Special counsel Robert Mueller has submitted his long-awaited report on the completed Russia collusion investigation. Americans on both sides of the political spectrum have been anticipating Mueller’s findings since it was announced that he was close to completing the investigation, but will the report be the nail in President Trump’s coffin for which the progressive left hopes? Will it lay the foundation for the inevitable impeachment attempt? Or will it be the nothingburger that is expected by those on the right, who view the Russia collusion narrative as nothing more than a politically-motivated witch hunt?
Mueller’s team has tightly guarded the details of their investigation, but it is widely suspected that the special counsel’s findings will not provide the ammunition needed by Democrats in their bid to unseat President Trump.
Enough to Impeach Trump?
Last June, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein sent a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, indicating that the report would not reveal illegal activity on the part of the president, nor even contain information that could damage Trump politically. Rosenstein affirmed that the Justice Department would not include potentially harmful information about any individual who is not being charged with a crime. “Punishing wrongdoers through judicial proceedings is only one part of the Department’s mission,” he wrote. “We also have a duty to prevent the disclosure of information that would unfairly tarnish people who are not charged with crimes.”
As there are no more indictments expected from the special counsel’s investigation, his report is unlikely to bring about impeachment. Of course, there are still counterintelligence investigations, and lawmakers in Congress are undergoing their own investigations of the president in a last-ditch effort to find something, anything, that they can use to remove him from office.
The Wrong Tactic?
On the other hand, key Democrats and anti-Trump figures have already expressed the opinion that pushing for impeachment might not be the best move. Recently, former FBI Director James Comey penned an op-ed for The New York Times in which he argued against trying to remove Trump from office. He wrote:
“I do have one hope that I should confess. I hope that Mr. Trump is not impeached and removed from office before the end of his term. I don’t mean that Congress shouldn’t move ahead with the process of impeachment governed by our Constitution, if Congress thinks the provable facts are there. I just hope it doesn’t. Because if Mr. Trump were removed from office by Congress, a significant portion of this country would see this as a coup, and it would drive those people farther from the common center of American life, more deeply fracturing our country.”
Say what you want about Comey; on this occasion he is right. If Democrats try to remove the president, many will see it as a cynical political ploy designed to remove an opposing president. The fact that Democratic lawmakers are pursuing investigations of the president himself, instead of a specific infraction, lends some credence to this theory.
The Mueller investigation was the only likely chance Democrats had of uncovering evidence that President Trump colluded with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. It was also the inquiry most probable to turn up information that could cause the president enough political damage to ensure a successful impeachment attempt. The witch hunt will continue, but Democrats might find it impossible to remove Trump by any means other than winning the 2020 election.