Swamp Rabbit was crawling on his stomach, looking for a bottle of whiskey he might have hidden for emergency situations like this one. Robert Mueller had just appeared on TV and told the world he would say no more about Trump’s possible obstruction of the probe into Russian interference with our elections.
“Settle down, rabbit,” I said. “Just because Mueller is clamming up is no reason for you to start drinking again.”
“It ain’t Mueller that drives me to drink,” he replied. “It’s having to listen to you complain about Mueller letting Trump off the hook.”
I told him Mueller is no hero, he fumbled the ball by not explicitly stating in his report that he found enough evidence to indict Trump. But neither is he one of Trump’s henchmen. His public remarks today made it clear — again — that it’s the job of Congress, not the special council, to make a decision regarding possible indictment of a president.
“Mueller said it would be unconstitutional for the Justice Department to formally accuse Trump,” I said.
Swamp Rabbit’s parole officer, Victor C, arrived at my shack while we were arguing. “Nothing in the Constitution says the president has immunity from prosecution,” Victor noted. “That’s an excuse Mueller is using to duck responsibility for his own conclusions.”
“Maybe,” I conceded, “but his bottom-line point is good. It’s up to Congress to take down Trump.”
Swamp Rabbit groaned. “So now you’re saying it’s the Dems in the House, not Mueller, who are letting Trump off the hook, even though the Senate probably wouldn’t convict him if he was impeached.”
“I’m saying most Democrats won’t do the right thing if they think it will cost them votes,” I replied. “They’re afraid voters will get tired of impeachment talk and turn on them.”
Swamp Rabbit kept nagging. “So you think the Dems should impeach even though impeachment might help Trump win in 2020?”
He thought he had me on the ropes. “I think they might help Trump win if they don’t impeach,” I replied. “People will conclude that the Democrats are too timid to deserve election, and they will be right. Dems have a history of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, usually because they don’t have the guts to fight until the end, even when the stakes are enormous.”
“There you go,” the rabbit said, turning to Victor. “I knew Odd Man would find someone to complain about.”
Footnote: We jawed for another hour and Victor C noted that Mueller is a Republican lawyer who was appointed special council by a Republican deputy attorney general (Rod Rosenstein) to investigate possible ties between a Republican president and the Russians. Anybody who says political partisanship didn’t play a part in this sordid story is naive or lying.
Another: In his announcement today, Mueller failed to mention that Republican William Barr, the current AG, had misrepresented Mueller’s findings in statements he issued prior to the report’s release. This is a serious omission given the fact that Barr’s blatant lies had an important impact on public reception of the report.