PORT ORCHARD, Wash.—So, yeah, it’s kind of obvious why Robert Mueller’s “secret questions that he wants to ask Trump” got leaked to the New York Times.
I could have written these questions.
Because . . . I read the New York Times.
Anybody with access to Google Search could have written these questions.
Mueller got half of them from reporting in the Times and the Washington Post.
There’s no background to these questions that’s not already known to, like, everybody in the world.
Shouldn’t the special prosecutor, after a full year of investigations, have inside information that nobody else knows about?
Shouldn’t there be one or two questions in the bunch that make you go, “Wow, I didn’t know about that Raskolnikov character that sent a hooker to Trump Tower in 2016, that’s some awesome intelligence”?
Did they hire a third-grader to go through all of Donald Trump’s tweets and find stuff that might be awkward, like the one about how Comey “better hope there are no tapes” of their conversations?
The first strange thing about the questions is that a lot of them are concerned with stuff that happened after the special prosecutor was appointed, which would mean Mueller was hired in May of 2017 to investigate the future! This alone would be a novel theory of what a special prosecutor is supposed to do, but then the even stranger thing is:
Very few of the questions have anything to do with Russia.
Wasn’t that the point of the whole thing? Russian collusion? I mean, I guess you could argue that all the Michael Flynn questions are Russian collusion questions, and all the Sally Yates questions, but the Comey stuff seems way off course, and to ask questions about Trump interviews, like the one he gave Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business, is sort of like saying, “When you made that speech on TV, what were you really thinking?”
And then there are the questions that are so open-ended they’re like, “Hey, Donald, just bullshit a little bit for us, okay?”
Example: “What was your opinion of Mr. Comey during the transition?”
“What did you think about . . . ?”
“What was your reaction to . . .?”
These are like “Are you still beating your wife?” questions. What he thought about something, or how he reacted to something, are sort of complicated issues getting into the workings of his brain—and, believe me, none of us wanna go there—and ultimately don’t have much bearing on what he actually did.
“What did you think about Comey’s testimony?”
“Why do you keep criticizing Comey and McCabe?”
“When Jeff Sessions recused himself, what did you think and do?”
And then the ultimate question-about-questions:
“What did you think and do when the special counsel was appointed?”
This is Mueller asking Trump what Trump thinks of Mueller.
They’re all just “Donald, spill your guts” questions. Blurt something. We wanna hear what you’ll blurt. It’s an attempt to get onto the record, under oath, statements so wide-ranging that they can go back later and pick them apart like piranhas digesting a tuna.
What’s scary is that we’ve seen this before. It’s Kenneth Starr twenty years later.
Remember how the Clinton investigation started?
Whitewater. It was about a rural Arkansas real estate deal that looked a little sleazy. Actually Kenneth Starr was the second special counsel appointed. The first one completely exonerated Bill and Hillary after a two-month inquiry, but for some reason we had a do-over. Then, with Kenneth Starr sending an army of investigators to Little Rock, Whitewater became Troopergate became Mena Airport became Vince Foster’s Suicide became Gennifer Flowers became Paula Jones became Jim McDougal became Susan McDougal became the Madison Guaranty Loan became—Aha! We’ve caught the son of a bitch—the Blowjob From an Intern That Clinton Lied About to Hide It From His Wife.
So we had an impeachment trial about a blowjob. And even though the President was definitely guilty—he received the blowjob and he did lie about it—the Senate eventually said, Holy crap, we can’t remove a President for a crime committed in every divorce case since the beginning of time. And so they acquitted him anyway.
Most people, after that, agreed that we probably shouldn’t do that ever again.