The damage to the nation that Mueller could do

Make no mistake: This special prosecutor is going after Trump hard. Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election may have been his original mandate — pretext might be a better word — but its goal now is obviously to implicate Trump in criminal wrongdoing. Those 25 Russian agents and military aides indicted by Mueller? Unlikely to ever see the inside of an American courthouse, they’re a beard, a way of justifying what has become a hunt for any wrongdoing by Trump, his family and his associates.

One would expect that Mueller, a career lawman who led the FBI, who was a decorated Marine Corps combat officer in Vietnam and who eschewed the big paydays that awaited him in private legal practice — all in the service of his country — would have a clearer understanding of the danger here. Sixty-three million Americans voted for Donald Trump in 2016. Many of them are already deeply suspicious of a probe launched by FBI officials openly hostile to Trump even before his inauguration. Yet neither Mueller nor Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department official who appointed him, have shown that they understand the damage their investigation could do to our country.