Remarks on the Mueller Report
As we have been informed, Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller has delivered his official report on possible Russian interference in the United States’ 2016 election to Attorney General William Barr. After two years and who knows how many hours of testimony and how many taxpayer dollars spent, the much-awaited report has resounded with the éclat of a soggy firecracker. If Barr’s four-page summary of the report is accurate (and I believe it is), Mueller has concluded that while the Russians did interfere in the 2016 elections, there is no evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with them. Moreover, while not fully exonerating President Donald Trump, Mueller considered that there is not enough evidence to warrant a criminal charge that he actually obstructed the investigation.
It seems obvious to me that Mueller’s report was as much (or even more) a political decision as a legal one. The political considerations motivating his recommendation were made crystal clear in an op-ed piece in the New York Times written by former FBI director James Comey. Despite Comey’s political and personal hostility to Trump, and despite the fact that he personally witnessed (indeed, was the target of) one of Trump’s most blatant efforts to obstruct the investigation, Comey basically argued that despite Trump’s malfeasance, nothing should be done to hold him accountable, since the resulting judicial process would be too divisive politically. Specifically, since legal experts seem to agree that a sitting president cannot be legally indicted, the only way forward would have been an impeachment process that would have further polarized an already-polarized electorate and intensified the alienation of that part of the electorate that voted for and still supports Trump, while inevitably failing to gain the necessary votes in the Republican-controlled Senate. Better to let the political process, including and in particular the 2020 elections, handle the problem. Beyond Mueller and Comey, crucial members of the Democratic Party leadership, particularly Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, seem to have come to the same conclusion.
Leaving aside strictly legal and political judgments, it seems patently obvious to me that Mueller’s conclusions on the facts of the matter are absurd. How dull does one have to be not to recognize that Donald Trump, his family, business associates, and campaign staff are political stooges of Vladimir Putin and the oligarchs/mobsters that surround him! The Russians own Donald Trump! As I’ve indicted elsewhere, I suspect the Russians have compromising material on him (probably a video/audio tape of Trump with some Russian prostitutes) that goes back to his first visit to Moscow in the 1980s. I also believe that Trump is completely in hock to Putin and his associates. While Trump claims to be worth $10 billion (others believe his net worth is closer to $1.3 billion), I think it most likely that Trump has negative assets, that is, owes far more than he owns, and that the holders of this debt are the Russian oligarchs and the institutions in Russia and elsewhere, such as the Deutsche Bank, that they control. Trump went bankrupt six times. He also stiffed so many people – lenders, contractors, sub-contractors, and workers – so many times that no legitimate entity would lend him any money. In this situation, it was the Russians who bailed him out and to whom he is beholden.
Beyond all this, look at the people Trump has surrounded himself with and whose questionable activities were revealed in Mueller’s own investigation! It seems obvious to me that they, and members of his own family, met and actively coordinated Trump’s election campaign with political operatives (aka agents) working, directly or indirectly, for Putin and his pals. Consider all the people who have been convicted of or pleaded guilty to lying to Congress! Why lie if you have nothing to hide? Remember, too, Trump’s hysterical efforts to impeach the character of Mueller’s investigation (and even Mueller himself), the leaders of the intelligence agencies, and the mass media, his claims that it was all a “witch-hunt” and “fake news.” Why such frenzied efforts to undercut, discredit, and obstruct the investigation if there was, in fact, nothing going on? Very clearly, there was something going on, but Mueller, Barr, and most of the rest of them are prepared to look the other way in the interests of political expediency.
So, while Trump crows about his “victory”, his putzes, schlemazls, and schmigeggis, that is, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates, Roger Stone, et. al., face trials, prison time, destroyed careers, and ruined lives... unless, of course, Trump pardons those he can and whose loyalty he still trusts. I hope they found their work for the “great man” to be worth it.
At least two things are clear:
First, Trump’s legal worries are far from over. There are still more than a few on-going investigations on both the federal and state level into Trump and his family’s businesses, “charities”, and other affairs, with more than a few people who know something about Trump-world, including his long-time accountant, cooperating with investigators in exchange for leniency in sentencing for the crimes they’ve admitted to.
Second, while Robert Mueller may be held up for his non-partisanship, independence, and probity, he has actually revealed himself to be nothing but a loyal and rather cynical servant of the political Establishment and of the ruling elite whose interests it defends. For such people, the stability the system comes first, truth and justice last. Of course, he and his allies might see his decision as broad-minded, non-partisan, and principled.