This Republican lawmaker is already lying about the Mueller report
Well, that was fast.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller's final report on the Russia investigation has only been submitted to the attorney general for a couple of hours, and already a Republican lawmaker is lying about it.
"The long-awaited Mueller Report has been completed," Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) said. "Early reporting appears to confirm what we've been saying for over a year: no collusion or conspiracy between Russia & the Trump campaign. The full report should be released to Congress & the American people as soon as possible."
Many observers pointed out that Stewart's vague reference to "early reporting" appears completely made up.
In case you had any doubt how brazenly shameless and dishonest the responses from elected Republicans are going to… https://t.co/aWIcHYIGWd— Mehdi Hasan (@Mehdi Hasan) 1553294402
What is true is that the Justice Department has said that there are no more indictments to be expected from the special counsel's office — which certainly is, all things considered, a good thing for President Donald Trump and some of his allies. It does suggest that there's no grand conspiracy indictment forthcoming that would tie together Trump's actions, those of his aides, and Russians in a criminal agreement to influence the 2016 election.
But it certainly doesn't mean there was no "collusion," which I've argued has already been conclusively demonstrated.
And it certainly doesn't mean Trump and his allies are in the clear. Trump has already been implicated in a serious campaign finance crime. And Mueller may have concluded he's guilty of other crimes but declined to prosecute because he's the president. If that's the case, the attorney general could be sitting on a damning report about Trump's behavior, one that could justify impeachment and perhaps, eventually, prosecution. It could even implicate him in conspiracy, for all we know, despite Stewart's claim. And it could find that while Trump and/or others did likely collude or conspire, there was insufficient evidence to bring a case. As for others in the president's circle, Mueller's decision not to prosecute may indeed be a major win — or it could mean he sent their cases off to other sections of the Justice Department, who may pursue their cases in his place.
But regardless of what happens with the evidence or any other indictments, it's clear that Stewart is already making things up for the president's benefit. If things get worse, we can expect to see more of that from the Republican lawmakers.