Waiting for Mueller

‘Round about the moment I came to the conclusion it was time to call the whole thing off, CNN reported that Robert Mueller’s team of 16 or 17 all-star prosecutors has secured an indictment of someone for something from the Washington grand jury. The indictment, however, is sealed. Whoever leaked news of the indictment to CNN is guilty of serious wrongdoing. That’s a big story too, but CNN isn’t going to help us out on that angle.

While I think it is time to call the whole thing off, some think it is time for Mueller to exit the scene. The Wall Street Journal and others have expressed the view that it is time for Mueller to step down.

As the relentlessly touted narrative of Trump campaign collusion with Russia has blown up in the faces of the Democrats and their media adjunct, the excitement generated by CNN’s report is almost palpable. Roll Call’s John Bennett, to take just one of many examples, can’t wait for the news later today. He has rendered five possible indictment scenarios. Wired’s Garret Graff provides an interpretative guide. The tension mounts.

The excitement reminds me of the hysteria over the supposedly imminent indictment of Karl Rove by Patrick Fitzgerald during the deranged investigation of the Bush administration for a leak of Valerie Plame’s name by Richard Armitage to Robert Novak. Fitzgerald, incidentally, had been appointed by James Comey. It’s a small world after all.

As Fitzgerald’s cue ball caromed around the table, it took out Cheney chief of staff Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who hadn’t leaked anything to Novak. Libby, it turned out, had spoken with then New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

Maybe Mueller will take care of unfinished business today and put the screws to Rove after all. Mueller is unbound. His charter is broad enough. His staff is deep enough. His budget is unlimited. Go for it.

In Casablanca, Rick famously says to Ilsa, “We’ll always have Paris.” This special counsel thing is like that in its own way. So long as we have President Trump, we’ll always have Mueller.

UPDATE: Well, it’s not Karl Rove and the charges, while “not immediately clear,” do not appear to have anything to do with “collusion.”

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