I don’t know what to think about the Mueller investigation. I have a lot of friends who have strongly held opinions about the investigation. I am paid to have opinions. But I have no strongly held opinion on the investigation. It seems to me that there would be no Mueller investigation had the President not fired James Comey. The President’s lack of self control got us here.
But in the same vein, I think there is plenty of partisanship at the FBI and I think, knowing what I know from reading the Inspector General’s report, James Comey deserved to be removed as FBI Director and there were partisans within the FBI, including Comey, making questionable decisions. It seems, however, based on my own review of the IG report, that though there were partisans and some making partisan decisions, overall it does appear there were some legitimate intelligence sources suggesting the Russians were trying to interfere in our election.
It just looks to me like the distrust from Democrats within the FBI, etc. defaulted to believing anything bad about Donald Trump and not looking at the whole picture. Manafort, Tad Devine, Tony Podesta, etc. seem to be of a particular sort of mercenary political consultant and it seemed the Russians had ties out across parties.
I think Christopher Steele’s dossier has not been completely disproven, but it has not been proven either. I think Democrats enraged that Donald Trump might have gotten dirt on Clinton from foreign sources should consider that they might have gotten dirt on Donald Trump from foreign sources. No one has clean hands here and everyone seems to have behaved badly.
I know there has not been enough reported in the press about Fusion GPS’s collaboration with and ties to the lawyer who met with the Trump campaign and I have a lingering suspicion that there might have been a set up there. Get the lawyer to meet with Trump’s team promising dirt and then leak the meeting. I’m willing to be wrong here, but the press too has dirty hands in all this and biases that lean left. Fusion GPS has been a reliable source of dirt for many members of the press and they’re not willing to dig into this.
Devin Nunes and the House Republicans’ hysteria seems overblown to me. There are legitimate concerns, but their hyperbole and constant need to dial everything to eleven makes me suspicious they don’t have a lot there. Nunes seems to have not even read the full, unreacted Carter Page FISA warrant so I’m not sure he should be an authority on anything related to it.
The Senate investigators seem more reasonable and the Senate Republicans think there is something to look at. The guys not fighting for re-election seem far more willing to probe the evidence and see what’s there. The House guys strike me as no more credible than Planned Parenthood saying abortion is about to be banned, i.e. they’ve got fundraising to take care of for November and need their base to rally to stop a Democrat takeover.
I think using foreign dirt on a political opponent is wrong, bad, and gross. But I am not actually sure it is any more illegal than the media reporting on the contents of the hacked emails. You can think it unethical. I do. But unethical is not illegal. I still have a hard time believing President Trump actually colluded with Russians to steal the election and I am pretty sure the election was not stolen. Democrats just don’t want to admit how terrible a candidate Hillary Clinton was.
Lastly, I come to this. A former FBI Chief who worked as Deputy Attorney General of the United States for a Republican President and was appointed by a Republican President to be head of the FBI has been appointed a special prosecutor by the current Deputy Attorney General of the United States, who was appointed by and remains in office under President Trump. The FISA warrant for Carter Page has been reviewed multiple times by Republican appointed judges. The Trump surrogates in the press would have us believe that the President cannot get a fair shake at the hands of his own party’s political appointees and, in some cases, his own political appointees. That they are spending so much time arguing about a witch hunt and seeking to undermine the legitimacy of the investigation that would not be happening had the President not fired James Comey and then gone on national television to say he fired Comey over Russia makes me think they’re not really interested in the truth of the investigation.
Concurrently, I don’t think the Democrats are really interested in the truth either. They’ve completely bought the idea of Hillary Clinton as a martyr to avoid dealing with what a terrible candidate she was. And at this point, if Donald Trump cured cancer, they’d attack him for putting doctors and research institutions out of business.
Ultimately, I think the President has some weird defensiveness about Russia and his treatment of Putin causes lots of people to have suspicions. I think it probably has more to do with his concerns about defending the legitimacy of his election than worries Putin might release a pee tape.
At this point, I’m willing to let the Mueller investigation run its course and see what they discover. I don’t think the President will be charged with a crime. But I think a lot of his supporters are behaving like they think he will and want to preemptively sow doubt.