The White House released a statement from Trump that didn’t mention Mueller by name but expressed support for the appointment.
“As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know – there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the generally pro-Trump House Freedom Caucus, called it “a prudent move, and it certainly means that the administration is taking it seriously.”But he suggested Mueller “comes with more credibility on the Democrat side than on the Republican side,” a remark he said was based on “sworn testimony that he’s given here on Capitol Hill since I’ve been here.”
Speaker Ryan said in a statement, “The addition of Robert Mueller as special counsel is consistent” with the goal “to follow the facts whereever they may lead.”
Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger said “People are going to have their passions fired up out here, but I hope this restores some trust in the American people that we’ll get to the right answers.” (Roll Call)
One of Trump’s most steadfast allies, New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins, said Mueller’s appointment came as a relief, saying the pressure was now off of congressional Republicans to comment on the need for a special prosecutor.“The one positive development would be that we don’t have to answer that question anymore,” Collins said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wrote that the appointment “confirms that the investigation into Russian intervention into our election will continue.” He added, “The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will also continue its investigation into this matter.”
On the Democrat side, Mueller was called “unimpeachable” by Rep. Jim Hines. (Washington Post) Interesting choice of wording.
“There’s not anybody with as much credibility internally or whose integrity is as unimpeachable as Bob Mueller,” said Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called Mueller “exactly the right kind of individual.”
Even uber-liberals like Sen. Kamala Harris had something–not negative–to say.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren cautioned that Mueller will need “total authority” to complete the investigation.
With a huge amount of goodwill by lawmakers and respect from all quarters, Mueller should have a good start in his task. If Trump can keep his nose clean (and so far, fingers-crossed, he has kept off Twitter), possibly this investigation can be completed and behind him, saving his presidency by the orange-tinted skin of his teeth.
Mueller’s appointment may well be the best possible outcome in the razor-filled trap pit of bad outcomes.