Beware wishful thinking linked to special counsel

Byron York of the Washington Examiner recalls a history lesson from Kenneth Starr’s investigation of then-President Bill Clinton in the 1990s.

In Washington in the 1990s, it was a sure bet that whenever conservative journalists and activists got together, the conversation turned to the Clintons, Kenneth Starr, and the Whitewater investigation. There was a good bit of what one editor memorably called “hush-hush and heavy breathing” when insiders discussed momentous developments that were surely on the way. Somebody knew somebody who had heard from somebody close to Starr that big indictments were imminent — just around the corner.

The big indictments were just around the corner in 1995, in 1996, in 1997. They didn’t come. …

… Now, it is not unusual to encounter anti-Trumpers who believe big indictments from Trump-Russia special counsel Robert Mueller are just around the corner. Recently, I had a long conversation with a smart and deeply engaged follower of Trump-Russia events who was convinced that Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman currently on trial for tax evasion and bank fraud, and awaiting trial for failing to register as a foreign agent, would be indicted yet again — and this would be the big one, on charges that would finally include conspiring with Russia to fix the 2016 election.

One doesn’t have to wander around the anti-Trump web to see similar sentiments, not just about Manafort but about other top figures in the Trump circle. The indictments are on the way.

Mueller has indeed indicted a lot of people. But to this point no one around President Trump has been charged with colluding, or conspiring, with Russia to influence the 2016 election.

Mitch Kokai / Senior Political Analyst

Mitch Kokai is senior political analyst for the John Locke Foundation. He joined JLF in December 2005 as director of communications. That followed more than four years as chie...

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