Preet Bharara: It's possible 'the Mueller report will not be that damaging to the president'

Former U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara has been a pretty harsh critic of President Trump. Bharara tells Politico Magazine that he expects Special Counsel Robert Mueller will offer up a detailed report on his investigation, something he’s not required to do:

He thinks Robert Mueller, the special counsel brought in to investigate that allegedly tainted election after Trump fired Comey, will want to explain himself, at least privately. Bharara predicts Mueller will deliver a robust report to Attorney General William Barr that will lay out precisely why and how he decided to prosecute — or not — various individuals swept up in the Russia probe, including the president.

“He could give something bare-bones to the AG, because he’s said what he was going to say in publicly filed documents and indictments,” Bharara said in an interview. “Or, I think it’s slightly more likely — a hunch I have — that he’ll write a very lengthy, detailed document that goes into the prosecutions and the declinations at great length, with a lot of supporting exhibits as well.”

Then, he says, Barr will face an excruciating dilemma: how much of the report to reveal to Congress and to the public. Disclose too much, and he’ll anger his boss in the White House. Disclose too little, and Democrats will howl.

He predicts the first factoid to lead with be the number of pages in the report. If, as he expects, it’s a significant number (he suggests 480 pages) then the media will demand to know what’s in it and leakers will take over. But while Bharara does believe there will be an extensive report, he doesn’t believe it’s likely to be a knockout blow to the president. On the contrary, he thinks it’s possible the impact might not be that significant:

He sees little chance the Senate would convict Trump even if the House impeached him, barring some major revelations from Mueller.

“All these people who hope that he’s going to take this scourge of a man out of the White House are going to be really disappointed when he doesn’t do that,” Bharara says. “I think it’s perfectly possible that the Mueller report will not be that damaging to the president. And all of us need to be prepared to accept that and move on.”

What are the odds, really, that the Democrats decide to move on? The fringe figures have been demanding Trump’s impeachment for two years. Why would they stop now? Here’s how I see this going assuming Bharara is right that the contents aren’t terribly significant: If the full report isn’t released, Adam Schiff and others will string that out, dropping hints that there is some bombshell within. If the report is released, the left will flip out over something and demand further investigation by Congress. That further investigation will keep hope alive for the true believers through 2020.

The left will move on the moment Trump is out of office, just like all the anti-war protesters vanished from the streets the moment Barack Obama was elected.

The research was conducted by Michael Heaney of the University of Michigan and Fabio Rojas of Indiana University. It concludes that the anti-war movement in America evaporated because Democrats — inspired to protest by their anti-Republican feelings — stopped protesting once the Democratic Party achieved success in Congress in 2006 and then in the White House in 2008.

“As president, Obama has maintained the occupation of Iraq and escalated the war in Afghanistan,” Heaney, an assistant professor of organizational studies and political science, said in a news release. “The anti-war movement should have been furious at Obama’s ‘betrayal’ and reinvigorated its protest activity.”

Instead, Heaney continued, “attendance at anti-war rallies declined precipitously and financial resources available to the movement have dissipated. The election of Obama appeared to be a demobilizing force on the anti-war movement, even in the face of his pro-war decisions.”

That’s because it wasn’t really an anti-war movement. It was an anti-Bush movement using war as an issue. Collusion has become the same thing for President Trump.