claim they did their job. At the end of the day, though, the investigation will produce nothing the Democrats can cling to, and considering many of them have put their eggs in this basket, that’s bad news for them.