Welcome to yet another Mueller Report post. I’m sure we’ll see a lot of these over the next few months. Trying to keep the subject at least a bit fresh, in my post I’m going to try and address specific questions and issues.
In this one, I concentrate on what I think Mueller’s strategies were, why they failed, and who caused them to fail. Please, please, please try to focus on that topic. Tell me I’m wrong, sure, but tell my why I’m wrong on what I have conjectured. And I beg you, for the love of all that is Holy, spare us the generic and mindless “Trump Baaad!!! Trump Lieed!!!” comments.
This analysis comes from a semi-dispassionate observer. I generally don't like either side, though if truth be told, I dislike one side and despise the other. I didn't vote for Trump and manage to see good and ill in his actions, character, and accomplishments. I don't like the left at all and believe their actions, character and accomplishments are largely responsible for much of the ill in the world and the nation today.
Who’s Happy Who’s Not:
Without declaring victory for Trump too early; I'm going to say that the left is not happy with Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report onto which they had pinned so many of their hopes and dreams. I also think it's safe to say that Trump (and his supporters) are for now happy with what has been revealed. Now this is written well before the release of the actual report details, and just after the summary given by Attorney General William Bar.
Again, in this post, I concentrate on what I think Mueller’s strategies were, why they failed, and who caused them to fail. In layman’s terms, what was the key to Mueller getting nothing on Trump?
Mueller’s Big Problem:
First, I think it is obvious that there was nothing to get when it comes to the actual charge of "collusion". I base this on the fact that Mueller had such resources at his disposal, that if there was any there, there... he would have found it. He didn’t, and he realized there was nothing there early on.
And before wadded panties cut off all that blood to the brain. THIS is not saying that Trump is an angel, or not guilty of something (‘cause everybody in Washington and New York probably is). THIS is not saying the Russians didn’t do anything. This simply says there was no organized collusion between Trump, his people, and the Russians.
That should have been the end of it. A man of good character would have simply stopped and reported "There is nothing here concerning Trump or his team colluding with the Russians". Mueller, instead, decided to go fishing for a couple of years at great fiscal and national psychological expense.
This fishing excursion entailed two strategies.
1) Ensnare little fish and hope they flip on the prize fish
2) Dangle bait in front of the prize fish and see if he bites
Ensnaring was always going to very limited results. From the beginning, the reality of no collusion affected how effective this strategy could be. First, Mueller had to ensnare his prey on other unrelated charges which kinda exposes his hand of having nothing. Then, once caught it's hard for a small fish to "turn states evidence" when there was no crime... unless you lie. I think I can safely say based on the big fish still swimming around, this strategy was a failure for Mueller.
Catching the big fish with bait was Mueller's best chance at success. This is because the strategy used many of Trumps mistakes (adultery) and character flaws (ego) against him. Another name for this strategy is appropriately "a perjury trap".
It would have worked, IMO, if Mueller could have succeeded in ONE thing... getting Trump to interview/testify under oath; because IMO, Trump would have lied (or close enough). Mueller failed at that, so he failed overall; and if I had to point at one thing that resulted in the Trump victory and Mueller defeat... that's it. No interview... no perjury... no case.
Who Defeated Mueller:
If that was key to victory, then Trump owes it all to his legal team(s) over the last few years. They kept him from that interview when I think he would have done it otherwise. All his lawyers have said, the interview was never really on the table despite the "negotiations". Smart... very smart.
But it goes beyond just knowing not to do it. It was important that they knew how not to do it. None of them ever point blank said "NO". All of them kept dangling the interview carrot in front of Mueller even though they knew they would NEVER agree to it. I suspect they may have even told Trump to say publicly that he wanted to testify (though that's a coin flip IMO).
A flat out "NO" might have caused Mueller to pull the trigger on the subpoena. Sure, they were ready for that... they would fight it tooth and nail in the courts. But why go through it if you can avoid it. They didn't want the headache, Mueller didn't want the headache, so better that Mueller and his team continually think there was a chance without it.
The dangling interview carrot was also a great tool to continually negotiate so as to pick up more and more information as to what Mueller had and what he planned. And every hour wasted on the fake interview negotiations was an hour team Mueller was not doing something more productive.
So, I don't know if Trump knows it; but I think he owes his lawyers big time... Ty Cobb, John Dowd (early on), Emmet Flood, Jay Sekulow, Rudy Giuliani, and Jane and Martin Raskin (later)... They surrounded that Mueller bait (the perjury trap) and made sure their boss never got near it. It was a winning strategy and why you pay those guys the big bucks.