The Importance of Avoiding Mueller Speculation
Last week, reporters were on tenterhooks as Robert Mueller prepared to show his hand again. Impending court deadlines promised potentially explosive new information on three characters central to his investigation—Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Paul Manafort. The Flynn filing dropped on Tuesday but its heavy redactions made it feel anticlimactic, and so the waiting game continued. Finally, on Friday afternoon, bombshells dropped. Across separate filings, prosecutors concurred with Cohen’s testimony that Donald Trump directed him to buy the silence of two women, and laid out Trump’s knowledge of contacts with Russia during his campaign, which included talks about a Trump Tower Moscow project.
Many in the media saw the filings as a vindication of months of aggressive reporting—and proof that Mueller’s net is finally closing around Trump. Prosecutors, we were told, had directly implicated the president in a felony. On cable news, politicians were asked about impeachment. “It is no longer journalistically sound to report on the Trump investigation as if it is a matter that may, or may not, yield damning information about the President,” Adam Davidson wrote in The New Yorker. “The only remaining question is how bad does the actual worst case scenario get?” Wired’s Garrett M. Graff asked.