Mueller's findings don't matter

In part, it’s the length of time that it’s taken that has rendered special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) MuellerCNN's Toobin warns McCabe is in 'perilous condition' with emboldened Trump CNN anchor rips Trump over Stone while evoking Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting The Hill's 12:30 Report: New Hampshire fallout MORE’s probe functionally irrelevant. 

I submit that the die was largely cast prior to Mueller’s appointment on May 17, 2017. Perhaps if there had been a quick investigation with prompt findings inside of a couple of months, things might be different. But nearly 19 months of speculation, breathless leaks and innuendo — true and false — have taken on lives of their own, providing time for each side to dig in.


From what I can tell, most people have come down somewhere in one of two general camps:

Camp One

President Donald Trump is best friends with Russian President Vladimir Putin. See, Trump and Putin are so cleverly diabolical that, long ago, they foresaw what nobody else did: Trump was going to get elected president in 2016. In fact, it may even have been Putin’s idea for him to run, one that was whispered into Trump’s ear on a business trip to Moscow where Trump was recorded entertaining hookers. What better way for Trump to win favor for plans to open a hotel in Russia than to become president? Sure, it seems like a contorted way for a U.S. business tycoon to curry favor in a country where bribes usually do just fine, but there’s just no accounting for some people’s methodology.

In any event, we all know Putin broke into the Democratic National Committee’s computers and provided embarrassing emails to WikiLeaks showing the true nature of Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonValadao unseats Cox in election rematch Trump says he'll leave White House if Biden declared winner of Electoral College Federal workers stuck it out with Trump — now, we're ready to get back to work MORE’s campaign, so that Trump would be elected president.

After the computer break-in, Trump publicly joked that he hoped Russia could find Clinton’s missing emails (the ones her associates destroyed after the emails had been subpoenaed by Congress). But Trump wasn’t actually joking; he was totally serious. Therefore, he’s responsible for Russia’s computer break-ins. For some reason, the Democrats wouldn’t let the FBI examine the computers to confirm who did it. And even though our intel agencies at the time deemed it a national security risk of the highest order, the FBI didn’t seize the Democrats’ computers to examine. But we can safely assume Putin and Trump were responsible.

Further, the whole campaign to portray Trump as an unserious candidate with zero chance of winning was actually a disinformation campaign conceived by the Trump-Putin conspiracy team, which includes retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, Paul ManafortPaul John ManafortFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next On The Money: Initial jobless claims rise for 2nd week | Dow dips below 30K | Mnuchin draws fire for COVID-19 relief move | Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges Manhattan DA appeals dismissal of Manafort charges to NY high court MORE, Michael Cohen, Roger StoneRoger Jason StoneFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Trump pardons Flynn | Lawmakers lash out at decision | Pentagon nixes Thanksgiving dining hall meals due to COVID-19 Democratic impeachment leaders blast Trump's pardon of Flynn MORE, Jerome Corsi, George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosFlynn spurs questions of who Trump might pardon next Not treason, not a crime — but definitely a gross abuse of power Tale of two FBI cases: Clinton got warned, Trump got investigated MORE and many others.


We also know, in Camp One, that Putin and Trump conspired in an unlawful, treasonous way to tamper with votes.

Okay, maybe there was no actual vote-tampering, but Putin did use Facebook ads, memes and robot accounts on Twitter to hypnotize and brainwash unsuspecting voters so they would vote for Trump.

Well, maybe Putin himself didn’t do any of that, but our intel officials are pretty darn sure that people in Russia who knew Putin, or might have met Putin once, or should have known Putin, did so. Facebook and Twitter must be punished and, prior to 2020, convinced to censor material that could be beneficial to Trump or his supporters. Trump must be impeached and driven from office. He and his team of conspirators must be put in prison for the rest of their natural lives. Melania, Don Junior, Ivanka and Jared, too.

Maybe even Baron ...

Camp Two

Bad actors in our intel community and other parts of the Deep State conspired to develop “insurance policies” against Trump. They schemed to prevent him and his non-establishment team from poking into longstanding surveillance abuses and other potential crimes and constitutional violations against U.S. citizens, journalists and politicians.

They are, at once, the incompetent gang-that-can’t-shoot-straight as well as the most secretive, highly-organized Deep State operatives who ever existed.

They successfully neutralized their biggest immediate threats: Flynn and Attorney General Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsAlabama zeroes in on Richard Shelby's future Tuberville incorrectly says Gore was president-elect in 2000 Next attorney general must embrace marijuana law reforms MORE. They opened investigations as a premise to keep Trump’s nose out of his own Department of Justice. Any actions President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden adds to vote margin over Trump after Milwaukee County recount Krebs says allegations of foreign interference in 2020 election 'farcical'  Republicans ready to become deficit hawks again under a President Biden MORE took that veered anywhere close to his own Justice Department would then be portrayed as “obstruction.”

These bad guys also worked to cover up their cover-up of the many crimes committed by the Clinton cabal — from the Clinton Foundation to Uranium One. There were payoffs to or deals with the Clintons, Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' The Hill's 12:30 Report: What to know about the Pfizer vaccine announcement Watch live: McCabe testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee MORE, James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTop Republicans praise Trump's Flynn pardon The new marshmallow media in the Biden era McCabe defends investigation of Trump before Senate committee: We had 'many reasons' MORE, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills.  

Involved in the anti-Trump conspiracies are: John Brennan, James Clapper, foreign intelligence, Ukraine (Russia’s arch-enemy), and various domestic political opponents. They secretly surveilled numerous Trump associates, looking for political intel and blackmail material. They assigned intel operatives to commit sting operations, and sent them to infiltrate the Trump campaign and transition team to lure them into compromising positions. They used political opposition research and “unmaskings.” They violated the FBI’s strict “Woods Procedures” by presenting unverified material to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to obtain warrants to wiretap Trump associates.

Part of the conspiracy includes targeting Trump’s political allies for investigation and criminal prosecution for things they did prior to their association with Trump. Or they were prosecuted for lying about crimes that didn’t occur. It’s all to send a message: If you have the audacity to support Trump, the Deep State will comb through your life and your past and destroy you, put you in prison, or at least ruin your reputation. You’ll go broke trying to defend yourself.

For all of this, the above-named conspirators belong in prison.

Maybe even Chelsea, too ...

The fact is, whatever Mueller announces isn’t likely to change many minds at this point. Instead, it will support what people already believe.

Mueller exonerates Trump of colluding with Russia? Well, we all know Mueller is a Republican. Besides, look at all the shady characters who surrounded Trump and got in trouble. That proves he’s guilty of something!

Mueller implicates Trump in Russia collusion? Well, we all know the fix was in from the start — and collusion isn’t even a crime, anyhow.

How Muller’s conclusions are received will depend upon where we already stand.

So I say, let’s get on with it. No need to wait. We’ve each already written our own version of Chapter Two.

Let the games begin.

Sharyl Attkisson (@SharylAttkisson) is an Emmy Award-winning investigative journalist, author of The New York Times best-sellers “The Smear” and “Stonewalled,” and host of Sinclair’s Sunday TV program, “Full Measure.”