Robert Mueller

As the investigation into links between Russia and the Trump campaign brings the President himself into the spotlight, we are getting mixed messages about the Special Counsel who leads it.

Two weeks ago even Republicans agreed that Robert Mueller was a man of unimpeachable integrity, respected in every corner of Washington. Yet just this week, Trump surrogates have muddied these waters, seemingly preparing the ground for Trump to potentially fire yet another person investigating him. Newt Gingrich alarmingly called Mueller “the tip of the deep state spear, aimed at destroying or…crippling the Trump presidency.”

Mueller’s bewildering transformation from impeccable investigator to partisan suspect is illustrative of the disregard Republicans have for the notion of truth, but his reputation should more have been that of an establishment man with safe hands than a fearless sleuth. The contradictions in Mueller’s recent past make it hard to see what the outcome will be in 2017.

Robert Mueller took charge of the FBI just seven days before 9/11, and led the internal investigation into the attacks, said to have been the most exhaustive in the FBI’s history. Yet the investigation took just 29 days. Staff were instructed that they were ‘not trying to solve a crime’, and that no further effort should be made to investigate the events of 9/11.

By April 2002, Mueller was able to report on one of the most fabulously dishonest summaries of flawed investigation, refuted on almost every level by readily available information. Mueller claimed, with a straight face, that the FBI had not found a single piece of paper anywhere in the world that mentioned the 9/11 plot. Despite the fact that we know the hijackers were hiding in plain sight within the US, Mueller claimed that the attackers had used extraordinary secrecy, and because of that there had been no possibility of foiling their plot. It was self-serving dishonest nonsense, but the White House accepted it without comment.

Mueller said that after six months inside Afghanistan, US forces had not found a single piece of documentary evidence that related to 9/11. Consider these words:

“The hijackers also left no paper trail. In our investigation we have not uncovered a single piece of paper—either here in the US, or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere—that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot.”

He added that no single person had been found in the United States who knew anything of the plot except the nineteen dead hijackers.

Not a single piece of paper, nor a single person. We were lied to, and those lies continue today.

Robert Mueller is an interesting choice to investigate the criminal who today occupies the White House.