Shrugs And Impatience: Waiting To See What Mueller Reported

Mar 23, 2019, 2:27 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:13 pm
U.S. Attorney General William Barr (L) departs his home March 23, 2019 in McLean, Virginia. Special Counsel Robert Mueller delivered the report from his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election to Barr yesterday and Barr is expected to brief members of Congress on the report this weekend. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With the long-awaited special counsel’s investigation done but its contents still shrouded in mystery, Americans waited for details, yawned with boredom or stayed fixed to their long-cemented positions on President Donald Trump, the man at the probe’s center.

For all the expected splash of Robert Mueller’s report, it arrived with more of a thud, thanks to the secrecy surrounding it. Few saw any reason to think it would sway many opinions in a divided republic but, across ideology, many expressed relief the investigation was finally over.

Bubba Metts, a 61-year-old conservative who is a financial adviser in Lexington, South Carolina, said whatever Mueller’s report says, opponents of Trump aren’t going to change their minds

“Now maybe we can move on to better things,” he said. “Twenty million dollars spent — for nothing.”

Dajah Harris, 21, a college senior at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, is a Democrat and no fan of Trump. But she saw the investigation as a distraction from more important things like the border wall, homelessness, college debt and welfare programs. The country should never have elected someone, she said, whose background raises such questions.

“I don’t feel that where the country is right now that this is something we should even be discussing,” she said.

Mueller worked in virtual silence as a stream of charges have flowed forth against 37 people and companies. From the start, with his appointment on May 17, 2017, some have framed his work as a battle of good and evil of biblical proportions.

And on the 675th day, Mueller finished his work, and he rested. But nothing immediately changed for those who had watched with bated breath.

For Mark Itzen, a 64-year-old social worker from Levittown, Pennsylvania, it was a frustrating reality.

“The most disturbing thing for me is that we don’t know the details,” the Democrat said. “I thought we have the right to know right off the bat after all this anticipation.”

Expectations remained high for some sort of explosive revelation, but what exactly it might be remained anyone’s guess.

For liberals who welcomed the investigation with gleeful shouts of “It’s Mueller Time!” and anxiously awaited justice that aligns with their view of Trump as Antichrist, it seemed the endless billows of smoke would surely produce evidence of fire. For conservatives who subscribed to the president’s view of the probe as a witch hunt and dismissed it as the misguided tomfoolery of a bitter opposition whose search for retribution is as loopy as its policies, it seemed certain to bring exoneration to Trump and maybe even a roadmap for future victory by him and his party.

Jason Cox, a 51-year-old farmer in Campbellsville, Kentucky, who voted for Trump in 2016 and plans to again next year, saw it the way Trump framed it — as a witch hunt.

“It didn’t turn out, it seems to me, the way Democrats wanted,” he said. “I think Pelosi and Schumer are going to just keep beating and badgering and looking for something.”

Stan Pearson, 69, a retired math professor in Newport News, Virginia, was among Trump detractors who had high hopes for the report: The start of impeachment proceedings and charges of treason. He called Trump’s election the “worst experiment ever in our history,” and is not convinced Attorney General William Barr will release the full report.

“We may well have to settle for what we can salvage,” Pearson said.

Paul Rosenzweig, a fellow at the conservative R Street Institute and a former legal adviser to Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation, said the public’s expectations of Mueller were overblown — in part because the investigation has been poorly explained by a press that has persisted in suggesting the report would be a blockbuster.

“It’s exclusively media hype with a little bit of political spin,” he said. “Mostly it’s been the media looking for a hook and trying to make Mueller into more than he is.”

Tom Merrill, a 35-year-old health policy research consultant in Salt Lake City and left-leaning independent voter, said people on either end of the ideological spectrum will likely find things in the report to support their point of view, but the results might sway some moderates who held their noses and voted for Trump despite lingering questions about his character.

“People in the middle might say, I took a risk in voting for this person and this is more than I bargained for,” he said. “I think the middle will become decided one way or the other.”

Shaela and Cindy Buchanan were tackling chores Saturday morning at the Lost Sock Laundromat in Wichita, Kansas, when the topic of Mueller was raised.

“Which one is Mueller?” asked Cindy, a 51-year-old manager at a paint company.

She doesn’t follow politics closely but liked Trump at first. The questions about Russia, though, caused the 51-year-old paint company manager to reconsider. Her 48-year-old wife Shaela, who considers herself a political independent, sees Trump as “bought and paid for” while regular people live paycheck to paycheck. She doubts Mueller’s report ultimately does anything to change that.

“I don’t feel it is over once it is released,” Shaela Buchanan said. “People any more they have suffered to the point they don’t have any power — it doesn’t matter.”


Sedensky can be reached at msedensky@ap.org and https://twitter.com/sedensky


Contributing to this report were Mike Catalini in Morrisville, Pennsylvania; Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia; Claire Galofaro in Louisville, Kentucky; Allen Breed in Wake Forest, North Carolina; Jennifer McDermott in Providence, Rhode Island; Adam Beam in Frankfort, Kentucky; Lindsay Whitehurst in Salt Lake City, Utah; Hannah Grabenstein in Little Rock, Arkansas; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina; Roxana Hegeman in Wichita, Kansas; Sarah Blake Morgan in Charlotte, North Carolina; and Elliott Spagat in Solana Beach, California.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories


Authorities stand guard by a fence outside the Supreme Court following Supreme Court's decision to ...
DÁNICA COTO and CARA ANNA Associated Press

US abortion ruling sparks global debate, polarizes activists

The end of constitutional protections for abortions in the United States has pemboldened abortion opponents around the world, while advocates of abortion rights worry the Supreme Court ruling could threaten recent moves toward legalization in their countries.
1 day ago
Meeting of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy with representatives of foreign media. (Ukrainia...
Associated Press

NOT REAL NEWS: A look at what didn’t happen this week

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked them out. Here are the facts
1 day ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Jacob King - WPA Pool/Getty Images)...
MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer

Moderna COVID-19 shots now an option for older kids in US

There is now a second COVID-19 option for kids ages 6 to 17 in the U.S.
1 day ago
A United Airlines plane lands at San Francisco International Airport on March 07, 2022 in San Franc...
DAVID KOENIG, AP Airlines Writer

Pilots in line for big raises amid global travel disruptions

The largest pilots union has approved a contract that would boost the pay of pilots at United Airlines by more than 14% over the next 18 months, potentially clearing the way for similar wage hikes throughout the industry.
1 day ago
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stands with fellow Democrats holding photographs of the vi...
ALAN FRAM, Associated Press

Congress sends landmark gun violence compromise to Biden

The House has sent President Joe Biden the most wide-ranging gun violence bill Congress has passed in decades.
1 day ago
President Biden addresses the Supreme Court’s decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organiz...
CHRIS MEGERIAN, Associated Press

Biden calls abortion ruling ‘a sad day’ for country

President Joe Biden will speak from the White House about the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision that legalized abortion nationwide.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Shrugs And Impatience: Waiting To See What Mueller Reported