The Washington Times Weekly - - Politics -

For those who are keep­ing count, the prover­bial “Mueller in­ves­ti­ga­tion” be­gan on May 17, 2017 when Deputy At­tor­ney Gen­eral Rod Rosen­stein, “the No. 2 Jus­tice Depart­ment of­fi­cial, ap­points for­mer FBI di­rec­tor Robert Mueller as spe­cial coun­sel to in­ves­ti­gate pos­si­ble col­lu­sion be­tween the Trump cam­paign and Rus­sia,” this ac­cord­ing to a help­ful Reuters time­line of the big do­ings. If we do all the math, that means that on Dec. 17, the in­ves­ti­ga­tion will have gone on for 19 months.

The in­ves­ti­ga­tion has mes­mer­ized jour­nal­ists who have pro­duced hun­dreds of sto­ries. Ma­jor news or­ga­ni­za­tions have made the in­ves­ti­ga­tion a whole sub-genre, bol­ster­ing the topic with ad­vi­sories, ex­plain­ers, alerts, fluc­tu­at­ing polls, videos and op-eds — even as crit­ics like talk ra­dio king­pin Rush Lim­baugh have in­sisted from the begin­ning that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion has yielded “noth­ing.” Pro­tes­tors who back the probe have taken to the streets wav­ing signs with the motto “Save Mueller.”

Oth­ers mull the cost. Pres­i­dent Trump re­cently has sug­gested that the in­ves­ti­ga­tion it­self has cost $40 mil­lion; a spec­u­la­tive es­ti­mate by the non-par­ti­san factchecker Polti-fact based on avail­able fig­ures put the cost at “$27 mil­lion or so.” Amer­i­cans, mean­while, ap­pear to be un­con­vinced. “Hope breeds eter­nal in the hearts of Democrats, but other vot­ers see lit­tle chance of Spe­cial Coun­sel Robert Mueller’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion trap­ping Pres­i­dent Trump,” notes a new sur­vey from Ras­mussen re­ports.

It found that 50 per­cent of all likely U.S. vot­ers be­lieve that charges against Mr. Trump are “un­likely,” in­clud­ing 26 per­cent who say the se charges are at all likely. Still, 42 per­cent also be­lieve that Mr. Mueller’s probe could lead to crim­i­nal charges against the pres­i­dent, with 22 per­cent who say that pos­si­bil­ity is “very likely.”

The sur­vey of 1,000 likely vot­ers was con­ducted Dec. 2-3.

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