As President Trump pumps out Tweet after shameless, petty Tweet and his TV lawyer Ruby Giuliani lies outrageously on any show that will give him a microphone – the American body politic is left to wonder, “What would Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller say?”
In recent weeks, Trump and his mob have launched a campaign to discredit Mueller and his investigation – but standing placidly amid the faux outrage and bombast, the man fixed in the dead center of Trump’s target has remained silent. Owing to his sense of duty, propriety and professionalism – the veteran U.S. Marine officer and former FBI Director Robert Mueller III has kept quiet.
I was stunned when my iPhone buzzed this morning at 7:00 AM ET. I was expecting a call from my pool maintenance guy to say what time he was coming over to fix the light bulb in my hot tub – so imagine my surprise when it was the Special Prosecutor himself!
Mr. Mueller explained that he enjoyed my recent blog post on a hike my wife and I made in Yellowstone National Park – and that he needed to let off some steam without winding up on the front page of The New York Times. I wasn’t entirely sure it was a compliment when he told me that he was certain nothing I wrote on my blog was going to make headlines anywhere.
Mueller didn’t have much time to chat. He, Rod Rosenstein and Christopher Wray had to leave shortly for a breakfast meeting with Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Of course, Mueller told me, they can’t really talk about anything with Sessions because (A) he’s recused himself from the Trump investigation, (B) he’s likely to leak info to Trump and (C) they suspect he’s angry because he’s lost his magic powers and can’t remember where he buried his pot of gold. You can’t trust a bitter ex-leprechaun.
In the short time we talked, Mueller got a number of things off his chest.
He said I could ask him anything I wanted.
What follows is a transcript of our phone call.
ME: You’re getting a lot of pressure to wrap up your investigation…
MUELLER: Hold on, what do you mean by pressure?
ME: You know. Giuliani and the President are waging a campaign to discredit you…
MUELLER: (Laughs) Oh, that? You call that pressure? I’ll tell you what pressure is – and Donny Bone Spurs has no clue – but pressure is trying to keep a squad of young soldiers alive when you’re waist deep in a muddy rice paddy taking incoming fire from an enemy you can’t see. That’s pressure. This is no deadly jungle firefight. I can see Trump and his impotent bullies coming a mile away. Nothing they say affects me.
ME: But it does seem to affect public opinion.
MUELLER: That’s not my concern. I’m not hosting a popularity contest – I’m running a criminal investigation. Facts matter to me. I don’t give a rat’s ass for anyone’s opinion. And certainly not a flack like Sean Hannity or a soulless, Mephistophelean mouthpiece like Kellyanne Conway. Funny. Her husband actually sounds like an intelligent guy. That’s a real odd couple there.
ME: But what do you say to those who complain that your investigation has gone on too long and has spent too many taxpayer dollars?
MUELLER: You mean what do I say to my fellow Republicans who say that?
ME: Oh, that’s right, you are a Republican.
MUELLER: Have been all my life. So are Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray. We’re rock-ribbed members of the Grand Old Party. Accent on “Old”.
ME: So, are your fellow Republicans correct? Is it time to wrap this thing up?
MUELLER: First of all, not every Republican wants to end this investigation. There are still quite a few in Congress who want to see it play out and justice be done.
And between you and me — many of my fellow Republicans won’t say it publically, but they’d love to have me indict Trump and his whole White House mafia so I’ll rid them of the disaster they helped to create.
Secondly, let’s dispense with this bullshit about how long my investigation is taking. Does anyone remember Whitewater? That took more than 5 years. Never heard any GOP flacks complain about that. Benghazi? Please. That shit show ran longer than the Watergate probe. And those idiots in the House Freedom Caucus still want to investigate Benghazi some more! And how about “Uranium One?” It’s madness! Those ginned-up, penny-ante cases are nothing compared to my investigation. We’re trying to get to the bottom of how a hostile foreign power managed to meddle in an American Presidential election.
