Politics in America has long ranged from theater to theater of the absurd. The lines of what passes for "normal" though, have never been more blurred than they are now.
We routinely see people previously held in high regard go off the rails in inexplicable ways.
In July of 2016, James Comey held an unprecedented press conference during which he excoriated presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton while reporting that the FBI had concluded that she had committed no crime.
The FBI concludes thousands of investigations without fanfare. It is, in fact FBI policy not to comment on investigations ending in a declination to prosecute.
Comey did it again in October of 2016, notifying Congress that emails to Hillary Clinton were found on Anthony Weiner's laptop. Once again, no findings, no charges. Nothing except, perhaps, the final nail in Clinton's campaign coffin.
Nothing Comey has said since has brought clarity to these incomprehensible events. Paradoxically, it's impossible to think of Comey as other than a principled and patriotic, albeit misguided man.
Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has gone from "Donald Trump is a race baiting, xenophobic bigot" in 2015 to "He's not, in my view, a racist by any stretch of the imagination" in 2018.
Watching Graham is like watching a remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Robert Mueller is a noble and courageous patriot. It's counter intuitive to doubt his motives, but it's also difficult to characterize his actions in the framework of naivete.
He's been around the block too many times.
How could he have been blind to the danger posed when William Barr became America's chief law enforcement officer?
In June of 2018, William Barr sent an unsolicited 19-page memo to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein ripping into Robert Mueller and the investigation into Trump's all-too-cozy relationship with Russia.
Barr took aim at the improbability of charging a president with obstruction of justice. In no uncertain terms, Barr said that the President of the United States can not be accused of or charged with obstruction.
Most telling might have been Barr's attempt to discredit Mueller's theory of the way Trump obstructed justice without even knowing what Mueller might or might not have theorized.
Barr ripped apart the Mueller Report 9 months before he even saw it. Make no mistake, William Barr's concept of the Executive Branch puts the president above the law.
They say that "forewarned is forearmed," but Mueller doesn't seem to have taken the warning seriously.
As busy as Mueller was with his investigation, he must have had a few moments to view clips of Barr's confirmation hearings back in January.
If Barr's 19-page memo left any doubt as what he might do with the widely anticipated Mueller Report, his testimony before Congress should have removed those doubts.
Despite the fact that Barr lied, dissembled and obfuscated, he also telegraphed his intent to bury the report.
It may not have been clear, at that time, just how cleverly Barr would go about it, but there was no doubt that he was going to be Trump's Roy Cohn.
From the time Mueller was hired as special counsel until Trump appointed Matt Whitaker as the Acting Attorney General in November of 2018, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was his boss.
While Rosenstein's May 17, 2017 letter to Trump about James Comey still remains highly suspect, at least he made an effort to appear impartial.
I always thought Rosenstein was a sniveling worm, though, and his letter of resignation proves it.
Once Trump appointed Whitaker, however, it was plain as day that Mueller would be handing his report to a paper shredder. At that point, it was all about timing.
I remain suspicious that the report dropped into Barr's lap one month after his ascension to AG, you may disagree.
Robert Mueller is a straight shooter, courageous and a meticulous investigator. He was also damned stupid if he thought that William Barr would respect the fruits of his labor rather than hide it in darkness to wilt and die.
Barr might be Mueller's boss, but Mueller had a higher duty, to the Constitution, to the rule of law and to the nation he has served.
For $25 Million, Mueller should at least be able to conclude that Donald Trump is a jackass.
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