And if the Mueller report does not change anything?



What's the big news! For most of the past 20 months, we have received details of what Mueller knows, but we have never had a chance to see the big picture. There were nearly 200 criminal charges against 39 individuals and entities, seven people pleaded guilty and four others were sentenced to imprisonment.

But what we do not know, is whether Trump himself or his son, Donald Trump Jr., or his son-in-law Jared Kushner, could be involved in wrongdoing on Mueller's behalf. This question has weighed on Washington – and the Trump presidency – as a dark cloud since Mueller was appointed special advisor in May 2017.

The assumption has long been that Mueller's report, whenever published, would work as a sort of last word on all that. This would exonerate or implicate Trump and his closest confidants. Whatever it is, it would change the course of Trump's presidency.

And yet, now that we have at least the possibility of a light at the end of this tunnel, I am more and more convinced that the clarity that so many people expect from the Mueller report may never come.

This is not because Mueller's findings will not be clear. I mean, they might not be – but I guess someone with Mueller's track record, including a decade at the helm of the FBI, will deliver a final product that addresses the issues raised by the 2016 campaign and the role of Russia in a comprehensive way.

I think the lack of clarity will be more the result of how the report is received. Trump has spent much of the last 18 months publicly undermining the investigation of Russia, even though he has worked privately to stop or reduce it, as evidenced by this incredible New York Times document.
A recent survey conducted by CNN suggests that Trump's negative campaign against Mueller had some effect: 44% endorsed the way Mueller handled the survey while 41% had disapproved of the February poll. This is down from a 50% / 28% approved number for Mueller in September 2018.

What makes me think of numbers like these, is that no matter what the Mueller report – literally, WHAT THOUGH – it will not change the minds of most people. people who follow the story. For people who already hate Trump, they will see in the Mueller report confirmation that the president has been compromised by the Russians. For Trump's supporters, they will reject all this – chanting their idol – as a "witch hunt" and "hoax". They will probably not even discuss the contents of Mueller and Trump's report to make them ignore it – so many "fake news" and all that.

Which will leave us pretty much where we are right now. Which is bitterly divided without even being able to agree on a set of facts and truths.

Point: The Mueller report has been touted as a panacea for the country's ills. This will almost certainly not be the case.


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