But beneath the surface, it makes it harder for the president to undermine the Mueller investigation, which as I’ve explained elsewhere, is his best strategy. Friday’s indictment established that Mueller gathered substantial evidence establishing a Russian scheme to influence our election. When he announced the indictment, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was careful to state that “there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity” and “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
This careful approach makes it harder for Trump and his allies to attack Mueller’s investigation as a waste of time, a hoax, or a “witch hunt.” On its face, this indictment and its announcement was not aimed at Trump and reached a nonpartisan conclusion, which is why Trump initially quoted Rosenstein’s announcement in a tweet. It is now harder for Trump to claim that Rosenstein and Mueller are out of control.