Third, let’s assume that conservative writers like Andy McCarthy and others are correct that the Trump campaign and the President himself did nothing criminal as to Russian election interference. Unnecessary for our analysis, but we could also assume that these conservative commentators are correct that the Flynn plea agreement indicates that Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign collusion has effectively reached a dead end. (Alex Whiting and I draw a different inference from the Flynn plea, so let’s assume her that Alex and I are wrong on that score.) If the McCarthy view is correct, then the best way to remove the albatross of the Russia investigation from around the President’s neck is to let Mueller’s investigation run its course. A report from Mueller that vindicates the President will be especially persuasive if it comes from the current mix of professionals on the special counsel’s team.
And, perhaps there is a middle category in which Mueller indicts a campaign affiliate but never reaches the President. That too might be some sort of vindication of Donald Trump. Recall that the President privately suggested to James Comey that he would accept the FBI investigation’s finding wrongdoing of others as long as he himself were cleared.