By Ed Rogers
The quest for collusion is over. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s Russia investigation has not – either through leaks or announced indictments – revealed any collusion, and Democrats and their allies in the liberal mainstream media know that it never will. This reality is setting in among the president’s clearer-thinking foes, and they are transitioning to an obstruction of justice claim in an effort to sustain the fight with President Donald Trump.
Mueller’s investigation has been looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 election since May. His team has made a number of consequential findings, but none of them establish collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. We would know by now if anyone close to Trump had actually colluded with Russia to impact the 2016 campaign. The only thing we know for certain is that Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn have been indicted for or admitted to things that fall short of collusion and have nothing to do with the president.
The Democrats know their faux-outrage over collusion is hollow and spent. Given that Mueller’s investigation hasn’t found the holy grail or produced anything that rises to the level of criminality on the part of Trump, liberals in Congress and in the media are now transitioning to an obstruction of justice story-line. Mueller is not talking, so the president’s critics are creating a new line of attack based on the notion that the firing of former FBI director James Comey was somehow a criminal act.
The problem with the Democrats’ claim is that the president can fire the FBI director for any reason or no reason at any time. Never mind that, they say. The Democrats believe the president’s motive was to end an investigation into Flynn and that doing so was somehow outside the bounds of his authority – and therefore criminal. That’s right: The liberals want to take us into a mind-numbing legal netherworld where the president committed a legal act with a corrupt mindset and should, therefore, be impeached. I can’t imagine how this convoluted reasoning will lead to an indictable charge against Trump, but it is becoming the Democrats’ latest obsession.
Democrats will inevitably be unfulfilled with Mueller’s investigation, and they will, therefore, rationalize taking action themselves against Trump. This could lead them to make the 2018 midterm election a referendum on whether Trump should be impeached. Without anything else to say, and no affirmative agenda, the Democrats could nationalize the election via a call to impeach Trump once they are given the majority in the House of Representatives. The Republicans, it seems, could do worse than having House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., be the face of an election that avoids issues and is all about the Democratic Party’s pursuit of the president. The Democrats find Trump irresistible.
Elections are supposed to be about issues involving peace, prosperity and the quality of the candidates and campaigns. The Democrats are heading in a different direction. They seem determined to make the election about Trump and sensationalized claims of obstruction of justice and the prospect of impeachment. The question is whether enough voters will see the Democrats’ talk of impeachment for what it is: a desperate shriek that keeps them from having to defend their lurch to the left.
Ed Rogers worked in the White House under Ronald Reagan and George HW Bush. This column first appeared in The Washington Post.
Source:: Toronto Sun – Movies