In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on Sunday, Republican Sen. Rand Paul said that with the latest round of indictments from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, it was time to redirect the focus of American counterintelligence and law enforcement. Instead of trying desperately to connect some coffee boy in Trump’s orbit with the Kremlin, it might be time to focus on keeping Russia out of our 2018 elections.
“We have to assume – and if we have proof that they did interfere, which it sounds like we now have – we should now spend our time protecting ourselves instead of having this witch hunt on the president,” Paul said. “If the president was involved, by all means put the information forward. There’s no evidence so far of the president’s involvement at all in this. I think we need to be done with this, so we can start actually protecting our elections from foreign countries.”
We are now in the second year of Mueller’s investigation into the Russian meddling of 2016, and we’ve now seen the second of two big indictments. In both of these indictments, only Russian individuals and companies were named as defendants. In both of these indictments, it was said that the FBI/Justice Department has come to no conclusions about the effectiveness of the Russian interference. In both indictments, it was said that Mueller has found no evidence of any American’s willing involvement in the plot.
And yet, here we are, three years after the FBI launched Operation Crossfire Hurricane, and no one in the Justice Department, the FBI, or the Special Counsel’s office will come out publicly and say: Donald Trump is innocent of these collusion allegations.
That’s what Paul means when he says it’s time to bring this crap to an end. Hanging over Mueller’s probe is the expectation – goaded on by the media – that he will eventually come before the American people and lay out the case that Donald Trump is an American traitor. This cloud, grounded in absolutely nothing other than a phony Clinton-bought dossier, is destroying Trump’s ability to govern and weakening America’s reputation around the world. If Putin really wanted to hurt American democracy, he got what he wanted. Not through the election of Donald Trump, but through the #Resistance and the form it has taken in Robert Mueller.