Sparta Report

Is the Mueller Investigation Winding Down?

The Wall Street Journal suggests in the face of setbacks and with the election looming, the Mueller investigation might be winding down for the time being:

With six months to go until November’s midterm elections, Mr. Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign will soon run into a dead zone of sorts, in which former prosecutors say they expect him either to wrap up, or lie low and take no visible steps until after the election.

Though Mr. Mueller doesn’t face any specific legal deadline, the fall midterms amount to a political one, according to experts and prosecutors. He will reach a point this summer when Justice Department habits dictate that he will have to either finish his inquiries or go dark and stretch out his work until past November so he doesn’t appear to be trying to sway voters’ decisions, which would be at odds with Justice Department guidelines for prosecutors.

Mr. Mueller has a lot still to do—prepare several reports, bring expected charges against alleged Russian hackers behind the breach of the Democratic National Committee and make decisions on whether to prosecute other cases. Perhaps the most politically sensitive issue he has yet to resolve is whether the special counsel’s office will interview President Donald Trump.

He might get all those things done in the next few months. But if he can’t, he may have to go quiet during the political season and resume afterward.

“There aren’t any rules around how we act in the run-up to an election…there’s a norm, you avoid any action in the run-up to an election that might have an impact, if you can,” Mr. Comey said, adding that he was “sure” Mr. Mueller would “operate with that norm in mind.”

I am highly dubious that Mueller is going to suddenly wrap up or abandon this investigation just because election season is coming up. The entire purpose of the investigation is to damage the Republicans going into the 2018 elections and set the stage for a Trump impeachment. Unless and until someone actually takes the step of firing Mueller, he is going to keep on going and going.

His job is not to discover what actions the Russians may have taken to influence, it is to remove Trump from office. Furthermore, the Uranium One scandal also means that Mueller and many of his friends such as Comey face serious risk of having charges brought against them if Trump is allowed to remain in office and get the DOJ under control.

In general, when facing legal setbacks, embarrassments in the press, or a rising tide of criticism from Republican lawmakers, Mueller’s usual response is to find another Trump associate to charge with some spurious crime or a leak to the press of some information designed to damage Trump further. Mueller is not just going to go “Whoops, my bad!” and slink off, despite what the Wall Street Journal may claim.

The whole article seems to be disinformation designed to make Republicans and independents think Mueller is conducting ordinary law enforcement activities and that everything is going to be fine. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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