Ty Cobb Was Right: Special Counsel Probe Over Soon — For Him

Ty Cobb (LinkedIn)
LinkedIn

For nearly a year, White House lawyer Ty Cobb predicted repeatedly that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation would be over soon. And now, finally, it is — for him, anyway.

Cobb’s impending departure at the end of May was reported on Wednesday morning — just hours after Cobb was quoted telling ABC News that an interview between Mueller and President Donald Trump was ” certainly not off the table.”

More likely, Cobb’s departure suggests that the White House is adopting a more aggressive posture.

Throughout his tenure at the White House, Cobb believed that the best approach to the Special Counsel was to offer full cooperation. After all, the president and his lawyers knew that there had been no collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. So there was nothing to hide.

That was why Cobb said, over and over, that the investigation would end soon.

In August 2017, he said it would be over by Thanksgiving. “I’d be embarrassed if this is still haunting the White House by Thanksgiving and worse if it’s still haunting him by year end,” he said.

In January, Cobb said the probe would be over in four to six weeks.

Cobb was wrong.

He also had the habit of discussing details of the case in public — once in September, within earshot of a New York Times reporter at an outdoor table at a Washington, DC, restaurant; and once again last week, at Reagan National Airport.

Cobb is highly regarded as an attorney, so his cavalier attitude toward discussing the case may have been a sign that he simply did not consider the claims of collusion to be serious.

But what Cobb evidently failed to appreciate was that collusion is not, and may never have been, the point.

Two events made that clear: first, the FBI raid last month targeting President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen — even as White House attorneys were considering an interview with Mueller; and second, the leak this week of Mueller’s proposed questions for Trump, which had little to do with collusion and focused on dubious claims of obstruction of justice.

Trump’s opponents in the Department of Justice — many of whom are operating beyond the purview of Attorney General Jeff Sessions — appear to be preparing a perjury trap for the president.

Failing that, they are preparing a political case against the president, not a legal one, so that a future Democratic Congress can impeach him.

Cobb’s cooperation strategy failed, in short, because investigators are not willing to cooperate.

The Mueller probe was conceived in sin (the phony “dossier,” the James Comey memos). It is being managed against the ordinary rules of justice (the secret mandate, the refusal of Deputy Attorney General Rob Rosenstein to recuse himself).

Because it is not an investigation. It is an attempt to remove the president from office.

The White House is preparing for war. Cobb will reportedly be replaced by Emmet T. Flood, a lawyer who helped defend President Bill Clinton when he was impeached in the late 1990s.

President Trump himself indicated publicly Wednesday morning that the game has changed, when he tweeted that the Special Counsel was intruding upon the constitutional powers of the presidency, and hinted that he might test his power to pardon, or perhaps even to fire the Special Counsel, to defend himself.

Ty Cobb may have been the right lawyer to handle an investigation. He may have been the wrong man to stop an attempted coup.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named to Forward’s 50 “most influential” Jews in 2017. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

This post has been updated to take new comments from Rudy Giuliani into account.

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