Thursday morning, a story from CNN about the latest on the investigation being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller drew special attention coming as it did just a day after Donald Trump fired his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, and replaced him with a GOP political hack. This detail from the CNN report was especially intriguing:
“Mueller’s team has begun writing its final report, multiple sources told CNN.”
If those sources are correct, it suggests that Mueller is near the end of efforts regarding the 2016 election and a possible conspiracy between members of the Trump campaign and Russia.
Here’s the thing: If the report is being written, that would suggest there are components of the investigation that are now complete, and that’s very bad news for the White House.
Robert Mueller has always taken a thorough approach to his work as an attorney and an investigator. Anyone who has ever worked with him says so. And his scrupulous nature will doubtless extend to the Russia probe. As MSNBC’s Chris Hayes reported in May:
On @chrislhayes just now we learned that Mueller has a dead man switch. If they start firing people they’ll press a Send on a pile of indictments.
— email@example.com (@davewiner) May 25, 2018
Also, if we’re at the report stage, then Mueller is too far along for anyone to stop his investigation. Former FBI counterintelligence agent Asha Rangappa wrote last month in the New York Times:
“To shut down the investigation at this point would require not just a face-off with Mr. Mueller but also with special agents in charge of multiple field offices with a vested interest in seeing their responsibilities through, and possibly even a battle with the F.B.I. director, Christopher Wray.”
You can rest assured that any pending indictments Mueller has are under seal and also under the protection of federal judges in New York, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. That means they’re safe and secure.
The acting attorney general, Matt Whitaker, might well try to bar release of Mueller’s report, but that won’t do any good. Mueller can be called before Congress and testify to the contents of the report. He may well have already forwarded his findings to key members of the House and Senate judiciary committees.
Bottom line: Mueller is several steps ahead of Trump’s efforts to shut him down. He has been since the beginning.