The Slatest

Today’s Impeach-O-Meter: It’s All on Robert Mueller Now, and James Comey Says That’s a Good Thing

Artist’s rendering of the feeling that you get when you fire one dogged, impartial FBI director who’s investigating your advisers only to find out that they’ll now be investigated by another dogged, impartial FBI director.

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

In the tradition of the Clintonometer and the Trump Apocalypse Watch, the Impeach-O-Meter is a wildly subjective and speculative daily estimate of the likelihood that Donald Trump leaves office before his term ends, whether by being impeached (and convicted) or by resigning under threat of same.

Former FBI Director James Comey was very careful during his Thursday Senate testimony not to discuss any specifics he might know about the Trump campaign’s potentially criminal connections to Russia, nor to state a personal opinion about whether Donald Trump is guilty of committing obstruction of justice. Comey did, however, repeatedly praise Russia special counsel Robert Mueller, himself a former FBI director who was appointed by the Justice Department after Comey’s firing, as a thorough and trustworthy investigator:

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  • “Bob Mueller is one of the finest people and public servants this country has ever produced. He will do it well. He’s a dogged-tough person and you can have high confidence when he’s done, he’s turned over all of the rocks.”
  • “The appointment of a special counsel should offer great—especially given who that person is—great comfort to Americans, no matter what your political affiliation is, that this will be done independently, confidently and honestly.”
  • “The Russia investigation itself is vital. … And I know I should have said this earlier, but it’s obvious. If any Americans were part of helping the Russians [interfere with the 2016 election], that is a very big deal. And I’m confident that if that is the case, director Mueller will find that evidence.”

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Comey, to a fault, believes in publicly defending the ideals of objectivity and nonpartisanship; it’s significant that he went out of his way so many times to vouch for Mueller’s independence and reliability. If you think it’s likely that Donald Trump has already abused his office enough to justify removal from it, Comey is promising that the Trump administration will not be able to prevent Mueller from letting the public know—in a fashion that is itself unimpeachable, as it were—exactly how he’s done so. Raise the meter!

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Peter Parks-Pool/Getty Images.

Photo illustration by Natalie Matthews-Ramo. Photos by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images, Drew Angerer/Getty Images, and Peter Parks-Pool/Getty Images.

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