Stuart Newman in CounterPunch:
The Mueller investigation was fully worth it, despite its conclusions. In early 2017, with a clearly corrupt president in place, but both houses of Congress dominated by the Republicans, there would have been no way to launch a legislative-branch inquiry into his misdeeds. The Special Prosecutor’s probe served as a fortuitous substitute. Even though it was implausible from the start that collusion with Russia by Trump and his team swung the election, there were enough signs of deals with Russian political operatives and business figures to justify a probe. The appointment of a Department of Justice Special Prosecutor, though not initiated by the Democrats, was a gift to them.
During the administration’s initial two-year period, although the Democrats were out of power, Trump was under a cloud. The Special Prosecutor’s appointment was not based on a phony pretext – Russians had been involved in the election and Trump and his cohorts had encouraged them, although the Americans’ efforts were eventually judged by Mueller not to be criminal. In the course of the investigation, all manner of gangsterish tactics, sleazy cover-ups, and actual crimes were disclosed by Mueller and his counterparts in the Southern District of New York. Though almost none of them directly related to the ostensible subject of the probe, they compromised and unsettled Trump.