Mueller Final Statement Only Adds Fuel To The Impeachment Fire In Congress

Robert Mueller has finally stepped down from the post of Special Counsel, having failed to do any damage to the President despite trying hard for more than two years. Unable to find any evidence of collusion, he then sought to muddy the waters by refusing to clear the President on the obstruction of justice charge in his Final Report.

Robert Mueller has finally stepped down from the post of Special Counsel, having failed to do any damage to the President despite trying hard for more than two years. Unable to find any evidence of collusion, he then sought to muddy the waters by refusing to clear the President on the obstruction of justice charge in his Final Report.

in Mueller Investigation, Mueller Report, William Barr
0 0 2 No comments

Mueller Final Statement Only Adds Fuel To The Impeachment Fire In Congress

By Preetam Kaushik

Robert Mueller has finally stepped down from the post of Special Counsel, having failed to do any damage to the President despite trying hard for more than two years. Unable to find any evidence of collusion, he then sought to muddy the waters by refusing to clear the President on the obstruction of justice charge in his Final Report.

Mueller’s final statement to America as the Special Counsel was a continuation of this theme, with precious little new information or evidence. In the report, it felt like he was throwing a bone to the beleaguered Democrats, who had been harping about the collusion charges ever since 2016.

By keeping the obstruction charges against the president alive in the report, he gave the Democrats another shot at destabilizing the President. Now in his final speech, Mueller’s parting gift is yet more obfuscation and uncertainty, which will certainly be put to good use by Congressional Democrats in their never-ending quest to impeach an innocent GOP President.

The two major aims of the Mueller final statement

In his final press conference on May 29, Mueller for all of ten minutes. And he spoke based on prepared notes, so nothing that was said was by accident or on the spur of the moment. There is not a shred of doubt that it was all well prepared and executed.

In what he claimed to be his final words on the Russia investigation, he basically gave a short summary of his findings from the 440-page final report. So it is quite clear that he chose each and every point with great care and consideration.

Two broad objectives could be discerned from the way Mueller framed the points and arguments in his short speech:

  1. One of the aims of the Mueller final statement was to contradict the conclusions drawn from the report by AG William Barr, which had been highly positive for Trump and the GOP.
  2. The other aim was to energize the Democratic impeachment efforts in the Congress, by keeping the obstruction of justice charges alive. He did that by reiterating that he could not dispel clear the President of those charges with confidence.

The conflict between Mueller and Barr on the final report

After a careful review of Mueller’s findings, Attorney General Barr had come to the sensible conclusion that there was insufficient evidence of wrongdoing to charge President Trump of obstruction of justice.

Desperate to bend this narrative, Mueller’s final statement sought to contradict the AG’s conclusions by adding a different twist – it was not a lack of evidence that prevented the Special Counsel from charging the President.

“If we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” said Mueller. But according to him, established Justice Department policy tied his hand, preventing him from even considering an indictment of a sitting US President.

Mueller was trying to achieve several things with this new revelation. On the one hand, it is an attempt to discredit the Attorney General’s position, as well as the President who has emphatically been claiming “no obstruction” ever since the charges were trumped up by the opposition.

By constantly repeating his assertion that he could not say definitively that President Trump did not commit a crime, Mueller is sowing doubt in the minds of the public. He also kept stressing how the crimes being discussed (the obstruction charges) were of “paramount importance.”

Mueller sought to use the above point to justify his actions in widening the scope of the Russia investigations. Many conservative commentators have criticized the Russia investigations of blatant overreach in the past. Even the AG had suggested that Mueller should never have gone as far as investigating the President on obstruction of justice, as that was well beyond his original brief.

By using the excuse of national interest, Mueller cleverly tried to whitewash his overreach, which otherwise would have discredited his entire stance on the obstruction of justice charges. With no collusion to bank upon, the latter is the last resort for any Democratic plans for impeachment.

Why Mueller mentioned the Justice Department policy

The mention of the long-standing Justice Department policy serves two purposes for Mueller:

The first and relatively minor advantage is that it further justifies the investigation of the President. Under the DoJ policy, investigation of the President is permissible, as that could result in the uncovering of other conspirators who would not be above the law, unlike the President.

From a conservative point of view, the second implication is far more disturbing. Mueller final statement seemed to strike a sympathetic chord with Trump, stating that it would be “unfair” to accuse him of a crime as there is no appropriate “court resolution” for that charge.

Don’t let that statement fool you, as it is just implying that the solution to the problem lies outside the Justice Department and the Courts. The way Mueller final statement lines up the facts as he sees them, it goes like this:

  1. The President is not cleared of obstruction of justice charges
  2. Mueller did not indict the President due to lack of evidence
  3. His hands were tied by the DoJ policy
  4. The US Constitution mandates another route for pursuing charges against the President

And that route leads straight to the US Congress. The main weapon in the hands of the Congress against a sitting President is, you guessed it, impeachment. In his final statement, Mueller is essentially putting the ball in the court of the Congress, or rather, Congressional Democrats to be precise.

Ultimately, Mueller just made life a lot harder for the Dems, not Trump

In the end, Mueller final statement contained no new threats for Trump or the GOP. The President himself encapsulated the sentiment perfectly in a tweet:

Nothing changes from the Mueller Report. There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! Thank you. 

While the GOP has the freedom to move on, the Dems find themselves trapped by the implications of the speech. They have been harping on about the need to remove this President from office, and now the baton has been passed to them by their beloved Special Counsel. And even worse, by not explicitly charging Trump for any offense, Mueller has made it harder for the Dems to pursue impeachment.

Removing a sitting US President is no easy task, even if you have both the Senate and the House of Representatives under your control. And with the former still firmly in GOP ranks, the impeachment attempt is basically dead in the water. Nancy Pelosi is one of the most experienced Democratic operators in Congress, and she has shown little interest in impeachment.

The only ones picking up from where Mueller left off are the bunch of Democratic hopefuls looking for a crack at the 2020 Presidential elections. A call for impeachment can be a potential rallying cry for Democratic & progressive voters. But that there is a double-edged sword, and experienced politicians like Pelosi know it all too well.

Any attempt to impeach a President from the opposing party, and one with such strong support from both conservative voters and legislators alike, would be met with stiff resistance. The conservative backlash could very well propel Trump back into the White House in the 2020 elections.

The Dems would have had better luck if they had any shred of evidence to support these serious allegations leveled by Mueller. As things stand, Justin Amash from Michigan is the only GOP Congressman supporting any future impeachment attempt. With the GOP closing its ranks, there is no major risk of Trump getting impeached ever.

Mueller final statement may have added fuel to the growing clamor among desperate progressives for Trump’s impeachment. But it will have no meaningful impact where it matters – in the Congress and in the minds of conservative voters.

What's your perspective?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.