Any hope that the interrogation of prosecutor, Robert Mueller, would provide some closure to the endless spectacle of Russiagate was dashed. As long as Donald Trump is in power, the show must go on.
When Mueller, 74, was led into the lion’s den of the congressional coliseum on Wednesday to defend his 22-month, multi-million-dollar investigation from the slings and arrows of partisan power-brokers, the temptation to feel some pity for the man was surprisingly strong.
The Republicans drew blood early. Jim Jordan, veteran House member and former wrestling champ, maneuvered Mueller into an inescapable lock-hold. Jordan pressed Mueller as to why the ‘witch hunt’ hauled away half a dozen Trump-connected cohorts to prison – including Roger Stone, a former adviser to the president, who was arrested in a crack-of-dawn FBI raid that was all-too conveniently filmed by a CNN camera crew – yet nobody affiliated with the Democratic Party suffered equally harsh measures.
Jordan reminded the mute Mueller that the FBI, with the blessing of the Democratic Party, had pulled off a historic first when they spied on two members of the Trump campaign, Carter Page and George Papadopoulos. That brazen act of espionage should have been at the heart of Mueller’s probe, but strangely it went missing in action.
Jordan demanded to know why Mifsud, who was once photographed alongside Boris Johnson, the newly elected British prime minister, was not dragged in for questioning as were so many Republicans. Mueller’s silence on the matter was deafening.
Turner, with law books piled high on his pulpit, together with a copy of the US Constitution, lectured Mueller that neither he nor the attorney general has any power to exonerate the president of the United States, since ‘exonerate’ is not a legally binding term. The inclusion of that word, Turner argued, “colored the report,” thereby allowing US news channels to run with the ‘breaking news’ that “Trump was not exonerated.” It was a very clever way of demonstrating how the mainstream media can frame a story according to its political bias, which is known to lean heavily liberal and Democrat.
When asked by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler if “the report did not conclude that [the president] did not commit obstruction of justice,” Mueller responded: “That is correct.”
It was obvious to everyone watching where Nadler’s line of inquiry was leading, and that was to the explosive I-word: impeachment. Yet no amount of coaxing and fawning by the Democrats could get Mueller to spit out the one word that has been the wet dream material of every liberal voter since the debacle of the 2016 presidential election. So now the Democrats, if they decide to press forward with impeachment proceedings, will have to do so without the solemn consent of Robert Mueller, a veteran Washington insider with considerable standing and influence in the swamp. That makes the idea of impeaching Trump downright risky to the point that it has reportedly unhinged the Democrats down the middle.
According to Politico, Nadler suggested that several House committee chairs could start “drafting articles of impeachment against Trump.” Speaker Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, called the idea “premature,” according to anonymous sources.
So now the Democrats find themselves in a very precarious situation as the United States prepares to enter what promises to be one of the most momentous, not to mention tempestuous, presidential election seasons of all time. If they proceed with impeachment proceedings against Trump, they risk alienating a large segment of their constituents, many of whom are suffering ‘probe fatigue’ and are anxious to turn the page.
If Barr discovers that there was no legal basis for spying on the Trump campaign, some very influential people may find themselves – like Roger Stone – the target of early morning FBI raids at the behest of a Republican inquest.
What this means is that the Democrats, by pushing for the impeachment of Trump, are in reality engaging in their own form of obstruction of justice, and that is justice over their own possible crimes.
In other words, fasten your seat-belts and start the popcorn because ‘Russiagate’ is not over; in fact, it has only just begun.