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Many Claimed Countless Times Over The Last 2 Years That ‘Mueller Is Closing In’ — Then He Filed His Report

REUTERS/Joshua Roberts/File Photo

Jon Brown Associate Editor

After news broke Friday that the Mueller report was finished and no more indictments were forthcoming, the walls “closed in” around an ominous phrase that many political and media figures used frequently over the past two years.

Presumably hoping that his two-year inquiry would lead to President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, many verified Twitter accounts had described special counsel Robert Mueller as “closing in” around the president at various times throughout the investigation.

FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, listens during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing about the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Robert Mueller, as FBI director, listens during a U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing about the Federal Bureau of Investigation on Capitol Hill in Washington, June 19, 2013. REUTERS/Larry Downing/File Photo

One of the earliest uses of the phrase seems to be from a tweet by Foreign Policy magazine that touted a column by Max Boot, a Washington Post columnist and senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations. “Trump should be scared,” the tweet warned. “Robert Mueller is closing in on him.”

Written June 2017, a month after the special counsel’s appointment, Boot’s piece claimed that Trump was terrified in light of Mueller’s character—”universally respected for his integrity and doggedness”—and the tenacious competence of his “hunter-killer team of crack investigators and lawyers.” He asserted that “what worries Trump is not that Mueller may be a Democratic partisan […] but that the Marine combat veteran cannot be bought off or intimidated.” (RELATED: To Be A Daily Caller Intern In DC During The Trump Era)

Boot teamed up later that year with Max Bergman, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, to write a December 2017 column for The Guardian about how much further Mueller had “closed in.” “Mueller is coming,” they predicted in the wake of the indictments of Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn. (RELATED: Michael Flynn Charged With Making False Statement To The FBI)

Claiming that Mueller’s indictments were moving closer and closer into the president’s inner circle, Bergman and Boot argued that an indictment of Trump was inevitable, for which reason Congress was duty-bound to pass legislation preventing the investigation from being shut down.

Over the years, the “closing in” analogy seemingly became a mantra among those who anxiously awaited Mueller to sound the death knell of the Trump presidency.

Former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen departs after he testified behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former Trump personal attorney Michael Cohen departs after he testified behind closed doors before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former Democratic California Gov. Jerry Brown went after Trump and then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions on March 7, 2018, after the Department of Justice sued the state of California for failing to enforce federal immigration law. Brown dismissed the lawsuit as a “political stunt” enacted by an attorney general who could not be normal because Mueller was “closing in” and about to issue more indictments. (RELATED: California Gov. Channels Trump In Response To DOJ Lawsuit)

Outspoken liberal Hollywood director Rob Reiner, who became famous in the 1970s playing progressive layabout Michael “Meathead” Stivic on “All in the Family,” claimed on May 10, 2018, that Vice President Mike Pence’s call for an end to the Mueller investigation was an indication that “the special counsel is closing in on guilt” and that Trump “doesn’t know whether to shit or wind his watch.”

Former CIA Director John O. Brennan said Dec. 7, 2018, on “Morning Joe” that “Mr. Trump is seeing more and more of the walls closing in on him, which is why he’s becoming increasingly desperate.” (FLASHBACK: John Brennan Predicted Additional Mueller Indictments Just Two Weeks Ago)

Politico quoted multimedia journalist Chris Whipple in December 2018 as saying, “This White House is headed into a world of trouble — a Democratic Congress, Mueller closing in, and anybody who comes into this White House has to be thinking about lawyering up.”

The Democratic Party’s National Lawyers Council chair Andrew Weinstein scolded Trump for the impending government shutdown on Dec. 20, tweeting, “The economy is slowing, the Dow is tanking, Mueller is closing in, North Korea still has nukes, Putin is getting his way in Syria, and yet Republicans in Congress are willing to shutdown the government over Trump’s stupid wall that Mexico was supposed to pay for. What a disgrace.”

On the same day, executive producer of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Andy Lassner, tweeted, “Trump knows Mueller is closing in fast. So now, he’s gonna bring down the whole fucking thing with him. Brace yourselves.”

When BuzzFeed reported on Jan. 17, 2019 that Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen told investigators that the president had instructed him to lie to Congress, former CBS news anchor Dan Rather tweeted that the bombshell, if true, was “a political earthquake” and concluded that “the walls do appear to be closing in” around Trump. Mueller’s office personally denied BuzzFeed’s story the next day, in a rare public statement. (RELATED: Mueller’s Office Disputes BuzzFeed’s Report)

Since Mueller delivered his report to Attorney General William Barr with no further indictments, many pundits have been comparatively muted as the walls have seemingly stopped closing in for now. As Reuters tweeted Friday, “Robert Mueller is closing up shop …”

Max Boot reminded his Twitter followers Saturday that “Trump is doing great damage even when he is not violating the law.”

“I figured I would go on Twitter to suggest we all give social media a break until we actually have something to read and talk about,” Dan Rather reflected Saturday afternoon. “Maybe take a walk? Call an old friend? Read a book? Check out college basketball…”

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