June 27, 2019
Opinion & Editorial

Mueller’s Investigation Could Damage Trump Supporters and Trump-Haters Alike

Robert Mueller could close a final report in the coming weeks. (Medill DC/Creative Commons)

When special counsel Robert Mueller opened an investigation into the Trump’s campaign’s alleged collusion with the Kremlin in 2016, many were overjoyed. Thousands practically salivated over the prospect of a Trump indictment to bring about his impeachment and ultimate downfall. 

With Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort sinking into even hotter legal water this weekend, Mueller appears poised to finally close in on Trump and issue this much-anticipated final verdict.

Still, those using allegations of conspiracy to attack the President and clamor for impeachment had better hope Mueller comes up with something.

If and when Trump is found guilty, many of his adamant supporters will simply blow off the verdict, decrying the whole operation as a secretive sham. Indeed, as the inquiry has dragged on interminably, many can’t help but wonder-What exactly is Mueller doing? 

But if the special counsel doesn’t turn up anything and if all Mueller has to show for two years and $17,000,000 of FBI resources is a couple of low level fraud-convictions, Trump wins. Big.

Outside of his 2016 upset bid, this would be Trump’s biggest triumph to date. Because if Mueller can’t incriminate him, then the President would be completely vindicated: his incessant refrain of “witch-hunt” would appear to be true. Trump could denounce and spin his last two years under FBI scrutiny as nothing more than an inconclusive, staged, deeply biased attempt to undermine his legitimacy. He could point to this probe as evidence of what he has professed to his base all along: there is an entrenched “deep state” in Washington that will do anything to take him down.

The political ramifications for those who have thrown their weight behind the Mueller probe and used it to condemn Trump — Democrats and Republicans alike — would be disastrous.

Yes, Trump is clearly in immediate legal and political peril. But if the Russia scrutiny fails to unearth anything, so are those — including myself — who have used it to oppose him.