the national interest

Mitch McConnell Turns Against Robert Mueller

Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian election interference has been moving with lightning speed, and has already produced indictments of 20 people. It is, apparently, not fast enough for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who tells the Washington Examiner, “What I think about the Mueller investigation is, they ought to wrap it up. It’s gone on seemingly forever and I don’t know how much more they think they can find out.”

The probe has not gone on forever. Indeed, by the standards of special counsel investigation, it is extremely short. When Mueller was appointed just over one year ago, the Washington Post produced a chart comparing the timelines of other investigations:

Photo: Washington Post

Some of those investigations were far more limited, dealing with allegations against a single person, rather than an international conspiracy involving dozens of people, a web of bribes stretching into some of the world’s most opaque financial systems, and all hampered by a president relentlessly obstructing justice at every turn by dangling pardons to prevent witnesses from cooperating.

And yet, since Mueller’s investigation reached its first anniversary, “wrap it up” has become the slogan of choice for Republicans seeking to support Trump’s war against the special counsel without incurring the reputational embarrassment of endorsing his most deranged conspiracy theories about the deep state plot. Mike Pence was chanting “wrap it up” in March.

McConnell’s purported rationale is especially comic — he doesn’t know how much more they can find out. Nobody knows. But probably a lot! Which is exactly why he wants to stop the investigation.

McConnell so far has held back from joining Trump’s effort to make the Justice Department into a palace guard at his personal disposal. At times he has flashed the yellow light to Trump’s most aggressively lunatic threats. That he is now mouthing the same anti-Mueller slogans as Mike Pence indicates the Republican party’s continued devolution into a full-scale Trump cult and its disintegrating willingness to defend the rule of law.

Mitch McConnell Turns Against Robert Mueller