UNITED STATES - JUNE 19: FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Dirksen Building on oversight of the FBI. ...
Tom Williams

Trump changes direction, says there ‘should be no Mueller Report’

Donald Trump has thrown plenty of tantrums, online and off. The president has lashed out at Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation; he’s condemned the probe as “illegal”; and he’s accused Democrats of being guilty of the transgressions he’s been accused of. So the fact that Trump did all of these same things in a series of tweets this morning wouldn’t ordinarily be of any real interest.

Except, this time, the Republican, perhaps feeling some anxiety about what’s to come, went just a little further than he has before.

“So, if there was knowingly & acknowledged to be ‘zero’ crime when the Special Counsel was appointed, and if the appointment was made based on the Fake Dossier (paid for by Crooked Hillary) and now disgraced Andrew McCabe (he & all stated no crime), then the Special Counsel should never have been appointed and there should be no Mueller Report.

“This was an illegal & conflicted investigation in search of a crime. Russian Collusion was nothing more than an excuse by the Democrats for losing an Election that they thought they were going to win. THIS SHOULD NEVER HAPPEN TO A PRESIDENT AGAIN!”

Most of this can be overlooked as stale and tiresome, but six words represented a new posture: “[T]here should be no Mueller Report.”

It’s difficult to say with any confidence what precipitated this little tirade. Maybe the president saw something on television that set him off; maybe he received an unpleasant briefing from his legal defense team.

Either way, the debate of late has been over whether Congress and the public will be able to read the special counsel’s findings if/when it’s prepared and submitted to the Justice Department. Indeed, just yesterday, the Democratic-led House voted 420 to zero on a resolution calling for Mueller’s report to be released if/when it’s complete.

Trump, by and large, has steered clear of that argument, at least publicly. During a brief Q&A with reporters three weeks ago today, the president said he hadn’t spoken with Attorney General William Barr about the matter at all, though he did say, in reference to the special counsel’s eventual findings, “I look forward to seeing the report.”

Evidently, something happened over the last 21 days to change Trump’s perspective – because he no longer “looks forward” to seeing the report he doesn’t think should exist.

Two days before those comments, the president had this exchange with a reporter:

Q: Mr. President, should the Mueller report be released when you’re abroad next week?

TRUMP: That’ll be totally up to the new Attorney General. He’s a tremendous man, a tremendous person, who really respects this country and respects the Justice Department. So that’ll be totally up to him, the new Attorney – the new Attorney General, yes.

Q: Should it be public? Should the report become public, do you think?

TRUMP: I guess, from what I understand, that will be totally up to the Attorney General.

This passivity has since been replaced with frantic tweeting. I wonder why.

As is always the case, none of this is happening in a vacuum. The attorney general may soon have to decide whether to disclose Mueller’s findings, and it’s hardly a stretch to wonder if the president’s latest Twitter tantrum was directed at his newly appointed allies in the Justice Department.