Mueller’s restraint may reflect the fact that, despite the special counsel’s flagging approval ratings, Trump’s numbers are worse. According to the CNN poll, only 29 percent of Americans approve of how the president is handling the Russia probe, and just 35 percent believe the Trumpworld narrative that the investigation is an effort to discredit Trump’s presidency. The results also overwhelmingly suggest that Americans don’t believe the president is above the law, with nearly 7 in 10 saying they think Trump should testify under oath if Mueller requests it, and 70 percent saying they’d disapprove if Trump sought to pardon himself.
Nevertheless, taking the atypical step to call for a jury-selection questionnaire could suggest Mueller is aware that the president controls the narrative. While Trump fires off tweets and lawyer Rudy Giuliani makes the cable-news rounds, Mueller has shunned the spotlight; his spokesperson, Peter Carr, has reportedly earned the nickname “Mr. No Comment”. Yet Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to Bill Clinton, dismissed the notion that Mueller is worried. “Mr. Mueller has been the one special or independent counsel that has never leaked nor has anyone in his office leaked, and all media speculation is just that—speculation,” he told me. “He is not deterred by attacks by Trump, Giuliani, or anyone—he doesn’t care. He only cares about the facts.”