Beware the “Reasonable” Take on the Mueller Investigation

Wait for it... Usgs/Planet Pix via ZUMA

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Perhaps I’m hypersensitive to this kind of thing, but I’ve noticed an uptick in “reasonable” takes on the Mueller investigation lately. I’ve seen this from both liberals and conservatives and it goes something like this:

  1. Crackpots on the right think the FBI has been utterly corrupted and the investigation is all about the Deep State trying to destroy Trump.
  2. Crackpots on the left are all about the pee tape and how Trump was practically a KGB asset.
  3. But look: conservatives have a point when they say the FBI investigation seems like it was opened on sort of flimsy grounds, especially during a presidential campaign.
  4. At the same time: liberals have a point that some people around Trump were a little overzealous about who they were willing to work with during the campaign, regardless of whether they eventually did anything illegal.
  5. Bottom line: There’s some smoke here, and the Trump folks deserve to pay a price for their actions. But it’s hardly Watergate 2.0.

As a person who often finds some value in dialing down the volume, I understand the appeal of arguments like this. But not in this case. So far, I’m sticking to my belief that Donald Trump probably didn’t personally collude with Russia. Beyond that, though, there’s just a mountain of evidence that points to massively illegal and unethical activity running through every facet of both the Trump campaign and the Trump White House. And that mountain is just what’s on the public record now. Once we learn everything that Mueller has discovered, the mountain is likely to turn into a super volcano.

I’m not surprised to hear some conservatives promoting the “reasonable” version of the Mueller investigation. But I am surprised that even some liberals are starting to hint at accepting it. I sure hope this doesn’t gain any more traction. There’s no need to go all X-Files on this, but there’s also no reason to downplay any of it. What Trump has done, and is still doing, almost certainly is Watergate 2.0.

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REAL QUICK, REAL URGENT

Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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