Republicans Foolish To Take Premature Victory Lap On Mueller Report
The GOP is already declaring “victory” in connection with the Mueller report because no further indictments will be forthcoming. If this is a “victory,” it is of a Pyrrhic nature. If the GOP achieves any more “victories” like this one, they will be ruined. Let’s look at the record, shall we?
This investigation brought 37 indictments. (That’s 37 more indictments filed in the twenty four years that the Republicans investigated Hillary Clinton.) As former Obama senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer tweeted: “No matter what comes next, let’s not forget that Trump’s campaign manager, deputy campaign manager, foreign policy adviser, fixer, political strategist and national security adviser have been indicted, convicted, or plead guilty of serious crimes.”
A result like this one would be comparable to David Axelrod, David Plouffe and Susan Rice all being convicted of felonies. If something like that had happened, the GOP outrage would have been epic. They probably would have initiated impeachment proceedings.
The outcome of the Mueller investigation doesn’t change the reality that the Russians assisted the Trump campaign in 2016. It’s the consensus of the U.S. intelligence community and the GOP majority Senate Intelligence Committee that Putin and the Russians actively assisted the Trump campaign.
It’s also undisputed that the Trump campaign solicited Russian help and thanked the Russians for their help. Whatever Mueller finds doesn’t change that reality.
There were at least 100 contacts between the Trump team and the Russians. The Trump team lied about every one of those contacts. Why lie if there was an innocent explanation?
On June 9, 2016, the Trump campaign high command met with representatives of the Russian government in the hopes of getting dirt on Clinton. Donald Trump, Jr. emailed: “I love it.”
In August 2016, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates — Trump’s campaign manager and deputy campaign manager, respectively — shared internal Trump campaign polling data with a Russian intelligence agent who had ties to Putin. Now we know how the Russians were able to place Facebook ads with surgical precision in the battleground states. They wouldn’t have been able to do it without polling data from Trump.
Roger Stone and Jerome Corsi were both in contact with Wikileaks. Stone claimed to have had advance knowledge of the release of the stolen emails.
On July 27, 2016, Trump publicly asked the Russians to help his campaign. “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” the Republican nominee said at a news conference in Florida. “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
Trump publicly thanked the Russians for their help in the fall of 2016. The former TV reality star mentioned Wikileaks over 160 times in the last month of campaign 2016. On October 10, 2016, Trump said: “WikiLeaks, I love WikiLeaks.”
Whatever Mueller has found will not wipe away cloud of illegitimacy hanging over the Trump presidency. That will never go away.