So. That was super disappointing.
Mueller filed his report. Barr sent out a summary. Mueller couldn’t find sufficient evidence to convict anyone in the Trump camp of criminal collusion with Russia’s social media and hacking operations to influence the election.
Eric Levitz in New York Magazine tries to put it in perspective.
None of this should obscure the fact that Mueller’s investigation had previously produced criminal convictions of the president’s former campaign manager, national security adviser, longtime personal attorney, among others in his extended orbit. Nor should it banish from memory Donald Trump Jr.’s eager acceptance of an offer of aid from the Russian government, or his father’s decision to pursue a development project in Moscow while campaigning on an aberrantly Russia-friendly platform, or the president’s repeated insistence that Vladimir Putin’s word was more truthworthy than the CIA’s, or the myriad other undisputed acts that would, in normal political times, be seen as presidency-defining scandals, in and of themselves.
Of course, the full Mueller report hasn’t been seen by anyone besides Mueller, Rosenstein, and Barr. Plus, I’m sure there’s going to be more in the report, if it ever sees the light of day, that will add fuel to the dumpster fire of a presidency, but the bottom line is Trump will now campaign on the No Collusion Train and the 30-40% of the country who believe whatever he says will go right along with him.
Let’s all remember the multitude of other federal and state investigations into Trump and the Trump crime family. I mean, there are so many legal entanglements I can’t keep track of all of them (although Andrew Prokop at Vox has a decent breakdown).
There are the hush money payments, the inaugural committee financials, how security clearances were granted, his personal and business taxes, the Trump foundation corruption, all the sexual assault accusations, the violations of the emoluments clause, and probably a dozen more I’ve since forgotten because Trump, his family and his cronies are nothing but career criminals.
Is it possible Robert Mueller did find potential conspiracy amongst Don Jr., Kushner, Manafort for the Trump Tower meeting, but he’s handed that off to the Southern District of New York? It would make sense because if he had indicted Trump’s family, the case would have been fought for years with the hand-picked, partisan Attorney General possibly pulling the plug on the whole thing plunging the country into a constitutional crisis. This way, the SDNY, who already have a legal case against “Individual-1,” can bring the hammer of justice down within the Michael Cohen case and maybe unknown related cases.
We don’t yet know what’s in the Mueller report, we don’t yet know if Mueller handed off information to other prosecutors who can’t be touched by Trump, and we don’t yet know how the other legal jeopardy facing Trump, his family and businesses, and campaign/administration will play out.
Just like the Game of Thrones character Jon Snow, “We know nothing” and it’s super frustrating.