Shouts & Murmurs
July 10 & 17, 2017 Issue
Surprise Outcomes to the Mueller Probe
By Yoni Brenner
Scenario 1: Despite months of veiled threats and outright obstruction, Robert Mueller heroically completes the investigation in early December. The conclusions are shocking. Not only did Paul Manafort directly collude with Russian intelligence to hack the D.N.C., the evidence confirms, but Jeff Sessions was in such frequent contact with Sergey Kislyak that they would often both fall asleep while FaceTiming. The Steele dossier is entirely confirmed, and new data analysis reveals that the hundred and seven thousand decisive Trump votes in the Rust Belt were all cast by Russian prostitutes.
The President and the Vice-President are swiftly impeached, and indictments are issued at every level of the Trump Administration. Curiously, the only figure to emerge unscathed is Michael Flynn, whom Mueller pronounces “totally innocent of everything” and also a “good guy.”
Scenario 2: In mid-July, Rod Rosenstein finally caves to pressure from the White House and fires Mueller, replacing him with the President’s preferred candidate, Roger Stone. Stone promptly pink-slips Mueller’s team of ace prosecutors and intelligence veterans in favor of a gaggle of sexy bikini models from around the world. Operations are relocated from the Justice Department to an ersatz grotto on the grounds of Mar-a-Lago, complete with live sea turtles, a taxpayer-funded d.j., and a full-time “Daiquiri Consultant.”
But, three weeks into Stone’s tenure, reports emerge that President Trump has soured on the investigation, apparently fixated on the fact that several of the sea turtles “look like Dems.” Stone is fired, and Trump takes to Twitter to invite citizens to tune in on Monday night for the “surprise announcement” of the new “totally phenomenal” special counsel—even though everyone knows it’s Jared Kushner.
Scenario 3: Less than forty-eight hours before Mueller is scheduled to report his findings, Rosenstein suspends the investigation after receiving an anonymous tip from a man with a Queens accent that the special counsel is not Robert Mueller—the universally admired former head of the F.B.I.—but Bobert Mueller, his heretofore unknown evil twin, thus rendering the entire investigation invalid.
Scenario 4: In September, returning home after a long day at the Justice Department, Mueller is seized by a dozen men in ski masks and thrown into the back of a van. He awakens two days later, floating in the Mediterranean, with no recollection of who he is or how he got there. The only clues to his identity are a tube of Brylcreem and an expired gym membership to the Y.M.C.A. in Alexandria, Virginia. Fortunately, that’s all he needs. In the course of the next month, Mueller cuts a violent swath through Europe—killing no less than six people with his bare hands—zigzagging from Marseilles to Vienna to Moscow, as he pieces together his identity. Mueller returns to the United States a hero, and announces his intention to resume his role as special counsel—at which point President Trump fires him.
Scenario 5: Two hours after being fired by President Trump, Mueller receives a text message from James Comey that reads “U know what we have 2 do.”
Three weeks later, a dynamic production of “Cabaret” opens at a small theatre in the East Village, starring Mueller as the gender-fluid m.c. and Comey as a leggy, defiant Sally Bowles, both of them having decided that, when bureaucracies fail, it is left to Art to speak truth to power. At the end of the show, the cast receives a standing ovation. Tragically, on the second night, Mueller strains his back during the kick-line routine in Act II. He is replaced for the rest of the run by Josh Groban.
Scenario 6: After a rocky beginning, Mueller and his staff manage to convince the President of their integrity, and the investigation proceeds apace, with the full coöperation of the White House. In August, Mueller convenes a press conference, at which he announces that—besides a few minor faux pas—the Trump campaign team acted legally and honorably during the 2016 election and the transition. He also praises Jared Kushner’s “smart and totally legal dealmaking” with a Kremlin-controlled bank, describing him as a “real whiz kid” and “probably a genius.” Mueller concludes the conference by urging the media to offer a full apology to Michael Flynn, whom he pronounces “totally innocent of everything” and also a “good guy.” ♦
Yoni Brenner writes for film and television, and has contributed humor pieces to the magazine since 2007. He is currently developing a show for HBO.Read more »
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