The great nothing-burger

As expected by anyone with an objective pulse, the Mueller investigation, after more than a year of intrigue, turned out to be a huge nothing-burger. From the beginning it was an old, tired, red-scare tactic designed to induce Americans to distrust their leaders and, even more perniciously, to distrust the democratic process. This is a classic case of the so-called punishment harming the victim — in this case, the American public — more than the alleged crime.

Now the mainstream media are apoplectic to put a spin on their second humiliating loss. First they lost the 2016 election, and now they’ve failed in an attempt to undo the election with a special investigation. At this point, the mainstream media have reached the point where their talk shows are almost unwatchable. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s usual spate of manufactured incredulity, outrage and wild spin has spun beyond hysterics; she now purports to have a list of urgent “additional questions” that suggest unnamed alternative causes for obstruction of justice on the part of President TrumpDonald John TrumpMarine unit in Florida reportedly pushing to hold annual ball at Trump property Giuliani clashes with CNN's Cuomo, calls him a 'sellout' and the 'enemy' Giuliani says 'of course' he asked Ukraine to look into Biden seconds after denying it MORE. Sorry, but if someone is not guilty of an underlying crime and wants to stop the investigation and run the country, what’s the real issue?

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The truth, as many of Trump’s foes are loath to admit, is that he is the president. He won with a majority of the votes of the Electoral College, and he was sworn in during a peaceful transfer of power, as is the American custom. Perhaps, after this most recent humiliation, they finally will believe that Trump won. Oh, and one other thing: Impeachment now is out of the question.

Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrDemocrats to seek ways to compel release of Trump whistleblower complaint Democrats press Nadler to hold Lewandowski in contempt The Hill's 12:30 Report: Questions swirl around Trump whistleblower complaint MORE’s summary of the Mueller report — that special counsel Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerLewandowski says Mueller report was 'very clear' in proving 'there was no obstruction,' despite having 'never' read it Fox's Cavuto roasts Trump over criticism of network Mueller report fades from political conversation MORE found no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives to undermine the 2016 election — stands. Democrats are clamoring for the entire report, for the same reasons they urged an investigation in the first place: They want to use the fine details to craft a technical case for obstruction, then use their congressional investigative powers to continue the fishing expedition with the hope of finding unrelated crimes in Trump’s past business dealings.

This is prosecutorial overreach, which unfortunately has become the norm in the U.S. justice system. Usually, this abuse of power is reserved for victims who are poor or minorities, who have no leverage or power to fight back. Rather than protest their innocence, they plead to minor crimes such as the nebulous, all-encompassing “conspiracy,” just to avoid draconian prison sentences.

The Democrats attempted to do the same thing to Trump & Co., and they were successful in some instances, such as campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosUS attorney recommends moving forward with charges against McCabe after DOJ rejects his appeal 10 declassified Russia collusion revelations that could rock Washington this fall Flynn, Papadopoulos to speak at event preparing 'social media warriors' for 'digital civil war' MORE. As he reported to Fox News about the complicated tricks the government used to trap him: “If I had told anyone in the campaign, it would have been a conspiracy, but it would have been based on Western intelligence basically fabricating the entire thing. … Mueller’s people [were] trying to get me to say something that I know is not true; I just couldn’t. I had to stick to the facts, the truth.”

A similar process is under way to get the full report released so that Democrats can use it to fuel frivolous federal proceedings in the Southern District of New York. The battle has been lost but the ostriches behind this academic abuse of the legal system think they can keep squawking about another, bigger battle.

The question is, why can’t Washington Beltway pundits seem to learn that the old, stupid mistakes won’t work any longer? At the end of the day, all they are going to do by going after Donald Trump in this nakedly political fashion is to intensify Trump’s efforts to win again in 2020. He may be more fearful of being prosecuted for imagined crimes as a private citizen than he is ambitious to lead the country for a second term. Could progressives be any dumber?

Trump is, after all, what they consider to be an easy target: He allegedly has a debatable past and little establishment backing. Yet a truly debatable figure — attorney Michael Avenatti — became a darling of the mainstream media and of the Democratic Party, even mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. He graced the cover of the New York Times Magazine and was fawned over by a gullible media as a blue-eyed pit bull with a heart of gold. How ironic that, at the very moment of President Trump’s political triumph, Avenatti — one of Trump’s chief tormentors, a man lauded by the media for “telling truth to power” — has been accused of crimes by prosecutors in New York and Los Angeles.

In an age when the government can target people from bad backgrounds and make them out to be scapegoats, who is the real culprit? The federal government uses its prodigious powers to bully people into settling cases and manufacturing convictions, even when it knows there is no underlying crime or only a minor infraction. This is a perversion of the American principle of justice, which holds that you are innocent until proven guilty. This has got to stop.

We need more justice reform — and President Trump just might be the one to provide it.

Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is the owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. He is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.”