Every day on my Twitter feed I see the idea that special counsel Robert Mueller will somehow “get” Donald Trump repeated like an article of faith.
Many act as if Mueller simply has his arrest warrant already typed up and printed out, sitting on his desk, waiting for a signature that will mark the end of his investigation into Russian election interference.
It’s a fantasy scenario, and while I have no problem with indulging in flights of fancy, the mass belief in this idea is destructive.
People love a savior narrative, and I think it is an idea that is even more pervasive on the left than on the right. The idea that a bold white knight will come in to save us all from the mustache-twirling villain is seductive.
It also goes against the grain of American history, where those in the highest levels of power usually get away with it.
Richard Nixon resigned in shame. He also died a wealthy man, seen by many as a statesman, with every living former president in attendance at his funeral.
Also, thanks to the pardons from Gerald Ford, he never faced a trial or prison time.
It isn’t that Trump didn’t meet up with Russian operatives and work on election interference with them. Those facts are not in dispute by rational observers. The only bit that we don’t know right now is how severe all of this was.
But going from Trump working with Russia to a federal indictment is a long journey. It’s just highly unlikely that Mueller would deign to indict a sitting president.
I understand the counterargument. It’s possible. A lot of things are possible. Almost anything is possible, and Trump’s election is a testament to that.
But it’s unlikely. The prosecution of a sitting president is unprecedented, and especially when to do so would generate the wrath of almost every Republican in America, even more unlikely.
I think the left should stop fixating on this event, which is unlikely to occur. It puts blind faith in an event, and when it doesn’t happen, it will lead to massive disappointment.
During the Bush presidency, a lot of time and energy was devoted to the belief that Karl Rove would be indicted in the leaking of CIA operative Valerie Plame’s name. Certainly, Cheney aide Scooter Libby committed a real crime and was prosecuted for it (later the subject of a Trump pardon), but Libby was far down on the totem pole from Rove.
And he wasn’t a president.
There are likely other Trump lieutenants set to go down, and maybe even his family members may spend time in a federal detention facility.
But the odds are heavily against Trump being indicted, tried, or prosecuted for anything.
Focusing on this fantasy detracts from the very real political case against Trump. Trump faces judgement at the ballot box as long as he is in office, first in the 2018 midterms and if he makes it to that point – in the 2020 general election.
A rebuke from the public, making him lose the Republican majority that has enabled his massive corruption, is a far more realistic and likely prosecution than Mueller driving up to the White House and serving him papers.
Is Robert Mueller doing good work and exposing the Trump-Russia machinations in a way that the whitewashed, GOP-led congressional probes aren’t? Definitely.
Is he going to “frog march ” Trump out of the White House to face charges on multiple crimes varying from conspiring against the government to taking foreign bribes and kickbacks? Probably not.
Don’t rely on the fantasy. Take it out of your mind and focus on what can really be done. If the fantasy happens, great. But it’s all a fantasy until anything really happens.