October 31, 2017

Even The Week sees the Mueller investigation as unhinged

The Week, a formerly centrist magazine that has drifted leftward over the years has an interesting take on the Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigation - it's run amok;
...Dot connectors will, of course, continue to connect dots. It could be that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is hoping to secure testimony from Manafort or Gates that will give him the dirt he needs to bring more appropriate charges. It could be that he already has that information and is just waiting for goodness knows what occasion. At the very least, obsessives will say, the hiring of Manafort indicates — these comments almost write themselves — a very serious lack of judgment on Trump's part. You don't say? The man whose idea of a feel-good national unity speech following an act of domestic terrorism was to suggest a degree of moral equivalence between the KKK and its opponents has horrible instincts, often fails to think things through, is a bad judge of character, etc.? Gosh.

Even George Papadopoulos' guilty plea is no smoking gun. The former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign admits that he lied about email exchanges with a shadowy figure known as "the professor" who had promised Russian "dirt" on Clinton. But as far as we can tell, his communications with Dr. Dirt went nowhere. Papadopoulos also made vague references in his emails to "meetings" with Russian officials that probably did not end up taking place, which seems important only if you ignore the fact that presidential candidates, especially after securing their parties' nominations, routinely meet with foreign leaders, even heads of state.

The most significant thing about Monday's Mueller bonanza is that it reminds us what is wrong with these hysterical wide-ranging special prosecutor investigations that take place in public. Whitewater went on for nearly a decade before it concluded in 2003.
When you have a magazine that blatantly, incorrectly summarizes president Trump's response to  "an act of domestic terrorism" in such a way as they did, say that the Mueller investigation is hysterical then you know the Mueller investigation is as ridiculous as it is malignantly aggressive.  Despite the liberal slant, the article is peppered with factual debunking of the media narrative associated with the investigation.

For example:
There are many problems with the Mueller probe, not least its show-boating obsession with keeping its business in the newspapers, but the biggest one is that its parameters were never well defined. What would count as actual collusion? Idle language is thrown around about people having "ties" to Russia or being "Kremlin-connected." How do you define "Kremlin-connected"? What would be the broad equivalent in the United States from Russia's perspective? A former congressman? Anyone who does business on K Street having a meeting? Defense contractors? Given the country's autocratic structure, there are very few living Russian nationals of any wealth or distinction who are not "Kremlin-connected."
Their conclusion in this regard, seems entirely reasonable:
If it's not going away, the least we could do is broaden the investigation's scope. Why not appoint another special prosecutor to investigate British meddling in our sacrosanct democratic process? The facts are there in plain sight. A former member of Her Majesty's Secret Intelligence Service collaborated with a presidential campaign in an attempt to alter the outcome of the 2016 election. So did a former member of the British Parliament, who peddled disgusting conspiracy theories on Twitter and even attempted to collude with the Clinton campaign on advertising strategy. The speaker of the British House of Commons attempted to discredit Clinton's opponent.
That's awfully hard to argue, and actually seems aligned with what the president himself has been calling for to happen.
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