The Corner

White House

Inquisitio Requiescat in Pace

Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill in 2012. (Yuri Gripas/Reuters)

The variously dubbed dream team/all stars/hunter-killer/army of Mueller’s lawyers, after 22 months, $30 million, and 400 pages plus of legalese did not find “Russian collusion,” the original reason to be of their investigation. At what early point the team realized that fundamental truth is of importance, but will never be fully disclosed.

Nor did team Mueller find actionable “obstruction” efforts (promiscuous use of executive privilege, firings of Mueller team members, refusal to let high Trump staffers be questioned, etc.) to impede its investigation of a non-crime as lawyers went into every rumored Carter Page, Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump, Jr. etc. cul de sac. In exasperation Mueller leveraged almost anyone peripherally related to the Trump campaign either to indict him on mostly process crimes, or to air their incriminating “Trump said this” versions of private conversations.

And because Mueller felt it necessary to include in his report suggestions of Trump’s mercurial talk, obfuscations, and shenanigans that did not constitute actual crimes as opposed to thought crimes (those falsely accused of a felony have a tendency to become furious and sound off), the question arises that, if Mueller felt it so necessary to include in his report any material he swept up as he vacuumed around, why not at least suggest that the FBI Director and members of DOJ did not honestly inform a FISA court of the true nature of the evidence for their writ — given the centrality of surveilled conversations within the Mueller report?

Why not disclose whether former FBI director James Comey broke the law by leaking seven memos, four of them possibly classified, or whether the FBI with likely stealth aid of the CIA improperly and illegally used informants on little or no warranting evidence to spy on a political campaign in the middle of an election? Or why did Mueller initially hide from the media the true connections between, the written comments from, and the timing of the firings/reassignments of Lisa Page and Peter Strozk? And why did a dozen or so top DOJ and FBI officials abruptly retire, or were reassigned, or were fired during the course of the Mueller investigation, some of them now facing criminal referrals?

If Robert Mueller’s special counsel team, mutatis mutandis, had been tasked with investigating rampant but unfounded rumors of whether the Kennedy clan in 1960 illegally helped to warp voting in key precincts of Illinois to tilt the Electoral College to John F. Kennedy, they may or may not have found actionable “collusion” with Chicago mayor Richard Daley. But no doubt along the way they would have discovered after spending 1961-62 in exhaustive investigation of the Kennedy administration that JFK’s family helpers and  subordinates were often not very nice and stooped to tolerate or themselves promoted unmentionables like wiretapping Martin Luther King’s phone, covering up JFK’s dangerous liaison with a mobster’s moll, and conducting poolside orgies that violated every notion of moral behavior — in a way voters would otherwise have had no idea when they elected JFK in 1960 and likely would have done so again in 1964.

In the end we are left with the beginning: Mueller’s team started with the supposed guilty man and searched desperately but ultimately in vain to find the crime.

NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is the Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

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