Thursday April 25, 2019
The Mueller Special Counsel inquiry is far from over even though a final report on its findings has been issued. Although the investigation had a mandate to explore all aspects of the alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US election, from the start the focus was on the possibility that some members of the Trump campaign had colluded with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the election to favor the GOP candidate. Even though that could not be demonstrated, many prominent Trump critics, to include Laurence Tribe of the Harvard Law School, are demanding that the investigation continue until Congress has discovered “the full facts of Russia’s interference [to include] the ways in which that interference is continuing in anticipation of 2020, and the full story of how the president and his team welcomed, benefited from, repaid, and obstructed lawful investigation into that interference and the president’s cooperation with it.”
Tribe should perhaps read the report more carefully. While it does indeed confirm some Russian meddling, it does not demonstrate that anyone in the Trump circle benefited from it or cooperated with it. The objective currently being promoted by dedicated Trump critics like Tribe is to make a case to impeach the president based on the alleged enormity of the Russian activity, which is not borne out by the facts: the Russian role was intermittent, small scale and basically ineffective.
One interesting aspect of the Mueller inquiry and the ongoing Russophobia that it has generated is the essential hypocrisy of the Washington Establishment. It is generally agreed that whatever Russia actually did, it did not affect the outcome of the election. That the Kremlin was using intelligence resources to act against Hillary Clinton should surprise no one as she described Russian President Vladimir Putin as Hitler and also made clear that she would be taking a very hard line against Moscow.