When on May 17, 2017, the Justice Department named former FBI director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to oversee the investigation into the Trump campaign and possible collusion with the Russians, The New York Times virtually hailed it as a triumph of democracy. Mueller was described in the most glowing of terms with words like “unblemished,” “credible,” “exacting,” and as a man “who is credited with building the modern FBI.” To listen to Democrats, Mueller’s appointment was the beginning of the end of the Trump presidential nightmare. MSNBC’s Joy Reid even envisioned a scenario where Trump would be led from the White House by federal marshals. This set the tone for how Mueller’s investigation would be characterized until it ended on Friday. Indeed, as recently as last week CBS News labeled Mueller a “folk hero.”
For 675 days we were subjected to a steady drip of leaks, endless Russia collusion coverage, and the suggestion that Trump was the Manchurian — ur, I mean, the Russian — Candidate who was sent to assassinate American democracy as we know it. Whenever there was no news on the Mueller front, we could always expect Stormy Daniels to be given extensive coverage. Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s alleged wrongdoing would be the long-awaited answer to Hillary Clinton’s book, What Happened?