The anticipation to the end of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was at its highest point for the past week courtesy of the TV political Talk Shows. Well we learned that it came to an end on Friday and Attorney General Bob Barr released his summary report to Congress on Sunday afternoon.
Most Americans, who are not Trump’s base, expected Mueller’s report to end with indictments of Donald Trump, Jr. or even the president. This was not the case as according to Barr’s summary report which indicated that Mueller’s report did not conclude the president committed any crime and does not exonerate him. This was all Trump wanted to hear from Barr and so he went on the air and said,
No collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration. Keep America great.
If Mueller’s lengthy investigation was controversial from a Republican perspective, then buckle up because unless the report is released in its entirety to Congress and the public, then there’s going to be even greater controversy and a big fight in Congress.
Although Trump said he was for releasing the report to the public and Congress, it is doubtful if he will do that. First Trump’s DNA does not include him being transparent on anything. He did not release his taxes; he did not release details of his face-to-face meeting with Putin in Helsinki; and we know from Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Judicial Oversight Committee hearing recently, that he went at great lengths to not let his college transcript and the Stormy Daniels hush money payment exposed.
After two years of trying to get to the bottom of the Russian interference problem, the country still doesn’t have answers as to how it happened or why Russia was able to pull this off presumably without any help from Americans. If Russia did this on their own, then it tells us a lot about America’s vulnerability to cyber-attacks and the manipulation of Americans from foreign powers.
Regardless of what Mueller’s report have concluded, there is no doubt that Americans lied and met with Russian operatives during the 2016 presidential campaign. We know this because Mueller’s investigation has resulted in the indictment of Americans.
Even if Mueller’s report found no conclusive evidence of Trump’s collusion with the Russians and his obstruction with his investigation, we can draw some conclusions that there are winners and losers from the Russian interference problem and from what we know so far based and AG Barr summary report to Congress on Sunday afternoon.
- Vladimir Putin – ever since the fall of the Soviet Union and Putin took control of Russia, he has tried to position himself on the world stage. With his KGB background it is inconceivable to not see how he did not approve the interference of the US election. Never mind that Trump stood beside him on the stage at Helsinki in 2018 and said in a submissive voice,
I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today. I don’t see any reason why Russia would interfere in the 2016 election.
So, for Mueller’s report to seemingly end without Russia paying a big price for their election meddling and no meaningful measures put in place to discourage and prevent them from engaging in this subversive behavior this has to be scored as a big win for Putin and Russia.
- Donald Trump− if there is any individual in the US who is a winner, it is the president and this is only on the surface, because Mueller’s report is not the end of the road for Trump and we really don’t know the specifics of the report at this time. Yes, AG Barr stated in his summary report that Mueller’s investigation did not find evidence of collusion and did not exonerate him. So, based on this statement Trump has been given an opportunity to celebrate. He will also continue to disparage Mueller’s investigation as a witch hunt.
- Donald Trump, Jr.− he is a winner because he met with Russian operatives in Trump Tower to get dirt and Hillary Clinton. This certainly was not a coincidental meeting since their clandestine meeting at the Tower meant it was well coordinated. Furthermore, he lied about the purpose of the meeting to Congress claiming that it was about Russian adoption. Therefore, for Mueller’s investigation to end without him being questioned is a win for him. Like his dad though, he is not out of the woods yet as we don’t know what Mueller might have farmed out to jurisdiction like the Southern District of New York (SDNY) court to investigate
- Attorney General Bob Barr− he is a winner because he was put in the position by Trump based on his previous criticism of Mueller’s investigation. We can assume that he was put there to do what his predecessors Jeff Sessions and acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker failed to do – abort Mueller’s investigation. Bob Barr it appears was able to get Mueller to wrap up his investigation and then issue a report that was favorable to Trump− mission accomplished.
- Donald Trump− has the distinction of being a winner and a loser simultaneously. He is a loser because Mueller’s investigation if nothing else exposed his unethical business practices, corruption, coverups, potential campaign finance violations, and other problems that makes him vulnerable to criminal charges in other jurisdictions. In addition, Democratic House committees will look into all these problems that in the process will damage him for the 2020 presidential election.
- The American people− they are the biggest losers here, because A/G Barr’s summary report did not indicate any condemnation of Russia’s meddling in the election. And we don’t know if it has pointed to the failure of the US federal government to implement measures to prevent Russia from interfering again with America’s democratic process.
Unless we know the complete story of Mueller’s report, we have to conclude that AG Burr’s bare-bones report is a biased and an attempt to exonerate Trump. This is exactly what Trump wanted all along. Unfortunately, Americans will find that their country is still vulnerable to Russia’s meddling and interference.
- The Republican Party – is a loser mainly because it has consistently defended Trump and behaved in a manner that was not supportive of Mueller’s investigation. This will certainly damage their political position and credibility with the American people.
If there’s any lesson that can be learned from the whole sordid affair of the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, it is that Americans should not allow serious issues like this to divide them. Instead, they should be united against any form of foreign threats or interference that is subversive.
Make no mistake, although Russia’s interference benefited Trump and the Republican Party, it was not a political issue – it was an issue that affected the sovereignty of America. For the Republican members of Congress who facilitated this division, they need to re-examine their patriotism to America.