Nine Thoughts on the Mueller Findings

  1. My overwhelming reaction is positive. It’s been easy to lose track of what the investigation was about. It’s not about getting Trump out of office. I’m glad that Trump is essentially cleared of collusion. Our president shouldn’t be working with Russia and shouldn’t be betraying America to be President. I’m glad he didn’t. (Yes, yes, collusion is not a real crime. I use it as shorthand for the concept we all understand.)
  2. 15 months ago I predicted the outcome of the investigation. It was quite spot on. 
  3. Don’t lose sight of the real story. Russia interfered in the election. If Trump didn’t actively collude, he was a willing recipient of their aid (and some of his campaign and friends were actively colluding). Efforts by Obama and others to do something about the interference were blocked by Mitch McConnell. Efforts to do anything to beef up election security continue to be stymied by the Republican party.
  4. Is Trump guilty of Obstruction of Justice? Hard to say without seeing the underlying evidence, but I’m inclined to defer to Mueller, Barr, and Rosenstein, all of whom say there is not enough there for a criminal indictment.
  5. Don’t lose sight of differing standards of evidence. There may not be enough to indict Trump on collusion. At the same time, there may be more than enough evidence to impeach him in regards to Russia and election interference.
  6. Don’t lose sight of the scope of the special counsel. Unlike Kenneth Starr, Mueller was restricted to issues relating to Russian interference in the election. Unlike the Starr investigation, he was not allowed to go chasing whatever else came up along the way. Ergo, being ‘cleared’ by the Mueller investigation does not mean Trump and crew are innocent of other crimes. As we know from the investigations Mueller has passed off to the New York DAs.
  7. Don’t lose sight of how much was uncovered by the investigation. Flynn, Manafort, many others…  this many indictments is a big deal. It’s not a witch hunt when you find real witches. Manafort particularly is a traitor to the country and should be put in front of a firing squad.
  8. AG Barr: Lots of liberals are jumping all over him. Relax. He said he’ll be more transparent, give him a chance to follow through before threatening more lawsuits and investigations.
  9. Let’s give Trump some credit. Despite the incessant liberal fear-mongering, it does not appear that Trump interfered with the investigation in any meaningful way. He resisted, explored what he could do, but didn’t do anything material to undermine it. The GOP refused to pass bills protecting the investigation, claiming they were unneeded. It appears they were right.