Robert Mueller reportedly ready to release key findings—but will wait until after midterms
According to a report in Bloomberg, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is ready with “key findings” in the investigation into connections between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. The Mueller investigation has already generated indictments against 32 individuals and three companies, and generated guilty pleas on subjects from bank fraud to lying to the FBI. However, the special counsel’s office is supposedly standing by with results in two areas at the heart of the investigation: Did the Trump campaign conspire with Russian operatives, and did Donald Trump obstruct justice by interfering in the investigation?
Unlike 2016, when then FBI director James Comey issued a letter to Congress concerning the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server that demonstrably swayed voters in the last days before the election, Mueller appears to be sitting on these results until after the voters have their say. Even then, word that Mueller is ready to hand findings on these areas over to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein doesn’t mean there will be any public announcement. Mueller is not about to call a Comey-style press conference and harangue Trump on every channel. Instead these results will be presented in a confidential report. When they become public—if they ever become public—will likely be the responsibility of whoever Donald Trump seats as attorney general following the election.
Republicans have already made it clear to Trump that, come one minute after the polls close on Election Day, they’re ready to wash their hands of Jefferson Sessions. Former senator or not, they’re tired of Trump’s whining and ready to approve a new attorney general. Regardless of the outcome in the election, the first order of business in the lame duck sessions is likely to be 51 Republican senators giving a very quick affirmative to AG Whoever-Trump-Wants.
That new AG need not keep Rosenstein in place as the direct supervisor of the Russia investigation. Since Trump’s primary complaint about Sessions is that he recused himself from handling the investigation, it seems more than likely that, even should Rosenstein retain his seat, he won’t retain direct control of Mueller’s team. Any report issued after November 6 … may be the same as no report at all. Or may be as cherry-picked as Devin Nunes’s report from the House Intelligence Committee, leaving in only those results favorable to Trump while expunging any offenses.
If Robert Mueller actually does have results, whether those results implicate Trump or exonerate him, those results should be released now. Because it’s the best chance they have of not simply being stifled by Trump.