We expected that most media outlets and Democrats (as if there is a difference) would use the release of the full Mueller report to declare that Trump’s exoneration celebration was premature, that he did all the things they always said he did, and that he should be impeached posthaste. We expected it, and we got it in the exact proportion that we predicted. What else were they going to do? Their professional reputations are on the line. If there is even one sentence in that report that gives them some breathing room, they’re going to latch on to it like a life preserver in the middle of the Atlantic. It’s only human nature.
Here’s what we didn’t expect: That Mueller’s report would tell us almost nothing that we didn’t already know. Yeah, there’s a little bit of inside gossip here and there that somehow hadn’t leaked to The New York Times already, but what’s that worth? More than the phony dossier and less than that Bob Woodward book? Somewhere in there. It’s enough to drive the news cycle for a day or two, but that’s about it.
The truth of the matter is that Trump made very little effort to hide his efforts toward “obstructing” the Russia investigation. He fired Jim Comey in plain daylight, and he threatened to fire Mueller more than a few times. He regularly attacked former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and he referred to the whole thing as a “witch hunt” so many times that we’ll probably always associate that phrase with this moment in time.
Democrats have said that just because Trump committed obstruction of justice in plain sight, it doesn’t mean he didn’t break the law. Well, okay. It’s a fair point. But the truth of the matter is that if Mueller felt that Trump had committed obstruction, he would have said so. He didn’t. He punted the question because he could see both sides of the argument. As can the American people. As far as we can see, a tie at first goes to the runner. There’s certainly nothing in this 448-page report that is any worse for Trump than admitting to Lester Holt that he fired Comey for “this Russia thing.” If Democrats begin impeachment proceedings now, they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do.
Here’s the real problem: If there was no underlying crime – collusion – then the obstruction nonsense starts to look really silly. We’re not saying it’s impossible to commit obstruction even when you are innocent of the underlying crime, but are we really going to impeach the President of the United States for smack-talking his attorney general on Twitter? Really?
This country is desperate for healing, and beating this dead horse for another two years isn’t going to get us there. Democrats should pack up their things and go home. It’s over.