by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Mueller is reaching the crossroads of his investigation and faces at least four critical decisions.
One, Mueller can wind up his investigations now. He can write a report affirming that he has found no evidence while conducting his originally assigned inquiry: Donald Trump did not collude with the Russians to throw the election his way.
Two, Mueller might pause and await Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report concerning possible Department of Justice and FBI abuses pertaining to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court. If Horowitz finds credible evidence of lawbreaking, then Mueller might seek indictments based on the IG’s likely actionable evidence.
Three, Mueller could continue to investigate anyone close to the Trump campaign for another year. If he did that, he would confirm that his inquiry has descended into a political cause. If Mueller calibrates the release of his findings to the fall midterm elections, he will be hailed by Trump opponents as a crusading prosecutor — despite finding nothing related to collusion. A Democratic takeover of Congress would shut down congressional investigations of FBI and DOJ wrongdoing and further empower Mueller.
Four, Mueller could more evenly apply his investigations of lying, obstruction of justice, and collusion during the 2016 campaign. That way, he would reassure the country of equal treatment of all under the law.