Mueller Investigation Almost Over, According To People Who Wish That Were True
This is not a story about Rudy Giuliani insisting that the Robert Mueller investigation into Trumpo-Russian conspiracies is going to be over in two months, he swears this time! OR IS IT?
Bloomberg has a bizarre report today, citing two "sources" who say Mueller is about to make his report just after the midterms. It's curious because it's almost certainly not true, at least not exactly how it's reported. First of all, the "sources" are not Robert Mueller or his team, because they never are. Their shit don't leak. They, of course, refused to comment for this story. But we think there's news here, even if it's not written the way Bloomberg says it.
First of all, Bloomberg says Mueller "faces intensifying pressure to produce more indictments or shut down his investigation" after the midterms. From whom? Donald Trump? Well, he's been facing that pressure the whole fucking time. From Giuliani? Fuck that addled-brained char-grilled dick burger. Rod Rosenstein? Solid maybe on that one, as Rosenstein just recently made kissy kissy with Donald Trump on Air Force One, after a week and a half where he was worried about getting fired based on shitty New York Timesreporting. More on Rosenstein in a sec.
Let's start here:
Mueller is close to rendering judgment on two of the most explosive aspects of his inquiry: whether there were clear incidents of collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, and whether the president took any actions that constitute obstruction of justice, according to one of the officials, who asked not to be identified speaking about the investigation.
OK no. First of all, we've known Mueller was very close on the obstruction shit for quite a while now. That's what all the back-and-forth rigamarole about Trump sitting down for a lie-meeting with Mueller has been about, at least partly. But on the collusion stuff, we question Bloomberg's math, or the math of the sources whose words Bloomberg is dutifully transcribing. Bloomberg seems to admit this about 14,000 paragraphs in:
There's no indication, though, that Mueller is ready to close up shop, even if he does make some findings, according to former federal prosecutors.
So what is the point of your story, Bloomberg?
Mueller is still very busy working, but nothing much has been happening in public since we crossed within 60 days of the mid-terms, because Mueller, unlike ol' Honest Jim Comey, is observing that dumb rule of not doing anything "political" so close to an election. (Weird, since none of Trump's assholes are actually on the ballot.) To be quite honest, we have no damn clue what Mueller is up to at this very moment, and we doubt Bloomberg does either.
Bloomberg cites as evidence, though, that Mueller has been getting rid of prosecutors, and that is a true fact, but it doesn't necessarily mean the investigation is over. It could just mean he doesn't need those folks at this point. Maybe he's just really laser-focused now that he's snagged the people he needs in order to really get to the bottom of all this shit.
Mueller has spent many hours with Michael Cohen, who is now basically state's evidence, albeit without a cooperation deal in place. Moreover, Mueller just turned Paul Manafort. That's the big kahuna he indicted first and has been squeezing to literal death this whole time, and he finally got him. There is no way in hell Manafort got the deal he got without Mueller getting everything he wanted out of the deal.
From Manafort's plea agreement, it appears Mueller got just that. It also suggests that he's getting the real shit on Trump-Russia NO COLLUSION from the man who knows the whole story, as it seems pretty clear at this point Manafort was placed in the Trump campaign as a fucking Russian asset.
Based on Cohen and Manafort alone, there is no way in hell Mueller is about to close up shop.
Now, here's something on the Rosenstein angle of all this, from Bloomberg:
Rosenstein has made it clear that he wants Mueller to wrap up the investigation as expeditiously as possible, another U.S. official said.
OK, so Rosenstein is putting some kind of pressure on Mueller. But what kind? Some internets people have been scared Trump somehow turned Rosenstein, but we think they are being worrywarts. We do think it's possible, though, that Rosenstein is in a weird place right now, trying to protect the Mueller probe but simultaneously saying to Mueller, "OK, dude, after the election, DO A THING AND DO IT QUICKLY." We all know Trump wants to obstruct more justice and clean house after the mid-terms, starting with firing Jeff Sessions. He might still want to fire Rosenstein too! So maybe Rosenstein -- who by all appearances has been a strong steward of the investigation up to this point -- is just gently nudging his pal Mueller to please make some kind of WHIZ! BANG! happen real fast after November 6, because it'll be a lot harder for Trump to go on a rampage while indictments are coming out or reports are being submitted.
As Josh Marshall notes, we should keep a careful eye on what's going on here, but Wonkette doesn't think it's freak-out time. Our guess is that Rosenstein is playing a considerably more tense version of the game he's been playing this whole time, in essence trying to oversee the investigation while holding Trump's flaky gross shit-smelling head at arm's length so when Trump tries to punch at the investigation, he can't reach it.
We'll see what happens. But we think Robert Mueller's got a lot more work to do until this thing is all over.
Or maybe Bloomberg's sources are right and Mueller's almost finished, because he's always a thousand miles ahead of where we think he is anyway.
In summary, have an open thread, because we don't know what we're fucking talking about anymore.
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