Mueller's poll numbers soar, as anti-Trump press swirls

FBI Director Robert Mueller listens as he testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 13, 2013, as the House Judiciary Committee held an oversight hearing on the FBI. Mueller is nearing the end of his 12 years as head of the law enforcement agency that is conducting high-profile investigations of the Boston Marathon bombings, the attacks in Benghazi, Libya, and leaks of classified government information. The committee's chairman, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., said when it comes to national security leaks, it's important to balance the need to protect secrecy with the need to let the news media do their job. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

 

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

 

A new Fox News poll showsRobert Mueller’s favor with the American public has soared post-Paul Manafort, post-Michael Cohen by double-digit amounts.

 

Specifically, the survey said 59 percent of registered voters now approve of Mueller’s investigation, compared to July, when only 48 percent said they did.

 

So what’s it all mean? Maybe that the media has been successful in selling the image of a corrupt White House.

But as far as the original allegations against President Donald Trump — you remember, Russia collusion? — well, nothing.

 

No matter how many Paul Manafort charges are notched “guilty,” no matter how Michael Cohen plea deals are arranged by prosecutors, fact is, at the end of the court day, Trump’s hands are still clean of collusion.

 

Cohen and Manafort are simply cogs in Mueller’s ever-turning wheel to pressure Team Trumpers to turn against Trump.

 

It’s like this: A proper investigation starts with an accusation and investigates whatever can be found that’s tied to the investigation. It may veer a bit here, skip a bit there, but in the end, a proper investigation, say, into Joe Thief does not include the body-snatching and rough-housing of Joe Thief’s once-upon-a-time friend’s wife in the middle of the night.

 

That’s not a veer; that’s a jump-the-shark play.

 

That’s a pure act of aggression aimed at intimidating.

 

And that leads into this: An improper investigation takes whatever can possibly be tied to the investigation — apples, oranges, they’re all the same — drops it in a vise, exerts as much pressure as possible and then uses the dirt that drops as a means of getting the next guy in line.

 

That’s what’s happening here with Manafort and Cohen.

 

And it rings a bell on justice, Middle Ages style, and that whole rack table system of confessions they had going on back then.

 

No doubt, Team Mueller says it’s just doing its job, following the money trail where it leads, treating whatever bits and bites of information that come as little puzzle pieces in a larger picture — in a larger picture that could, one day and eventually, possibly that is, lead back to Trump and Russia collusion.

 

But almost 500 days into the investigation, and Mueller’s big fish are bank defrauders and tax evaders and porn star hush money payers — and one has to wonder: What’s up with the whole Russia collusion thing?

 

Fox’s poll was based on interviews with 1,009 registered voters who were contacted between August 19 and August 21. And perhaps the big takeaway from it is simply that the media is having a heyday with the Mueller investigation.

 

It’s the sixth inning and the score is Anti-Trumping Press, 1 — Truth and Fact, 0.

 

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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