Don’t believe the hype. As much as Democrats and their anti-Trump media wanted Bob Mueller’s parting words to be devastating to the president, they weren’t.
Special counsel Mueller did say he believed he was constitutionally barred from charging President Trump with a crime, but if the president is off-limits what about his inner circle? Certainly Ivanka, Don Jr., Kushner would have been implicated somewhere. But the special counsel declined to pursue any criminal obstruction charges against anyone, not just Trump.
He also praised Attorney General William Barr’s speedy release of the full report, saying, “We appreciate that the attorney general made the report largely public, and I certainly do not question the attorney general’s good faith in that decision.”
This flies in the face of wild conspiracies that the report’s redactions somehow manipulated the findings in Trump’s favor. He even made sure to reiterate that the report as it stands is truly all that Democrats are going to get out of him, stating that, “It is important that the office’s written work speak for itself.”
And for those certain that his personal testimony to Congress would somehow provide new evidence against Trump, he had more disappointing news: “I hope and expect this to be the only time that I will speak about this matter,” he said. “I am making that decision myself — no one has told me whether I can or should testify or speak further about this matter. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report.”
Mueller restated the part of the report that made Democrats so excited. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. “We did not, however, make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime.”
But Mueller is a prosecutor and prosecutors prosecute, they do not exonerate. Not uncovering evidence of a crime is about as close as they can come.
Now, of course, as Mueller hinted, the avenue of impeachment remains open, if our legislators feel the evidence in the report is truly strong enough to warrant it. But that is an inherently political process, one that seems unlikely to result in Trump’s removal from office without some misconduct much clearer and more egregious than the hazy possibilities presented in the Mueller report.
With the exception of a few deluded members of the #Resistance, the American people have little stomach for endless investigations and the constantly shifting legal goalposts and conspiracy theories they’ve spawned. Congress has far more important matters to work on than continuing this charade: immigration, infrastructure, trade and more.
But some Democrats will never be satisfied and will persist in reading into Mueller’s words Wednesday high crimes and misdemeanors, which simply are not there.
To all of this, President Trump tweeted, “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed!”
Though an oversimplification, the president is right. The investigation is complete and the report is public. Case closed.
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