Many Republicans, along with their supporters on Fox News, started their premature celebrations last night after Attorney General William Barr released a letter saying he had received the final report from special counsel Robert Muller.
“Fox News spent most of Friday night taking a victory lap. “Well, happy No Collusion Day, Tucker!” Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz told Tucker Carlson with a big grin on his face.”
“Happy No Collusion Day!” Carlson laughed.”
Of course, there is no reason for them to be celebrating “No Collusion Day.”
And contrary to many media narratives, there is also no reason to believe that the release of Mueller’s report means there will be no further indictments.
There will almost definitely be more indictments — possibly both federal and state — and they may include members of Donald Trump’s family, and potentially even the president himself.
Mueller Just Won Two Victories, With Major Implications
Lost in all the premature celebrating (by Republicans) and the hand-wringing (by Democrats) is the fact that Robert Mueller just scored two huge victories. And as a result, it is very likely that the legal peril for President Donald Trump (and at least three of his children) is just beginning.
Here are the victories won by Mueller:
- The special counsel made it all the way to the finish line without being fired. He got to finish his important work of investigating collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. And, after massive amounts of worry and hype, he was allowed to write and submit his final report. There are many people who believed he would never get to this point. So score this a big win for the special counsel.
- By law William Barr is required to publicly reveal any time that Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein asked him to approve something, but he refused. In his announcement letter, Barr says that there were no such instances where he refused a request.
- This means a lot. It means that Mueller got approval every time he asked Barr to approve something.
- If Mueller asked for approval to refer criminal cases against Trump and or his children to the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York (SDNY) then he got it. Which means that there may be more indictments and prosecutions coming from other places within the Justice Department.
The Mueller Report Will Be Made Public, and There Will Be More Indictments
We don’t know what Mueller asked for from Barr, but we do know that whatever it was, he got his way.
This makes it clear that Barr will not bury the Mueller report and go on with business as usual, as if nothing happened.
Both Blumenthal and Schiff pointed out that the American public has an overwhelming desire to see the Mueller report. And Democrats also have several ways they can make the report public if Trump or Barr try to play games and withhold it from public view.
Trump’s Legal Troubles Are Just Beginning
The release of Bob Mueller’s report does not mean that the legal process has ended. In some ways, it is just beginning. And as the investigations of Donald Trump and his family move into a new phase, they will be facing more potential legal trouble than ever before.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.