CNN senior political analyst and editor at The Atlantic, Ron Brownstein, explained to CNN’s Victor Blackwell on Saturday that special counsel Robert Mueller has “defanged” Republican efforts to obstruct the Russia investigation.
“For months, Ron, there was nothing from the special counsel. We didn’t see any indictments, we knew that work was continuing. occasionally there would be a report of someone close to the campaign having to testify before Mueller or the grand jury and now there’s this quickening of indictments and pleas,” Blackwell noted. “What do you make of that?”
“First, as I said, I think he is extraordinarily methodical,” Brownstein explained. “We’re seeing kind of a classic investigation, that works from the outside in, that puts pressure on figures at the periphery to put pressure on more central figures, to put pressure on figures at the absolute core of the question.”
“At the least, Victor, I think what happened in the last couple weeks is that he has defanged those trying to undermine the investigation and made it extremely difficult for the administration to have any plausible conversation about firing him,” Brownstein suggested.
“Particularly, the indictment of those Russian actors made it clear he is dealing with something of great seriousness that is of national security import” he continued. “What has happened in the past few weeks is I think he made it politically impossible for the administration or the Republicans in Congress who are trying to undermine him to really seriously move against this investigation.”
“There’s just too much on the table that is too consequential to imagine the public accepting anything of the kind that was being discussed a few weeks ago,” Brownstein concluded.