Congratulations, America, indeed.
President Trump was being sarcastic when he tweeted, at 7:28 Thursday morning, “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.”
A year into the probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, both he and, yes, America, deserve congratulations. Our system — in particular, a Justice Department that is part of the executive branch but that maintains necessary independence from political meddling; prosecutors who operate in appropriate secrecy but within guidelines and with judicial oversight — is working as intended.
The wrap-it-up cries from Team Trump are as wrong as they are predictable.
There was never any reasonable prospect that an investigation this sprawling, sensitive and important could be concluded in a single year. Trump’s lawyers, seeking to calm presidential nerves, did him no favors by suggesting otherwise.
Instant gratification is not a feature of the criminal-justice system. One data point assembled by The Post’s Philip Bump when Mueller was first named remains relevant: The average length of a special counsel/special prosecutor investigation has been 1,154 days.
Mueller is no doubt exquisitely aware of the political seasons and the political clock, which advise more emphasis on speed than in an ordinary investigation. But he is also cognizant of the imperative for thoroughness. History hinges on his performance.
Nothing in the conduct of the Mueller probe suggests anything other than the diligent professionalism that he is known for — and that was initially lauded by some of the very folks who now argue that he should move on.
In fact, notwithstanding Trump’s constant claims of “No Collusion and No Obstruction,” the facts look much worse today than when Mueller was named, both about the underlying issue of potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and about the possibility that Trump or others obstructed justice in trying to derail the probe. The information that has emerged — from outside reporting, from the congressional inquiries, and from the flurry of indictments and other activity by Mueller himself — presents a far more detailed and alarming picture on both scores.
On collusion: We now know, but didn’t back then, about the Trump Tower meeting — that Donald Trump Jr. responded eagerly to an overture from a purported emissary of the Russian government to offer damaging