After nearly two years of constant panic about the possibility of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign, Politico suggests that Trump critics may want to lower their expectations for Robert Mueller’s final report, that is if they ever get to see it at all:
They may be in for a disappointment.
That’s the word POLITICO got from defense lawyers working on the Russia probe and more than 15 former government officials with investigation experience spanning Watergate to the 2016 election case. The public, they say, shouldn’t expect a comprehensive and presidency-wrecking account of Kremlin meddling and alleged obstruction of justice by Trump — not to mention an explanation of the myriad subplots that have bedeviled lawmakers, journalists and amateur Mueller sleuths.
Perhaps most unsatisfying: Mueller’s findings may never even see the light of day…
That’s because the final decision on what to release will be up to Rod Rosenstein, though you can certainly expect any information harmful to the president to leak the moment Democrats get their hands on it. But there may not even be much to leak. Politico’s sources say Mueller’s report isn’t likely to be full of juicy one-liners:
As for the crafting of the report itself, Mueller has significant leeway. He can theoretically be as expansive as he wants. But sources who have worked closely with Mueller during his lengthy career at the Justice Department say his by-the-books, conservative style is likely to win out, suggesting he might lean more toward saying less than more.
Several previous investigations, Iran Contra and Whitewater, have dragged on for years, only issuing final reports once the president at the center of the story was out of office. But at least one observer who knows Mueller says he’s likely to be more decisive:
“He knows how these Office of Special Counsel investigations can drag on,” said McNulty, now president of Grove City College in western Pennsylvania. “He’s seen all that over the course of his career. I just know he’s the kind of person who’s decisive and if he thought that there was a way to not drag something out because it could be addressed appropriately, he’d have the determination to do that. He’s also not going to cut some corner just to be done.”
It should go without saying that even at this late date something could change. But with hints that Mueller’s investigation may be wrapping up, there’s at least some reason to think it ends not with a bang but with a whimper.