In a photo taken Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
I’ve been struggling to put my thoughts on the matter of Robert Mueller’s press conference, the overall report, and the media circus surrounding the entire investigation into the kind of structure that would be okay to put up as a column.
It’s not that it’s difficult to relay my conclusion, mind you. In fact, I dare say my conclusion is a lot more straightforward than the one Mueller gave us. Rather, it’s the fact that getting to where we are right now has been such a strange, convoluted, and often lie-filled journey. How does one come to a sensible conclusion while taking all of the madness of this process into consideration?
My conclusion is simple, and it hasn’t really changed since about a year into the special counsel’s investigation: The results don’t matter because both sides are going to see and hear what they want to see and hear.
We knew a couple of things going into this. One thing we knew is that the Department Of Justice doesn’t indict a sitting president. So to honestly believe that there was going to be any such indictment of Donald Trump when this was all over is to ignore the DOJ’s own precedent on the matter.
Another thing we knew is that there was never going to be any evidence that could definitively prove the Trump Campaign colluded with Russia, and specifically that Trump collided with Russia. We knew this because, as we’ve written a few times here at RedState before, Trump’s modus operandi is that he doesn’t get his hands dirty. He has people for that.
Specifically, he is the kind of guy who has the people working for him duke it out and whoever wins the debate is the person in charge for that moment. If Trump says “Make me President,” and Paul Manafort had the best idea, Trump would say to him to get it done using whatever means necessary. After all, Trump is a results-oriented guy. If he liked someone else’s ability to argue their point, he would give them the power to do what he needed. It was his way of getting what he wanted without ever getting his hands dirty.
So, we knew he wouldn’t get indicted and that there would be no evidence of collusion. That left us with obstruction.
The Democrats heard exactly what they wanted to hear and have decided that Mueller is telling THEM to indict Trump. The Republicans heard Mueller telling them that there was no provable crime committed. It’s all complex, you see.
But the people who have spent all their time and energy getting angry about this whole thing are really such a small percentage of the American population.
Only about half of voters think Mueller should testify before Congress, according to a mid-May Politico/Morning Consult poll, but while Democrats had the strongest opinions on the subject, only about half of Americans really want to see Mueller testify before Congress, and an equal amount had any sort of opinion on William Barr’s handling of the report.
That’s not exactly moving the needle on the issue of whether or not Trump is guilty of something, but the Democrats are convinced there is a there there. I don’t know if I buy the obstruction argument, though, and I suspect that you only have the people who are super active in political discourse on social media who have a strong opinion one way or another.
However, politicians and pundits are constantly overestimating how much of America is represented by people on social media or in cable news audiences. I don’t think you have near the numbers in the general public who care one way or another like you do those who frequently tune in to some media or another to catch the latest news reports.
At the end of the day, how much of America is really going to sit down and watch yet another Congressional hearing about the Mueller report or the special counsel’s investigation? How many people are actually hanging on to every word that’s reported about it? It’s not what you or I may initially think, and I think by assuming it is some grand audience, you actually push more people into political apathy over it.
Did Trump’s shenanigans during or after the campaign affect the American public? Or are they more interested in what Trump is doing for them (or against them)? My guess is that the economy, the job market, and other more tangible issues will occupy their minds more than this.