ME: I see, but…
MUELLER: I mean, Putin and agents of the Russian government fucked with our most scared democratic process! They even tried to hack into our voting systems. That should set my fellow Republicans’ hair on fire. And when I get done, they’ll want to set Trump’s hair on fire, too. What a blaze that’ll be! Not since I saw napalm in Vietnam…
ME: But Trump and Giuliani are certain you haven’t found any evidence of collusion.
MUELLER: Collusion? I don’t give a fig about collusion. I’m running down a conspiracy: a criminal conspiracy. And it’s a big case.
It’s like a vast all-you-can-eat buffet. There’s so much perjury, malfeasance, chicanery, money laundering, petty grifting, influence peddling, and conspiracy to defraud the American electorate that you simply can’t pile it all on your plate. You can’t digest it all in one meal. If I tried to ingest this immense, illegal feast all at once – I’d explode like Mr. Creosote in Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life.
ME: What about Trump and his allies calling for an investigation of the origin of your investigation?
MUELLER: I could care less. This probe started long before I took charge of it. It began because our brilliant and patriotic intelligence community learned that folks working on the Trump campaign had all sorts of sordid contacts with Russian oligarchs, the Russian government, Wikileaks and, possibly, Putin himself.
MUELLER: Trump’s mysterious man crush.
ME: Okay. Trump’s relationship to Putin is notably homoerotic – but let’s stay on point…
MUELLER: And your point is…?
ME: Are you going to indict President Trump for conspiracy with the Russians to manipulate the vote in the 2016 elections?
MUELLER: Certainly. Eventually. And a whole lot of other things, including that crazy sale of his Florida mansion to some Russian for a half-million more than it was worth.
ME: Well, when?
MUELLER: Look. Here’s the thing. Because of what Comey did during the last Presidential election, I have to be careful. I can’t make any kind of public statement that might affect the mid-term elections.
ME: You can’t?
MUELLER: No. Think about it. If before this year’s critical midterms, I laid out the litany of crimes that I intended to charge Trump and his mendacious mob with — there wouldn’t be a Republican elected dogcatcher outside of Wyoming and the Dakotas.
ME: Would that be so bad?
MUELLER: That’s not my call. I’m not about politics. I’m not about public opinion. I’m all about the law.
ME: Is there any way you can tell us more about what you already know? Must we rely on Michael Avenatti to keep us informed?
MUELLER: I love Avenatti! I wish I could be like Mike!
MUELLER: Of course! Mike’s a bull in the china shop. I can’t behave that way. But without giving away the whole game, I’m sure he and I will end up in the same place.
ME: Are you saying that President Trump and his minions are guilty?
MUELLER: Guilty of what?
ME: Of criminal conspiracy and everything else!
MUELLER: I can’t reveal that information. It’s classified. Let’s just say that Trump and his lying legions will ultimately be connected to a Russian conspiracy to screw with the 2016 Presidential election.
MUELLER: And to make money and effect policy during – and after — the campaign.
ME: That should be revolutionary!
MUELLER: It should be. But it may not be.
ME: Why not?
MUELLER: Because the end of this legal drama is up to the American people. I may or may not be able to indict Trump (there’s this whole Presidential thing) – but even if the Supreme Court says I can’t indict Trump – the Congress can impeach him. This government is yours. You can let your representative know that Trump should be impeached,
Donald Trump is a cheap criminal. And I’ve got the goods on him — in spades. I can’t wait to bring the hammer down on this un-Presidential prick.
ME: You don’t sound very objective…
MUELLER: I’m completely objective.
ME: So, do we American lovers of democracy have anything to fear in the near future?
MUELLER: A low turnout in the midterms.
ME: Why so?
MUELLER: Because, you liberal morons, if you don’t elect a Democratic majority in the House, they’ll never impeach Trump — let alone convict him in the Senate.
MUELLER: Sorry, I’ve gotta go. Jeff wants to push our breakfast meeting by a half hour (he’s texting Trump) – and move it from Denny’s Diner to the nearest Waffle House.