Special counsel Robert Mueller was in trouble.
He failed to produce any evidence of wrongdoing by the President and he was running out of time.
And then on Election Day he got the biggest gift of his life.
Democrats narrowly won the House of Representatives.
That guarantees the new majority will defend Mueller’s work and leak any damaging information about the President to the news media.
The lead Russia investigator, who in the days and weeks ahead has a series of important court hearings and key sentencing deadlines for cooperating witnesses, will soon have a friendly audience of Democratic chairmen on one end of Capitol Hill who are primed with subpoena power to fight the White House if it tries to block the public release of his final report examining any potential connections between the 2016 Trump presidential campaign and Kremlin-sponsored hackers.
House Democrats say they’re also ready to act as a backstop if Trump follows through on more than 18 months of pent-up angst and fires Mueller or tries to meddle with the special counsel’s work through a major shakeup at the Justice Department.
Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi has already pledged to make sure Mueller’s “documentation is preserved” and the likely next House speaker also holds in her back pocket the threat of launching impeachment hearings against Trump if the president tries to oust Mueller or if the special counsel’s investigators ultimately uncover a smoking gun involving criminal behavior.
Democrats are even prepping a break-glass scenario in case there’s a Nixon-era Saturday Night Massacre during which Trump fires his current DOJ leadership and tries to shutter the Mueller probe in the process. If that happens, senior Democratic officials say Mueller would likely get an immediate summons to Capitol Hill for nationally televised testimony about his findings.
Democrats are holding out hope Mueller will deliver the goods on the President.
Even if he doesn’t, they will subpoena the secret report Mueller submits to deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein and leak out the portions that are unflattering to the President.
It would allow the Democrats to finish Mueller’s work by trying to kill Trump through a death by a thousand cuts strategy in the 2020 campaign.
We will keep you up-to-date on any new developments in this ongoing story.