Mueller’s investigation has reached the one year mark this week, yet the Russian investigation continues despite producing zero evidence of collusion. Legal experts reportedly believe Mueller’s investigation is far from complete and will not end any time soon.
President Donald Trump’s attorney has an unlikely new role model for special counsel Robert Mueller: James Comey.
Frustrated by the open-ended nature of Mueller’s Russia probe, which hits its one-year mark on Thursday, Rudy Giuliani says Mueller should follow the example Comey set in 2016, when the then-FBI director investigated — and then publicly exonerated — Hillary Clinton for her use of a private email server.
“When Comey closed [the case] in July — although I think it was a complete whitewash — I’d like to have them do that for us,” the former New York mayor said.
Never mind that Comey later re-opened the case days before the 2016 election, after the discovery of new evidence, possibly costing Clinton the election. Or that Giuliani calls Comey “a major phony” and “a little baby.”
Giuliani’s point, echoed by many conservatives, is that Mueller’s year-old investigation has run too long and is causing Trump unacceptable political damage.
“Come on! They’ve had a whole year,” the Trump lawyer said in a recent interview. “We’re going to raise the pressure to try to get this thing over with. It’s gone on long enough,” he added.
“In the interest of the country, I think it's time to wrap it up,” Vice President Mike Pence told NBC last week.
Legal experts and former prosecutors say that, while Mueller is surely aware of the ticking clock, and especially the fast-approaching midterm elections, he isn’t likely to be moved by pressure from the Trump team.
“When cases are ripe to be brought, he will bring them,” said Peter Zeidenberg, a former federal prosecutor who served as deputy to special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald during the Bush-era Valerie Plame CIA leak investigation. “He won’t be doing any press conferences, of course. So no Comey-like scenarios. He will let his pleadings do the talking for him.”
Even after 12 months on the job, Mueller appears far from finishing his work. The first of two criminal trials for former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is scheduled to begin in July, and other parts of his probe look to be expanding.
Should President Trump fire Mueller now? Or let him continue to his great fishing expedition?