After two years and tens of millions of dollars, the Mueller investigation ended in a shattering anticlimax for Democrats. On March 22, Special Counsel Robert Mueller sent Attorney General William Barr his report, and Barr promptly informed Congress that Mueller found no collusion between Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. Mueller recommended no prosecutions—though Barr’s summary of the findings suggests that the former FBI director tried to equivocate about the President’s innocence of obstruction of justice by presenting that question as a matter of debate. Mueller was appointed special counsel in the first place, it’s worth remembering, only after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Russia was the sensational part of the investigation, but the humiliation of an FBI director was what really got Trump into trouble. J. Edgar Hoover’s heirs expect better treatment from a mere elected official such as a president.
Why, Trump even dared to insult Mueller and Comey on Twitter—and if that isn’t obstruction (no, Representative Schiff, it’s not), it’s unquestionably lèse-majesté. Doesn’t Trump remember what happened to Richard Nixon after he passed over Mark Felt for the FBI directorship Felt was so sure he had earned? Deep Throat was the Deep State’s revenge. And Nixon, unlike Trump, had real dirt on his hands—if perhaps not any more than his sainted Democratic predecessors had on theirs.
With the Putin’s Puppet narrative a bust, Democrats and progressives have been left to clutch at straws in the wind. Maybe the federal prosecutors of the Southern District of New York—the guys who got Martha Stewart and Dinesh D’Souza—will prosecute Trump for something or other. Or maybe, just maybe, the full text of the Mueller Report (not yet released at press time) will contain something that Mueller himself overlooked, something that an intrepid public servant like Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, can use to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election. Trump just has to be guilty of something—after all, that’s what it means to be on the wrong side of history.
That the Mueller Report was not immediately made available by Barr—without regard for how its release in unvetted form might affect the reputations of innocent men and women—became a nigh universal cause for complaint among Democrats and their sympathizers in the media. Orin Kerr, a University of Southern California law professor, bewailed on Twitter,
Imagine if the Starr Report had been provided only to President Clinton’s Attorney General, Janet Reno, who then read it privately and published a 4-page letter based on her private reading stating her conclusion that President Clinton committed no crimes.
To which Monica Lewinsky, also on Twitter, replied, “if. f–king. only.”
She has a point. Bill Clinton, unlike Trump, was actually guilty of one of the offenses of which he was accused—that of lying under oath to pervert the course of justice in a civil suit. He insisted that he did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky—when in fact, in the ordinary sense of those terms, he did. But Clinton’s incontestable wrongdoing was not enough for a Senate controlled by the opposing party to convict and remove him from office in impeachment proceedings. Until Clinton friend and donor Harvey Weinstein brought an entire era in Democratic politics into disrepute with the revelation of his serial sexual abuses, Bill Clinton seemed to have suffered not even a stain on his reputation for his misdeeds. Lewinsky’s life, on the other hand, was half-ruined for the crime of having let an adulterous boss use her as he pleased when she was a 22-year-old intern. The Starr Report did greater injury to her than it did to him. Shouldn’t that be a lesson in why government-compiled scandal dossiers should not be released without a thought to the collateral damage? The party of Clinton has not learned the lesson.
Trump treats the high and mighty princes of the FBI, and other bureaucratic “communities,” far worse than Richard Nixon or Bill Clinton ever dreamed of doing. But he did not order Russians, Cubans, or anyone else to break into Hillary Clinton’s email servers or the Democratic campaign headquarters. He did not perjure himself to evade the legal consequences of his immorality, as Bill Clinton did. And while Trump was unquestionably wrong to cheat on his wife with Stormy Daniels (allegedly), unlike Monica Lewinsky, Daniels was not in a position to be either overawed or corrupted by the man with whom she was having an affair. Not only are there no grounds for an attempt to impeach Trump, he stands morally above the Democratic ex-president whose impeachment progressives decry to this day.
The Mueller saga is over, but unfortunately the forces that gave rise to it remain: The left cannot accept that Donald Trump won a fair election and that there are no legal grounds on which to condemn him, while the unelected class that runs the administrative state—including its uppermost prosecutorial and investigative functions—considers itself empowered beyond the authority of the constitutional head of the Executive Branch’s authority to question. A James Comey or a Robert Mueller is virtually synonymous with the prestige of the federal government itself—in his own mind, of course, but also in the minds of a multitude of ill-educated and shortsighted citizens, chiefly of the sort who identify with the political center or left. The scandal-mongering and scare-mongering will continue up to the day of Donald Trump’s re-election—and then we’ll hear about how Putin’s to blame for that.