The seemingly endless Mueller investigation of Trump and what the Russians did to interfere in the 2016 presidential election is polarizing Washington. The rift between special counsel Robert Mueller and the conservative media is heating up to an explosive level.
The voice and tweets of Donald Trump have remained largely silent due likely to his attorney’s advice. The White House lawyers are publicly optimistic the investigation will reach the whimper point in terms of solid news stories soon. That would hopefully mean absolution for the president and his inner circle.
That is doing little to prevent the conservative media from building their own case against Mueller, the former FBI Director under George W. Bush. The outrage over his handling of the investigation is fair game on a daily basis from Breitbart to Fox News.
They argue fervently that Mueller has gone far beyond his mandate of investigating Russian interference in the election. There is also deep suspicion about his personal friendship with fired FBI Director James Comey who was sacked in the early days of the Trump administration.
But their grievances continue to branch out. Conservatives are deeply concerned about the sale of Canadian mining company Uranium One to the Russia state-owned nuclear firm Rosatom during the Obama administration. It is bolstered by the fact that Uranium One held licenses for about 20 percent of America’s uranium production capacity at the time of the so-called deal.
Consequently, the actual sale was approved by nine members on the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) in 2010. Again, this all transpired while Barack Obama was president and none other than Robert Mueller was still a holdover from the Bush administration as FBI director.
The question conservative media poses is whether that was collusion itself? Evidence has been presented that clearly indicates the FBI had knowledge of bribery and racketeering schemes at Tenex, a subsidiary of Rosatom, before CFIUS approved the deal. Did the FBI (Mueller) share that critical information with members of CFIUS before it was approved?
Republican lawmakers are seeking answers to those questions. If the answer is yes, the next demand will be for Mueller to recuse himself from the Russian investigation. They seek to force Mueller to testify under oath to a select committee.
Can the American people trust Mueller to conduct an impartial investigation with the aforementioned items against him? Does he have too many conflicts of interest? The Uranium One deal has the potential to become far more serious than any so-called Russian collusion with the Republicans, Democrats or both.
The matter has become serious enough for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) to author a resolution demanding Mueller’s resignation earlier this month. The Obama era potential national security bombshell is clearly becoming more of a serious item by the day.
Fox’s Sean Hannity has called for Mueller’s resignation no less than 40 times.
The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board has made similar demands outlining Mueller’s cozy friendship with Comey.
The WSJ also questioned whether an unsubstantiated opposition research memo was used as investigation evidence of collusion between the Russians and Trump and his people. It is widely known that the memo was partially funded by Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and the DNC.
The Journal wrote, “He (Mueller) could best serve the country by resigning to prevent further political turmoil over that conflict of interest.” Is that the case? If nothing else, Mueller’s indictments now extend far beyond the scope of this specific investigation. They do not pertain to Russian collusion in any way.
Take for instance the indictment of Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort. He along with an obscure campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about the extent of his contacts with Russian officials, has nothing to do with the original purpose of the investigation. There are no charges related to campaign coordination.
Naturally the Democrats and their media allies, who are many, do not want the investigation to end anytime soon. They argue Mueller’s reputation is beyond reproach. Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) finds the whole idea of sacking Mueller ridiculous. As he puts it, “Let him (Mueller) do his job.” That is code for Trump hasn’t asked for that … yet.