Mueller goes over the cliff
With the news that his people illegally obtained the Trump transition emails – many of them having no conceivable bearing on his "inquiry" – Robert Mueller's investigation proceeds even farther into disintegration.
This is not at all how it was supposed to turn out. Hillary, the DNC, and the #NeverTrumps no doubt hoped that the special counsel would result in the ouster of Donald Trump, or at least the crippling of his administration. For his part, Mueller likely foresaw a few easy convictions and the humiliation of a president followed by the customary bestselling book, the lucrative lecture tour, and a secure place in the pantheon of left-wing heroes somewhere among Woodward, Bernstein, and Valerie Plame.
But that's not what happened. Instead, Mueller's effort lurches unstoppably toward the abyss, while the counsel himself more and more closely resembles Captain Edward John Smith, standing rooted on the bridge while the iceberg glides inevitably closer.
The Mueller team's lunge into criminality reveals exactly how desperate they've become. (And despite what you may have heard from Our Loyal Media, seizing those emails was in fact a crime – presidential transition materials remain private by federal statute. Mueller never should have been allowed near those messages.) Soon enough, they'll be accused of more crimes than anybody they're investigating
Even if Mueller were somehow to stumble across actual wrongdoing, the voting public would never, at this point, believe it. Donald Trump would have had to have been smuggling Russian nukes into New York on behalf of Tsar Vlad to justify the activities of Mueller, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Ohr, and company. Thanks to arrogance and his willingness to hire every Clinton zombie in the federal bureaucracy, Mueller is looking at a wrecked reputation, if not the opportunity to model an orange jumpsuit. (This, unlikely though it may seem, is in no way an impossibility, since Mueller clearly has no control over his staff and no idea what tricks they've been pulling, or what they might pull tomorrow.)
So what are Mueller's alternatives? The best he can hope for at this point is to get out intact. He might attempt the tried and true "retirement for health reasons." He might deliberately trash the investigation, fire everyone in sight, and erase all the files while wailing that it's all Trump's fault. Or he could make a clean breast of it, admit that he's found nothing, file his report, and get out of Dodge while the getting's good. This last is probably the least likely outcome, since it would require Mueller to put aside the Clinton lie, prevaricate, deny, and qualify playbook he's been relying on – not to mention annoying his principals, none of whom are noted for patience or understanding.
In the end, the most valuable lesson learned from all this may simply be that a jutting chin and piercing gaze are not enough. Looking into how an incompetent like Mueller ever got anywhere in government would tell us a lot about the state we're now in and give us valuable clues on how to correct it.