By Newt Gingrich
Watching the first wave of reaction to Attorney General Barr’s Press Conference and the release of the Mueller Report led me to conclude America is trapped in a cycle of media madness.
This media madness is crippling the country, maximizing partisan divisions, and absorbing so much time and energy that it cripples America in trying to come to grips with dangers that could destroy us.
Mueller reported after a nearly two-year effort which involved 19 lawyers, 40 staff, more than 2,800 subpoenas, nearly 500 search warrants, and around 500 witnesses. The investigation spent more than $25 million.
If the Mueller team could have found President Trump guilty, they would have. After all, Mueller recruited as his legal team – 14 Democrats, 12 of whom have contributed to Democrats. Of these lawyers seven were Clinton donors, one attended Clinton’s election night party, and one represented the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton herself.
Far from being innocent of bias, two of the Mueller team’s lawyers met with Christopher Steele, the author of the discredited dossier, before the 2016 election.
For supposed balance, Mueller had one Republican lawyer on the team and zero Trump donors.
When almost two years of digging by this anti-Trump wolfpack could produce no signs of guilt, it is reasonable to conclude that was because there were no signs of guilt.
However, the anti-Trump news media has too much invested in hating Trump to give up just because two years of work by 14 highly motivated, aggressive Democrat lawyers found no laws broken.
The first 24 hours of coverage give a pretty good clue to the next phase of this madness. Every small item in the Mueller report will become an excuse to harass the Trump team and Republicans in general (note the nasty tone of the CBS interview with Sarah Sanders over whether she used one word wrongly).
Just watch: Reporters who were totally wrong will interview Democratic politicians who were totally wrong, and they both will focus on the next phase of the anti-Trump cycle. It doesn’t matter how often reporters have been demonstrably wrong and misled by their anonymous sources, they still pontificate as though they know something. It doesn’t matter how much Democratic congressmen or senators were wrong, they will just launch a new attack on President Trump.
The fascinating thing is President Trump’s ability to ignore the madness and focus on leading the country. Through all the hysteria, he has been able to focus on getting conservative judges on the federal bench, cutting regulations, tax cuts, job creation, North Korea, the Middle East, Venezuela, China, and trade negotiations with multiple countries – even with 92 percent negative news coverage and Democrats attacking him every day.
It has been impressive watching the President limit his responses to Twitter attacks and sections of his rally speeches while continuing to hold meetings and focus on the vast substantive challenges facing America.
Now President Trump is liberated from the dark cloud of the Mueller investigation. After 448 pages, the conclusion was no collusion of any kind with Russia and no proof of obstruction of justice strong enough to warrant prosecution.
Given the ongoing hostility and negativity with this positive report, imagine what would have happened if President Trump had received the kind of judgment Ken Starr rendered on President Bill Clinton.
In the Starr Report, Clinton was found to be guilty of breaking the law 11 times. Seven of those charges included acts of perjury (some multiple times), and five were explicitly obstruction of justice (including the ninth charge of witness tampering).
Imagine where we would be today if Robert Mueller had used the word guilty on 11 different counts involving President Trump. Imagine where we would be if the Mueller Report had said President Trump was guilty of five counts of obstruction of justice.
That is where the Left, the news media, and the Democrats had hoped Mueller would end up. They were counting on a definitive finding of guilt – just as they were counting on Hillary Clinton to win on election night 2016.
Instead, they were forced to come to grips with a Donald Trump presidency (anyone can see it has been agonizing for them). So, now the Left is once again having to come to grips with deep, bitter disappointment.
The 2016 disappointment led the Left to invent the Russian collusion explanation because they could not bring themselves to tell Hillary it was her fault she lost.
I’m interested to see where this latest traumatic disappointment will lead them – and what they will latch on to as their next vehicle for avoiding reality.
Meanwhile, the reality of the Trump presidency – and the renewed strength of President Trump as a vindicated innocent man – will continue to change America in a direction the country likes and the Left hates.