The point is, right now, none of us know what Mueller is planning to tell the US Attorney General. Perhaps worse, nobody knows what might be disclosed to the public once Barr receives the final briefing.
Amid all the uncertainty, however, there are a few things we absolutely know, whether Mueller mentions them directly or in passing or ignores the issues altogether.
We know that Donald Trump Jr led a team of senior campaign staffers at the highest level to gather dirt on Hillary Clinton. It wasn’t just a lonely Russian peasant playing a house call upon team Trump. No. Don Jr. was told that the team he would be meeting with were being sent because the Russian government wanted Donald Trump to win the elections. Those are facts. What is not a fact is the significance of that meeting. In my view, however, I consider that collective action an attempt to collude, whether it is legal or not. To me, the only question remaining is whether the Trump campaign acted in some other way to help Russia achieve any of its own missions in context with the campaign’s actual knowledge that Russia was Trump’s ally.
We likewise know that Donald Trump Jr. and his son lied and covered up the facts related to that meeting. The President, when questioned about it indicated that it was ok to lie to the New York Times. That is a fact. I believe he did not just lie to the New York Times. He did not just lie to the American people. He lied to divert and confuse the investigating bodies about the Trump Tower New York meeting.
Above all, in my view, possibly the most despicable Donald Trump committed was his negotiating a deal with Russia while he ran for US President. In doing so, he again deceived the American people about his activities when he was publicly asked about his business deals. Once Trump got caught in the Moscow Tower act last year, he defended this secretive selfish business deal by playing the victim. Trump had the gall to say that he could do anything he wanted to do because he was a private businessman and that building the tower or trying to do so was not unlawful. Poor me. He likewise complained that not only was it not illegal, but he should not be discriminated against and denied a business opportunity had he lost the election.
Excuse me!! What about the opportunities that the American public would have to get facts about the private deal. Didn’t we have the right to know that when he was glorifying Putin, he knew that nothing of this nature gets down without Putin? Didn’t he know that Michael Cohen was communicating with the top Putin official for help on the deal?
His rights as a businessman ended where his obligations as a presidential candidate began.
Ask yourself—what do you think would have been the other Republican candidates’ responses if right smack in the middle of a live debate, on Fox News, after telling the world he had no business deals in Russia, Marco Rubio, who had already called him a con-man, suddenly dropped a bomb. What if that bomb of information had been documents showing that while Trump was refusing to disclose his taxes under the guise that he was being audited, he was arm deep in trying to put together the largest and most significant structure on the continent.
What if Trump had just finished saying those nice words about Putin that shocked so many of us. Then, moments later, Rubio supplied the agreement with Trump’s dynamic signature affixed on the dotted line of the Letter of Intent. And, what if, Rubio then displayed the images and blueprints of the building of the deal he was secretively trying to do while he told us he had no deals?
Tell me. Do you think that the Republican candidates would have just said, sure, ok, no big deal?
If you buy that, I’ll sell you some swamp in downtown Moscow.
No, the same guys who grovel at his command, the Lindsey Grahams, the Bobby Jindal’s the Ted Cruz would have screamed and yelled. They would have had blood coming out of their nose, out of their eyes, out of their whatever.
Trump today said on Fox News that “people won’t stand for it” if the report makes him look bad.
Make him look bad?
I am not quite sure what happened to the leaders of the Republican Party in Congress. I know they don’t want to be primaried with a Trump-supported opponent. They don’t want Trump to be naming them in his next tweet to sixty million followers.
I get that.
But there are some things that no report can or will ever undo. Those are the facts of what we actually do know.
And no Mueller report can change or ignore any of that. Ever.