Democrats start to worry they are out on a limb with Russia conspiracy theories, and Mueller has a saw
The appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel to investigate the wild charges of Russian interference in the 2016 election has turned the tables on the conspiracy theorists. Some are even acknowledging the total lack of evidence behind the media-induced frenzy that grips the Beltway and left-wing crazies, but not most normal Americans. MSNBC discovered the hard way that the mania gripping Rachel Maddow & Co. at its anchor desks was not shared by the people it interviewed on the street in North Carolina when it took "the pulse of the people."
Perhaps remembering what happened to the GOP in the wake of the failed Clinton impeachment trial, Nancy Pelosi urged her House members to squelch their impulse to impeach. Even rabid Trump-hater Adam Schiff warned the troops:
"That's not something that we should be rushing into or rushing to suggest," Schiff told CNN's New Day, according to The Hill.
He said the impeachment process would be a "wrenching experience" for the country, and it was important to get answers first.
Dems, it seems, forgot to be careful what they wish for, because they just might get it.
That lack of evidence is so worrisome that as Jason Willick pointed out at The American Interest, some of the Trump haters are de-escalating:
Take, for example, Josh Marshall declaring that while he has confidence in Mueller to identify and expose any criminal activities undertaken by Trump or his associates, he won't be able to prosecute the real Trump-Russia wrongdoing: a labyrinthian "conspiracy" which may not even involve any illegal behavior.
It is critical to understand that the most important details we need to know about the Russian disruption campaign and the Trump campaign's possible collusion with it may not be crimes. Indeed, I would say that the crimes we're likely to discover will likely be incidental or secondary to the broader actions and activities we're trying to uncover. Just hypothetically, what if Russia had a disruption campaign, Trump campaign officials gave winks and nods to nudge it forward but violated no laws? That's hard to figure but by no means impossible. (Our criminal laws are not really designed for this set of facts.) The simple point is that the most important 'bad acts' may well not be crimes. That means not only is no one punished but far, far more important, we would never know what happened.
And here's David Frum in the Atlantic making a similar objection:
The special counsel will investigate whether people in the Trump campaign violated any laws when they gleefully leveraged the fruits of Russian espionage to advance their campaign.
By contrast, what happened in plain sight – cheering rather than condemning a Russian attack on American democracy – will be treated as a non-issue, because it was not criminal, merely anti-democratic and disloyal.
Meanwhile, the president of the United States is flying off to Saudi Arabia, where an unprecedented group of Muslim rulers may offer some very big wins, starting with major purchases (hundreds of billions of dollars) of American weapons, and possibly extending to real progress on dealing with the Palestinians, who have become an irritant to most of the Arab regimes in this era of Shiite-Iranian expansionism. If Trump can get some sort of progress on recognizing Israel's right to exist (as has been rumored), he will outdo every other American president in healing that wound.
This could be quite a turning point. Of course, it all depends on what Mueller does and doesn't find.