Roger Stone is the shiny object. The obstruction charges in his long-anticipated indictment, made public on Friday, are not the matter of consequence for the United States.
Nor is the critical thing the indictment’s implicit confirmation that there was no criminal “collusion” conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia.
What matters is this: The indictment is just the latest blatant demonstration that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office, the Department of Justice, and the FBI have known for many months that there was no such conspiracy. And yet, fully aware that the Obama administration, the Justice Department, and the FBI had assiduously crafted a public narrative that Trump may have been in cahoots with the Russian regime, they have allowed that cloud of suspicion to hover over the presidency — over the Trump administration’s efforts to govern — heedless of the damage to the country.