Liberals Giddy as Out-of-Control Mueller Goes After Trump’s Business
In a report that gave the so-called Resistance new (false) hope, the New York Times said Thursday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had issued a subpoena to the Trump Organization “to turn over documents, including some related to Russia” in “the first known instance of the special counsel demanding records directly related to President Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.”
There are several ways to look at the story.
First, there’s the “OMG, guyz, Mueller’s really gonna get him now” way, which was nicely exemplified by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews shortly after the Times story broke.
“While the scope of Mueller’s order is unclear, the subpoena could relate to two areas of the probe that might ultimately lead to Trump’s impeachment,” Matthews said to open up Thursday night’s edition of Hardball. “Potential financial improprieties — improprieties related to Russia and possible collusion during the campaign. Mueller subpoenaed his Trump’s business records could lead to an historic reckoning. It comes after the president warned the special counsel last summer any investigation of his personal finances would cross a red line.”
That’s one way.
Another way is to say that Mueller has indeed exceeded his mandate as special counsel, and he is now on an all-encompassing fishing expedition in the hopes that he can find Trump or his family guilty of some crime – ANY crime – over the last thirty years or so. This won’t help him prove his actual case – whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow in the election meddling of 2016 – but it will give him some way to save face with the Democrats who are counting on him to save the day.
A final way is to judge this story on its own merits. And when you take a close look at what the Times is actually reporting, it becomes quickly clear that this is a very flimsy piece of reporting. To bring us this story, the writers cite “two people briefed on the matter,” meaning they do not have any firsthand knowledge of the subpoena or its target. They go on to demonstrate this with the next paragraph where they admit: “The breadth of the subpoena was not clear, nor was it clear why Mr. Mueller issued it instead of simply asking for the documents…”
The New York Times wrangled a shocking headline and a well-padded 1200 words out of a story that basically begins and ends with one fact: Mueller issued a subpoena of some kind to the Trump organization. Everything beyond that fact is speculation, opinion, history, and poorly-grounded prediction.
It was enough to send another infamous shiver up Chris Matthews’ leg, but that’s about all.