For all of the media’s oohing and ahhing over Robert Mueller’s legal victories on Tuesday, his impeachment case remains hopelessly threadbare. In terms of his Department of Justice mandate, he has made no progress whatsoever. He is presiding over a “collusion” probe that has absolutely nothing to do with collusion.
Let him keep indicting and convicting ham sandwiches. Most Americans won’t care. It just underscores the superfluous and abusive character of his probe. He is not compiling an air-tight legal case for impeachment; he is simply using abusive prosecutorial tactics to foment an anti-Trump political firestorm.
Rod Rosenstein is the Dr. Frankenstein in this political horror show. He birthed a monster in Mueller, who is now rampaging through the streets of Manhattan in search of pre-presidential dirt. Let’s, for the sake of argument, say that all of his claims about Trump-Cohen corruption are true. Is that impeachable material? No, it is not. The American people voted for Trump knowing full well that his pre-presidential record was checkered. Does anybody really think the American people are going to rise up and demand that not only the House but most of the Senate expel Trump from the presidency over an alleged campaign finance violation that doesn’t bear in the slightest upon the collusion question?
Mueller is expert at finding flaky witnesses. Cohen is his latest. His memories of conversations and meetings with Trump are no more reliable than Jim Comey’s. Cohen has given baldly contradictory accounts of his payments to Stormy Daniels. The notion that Trump could lose the presidency owing to the testimony of a sleazy casino lawyer strains all plausibility.
Mueller’s report will culminate in nothing more than an epic political food fight — a mode of combat Trump has perfected. Through his relentless tweeting, Trump has thoroughly educated the American people on the raw politics of Mueller’s probe — that he inherited a hopelessly tainted investigation from Trump haters ensconced in the Obama administration, that Mueller assembled a team of Hillary supporters to continue the probe, and that he has abandoned his DOJ mandate for a partisan fishing expedition of staggering proportions. The unfairness of it all has not been lost on the American people.
The media routinely calls Trump a “bully” even as it forms a mob encircling him, bellowing about this or that utterly trivial offense. None of it adds up to anything even close to impeachable material. From the fulminating, one would think that a foreign occupier had invaded Washington. Trump’s great crime was colluding not with Russians but with neglected American voters, with whom he ended the Clinton dynasty. While Hillary was waiting with bated breath for dirt from Russians conveyed to her British spy, Trump plunged into the American heartland, winning the election the old-fashioned way, by simply outhustling Hillary in places like Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
I just got back from the latter state. Not a single mechanic, trucker, or waitress I met in Pennsylvania ever showed the slightest bit of interest in Mueller’s probe. Most of them probably don’t even know who Mueller is. That the media is staking its demolition of Trump on this gray, little-known ruling-class darling is a measure of its alienation from the American people. They simply don’t care about Trump’s pre-presidential sins, political screw-ups, and minor law-bending, if that even occurred.
Mueller is desperately trying to stitch together an impeachment case based on these thin threads. He struck out on collusion, then turned to obstruction of justice, only to realize that his star witness, Comey, is himself under investigation. So he resorted to a search for pre-presidential dirt and papered over the nothingness of his probe with indictments and convictions on matters far afield. Only members of the ruling class and media, who devote every waking moment to studying all things Trump at the granular level, could portray this probe as “momentous.” To most Americans, it remains a giant bore — an inside-the-Beltway parlor game of no particular interest to them or relevance to their lives.
Trump on Tuesday night resumed his mockery of the probe, asking at a rally in West Virginia, “Where is the collusion? You know, they’re still looking for collusion! Where is the collusion? Find some collusion. We want to find the collusion.” Mueller called off that search a long time ago, shifting to a Cohen, rather than collusion, probe, to which the America people will ask upon the release of his report: Why are we supposed to care?