Mueller handed Democrats their next line of attack against Trump

Robert MuellerRobert (Bob) Swan MuellerKamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Kamala Harris says her Justice Dept would have 'no choice' but to prosecute Trump for obstruction Dem committees win new powers to investigate Trump MORE apparently could not resist taking one last parting shot at President TrumpDonald John TrumpBooker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Booker hits Biden's defense of remarks about segregationist senators: 'He's better than this' Trump says Democrats are handing out subpoenas 'like they're cookies' MORE, even as he acknowledged that there is no evidence to support the Russia collusion theory. According to Attorney General William BarrWilliam Pelham BarrPelosi says she will view less-redacted version of Mueller report Pelosi says she will view less-redacted version of Mueller report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump's reelection message: Promises kept MORE, Mueller “did not draw a conclusion” as to “whether the examined conduct constituted obstruction.” In consultation with Deputy Attorney General Rod RosensteinRod RosensteinTrump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump blasts Mueller, decries 'witch hunt' at 2020 launch Trump: I didn't fire Mueller since firings 'didn't work out too well' for Nixon MORE, Barr determined that the evidence is “not sufficient to establish” that Trump committed obstruction.

In other words, after an investigation lasting nearly two years and costing taxpayers more than $25 million, Mueller merely shrugged his shoulders and passed the buck to Barr when it came to the critical question of obstructed justice. That is basically the same thing former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyIntel chairman says FBI starting to answer questions on Russia probe Intel chairman says FBI starting to answer questions on Russia probe Want the truth? Put your money on Bill Barr, not Jerry Nadler MORE did when he declared that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonDemocrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Democrats bristle as Hicks appears for daylong Capitol Hill testimony Trump: 'So sad' Democrats are putting Hope Hicks 'through hell' MORE was “extremely careless” with her use of a private email server for classified messages while declining to charge her with a crime. By not reaching a conclusion on obstruction, Mueller made sure Democrats would have an opportunity to render their own verdict once Barr makes the full report available.

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“Shame on Mueller for not having the guts to come to a decision one way or another,” Alan Dershowitz declared in a recent interview. “The job of a prosecutor is to make decisions. To charge or not to charge. It is not to write law review essays that lay out on the one hand, on the other hand,” the professor elaborated in an opinion column. “The last thing prosecutors should do is encourage partisan political use of their statements not dealing with charges they do not file.”

The decision that Mueller made to punt on the obstruction question is especially irksome in light of his simultaneous conclusion that there is evidence pointing to collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Since there was no collusion, how could Trump have obstructed justice in an investigation of a crime that was never committed?

“It is a cheap shot,” Rudy Giuliani, himself a former United States attorney, said in a recent interview. “There is something extremely ‘Bush League’ about investigating something” where “there is no crime committed.” Bush League is right. Planting the seeds of an obstruction charge in an investigation of a crime someone did not commit seems like the last resort of a frustrated prosecutor on a personal vendetta.

“So if President Trump, and nobody in his campaign colluded with Russia, how can they be covering up for something they did not do? Where is the burden?” Senator Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulSenate to vote Thursday to block Trump's Saudi arms deal Senate to vote Thursday to block Trump's Saudi arms deal Overnight Defense: Shanahan exit shocks Washington | Pentagon left rudderless | Lawmakers want answers on Mideast troop deployment | Senate could vote on Saudi arms deal this week | Pompeo says Trump doesn't want war with Iran MORE asked in a recent interview. Naturally, Comey publicly defended Mueller, arguing in a recent interview that the Justice Department should not always have to “prove the underlying crime.” Fortunately, the days as a federal law enforcement officer are over for Comey, and the man now in charge of upholding the rule of law in this country does not share his cavalier attitude toward justice.

Senator Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSecond ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Second ex-Senate staffer charged in aiding doxxing of GOP senators Meghan McCain clashes with Joy Behar as the 'sacrificial Republican' on 'The View' MORE, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he is all but certain that Barr will soon open a Justice Department investigation into alleged abuses of power by Comey, Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaOvernight Energy: Trump EPA finalizes rule to kill Obama climate plan | Trump officials delayed releasing docs on Yellowstone superintendent's firing | Democrats probe oil companies' role in fuel rule rollback Overnight Energy: Trump EPA finalizes rule to kill Obama climate plan | Trump officials delayed releasing docs on Yellowstone superintendent's firing | Democrats probe oil companies' role in fuel rule rollback House Democrats investigate oil companies' involvement in fuel standards rollback MORE, Andrew McCabeAndrew George McCabeMcCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump McCabe says it's 'absolutely' time to launch impeachment inquiry into Trump Feds gone wild: DOJ's stunning inability to prosecute its own bad actors MORE, and others. “It is not a question of if he looks, it is how he looks,” Graham said in a recent interview, indicating that Barr is merely deliberating over whether to appoint a second special counsel.

Meanwhile, Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz publicly confirmed that his office is still investigating possible abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by Justice Department officials during their investigation into Trump and members of his presidential campaign, a probe started nearly a year ago and could reveal a great deal about the deep state conspiracy to overturn the 2016 election results.

Mueller deciding to pass on obstruction certainly seems like a “cheap shot” aimed at Trump, but at long last there are now Justice Department leaders like Barr who are committed to equal justice and the rule of law. They will expose such abuses of power to public scrutiny and restore much needed impartiality to law enforcement in this country.

Madison Gesiotto is an attorney and a commentator who serves with the advisory board of the Donald Trump campaign. She was an inauguration spokesperson and former Miss Ohio. She is on Twitter @MadisonGesiotto.