the national interest

Trump Wants to Fight Robert Mueller by Appointing a Bizarro Mueller

Robert Mueller and Bizarro Robert Mueller. Photo-Illustration: Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

The Republican Party — especially, but not exclusively, its media wing — is undertaking a campaign to delegitimize Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the election. The endgame will almost certainly involve mass pardons or firing Mueller. In the meantime, Mike Allen of Axios reports that President Trump’s legal team is coalescing around a strategy of installing its own Robert Mueller to conduct a counter-investigation.

“They want an additional special counsel named to investigate the investigators,” explains Allen. Their subjects of investigation would reportedly include various right-wing hobbyhorses and conspiracy theories, ranging from the years-old sale of non-weapon-grade uranium that did not involve Hillary Clinton, to the FBI’s investigation of the Steele dossier, to the idea that some FBI agents may be revealed as non-Trump supporters.

It is always possible that Bizarro Mueller could expand his or her mandate to investigate Benghazi, deep-state ties to George Soros, the mystery of Obama’s birth certificate, and the millions of fraudulent Californians who deprived Trump of winning the popular vote. The substance of the complaints is not the point. The point is to delegitimize Mueller and create a counter-narrative that the right-wing media can use to deflect the misdeeds and illegality he uncovers. The findings of the Bizarro Mueller investigation could be used either to rationalize firing Mueller, or perhaps a “magnanimous” Trump decision to pardon everybody — his own aides as well as the crooked deep-state agents found to have plotted against him.

It is also entirely possible that Trump’s lawyers — who have been restraining him from firing Mueller — are presenting the Bizarro Mueller scenario to give him another way of lashing out that falls short of firing the special counsel. Attorney Ty Cobb has reportedly placated Trump by promising Mueller will finish by the end of the year and vindicate him completely — a vanishingly unlikely outcome.

Trump Wants to Fight Mueller by Appointing Bizarro Mueller