To listen to CNN pundits this morning, all of Beltway officialdom are waiting for the rumored imminent release of the Mueller report. That, of course, will only be the beginning.
"I want to show you what I brought to show-and-tell this morning: An original first-edition copy of the Starr report from 1998. Not what we're getting today," John Berman said.
"We are not getting this. It will not be made public, the Mueller report. Not today. We think what will happen today, Robert Mueller will finish his investigation, tell it to the attorney general, and then a big legal fight. I want to know what you are watching for, for as soon as today? The things and signs you will be looking at?"
"Two things. One is, if we get any clue about the size of the report," Jeff Toobin said.
"Because it -- the regulation is very vague. There is one interpretation of the regulation where this could be a five-page report. another interpretation is that it could be a 500-page report with 500 pages of exhibits attached. That is very important. The other thing is, what is the White House involvement in the review process? Because one thing that is a lead pipe guarantee is that Donald Trump is going to claim this was a total vindication," he said.
"No matter what's in it, he's going to say this proves this was a witch hunt, but there is a possibility that he will be able to claim that before the report is even out. So he'll say, 'I've read the report. It's a complete vindication,' and all the rest of us will be left with that as the only information."
"If the report's delivered at 9:30 today, is there anything to keep Donald Trump from calling the attorney general at 2:30 and saying, 'What's in it?' " Berman asked.
"Absolutely not. Bob Barr is his subordinate. Mueller is subordinate to Barr. This is within the Department of Justice, within the president's purview and one thing we have learned is that the president does not respect the norms of staying out of criminal matters and investigatory matters presidents have traditionally stayed out of. There is no question he will be able to, if he -- or he will choose to if he wants get involved in the review process."
It's a given that Trump will claim the report vindicates him. That's what the Reagan administration did with the Iran-contra report, which was nothing but bad news for Reagan. "Hey, let's put out an executive summary that says the report says the opposite of what it says! That's what reporters will read and cover. Ha, ha!"
They were right. Izzy Stone read and reported the actual content, but no one listened because no one else did. And so it goes.