As expected, Mueller and his team accomplished the assigned mission with distinction and excellence. The report gives us a complete and thorough picture of the Russian attack on the 2016 election, the Trump campaign’s complicity or non-complicity in that attack and the president’s attempts to thwart the investigation into that attack. It confirmed and documented many things we already knew:
- The Russians launched an unprecedented multi-level attack on our election, including staging ersatz competing protest demonstrations, a major all-encompassing disinformation campaign and illegal computer/email hacking.
- They did it to benefit Trump and defeat Hillary Clinton, including feeding Wikileaks documents hacked from the Clinton campaign dumped at strategic times that would maximize the damage to Clinton and help Trump.
- The Trump campaign had over 100 contacts with the Russians and lied about it.
- Trump and his campaign, while welcoming aid from the Russians, did not coordinate with them.
- The Trump campaign coordinated with Wikileaks.
- President Donald Trump absolutely attempted to obstruct the investigation and was saved from criminal obstruction of justice by two things:
- His staff saved him from himself by either ignoring or refusing to carry out Trump’s explicit orders
- The DOJ Office of Legal Counsel’s finding that a sitting president cannot be indicted
That’s what the report states. It DOES NOT exonerate the president. It EXPLICITLY says it does not exonerate the president. So, what does it do?
It documents the indisputable fact that the counter-intelligence investigation was completely justified.
It effectively takes impeachment off the table.
The statute of limitations on obstruction of justice is five years, so it creates the road map and predicate for indicting ex-President Trump for obstruction of justice if he loses re-election.
It gives the Democrats a potentially effective campaign issue if they don’t over-play their hand, and Trump one, if they do.
A personal note: This will be my last column for several months. My wife and I are that rare breed of horizontal snowbirds and live in New York State from May – November and SoCal from Thanksgiving – Easter/Passover.