Since the release of the Mueller report, with each passing day comes a new and increasingly strident demand to impeach Donald Trump. The New York Times, Washington Post, and various prestige magazines are cluttered with such demands, casting impeachment as an imperative for the survival of American democracy. Mueller might have affirmatively concluded that no conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia ever came close to being established, but that hasn’t stopped Democrats and their journalist allies from barreling full-steam ahead down this rabbit hole.
In a healthy media environment, the key finding from the report ought to have been that the ‘collusion’ hypothesis which dominated American political consciousness for nearly three years was exhaustively and resolutely debunked – but instead there has been a concerted move to deflect and change the subject.
One tactic employed to this end by Democrats and likeminded pundits has been to re-focus collective attention on Attorney General William Barr, whom they insist maliciously misrepresented Mueller’s findings in order to protect Trump. But their criticisms on this score never made any sense. Barr was clearly obliged to expeditiously relay the top-line findings of the report once it was submitted on March 22. And so by March 24, Barr issued a letter stating, accurately, that Mueller had not established ‘conspiracy or coordination’ between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, i.e. the core crux of the entire ‘collusion’ narrative. Hence the New York Times’s blaring front-page headline the following day, which also proved 100 percent accurate: MUELLER FINDS NO TRUMP-RUSSIA CONSPIRACY.
Neither did Barr materially misrepresent Mueller’s findings on obstruction. As the report lays out in comprehensive detail, Mueller weighed competing facts and legal arguments in relation to all the allegedly obstructive acts committed by Trump and made no definitive determinations about the prosecutability of any of them. That is exactly what Barr said in the March 24 letter, in which he wrote that ‘while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.’
But whipping up an ancillary and specious controversy about Barr, Democrats are merely attempting to prolong the fantasy that Mueller somehow indicted Trump, rather than meticulously examined every conceivable aspect of the purported Trump-Russia conspiracy, and rendered as affirmative a judgment as any prosecutor in Mueller’s position could ever proffer: that there was no such conspiracy. It’s game over.
Our political class is prone to mass hysteria and wilful self-deception. As well, of course, as outright lying.