Report: Mueller hasn't decided to investigate Trump for obstruction
Last Thursday, the Washington Post published a sensational report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller was investigating President Trump for obstruction of justice.
But by Sunday, that report and the narrative that Trump was just a hop, skip, and a jump away from impeachment fell apart.
ABC News reported that, in fact, Mueller had not decided yet whether to investigate the president. And one of Trump's lawyers, Jay Sekulow, said categorically on Meet the Press that "[t]he president is not and has not been under investigation for obstruction."
"Now, my sources are telling me he's begun some preliminary planning," Pierre Thomas, the ABC News senior justice correspondent, said of Mueller on ABC's "This Week." "Plans to talk to some people in the administration. But he's not yet made that momentous decision to go for a full-scale investigation."
Last week, the Washington Post reported Mueller is investigating the president for obstruction of justice in light of his firing of former FBI Director James Comey, something the president's legal team is denying.
"Now Mueller faces a huge decision," Thomas said. "Does he believe the president, who says there's no wrongdoing here, or does he go after the president in the way James Comey wants him to do?"
Sekulow explained the president's tweet that appeared to acknowledge he was under investigation from the special counsel.
The tweet from the president was in response to the five anonymous sources purportedly leaking information to the Washington Post," he said, referring to the Post's report this week that Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the election now also includes a look at whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice.
Sekulow claimed the president is not spending a lot of time composing the tweets, but defended them as a means of speaking directly to voters, saying "he's responding to what he's seeing in the media in a way in which he thinks is appropriate to talk to those people that put him in office."
"He's not afraid of the investigation – there is no investigation," Sekulow said, adding, "there is not an investigation of the President of the United States, period."
You have to wonder just what "anonymous sources" the Washington Post relied on to publish this bit of fake news. They were obviously not in the know, which suggests either that someone fed the Post disinformation or that the newspaper didn't care if its report was accurate.
Whatever the reason, the Post report set off a wave of liberal celebrations over the imminent demise of the president. To their minds, "investigation" is tantamount to "guilty," and their cherished goal of removing Donald Trump from office was on track to succeed.
Mueller's probe is in its earliest stages, and the idea that he had narrowed the investigation down to one person is absurd. Mueller may yet look into the president's behavior to see if any obstruction occurred, but he won't open a criminal investigation unless he's pretty damn sure of his grounds. In other words, it's going to take more than a couple of memos from James Comey to get Mueller to look seriously at Trump for obstruction of justice.