EDITOR’S OPINION

posted : Mar 23, 2019

The Russian Concussion.. Five things that didn't happen in the Mueller investigation

 

Robert Mueller has delivered his report on the Trump-Russia investigation to Attorney General William Barr. Sometime soon, perhaps within hours, Barr will send the report's "principal conclusions" to Congress. It will first go to the chairperson and ranking member of both the House and Senate Judiciary committees. It is unclear what will happen after that, but certainly other lawmakers will see the document, and there will be a steady stream of leaks of what is in the report.

 

 

The Mueller investigation is over, and it is apparently the case that Mueller does not recommend any new indictments.

 

At this point, it is not possible to say what is in the report. But even at this early moment, it is possible to note some things did not happen during the Mueller investigation.

 

1. Mueller did not indict Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, or other people whose purported legal jeopardy was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.

2. Mueller did not charge anyone in the Trump campaign or circle with conspiring with Russia to fix the 2016 election, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.

3. Mueller did not subpoena the president, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.

4. The president did not fire Mueller, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year.

5. The president did not interfere with the Mueller investigation, as was the subject of intense media speculation in the last year. In his letter to Congress, Barr noted the requirement that he notify lawmakers if top Justice Department officials ever interfered with the Mueller investigation. "There were no such instances," Barr wrote.

 

So Mueller is finished. Not long after the news broke, Fox News White House correspondent John Roberts said, "The feeling [at the White House] right now is that this is finally over." Yes and no. Mueller's decision to file a report and not to recommend any more indictments does not mean that the broader Trump-Russia investigation is over.

Anticipating just this possibility, House Democrats ramped up new Trump-Russia investigations in recent weeks to make sure that it will never be over. There is little doubt that such investigations will still be going, at least until the 2020 elections.

 

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