Friday evening, CNN reported that special counsel Robert Mueller had obtained the first grand jury charges in the Russian collusion investigation, but they are sealed. Speculation centers on former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn or Paul Manafort, who was briefly Trump’s campaign chairman. But it may be Monday or later before we know for sure. In the meantime, as one report put it, Mueller and his team “remained tight-lipped.” Which is an odd phrase to use to describe a federal investigation that’s supposed to be confidential, yet somehow allows word of its grand jury actions to be leaked to CNN.
The delay will give pundits a couple of days to do what they love most: pontificate without facts. We don’t know who will face charges or what those charges are or even if there’s any merit to them whatsoever. The old saying is that you can indict a ham sandwich, but that doesn’t mean it’s guilty of anything. Special prosecutors, especially those who have let their investigations spread far beyond their original mandate and spent a carload of taxpayer money, often feel pressure to charge somebody, just to justify the time and expense. Those of a cynical nature also suspect that the charges, or at least the advance leak of the charges, might be an attempt to change the media narrative, which had veered away from Trump and toward the Obama-Clinton-Russia uranium deal.
See, lots to talk about all weekend, with no real proof behind any of it yet. It’s all just speculation and political theater. But so far, much of the entire “Russian collusion” story seems to be nothing but speculation and political theater, so that seems oddly appropriate. Maybe we’ll find out next week whether there’s any “there” there.