Mueller, Cohen, and Much Ado About Nothing
The more things change the more they stay the same. Seems like only a couple decades ago that Bill Clinton (then President) had a special prosecutor, Robert B. Fiske investigate the legality of the Whitewater transactions the Clinton's were involved in.
I don't recall the outcome of the Whitewater charges, only that they seemed to fall back to irrelevancy while the investigation of what exactly occurred between Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton in the Oval Office became the lead story, and led to his eventual Impeachment.
So here we are, with another special prosecutor, Robert Mueller, appointed to look into the very serious charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
And after two years of this investigation, we are treated with yet again, another form of a man's unfaithful dalliance with another woman, albeit this one was not in the Oval Office with a young intern. But rather a lawyer who supposedly paid off two women of dubious backgrounds to be quiet about their affairs with a billionaire.
Of course, one has to wonder, what any of this has to do with Russian collusion. Or does that even matter?
Mr. Mueller's initial charge was to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, pretty cut and dried as to what he was to focus on.
So... which was it?
Mueller's investigation has wandered far from Russian interference and is now trying to find cause for an obstruction of justice charge or some other clever angle (similar to how they got Bill Clinton for "depends on what is 'is'" type of shenanigans).
Supposedly the President urging then FBI Director James Comey (of the infamous 'there is no evidence here that a prosecutor would use' in regards to Hillary Clinton's server/email/foreign-funds/DNC-misuse-of-funds/etc.) to "go easy" on former national security adviser Mike Flynn, and his subsequent firing of Comey, and his public criticism of Mueller, and AG Jeff Sessions, and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, and lets face it anyone else that gets in his crosshairs, constitutes obstruction of justice according to some.
Despite the less than proper etiquette used by Trump, these episodes all involve the president's ability to exercise his constitutional powers as chief executive, including the power to appoint and remove high-level executive-branch officials, to supervise the performance of their duties and to determine law enforcement (the alphabet agencies) priorities.
So in essence, Mueller isn't going to get anywhere with that.
Mueller also has nothing but a false (now publicly known to be fraudulent) 'dossier' that they used to investigate into the Trump campaign, in regards to the Russian collusion, and a handful of disgruntled FBI agents who have been proven to have bias against Trump and who potentially acted against Trump prior to the election, and post election.
So that's not really going to go anywhere for Mueller either, best he can hope for is to limit the damage already done, and hope future investigations don't uncover any more agents behaving badly.
So what is Mueller left with?
Cohen... but that isn't going to go anywhere either. What distinguishes this from the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal is the fact that the sitting president then appeared before a grand jury, and they focused on allegations of perjury and obstruction from Clinton's personal relationship with a White House intern.
And here is the key, independent counsel Kenneth Starr subpoenaed the president but withdrew the subpoena when Clinton agreed to appear voluntarily.
Mueller could try that, but President Trump authorized White House counsel Don McGahn to answer all of Mueller's questions regarding every alleged obstructive action. McGahn spent 30 hours describing the substance of his conversations with Trump and offering that in his assessment the President's actions were lawful.
In addition Mueller was given access to over a million relevant documents that were requested, as well as access to everyone around the President, the special counsel came up with no material facts to support collusion charges or obstruction.
Executive privilege is designed to protect a sitting president from such 'witch-hunts', they relate entirely to a constitutionally proscribed obstruction inquiry that would violate the separation of powers.
So long as President Trump does not volunteer to appear before Mueller, or a grand jury, or a New-York based federal prosecutor in regards to Cohen's guilty plea, they will not be able to get him on some triviality that "depends on what the definition of is 'is'" was Bill Clinton's undoing.
There is nothing for which they can Impeach the President, unless he volunteers such by appearing in person and allowing whatever he says under oath to be used against him.
© 2018 Ken Burgess