The one-year anniversary of the Mueller probe rolls around on Thursday and according to the Village, the investigation is running out of time before Trump is able to turn the people against the special counsel.
The sprawling investigations amount to a political anchor as Trump leads the Republican Party into the fall midterm elections. Though few candidates see it as a decisive issue, the probe still sows doubt among some voters about the credibility of Trump’s election and about his conduct in office.
Public opinion surveys have found wide support for the Mueller investigation. An April Washington Post-ABC News poll found 69 percent of Americans backing the probe and 25 percent opposing it, though other surveys this spring have shown a modest decline from earlier polls in support of continuing the investigation.
Among the political class, there is a guessing game about whether the special counsel completes its work this summer — sufficiently in advance of the November elections — or presses well past it. The longer Mueller’s work continues, legal analysts said, the more difficult it may be for the special counsel to maintain public confidence, especially with Trump, Vice President Pence and other administration officials calling for the probe to wrap up.
“You don’t have much longer than 18 months to 24 months to get to the heart of the matter and resolve the things that need to be resolved,” said Robert W. Ray, who served as independent counsel toward the end of the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton presidency. “That’s about the length of time that public sentiment is with the investigation.”
The Mueller probe has also brought about a national reckoning on the boundaries of presidential power. Trump is at war with the leadership of his own Justice Department and FBI, has threatened to defy a subpoena to testify and even toyed with ordering the firing of Mueller.
“We want to get the investigation over, done with,” Trump said last month. “Put it behind us.”
The notion that the investigation has to end soon or it will amount to undue interference in the 2018 elections is exactly what the Republicans want to press, and at least with the Washington Post, it's starting to work. The piece is an outright warning to Mueller to wrap things up by this summer, by Labor Day at the latest.
Expect more pieces like this to start raining down as Mueller gets closer to the truth and the clock gets closer to the GOP.'s reckoning with angry voters.