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27 February, 2018

Something for everyone: Mueller indictment a boon for partisan status quo

The bipartisan support Mueller’s appointment received is even more telling given that he is the definition of a Washington insider. The power elites across the political spectrum seemed to trust him to, above all, protect their position at the head of the table.

by Whitney Webb

Part 3 - No shutting Mueller down: the box Trump is in

However, one of the more overlooked implications of this recent indictment is not in the indictment at all. Instead, it is related to the fact that – even though no collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign has been revealed after nine months of investigating with the help of the U.S. surveillance apparatus – the Mueller investigation will continue “for months.”

As Bloomberg reports, Mueller is still actively investigating Trump-Russia collusion as well as obstruction and shady financial dealings of prominent Trump associates. According to that report, the recent indictment of 13 Russian nationals “should be seen as a limited slice of a comprehensive investigation.” In addition, James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence and current CNN contributor, ominously noted that there are “other shoes to drop” in the Mueller probe. He noted that those “shoes” will likely involve the “financial entanglements between the Trump Organization before the election and then during it.

Thus, the political pressure that has been applied to Trump thanks to the Mueller probe will continue. As analysts have noted, such political pressure has prevented Trump from adopting the non-interventionist foreign policy he campaigned on (whether or not Trump ever had any intention of putting that policy into effect is a separate issue).

McAdams asserted that this political pressure will maintain Trump’s neocon-inspired and aggressive foreign policy: “This means Trump is free to pursue the neocon foreign policy of confrontation with Russia, but also that if he meant what he said about ‘getting along with Russia’ he’ll have to drop that: in exchange for ‘no collusion’ he will have to join the beat-up of Russia.

Furthermore, any attempt to dissolve the investigation – no matter how much it expands or evolves – will lead to Trump being accused of collusion once again, regardless of the absence of evidence. Said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, in a statement: “At this point, any step President Trump may take to interfere with the Special Counsel’s investigation — including removing Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, or threatening to remove Special Counsel Mueller directly — will have to be seen as a direct attempt to aid the Russian government in attacking American democracy.

Some partisans have even argued that Trump is actively colluding with Russia by “not defending America” from Russia or implementing harsher sanctions and by letting Russia “attack us.” In other words, only further exacerbating the dangerous brinkmanship of the Cold War 2.0 will prevent Trump from being caught in the “collusion” snare.

Thus, while many praised the indictment, it seems the biggest winners to come out of the indictment’s release were the bipartisan war-hawks that dominate the political establishment in Washington.

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