More than an investigation, the Mueller probe was the wellspring of a political narrative. That becomes clearer as time goes by and more information ekes out ... such as new confirmation that, months before Mueller was appointed in May 2017, it was already well understood in Justice Department circles that there was no case of criminal “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
Never was that made more obvious than by the Justice Department’s quiet announcement late Monday, under the five-alarm noise of the coronavirus scare, that it has dropped the special counsel’s indictment of Russian companies — an outcome I predicted here at National Review nearly two years ago.
A little refresher is in order.
As detailed here many times, one of the biggest problems confronting those weaving the collusion tale was the inability to prove that Russia hacked the Democratic email accounts. As "Ball of Collusion" outlines, that’s not the only fundamental problem. There is also the fact that the Democratic emails, in which Hillary Clinton was not an active correspondent, did not actually hurt her campaign at all — certainly not the way her own email scandal did (a scandal for which there was no way to blame Moscow).
There is also the dearth of evidence that the Trump campaign was even aware of, much less complicit in, Kremlin intelligence operations. Still, very basically, it would be impossible to prove that Trump had conspired in Russia’s hacking unless prosecutors could first establish that Russia had done the hacking.