Washington rises and falls with his every move.

He marches around town as if he’s the most powerful man in the world. For the last year, he’s been on top. But no one remains on top forever Mr. Mueller. Didn’t anyone ever tell you that?

Robert Mueller has recently suffered several minor setbacks and is bracing for a major blow, in the form of a report from the DOJ Inspector General’s report about the (mis)handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State.

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As we were all so pleased to see last Friday, the presiding judge in the Paul Manafort case had sharp criticism for the members of Mueller’s team. The judge scolded them for using evidence from a separate investigation to get Manafort to “sing” about President Trump. Everyone knows it’s true, but no one has ever directed it at a member of the Mueller’s team.

The next setback involved the case against General Michael Flynn, who briefly served as Trump’s National Security Advisor. The House Intelligence Committee released a less redacted version of the findings from their internal investigation of possible Trump/Russia collusion.

It turns out that the FBI officials who interviewed Flynn did not detect any deception in his testimony. Flynn has pled guilty to “making false statements to the FBI about his contacts with Russia’s former ambassador,” and is awaiting sentencing. The Mueller team has requested that sentencing be postponed several times already.

Then FBI Director Comey testified before the committee and the report quotes him as saying “that agents who interviewed Flynn “discerned no physical indications of deception. They saw nothing that indicated to them that he knew he was lying to them.”

According to the report, McCabe said the same thing.

The development is puzzling because, as McCabe’s testimony reflects, Flynn’s comments were indeed at odds with the evidence. The FBI reportedly intercepted conversations that countered Flynn’s initial claim that, among other things, he did not ask Russia’s ambassador to refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions.

This is significant because it brings up the possibility that Flynn did not knowingly lie to the FBI.

There appears to be more to the Flynn case than meets the eye. Flynn pled guilty to Judge Rudolph Contreras, an acquaintance of FBI official Peter Strzok as it turns out. Contreras recused himself from the case after text messages between Lisa Page and Peter Strzok were made public. They were discussing whether or not Strzok should reach out to Contreras about the case. He was replaced by Judge Emmet Sullivan, who made it a point that all documents favorable to Flynn be delivered to his attorneys.

It’s possible that McCabe may have mischaracterized or even manipulated the results of Flynn’s interview with the FBI. Perhaps that’s why Flynn’s sentencing keeps getting delayed. Some believe Flynn may even reversed his plea. For those interested in learning the details of Flynn’s case, The Federalist's Margot Cleveland has written an article that might be of interest.

The next development occurred when a judge denied Mueller’s motion to delay a hearing in the case of the Russians who were indicted several months ago for meddling in the 2016 election.

Mueller and company were caught off guard when two attorneys representing one of the defendants showed up and requested documents. “Mueller’s prosecutors disclosed that Concord’s attorneys, Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly, had made a slew of discovery requests demanding nonpublic details about the case and the investigation.” Good. The Mueller team had not expected to hear from any of the Russians.

Finally, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Mueller may soon have to “wrap up or lie low” with his investigation so as not to give the impression of any attempt to tilt the midterm elections.”

It would great if Mueller had to go under the radar on a “low” note. The Republicans can use this to sow doubt in voter’s minds about his true motives. Repeating that message over and over again might save the Republicans their House majority, which would be an extremely positive development. Not only would impeachment be off the table, it would be so much easier to implement Trump’s agenda.

Unfortunately, Mueller’s investigation is far from over, but it does look like he has sustained some damage, at long last. And he will be dealt a more serious blow when the IG report is released.

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