Mueller does not have a record of bringing frivolous charges. If Mueller convicts, Stone will then face a lengthy term in prison, perhaps alongside his former lobbying-firm partner, Paul Manafort. Mueller is likely moving now to the next step in the chain, and more indictments will ensue.
But how does this backward-looking justice serve the country now? The Mueller investigation has impressively suppressed all leaks. It has spoken only to slap down news reports it regards as incorrect and inflammatory, like the BuzzFeed report last week that President Trump had directly counseled his former lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. The result of this praiseworthy discretion is that the main thing the country has to worry about—Trump’s obligations to Putin—remains wrapped in official silence. The prosecutorial mission is being carried out with textbook professionalism. Meanwhile, we are losing sight of the underlying purpose of the mission—to protect the country from a potentially disloyal president.