When the smoke from the midterm election clears, one thing is certain: You will be seeing the name of Robert Mueller a lot more than you have for the past two months, no matter whether the Democrats manage to take the US House or not.
For one thing, Mueller has kept himself and his investigation into Donald Trump’s campaign deliberately out of the headlines by observing the Justice Department custom of not issuing indictments connected to politics in the 60 days leading up to an election.
Just about the only real news related to the special counsel’s office has been a slow drip of information about the connections between Trump adviser Roger Stone and WikiLeaks. And that seems to have leaked from Stone and those around him, not Mueller’s team. (There was also some outrageous fake news designed to impugn Mueller’s credibility, but that faded fast.)
With the election over, Mueller will be back in action. His team will likely have more indictments to make.
Mueller will also have to decide how to communicate the information he has gathered to Congress. Last week, a federal judge ordered the release of a 1974 grand jury report that was part of special prosecutor Leon Jaworski’s report to Congress about President Richard Nixon. The document could have lessons for Mueller.
Of course, Mueller’s investigation has worked quietly and methodically so far, and we don’t know how quickly he might act after the election — only that he is free to do so.
If the Democrats win Congress, they will be able to initiate extensive oversight investigations into areas of Trump’s career and possible ties with Russia. That would certainly overlap with Mueller’s work, and add a further element of overt partisanship to the saga of the special counsel’s investigation and Trump’s efforts to discredit or end it.
More dramatic still, a Democratic House would have the ability to impeach Trump — even if it knew for sure that Republicans in the Senate would acquit Trump after a trial there.
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