Did Robert Mueller look good during parts of the two hearings today?
No, he did not. That should be conceded.
It does not matter how well Mueller looked because he confirmed the findings in his approximate 450-page report (that most of the nation’s citizens have not read) in two hearings (one before the House Judiciary and the other before the House Intelligence) which are:
- The Russians interfered with the 2016 election. There is a worry that Russia and other bad actors will interfere again in 2020.
- The Russians attempted to work with persons in the Trump campaign (like Paul Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr.) to steer the outcome against Hillary Clinton. In Campaign Chair Paul Manafort’s case, he gave campaign material to Russian Intelligence Operatives.
- Individuals in the Trump Campaign and orbit (Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Roger Stone, Richard Gates, and George Papadopoulos) have been indicted and most have been convicted for lying and other crimes related partially to their roles in the campaign. Mr. Stone, this generations Gordon Liddy, is the only one that has not been convicted. Hist trial has to still occur. Overall, 34 people, including people in Mr. Trump’s sphere and Russsian intelligence assets, have been indicted or convicted.
- Mr. Trump, contrary to his assertions, was not a fully cooperative witness, stonewalled giving a personal interview, avoided answering initial and followup written questions, causing Mr. Mueller to state that he could not vouch for his (Trump’s) credibility.
- Mr. Trump’s actions on several occasions (especially in his interactions with then-White House Don McGahn) showed attempts at or outright obstruction of the investigation.
- Again, despite Mr. Trump’s contention, Mr. Mueller, within the first two minutes of the hearing, said that his report did not “exonerate” the 2016 Popular Vote Loser.
- The President can be indicted after he leaves office (hopefully January 2021).
- Congress has tools (like impeachment) to take care of this matter themselves.
The Democrats deserve credit for systematically dissecting the key aspects of the Mueller Report and connecting the dots that allowed Mr. Mueller to expose that Mr. Trump and his people as liars, unfit to serve, and potential and actual Felons.
Unfortunately, the Republicans, knowing that Mr. Mueller could not comment on ongoing investigations, did score some points in confusing their base by asking the former F.B.I. Director questions about topics like the Steele Dossier that he could not, per Justice Department Guidelines, respond to.
Michael Muscato, a 2020 Democratic Congressional District Eight Candidate looking to replace current incumbent (and Judiciary Member Debbie Lesko) commented that:
“Debbie Lesko’s performance while questioning Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller in the House Judiciary Committee hearing today was an embarrassment. It is an insult to professional law enforcement to suggest that they act with anything other than total integrity when undertaking an investigation as serious as Russian interference with our elections or possible obstruction of justice by the president. It demeans their public service to suggest that watching TV or citing news articles is the driving force behind their work. It weakens public trust in their government and plays into the hands of our enemies.
Maybe watching only Fox News is how she gets her information, but anyone, such as myself, who has read every single word of the Mueller report will tell you, the key source of findings of that report was good, solid, documented professional investigative legwork. There is simply no way she has read the entire report. Rather she relied upon poorly reasoned partisan talking points given to her, and used innuendo and fear to undermine the significance and facts contained in the report, again, playing into the hands of our enemies. Robert Mueller put her in her place and Lesko’s stumbling and flustering were clear proof for all of America and Arizona’s CD8 to see that she was unprepared for the task of representing our country and our district.
The Mueller Report proves without question a hostile foreign power interfered with our election and what does Debbie Lesko do? She attempts to undermine the findings of the investigation and the investigators to defend Russian interference. Who’s side is she on?
Maybe Lesko chooses to look the other way, but that means she is failing to uphold her oath to protect and defend our Constitution and our Democracy. Today she proved she won’t defend the rule of law if not doing so benefits her party. I believe our country and our hometown are always worth fighting for regardless of a political party. We’re all Americans, first.”
Stephanie Rimmer, a 2020 Democratic Congressional District Six Candidate looking to ultimately defeat David Schweikert commented that:
“Today’s testimony was no surprise. The Democrats need to get out of the hearings and onto the house floor where they have the power to make a difference. We cannot abandon this investigation. But we also cannot abandon the reforms needing our attention. We must safeguard our elections, pass automatic voter registrations, enact campaign finance reform, restrict corporate and other special interest PAC contributions, increase transparency in our political system and so much more. The judiciary committee is doing a great job”
What happens now?
Democrats need to intensify their efforts and bring Don McGahn and other pertinent witnesses before Congress. They need to accelerate their fight against the obstruction from the White House towards House issued subpoenas and not give up the fight to get to the truth.
Congress needs to pass Election Security Reforms. Why is Obstructionist in Chief-Grim Reaper-Enemy of the People Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocking consideration of both the House Bill and the bipartisan Senate bill partially authored by Minnesota Senator and Presidential Candidate Amy Klobuchar?
Finally, Democratic candidates for every office do need to make this an issue in the 2020 campaign. Health care, fighting poverty, infrastructure, foreign relations are all vital issues that Democrats need to address.
So is exposing the leader of the country as an unfit racist lying dishonorable potential felon fascist demagogue who embarrasses and stains the office he presides over every day.