Why Is Trump So Afraid of Mueller?

Contradicting his own attorney general, Trump is now suggesting that Robert Mueller shouldn’t testify before congress. But in a testament to how much he fears what the special counsel might say, on Wednesday he resorted to calling the entire investigation “treasonous.”

In an era where it is difficult to keep up with the outrage-du-jour coming from this president, the fact that the Commander in Chief is describing an investigation conducted by his own administration as “treasonous” ranks right up there with some of the worst.

Why would Trump be so afraid of what Mueller has to say, especially when he claims that the special counsel’s report totally vindicated him? It could be because Mueller has earned a tremendous amount of political capital by conducting himself as the consummate professional surrounded by a sea of angry lunatics otherwise known as the Trump administration.

Keep in mind that when Mueller testifies, it will be the first time he has spoken publicly since he took the job as special counsel. Meanwhile Trump has regularly taken to Twitter to refer to the “witch hunt” being conducted by “12, 14, 16, 18 Angry Democrat Trump Haters” who produced the “Crazy Mueller Report.” Attorney General Barr released a four-page summary of that report, which Mueller said failed to “fully capture the context, nature, and substance of this Office’s work and conclusions.” Barr responded to that claim by demeaning Mueller’s professional career and calling his letter “snitty.”

So while Trump and his staff have been acting like seven year-old bullies on a playground, Robert Mueller has stayed above the fray and behaved like a responsible adult. Anyone who isn’t committed to being a Trump enabler can see that—which is why he has so much credibility.

Beyond that, both Trump and Barr know that Mueller’s report doesn’t “vindicate” the president, no matter how many times they claim it has. That is also what terrifies them about testimony from the special counsel. Since the attorney general’s verbal gymnastics before the Senate Judiciary Committee, 800 former federal prosecutors have signed a statement saying that the only reason Trump hasn’t been indicted for obstruction of justice is because he is the president of the United States. Sentient beings who have actually read Mueller’s report would agree with Elizabeth Warren about its conclusions.

When Robert Mueller testifies—most likely before the House Judiciary Committee—he will be able to put the weight of his credibility behind the actual findings of his investigation. A president who is guilty as hell and has squandered every ounce of credibility anyone has ever been willing to give him has every reason to be afraid of that.

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Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly. Follow her on Twitter @Smartypants60.