Former F.B.I. Director Robert Mueller’s appointment as special counsel is likely a good thing for Congressional Republicans and the Trump White House. The Trump Administration is clearly under siege, which is partly of its own making. The liberal media has always attacked and hated Republican presidents, and that hatred is even more elevated with Donald Trump. Nevertheless, the President and his team have so mismanaged their messaging that they have added fuel to the fire of liberal bias. Exhibit “A” is the way the White House handled the firing of James Comey last week.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein wrote an excellent memo outlining reasons for the firing of F.B.I. Director James Comey, which effectively made the case for Comey’s dismissal. Rosenstein’s memo, if left to stand, would have largely answered any objections. Vice President Mike Pence has repeatedly said that the decision to fire Comey was based on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General. All would have been well if the President, and later White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, had not indicated that Russia was the real reason for the firing.
When the President told Lester Holt “you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won,'” the wheels came off the bus. By suggesting that Comey was fired for investigating Russian interference in the 2016 elections, the President played right into the hands of Democrats and liberal talking heads who have overblown the Russia story from the beginning . Even the former Director of National Intelligence under President Obama, James Clapper, has said that there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia. The storyline has been sensationalized to hurt the President’s agenda, but the President keeps giving his opponents a bat with which to beat him.
When Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday that “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia,” he completed the undermining of the Deputy Attorney General and the Vice President of the United States. The carefully balanced rationale provided by Rod Rosenstein and the Vice President was completely replaced with the narrative that Trump fired Comey to cover-up Russia by these parallel statements of the President and his Press Secretary. It was an awful act of political self immolation.
The appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel will almost certainly lead to the same conclusion to which James Clapper came: there is no evidence of collusion between the Trump Campaign and Russia. His report, however, will carry additional credibility since he is non-partisan, and has the confidence of both parties on Capitol Hill. Congressional Republicans will not be in a position of investigating their own President, and the media cannot credibly claim that Republicans in Congress are covering for the President.
The appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel may actually be a blessing in disguise for the President and Congressional Republicans. If the former director does a thorough and succinct investigation of the facts, perhaps the President and Congress can move-on with actually enacting the agenda for which they were elected. President Trump has got to better govern himself and his message, so that he can more effectively govern the country and implement a positive conservative agenda.