There has been a palpable sense that, when the document finally comes, it will be a comprehensive and detailed tome. That may not be the caseby Clodagh Harrington / March 20, 2019 / Leave a comment
As with Vladimir and Estragon awaiting Godot in Samuel Beckett’s play, those eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Mueller Report may have to adjust their expectations. There has been a palpable sense that, when the document finally comes, it will be a comprehensive and detailed tome. In reality, nothing in the conduct of the investigator and his team to date suggests that this will be the case.
Robert Mueller has run a tight ship, and there is now speculation as to whether his full written findings will ever be released to the public. Perhaps he is mindful of what has come before when a sitting president has been the subject of a major investigation. Kenneth Starr, who ran that investigation, suggested to the Guardian that “he [Mueller] is trying to avoid landmines.”
It is now more than 20 years since the independent counsel report on the Whitewater Affair was released. And yet, a mention of the name “Ken Starr” to any American over a certain age will bring an inevitable memory recall of the four-year zealous pursuit of Bill Clinton for a range of alleged transgressions from obscure land deals to sexual misconduct.
Fast forward to 2019, and the hype surrounding the release of the Mueller Report rivals that of any blockbuster.
This time, the special prosecutor—as the role is now known—is tasked with investigating possible links or coordination between the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump and the Russian government, as well as allegations of obstruction of justice by members of the Trump administration.
In some respects, parallels can be drawn between the two episodes – and Starr himself has said there are “eerie echoes” of his investigation in Mueller’s. A suspicion of misdemeanour by a man who will become president leads to the appointment of an independent prosecutor, much to the vexation of his supporters. Throughout the inquiry, the extent to which the process can be fair and non-partisan is fiercely contested. Furious allies declare a conspiracy, an apoplectic media splits along predictable partisan lines, and everyone else reaches for the popcorn.
Of those polled in February 2019, 56 per cent said they trusted Robert Mueller, with 33 per cent in the same poll stating confidence in Donald Trump. If, as is predicted, his report…