The Mueller Report, like the 10 Commandments from Mount Sinai, has been delivered from 1730 M Street, NW.
Our long national investigation, to misquote Gerald Ford (who had been President for about 10 minutes, is over. What Ford actually said was, “Our long national nightmare is over.” Ford said it just after he had taken the oath of office.
Richard Nixon had just resigned the Presidency in the face of certain impeachment in the House and near-certain conviction in the Senate. Ford, the sitting Vice President, had been appointed by Nixon following the resignation of the elected VP, Spiro Agnew who had resigned in the face of bribery charges to which Agnew had pleaded No Contest.
That, in addition to declaring the President unfit for office, is another function of the now-famous 25th Amendment,Section 2 which reads, “Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.”
• With Ford’s ascension to the Presidency there was another vacancy for VP. Ford nominated former NY Governor Nelson Rockefeller to fill the slot.
• Thus not only did the Ford/Rockefeller ticket not win a majority of the popular vote, it had not received a single popular vote.
Nixon was in his second term. The Committee to Re-elect the President (known as CREEP, but not in the Oval Office) had engaged in all manner of illegal, extra-legal, and unethical activities to ensure Nixon’s success.
They did such a good job that Nixon won 49 states in the 1972 Presidential election over Democratic Senator George McGovern of North Dakota.
They did such a bad job that 640 days later, Nixon was waving goodbye from the South Lawn of the White House having been the first and only person to resign the U.S. Presidency.
Which brings us to the Mueller Report.
As I write this on Sunday afternoon, we don’t know anything more than we knew Friday night when the Report was dropped off at Main Justice.
When it was announced that no new indictments would be coming from Mueller’s office, the Professional Pundity pronounced that (a) if a sitting President can’t be indicted, then the report might still list Donald Trump as an unindicted co-conspirator (which is fun to say as it is in iambic pentameter) and, (b) we don’t know how much, if anything, Mueller handed off to the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of Virginia or the Western District of Mars.
Trump supporters will be acting like Bill Clinton in Africa who, when he learned an Arkansas Judge had dismissed all sexual harassment charges brought by Paula Jones was, according to the U.K. Independent newspaper, “Caught by Fox News, which filmed him in his hotel room in Dakar with a broad smile, a bongo drum in his hand and a cigar (unlit) in his mouth.”
Keep in mind that after that, and after being found not guilty on impeachment charges by the U.S. Senate, Clinton still had his law license suspended for five years and paid a total of $950,000 in fines and settlements in the Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky matters.
So, it is legitimate, as of this weekend, for the supporters of Donald Trump to want to break out the cigars and bongos on the Russian collusion issue.
But, the supporters of Donald Trump – Don, Jr, Jared Kushner or others should be careful of investing very heavily in Fuente. Fuente Opus X Lost City cigars (box of 10, $299) until all of the current investigations have run their course.
For their part, opponents of Donald, Don, Jared, et al. have to admit, as someone said on a Sunday show, that the best investigative team maybe in history found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump and the Russians.
What the Mueller team (and the combined intelligence services) did find was that the Russians tried to, and to at least some degree were successful in, infiltrating the electoral process during the 2016 Presidential campaign.
Elections are complex things. We will never know whether the Russians had an impact – or a larger impact – than James Comey’s Hillary Clinton press conferences, the incessant coverage of Donald Trump’s taunts and insults, Hillary’s unwillingness (or inability) to engage with work-a-day voters, or what.
With the delivery of the Mueller Report, House Democrats should listen to their Speaker and get off Impeachment talk and start working on legislation to help Midwest farmers, to start rebuilding America’s roads, bridges, and drinking water systems, and to figure out which, if any, of the announced or prospective candidates can beat Donald Trump.
On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Links to Gerald Ford’s swearing-in, to the 25th Amendment, to the Independent’s Cigars and Bongos story, and to the list of Clinton’s punishments.
Reprinted from Mullings