The special counsel’s investigation of Russian influence in the 2016 election is attriting.

It’s not too late for special counsel Mueller’s probe to complete its task. But the brickbats and Bronx cheers–plus disturbing silences–aimed at the investigation come from a coterie of people who have no association other than mutually dumping on Mueller. And Mueller’s non-responses don’t help.

Who and what is mounting or acquiescing in the opposition?

Trump. Always in high dudgeon, his tweeterama, rally eruptions and never-evers are the classic Excedrin headache for any opponent. Here, like a mongoose or dog-with-a-bone, Trump chews the hell out of Mueller from dawn to dusk. Said to be directed at his “base,” our chief executive’s rants have an impact on many ordinary Americans who don’t like government anyway.

He is effective in undermining the investigation with many Americans.

Mueller. Like “Old Man River,” he “don’t say nothing” and keeps on rolling along. He thinks it inappropriate and unethical to comment on slander or falsehood so chooses silence. His loudest silence is his failure to respond to Rudy Giuliani’s announcements that Mueller agrees that Trump cannot be indicted and that Mueller will wrap up his inquiry into obstruction of justice by September 1. Certainly Giuliani must be delighted to take on the task of Mueller’s spox without fear of denial  or correction by the principal.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders would like that deal.

Certainly a prosecutor’s silence must be subject to some rule of reason. Falsehoods must be corrected else, for all we know, Giuliani’s characterizations are accurate.

And a prosecutor’s office has to have rules. Defense counsel cannot publicly quote conversations with the prosecutor unless authorized to do so. Mueller might mention that to Giuliani.

Giuliani. Acting as a judge, counselor, grand know-it-all of all things, and fearsome opponent, Rudy is in a perpetual gabfest about Mueller’s investigation. He is rooming at the cablenets, probably next door to Michael Avenatti. The gist is that the whole thing is a crock. That position would obtain with Rudy even if Trump shot someone on Fifth Avenue (as Trump himself predicted during the campaign would cause not even a ruckus among his proponents).

But Giuliani’s certainty of all things has an effect on the public when there is no one calling him out.

The Sacred Office of the President Gang. This includes Harvard Emeritus Professor Alan M. Dershowitz, author of the following: “The defendant wants to hide the truth because he’s generally guilty. The defense attorney’s job is to make sure the jury does not arrive at that truth.” He wasn’t talking about Trump in those days.

The basic argument with this gang is that the president is not a person. He’s an institution defined by the Constitution. As an institution, he has broad, plenary powers to do whatever he wants including hiring and firing everyone in the executive branch (he can’t do that to members of Congress or Article Three judges) even when he might have committed crimes they are investigating.

Any lesser view of the Office of the President, like an investigation of the president’s alleged crimes, damages the republic because the individual occupying the office can be deterred from performing his duties to the nation when being called to justice, they say. This view is that if the President is a crook, criminal laws cannot catch up with him. You wonder why some people say “the law is a ass.”

A corollary comes from Mark Penn.  Penn says that the Office of the President is being decimated by the “deep state,” folks in government who are there before and after the current occupant who want to be in control and want to destroy the institution by hitting the person now in office. The “deep state” doesn’t like Trump, it is argued, so they want to get rid of him to enhance their power. This view reminds me of a statement made in another context by legendary United States Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau about defendant Roy M. Cohn: “A person should not get away with crime just because the United States Attorney doesn’t like him.”

These alleged purists can be effective in undermining Mueller and his staff.

Comey. His value as a witness in any proceeding that may arise from the Mueller probe is diminished by his violation of Department of Justice rules in the investigation of Hillary Clinton. To the degree that he is important to the charges that Mueller may allege by way of indictment or report, his behavior in the Clinton case diminishes them.

Comey’s misdeeds may rub off on Mueller.

Congressional Republicans, Vocal and Silent. The vocal ones are represented by Cong. Devin Nunes, a Trump emissary, who is actually making progress in achieving disclosure of Department of Justice files in an active criminal investigation, an unheard of outrage not remotely connected to congressional oversight. The silent ones are the vast majority of Republicans in the House and most Republicans in the Senate, including the entire leadership, who decline to criticize the president.

Both the vocal and the silent are effective in damaging the Mueller investigation but those remaining silent are the most offensive.

Those damaging the Mueller investigation, including Trump, Giuliani, Office of the President “purists,” Comey, congressional Republicans and Mueller himself through his failure to correct the record when it urgently needs correction, may face the likelihood that facts yet to be revealed and proven will win the day.