Will he or won’t he? Rumors continue to swirl and speculation abounds about whether President Trump will order the firing of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating Russian meddling in our 2016 presidential election and alleged misconduct by the Trump campaign and the president.
President Trump is a high-risk, high-reward player and he often wins. He’s a man of action who is impatient with delays. But in this case, he needs patience. He needs to let the Mueller probe finish on its own time, politically and legally, because that’s the only way for the president to shut down all the speculation and be cleared of doing anything wrong.
So firing Mueller should be off the table – something President Trump doesn’t even consider. The president needs to focus on his job, do his best to serve the American people, and just hit pause and stop being preoccupied by the Mueller probe. Talking about it and tweeting about it again and again, day after day, simply creates more news coverage and more public concern about the investigation.
President Trump needs vindication from Mueller to push legislation through Congress, manage international affairs with proper authority, protect America’s national security without distraction, and guide America through these complex times. He also needs vindication to win a second term. So waiting for Mueller to wind up his investigation, even if it goes on for several more months, is in the president’s best interest.
For obvious reasons, the president is frustrated. Who wouldn’t be? The “Russia collusion” story is at a dead end. In terms of what is on the public record, the claims of collusion don’t add up. Indeed, the facts known to the public point toward illegal collusion among top Obama administration officials who apparently aimed to stop Donald Trump from becoming president, or hobble him if he won.
Still, the Mueller probe continues on and on and on.
On the public record, we know that senior FBI and intelligence officials were apoplectic – texting with adolescent anxiety, fear and fury – in their determination to assure that Trump was defeated by Hillary Clinton.
The devotion of these federal employees to Clinton remains peculiar, almost religious. Perhaps it was fed by fear of the inexperienced, conservative, and irreverently tweeting candidate Trump.
While federal employees have First Amendment rights to an opinion, what is now obvious is that some abused their positions and power and engaged in a conspiracy to bend the law to serve their opinions. That is not acceptable or excusable, regardless of whether it is directed against a Democratic or Republican candidate.
What is also obvious is that the conspiracy to undermine President Trump both before and after he took office was undertaken without compunction, with gloves-off zeal and continued into 2017.
Andrew McCabe, former No. 2 official at the FBI, was recently fired for substantive, non-political reasons. His self-defense was breathtaking. He wrapped himself in the American flag and in the FBI’s reputation for integrity. But he failed to rebut nonpartisan infractions detailed by the Justice Department Inspector General’s Office, the department’s Office of Professional Responsibility and Justice Department leadership.
Distilled from an array of 2016 election-focused investigations – some already completed, some ongoing—here are some key facts:
· The largest cache of Hillary Clinton recovered emails – a topic we are all sick of talking about – cast the Democratic presidential candidate in a very negative light. McCabe and others chose not to release the emails when they were found in September 2016. That is unforgivable.
· The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (ACT) court, meant to protect all Americans from abuse by a politically twisted Justice Department, was tricked. The FBI’s McCabe, Director James Comey and others knowingly sought and gained an invasive warrant to surveil members of the Trump campaign by using information paid for by the Clinton campaign. Without that information, the surveillance warrant – by their own admission – would not have been granted. That is unforgivable.
· Increasingly, it looks like the zealous effort to first stop candidate Trump and then undermine President Trump had appendages. One reason McCabe was summarily let go, without his full pension, is that he was allegedly untruthful under oath multiple times about leaking anti-Trump material to the media.
· Curiously, Comey, who knowingly reverted to calling the Clinton “investigation” a “matter” during the election campaign when directed by Obama’s attorney general, reportedly leaked sensitive law enforcement information to the media.
· Likewise, one reason former British spy Christopher Steele of dossier fame was let go by the FBI, which had mysteriously contracted with him to provide information about Trump, was that Steele had also been briefing the media on anti-Trump material.
These are just some of the holes in the anti-Trump narrative alleging misconduct by the candidate and his campaign. Put it all together and so far – as far as we know from what’s public – and the accusations just don’t add up.
The biggest take-away is this: If collusion is a bad thing – and for undermining the integrity of any federal election it is – the white-hot spotlight belongs elsewhere, and seems to be moving that way.
Why, then, should the Mueller probe continue?
The reason is simple, legal and is why our impatient president and his supporters – including all those unfairly accused, unjustifiably hobbled, and frustratingly made to wait – should take a deep breath, stop being preoccupied by the probe and simply let it finish.
The reports that special counsels and prosecutors typically issue at the end of their inquiries – on average after 22 months of investigation – are usually thorough. Sometimes a prosecutor “colors outside the lines,” nabbing side players for singular acts of obstruction, perjury without a predicate act, or for unrelated misconduct discovered in the course of an investigation. But generally they focus on the mission and don’t go too far afield.
In this case, reams of exculpatory information have found their way into the media, chiefly by way of congressional investigators and private sources, validating President Trump’s contention of innocence.
Additionally, this information shows that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government is a bad actor – no surprise – and that all Americans, regardless of political party, have a right to be unsettled, indignant, and on guard against Russian meddling in our elections.
But none of this implicates President Trump in any wrongdoing. In fact, Mueller’s probe is helping protect America by ferreting out how pervasive, invasive and invidious the Russian intentions are.
So, in the end, the president and his team have a right to that clean bill of health, whether he answers more questions or lets the record speak for itself. He needs a timely conclusion to the Mueller probe, in order to best serve America’s domestic, international and national interests – to do his job unencumbered by this pasty, perfidious fiction, propagated by misguided former federal officials.
Let Mueller reach that conclusion without interference, and the president and our country will be better off.