Thursday is the one-year anniversary of the start of Robert Mueller's investigation, and President Trump is among those marking the occasion. His tweet, however, drips with sarcasm. "Congratulations America, we are now into the second year of the greatest Witch Hunt in American History ... and there is still No Collusion and No Obstruction," he writes. "The only Collusion was that done by Democrats who were unable to win an Election despite the spending of far more money!" In another tweet, he calls the investigation "disgusting, illegal and unwarranted" and said his administration has nonetheless had "the most successful" first 17 months of any White House, "by far!" Related coverage:
- The basics: Mueller was appointed special counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump," explains PolitiFact. Mueller quickly expanded his investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice, notably by firing FBI chief James Comey. The piece hits other nuts and bolts of the investigation.
- Charges: So far, 19 people and three Russian companies have either been indicted or pleaded guilty as a result of the wide-ranging investigation, reports the AP. The big name among them is former campaign manager Paul Manafort, though his charges revolve around his foreign business dealings well before the campaign. He still faces trial. Mueller has gotten five guilty pleas, including from former national security adviser Michael Flynn.
- What's next: CNN reports that one year isn't relatively long for a white-collar investigation of this magnitude. When he eventually wraps up, Mueller will present his findings to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and the report may then go to Congress. Worst case for the president? "Depending on the outcome, it is possible Congress could use the findings to start impeachment proceedings—especially if Democrats take control in the midterm elections," writes Eric Tucker of the AP.
- Investigation's path: Lots of people are guessing, but "the complexity of Mueller's task makes it impossible to assess the special counsel's work from the outside, even after one year," writes Philip Ewing at NPR. On the bright side for Trump, no collusion charges have yet surfaced. On the other hand, prosecutors are putting heavy pressure on Trump attorney Michael Cohen and Manafort. The big question remains whether Trump will sit for an interview with Mueller.
- Damaging cloud: At Fox News, Liz Peek emphasizes the lack of collusion evidence despite the big outlay of time and money by Mueller's team. "Over the past year, the cost of the Mueller investigation has gone way beyond the expenditure of taxpayer money," she writes. "It has cast a cloud over the Trump presidency, allowing his opponents to press their no-holds-barred opposition with righteous zeal."
- End game: Trump critics may be disappointed, writes Matt Zapotsky at the Washington Post. Legal analysts say "Mueller is probably unconcerned with accomplishing a particular result—such as charging the president, or forcing his impeachment." He's expected to meticulously lay out his findings, and "if at the end of that investigation he's able to say, we found no evidence of collusion, kind of the core mission, I think Mueller would see it as, 'we've accomplished our mission,'" says a former FBI official who worked with Mueller at the agency.
Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani is skeptical
that Mueller will indict the president. (Read more Robert Mueller