The witch-hunt found no witch.
After 22 months, more than $25 million, 2,800 subpoenas, 500 sessions with witnesses and hundreds of search warrants, special counsel Robert Mueller and his team of 59 lawyers, FBI agents and other specialists came to a conclusion in its investigation into President Donald Trump colluding with Russians.
There was no coordination or cooperation to enable the man with the golden hair to win the 2016 election. It didn’t happen.
Even though there were government agents illegally leaking classified information to implicate Trump, the crimes did not pay. Even though screeching Democrats said this scandal would open the door to impeachment, their plans will have to be revised. Even though we had endless incriminating news reports in which bias outperformed facts, facts stood their ground. Even though varied liberal commentators acted as either prophets or ninnies in their absolute assurance of Trumpian guilt, they weren’t prophets.
The scary truth is that this was a farce from the beginning, a conspiracy theory on the order of the birther tale about President Barack Obama, an investigation that began with nothing to back it up except lies from the Hillary Clinton campaign and an awry Justice Department. The consequences were political tumult, governmental disruption and abuse of our precious system by trying to dispose of a legitimately elected president on the basis of nothing.
Mueller is an intense, gotcha kind of guy who followed paths through the woods, off cliffs and sometimes trespassed where he shouldn’t have, but – congratulations and apologies, sir – did honestly concede he could not find a hint of any help to the Russians who, by the way, have been messing with our elections since the 1960s, according to the Washington Post.
In a summary of the official report, Mueller is also quoted by Attorney General William Barr as saying that he did not conclude that Trump had or had not committed obstruction of justice. Barr and his deputy, Rob Rosenstein, examined the Mueller findings on that question and said exoneration was the answer in the absence of sufficient evidence or a persuasive legal rationale to bring charges. Trump had nothing to hide and therefore no reason to harbor criminal intent nor, for that matter, criminal sneakiness. He did everything in public.
Democrats furiously see their reasoning as an obstruction of their dearest, deepest wishes as they also scream for a full report that Barr had already promised, except for disclosure of secret grand jury proceedings that by law should stay out of sight. But please understand that the Democrats are ready to make the end of the world out of nothing, even an uncrossed “t,” and that no fact, no insight, no logical analysis will dissuade them.
Yes, it’s possible to understand their disgust at a president who will, for instance, pointlessly disparage the late, honorable Sen. John McCain, gets so much wrong and invites judgments of unfitness. But you don’t burn down the barn out of fear someone else will, and he has pluses.
Even some liberal economists are now conceding that Trump’s tax reforms have helped produce business expansion, record revenues, record low unemployment rates and higher wages. Rule of law has been upheld better than under his predecessor. Regulations are not strangling us as much anymore, prisons are being reformed, ISIS has gone poof and he has given the Supreme Court two more constitutionalists as justices.
The other team wants to play juvenile, debasing games with the Supreme Court. The Medicare for all scheme paraded by Sen. Bernie Sanders would double all individual and corporate taxes unless the Dems decided to have a debt crisis instead. They bargain for votes by promising free college to everyone who mistakes the word “free” as meaning no one pays. The Green New Deal is absolute madness in which authoritarians would make you give up your car, destroy oil, gas and nuclear power and put millions out of work while promising the opposite.
Global warming probably wouldn’t even notice.
The special prosecutors in 2020 should be alert voters.
Jay Ambrose is an op-ed columnist for Tribune News Service.