Mueller proved he wasn't on a 'witch hunt' — and yet Trump is still attacking him
A new letter from the attorney general revealed Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not establish conspiracy or coordination by the Trump campaign with the Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. And while Mueller did not conclude either way on the question of obstruction of justice, Attorney General Bill Barr and his deputy Rod Rosenstein decided that there was not enough evidence for this charge against President Donald Trump, either.
Naturally, Trump declared victory:
No Collusion, No Obstruction, Complete and Total EXONERATION. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1553460139.0
Many pointed out that Mueller's report doesn't exonerate Trump — instead, it seems to be leaving that question to Congress. But, however questionable their decision may be, he can say that both Barr and Rosenstein refrained from pressing that charge against him (which, they say, they made without regard to the fact to the question of the indictability of a sitting president.)
And yet instead of simply declaring victory — which could have made him seem magnanimous, for once — he continued to attack Mueller, whose investigation he has repeatedly and falsely declared a "witch hunt."
“This was an illegal takedown that failed, and hopefully somebody is going to be looking at their other side,” Trump told reporters.
He has attacked the Mueller investigation as a "witch hunt" more than 100 times, accused the special counsel of being conflicted, and disparaged his work nonstop. Instead of showing bias toward the president, Mueller refrained from concluding that Trump obstructed justice in the investigation, and he left that question open for others to assess.
But that's just a function, it seems, of the president's flawed temperament. Had Trump stayed out of the Russia investigation this entire time and never fired James Comey, perhaps there'd be nothing for Mueller to report that could suggest he was obstructing justice. But he can't refrain from picking a fight.
There are, of course, many other investigations surrounding Trump and his allies — and he has already been implicated in a campaign finance crime by the Southern District of New York. So, presumably, we can expect a lot more fighting to come.