Like Captain Ahab, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent months frantically hunting a giant whale. So far, Mueller has harpooned a couple of cod and a few salmon. But these fish have yet to demonstrate that the huge, ocean-going mammal in question merits capture. And Mueller’s voyage is an enormous embarrassment compared to the mass ichthyocide, which was the Watergate investigation, even at its equivalent stage.
The FBI’s Russiagate inquiry began in late July 2016. The intervening 21 months — including Mueller’s subsequent appointment last May 17 — have witnessed:
Oct. 30: Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were indicted on 12 counts, among them, conspiracy and money laundering. These charges concern alleged illegality before their work for Trump. Gates pleaded guilty Feb. 23 to conspiracy and lying to investigators.
Oct. 30: Former Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents about conversations with Russian contacts.
Dec. 1: Former national security advisor Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about diplomatic discussions with Russia’s U.S. ambassador after 2016’s election. However, Comey reportedly has said that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn believe that he did not lie to them.
Feb. 16: Thirteen Russian citizens were indicted for meddling in 2016’s election. As he unveiled these charges, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein declared: “There is no allegation in the indictment that any American was a knowing participant in the alleged unlawful activity.”
April 3: Attorney Alex van der Zwann received a 30-day prison sentence for lying to the FBI about his Ukrainian-related legal work in 2012 and his discussions with Gates.
While these people either admitted to or are accused of wrongdoing, none has been charged with Trump/Russian collusion.
Now, juxtapose Mueller’s sashimi plate with the fish market that was the FBI’s Watergate probe and ensuing actions by two special prosecutors.
The FBI’s sleuthing began the same morning as the notorious break-in at the Democratic National Committee — June 17, 1972. The corresponding 21 months included:
Oct. 10, 1972: The Washington Post connected the break-in with “a massive campaign of political spying and sabotage conducted on behalf of the Nixon re-election effort.”
Jan. 11, 1973: Watergate burglar E. Howard Hunt pleaded guilty to burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping. Federal judge John Sirica sentenced him to 2 1/2 to 8 years’ confinement. (Like most Watergate figures, Hunt did not serve his full term.)
Jan. 15: Burglars Bernard Barker, Virgilio Gonzalez, Eugenio Martinez and Frank Sturgis pleaded guilty to wiretapping. Martinez and Sturgis also pleaded guilty to burglary. They each spent between 14 and 16 months on ice.
Jan. 30: Burglar James McCord and ringleader G. Gordon Liddy were convicted of burglary, conspiracy and wiretapping. Sirica sentenced McCord to 1 to 5 years in prison; Liddy to 20.
March 1, 1974: Nixon’s White House political affairs aide Charles Colson, domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichman, chief of staff H.R. Haldeman, and attorney general John Mitchell (all having resigned) were indicted for obstruction of justice. Ehrlichman and Mitchell also faced conspiracy and perjury charges. Their eventual sentences ranged between 1 to 8 years.
The same day, President Richard Nixon was named an “unindicted conspirator,” placing him at the center of this catastrophe. Five months later, he resigned.
In a humiliating contrast to these legendary law-enforcement victories, Mueller has yet to prove that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
The purpose of Mueller’s probe seems simply to probe. Rather than announce that he has found bupkis to tie Trump or his campaign to any Russian effort to secure the Oval Office, Mueller and his pack of pro-Hillary prosecutors keep on keeping on.
As this examination creeps like a rising tide into territory many nautical miles from its origin (Stormy Daniels, Cohen’s taxi medallions, etc.), Mueller and his gang of Trump-haters will endeavor to drown Trump. What began as an urgent quest for possible treason has devolved into a prosecutorial torpedo barrage.
Deroy Murdock is a Fox News contributor and a contributing editor with National Review Online.