The Robert Mueller part of the Russia investigation is over, but the investigative wheels continue to spin.
I think it is way premature to think that Mueller has given Donald Trump a pass. All we know for sure right now is that Mueller has concluded his report and submitted it to the Justice Department. In addition, Mueller will have no further indictments to follow that report.
It is important to note that we have not seen the entirety of what Mueller submitted. The devil (not a metaphor for Trump) will almost certainly be in the details. But those details could change everything. At the very least, it will give Congressional investigators a road map for how to proceed.
The Mueller investigation has many tentacles and since Mueller always plays by the book, he stayed within his own mandate. However, when he came across anything that needed further study, he would farm out and consult with other prosecution agencies, give them the overview, and then let them run with it in their own capacity.
Let’s be clear, the “by the book” Mueller will not indict a sitting President. He has adhered to all Justice Department guidelines and Presidential indictment is clearly off limits. So, whatever Mueller discovered about Donald Trump’s illegal activities (and it is clear there have been some), he can only outline them in his report without official action.
That means the report itself has to be made public so that we can have a clearer understanding of what Mueller found. After all, Donald Trump committed obstruction of justice multiple times in plain view of everyone. There has to be some recognition of that.
Other people in Trump’s orbit are not done either. The Roger Stone trial is still set for November. Rick Gates and his investigative cooperation have been moved to the Southern District of New York. Bijan Kian’s (a Michael Flynn associate) trial is still on for July and Michael Flynn will probably testify.
And then there is all the New York State and other Federal activity. The Southern District of New York, the New York AG, the Eastern District of Virginia, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, Department of Justice – Public Integrity Division, and the New York State and New York City tax divisions. The Federal part are still under Department of Justice rules (no indictment of a sitting President), while state entities have no such restriction.
And, of course, we still have all of the House Committee investigations which will take the Mueller report and add steroids.
This is an ending of sorts…for certain. But it is far, far, from over. And Trump, if not his team, is well aware of it.
As often happens in this 24 hours news cycle world, we have drawn our conclusions before we even get started gathering the facts.
Mueller has endured a lot in these 22 months. But he clearly knows what he is doing and with him, you know the country comes first.