Every time Trump puts his foot in his mouth his supporters urge us to let Trump be Trump. Now it seems only fair that those same people should shut up and let special counsel Robert Mueller do his job.
After all, judging from the alarmed squawking emanating from the Republican side of the aisle, Mueller is getting very close to uncovering important information about the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia.
For those of you with short memories, a quick recap is in order. Recall that the CIA, FBI, NSA and Director of National Intelligence unanimously concluded Russia interfered with the 2016 election.
Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was investigating potential connections between Russia and the Trump campaign especially the former Trump national security director, Michael “lock her up” Flynn.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations of the Trump campaign after failing to disclose his meetings during the campaign with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Assistant Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Mueller as special counsel stating “the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”
So far Mueller’s investigation has resulted in criminal indictments of Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman and Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates. Former Trump campaign foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about contacts with foreign nationals with connections to Russia. In December, Flynn also pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.
Anybody who knows anything about federal criminal prosecutions knows Mueller let Flynn plead to the felony of lying to the FBI because he has evidence Flynn committed much worse crimes. What is not known is who might be implicated in those crimes and that uncertainty is setting off alarms within the Trump family and its allies in Congress.
As a result, Republican attacks on Mueller have ramped up. Top investigator Peter Strzok was removed for criticizing Trump in personal text messages. Mueller was accused of improperly obtaining emails from Trump’s transition team even though the emails came from the Federal General Services Administration, which allowed Trump’s team to use its facilities during the transition.
Comically, Ken Starr, the Republican independent counsel who investigated Democratic President Clinton for more than four years, criticized fellow Republican Mueller for exhibiting “anti-Trump bias” in this investigation. Dangerously, Republican Congressman Francis Rooney called for a “purge” of the Department of Justice and FBI.
As some Republicans wig out about Mueller’s investigation I have a suggestion. Let Mueller be Mueller. He is a Marine who earned a bronze star and Purple Heart then served approximately 20 years as a U.S. attorney and 12 years as FBI director.
He has a well-earned reputation for doing the right thing and he might just exonerate the president and get to the bottom of the Russian attack on our election. That would be a rare win-win for both the GOP and the country.