No wonder the public image of Special Counsel Robert Mueller has hit an all-time low. People have noticed that after a year of intense investigation and indictments unrelated to his mission, Mueller has found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion. And it isn't only supporters of President Donald Trump who have noticed this lack of collusion evidence. Even the leftist Nation magazine has made this observation.
Aaron Maté of that periodical wrote on June 13 that The Mueller Indictments Still Don’t Add Up to Collusion:
In just over one year, special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of the Trump campaign and Russia has generated five guilty pleas, 20 indictments, and more than 100 charges. None of these have anything to do with Mueller’s chief focus: the Russian government’s alleged meddling in the 2016 election and the Trump campaign’s suspected involvement. While it’s certainly possible that Mueller will make new indictments that go to the core of his case, what’s been revealed so far does not make a compelling brief for collusion.
The most high-level Trump campaign official to be indicted is Paul Manafort, as well as his former business partner and Trump campaign deputy Rick Gates. The charges, as a Virginia judge observed last month, “manifestly don’t have anything to do with the campaign or with Russian collusion.”
...There is widespread supposition that Manafort’s dealings in Ukraine make him a prime candidate for collusion with Moscow. But that stems from the mistaken belief that Manafort promoted Kremlin interests during his time in Kiev. The opposite appears to be the case.
Oops! Perhaps Mueller hopes that we don't notice that Ukrainians are not the same as Russians. I mean they both speak Slavic languages and drink vodka so isn't that close enough?
But what about the phone calls former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the transition period in December 2016? Those conversations must indicate collusion with the Russkies. Huh? Huh?
But these calls offer nothing on collusion. As The Washington Post reported, FBI agents who “reviewed” the calls with Kislyak had “not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government.”
Drat! Foiled again!
Finally, Maté issues this damning conclusion:
The January 2017 intelligence report begat an endless cycle of innuendo and unverified claims, inculcating the public with fears of a massive Russian interference operation and suspicions of the Trump campaign’s complicity. The evidence to date casts doubt on the merits of this national preoccupation, and with it, the judgment of the intelligence, political, and media figures who have elevated it to such prominence.