Mueller Hearing Reveals Dangers Of Politicized ‘Dirty Laundry’ Report Amid His Hapless Testimony
If Democrats were hoping for a ‘BOMBSHELL’ moment in Wednesday’s testimony from Robert Mueller, the former Special Counsel charged with investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential elections and President Donald Trump’s campaign, they were sadly mistaken in their estimates.
Mueller’s testimony to the House Judiciary Committee proved one thing: He was not fully aware of the details in his own report and sadly, he had a difficult time answering the most simplest of questions. It was painful.
In fact, during the hearing Democrats pounded on so-called ‘obstruction’ issues mainly contained in Volume Two of the more than 485 page Special Counsel report, while Republicans focused on exculpatory evidence that Mueller’s report kept from the public. Republicans also pointed out the failure by the Special Counsel to investigate the full scope of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, such as the information obtained by former British spy Christopher Steele to compile his now debunked dossier on the Trump campaign.
Republicans, who spoke to SaraACarter.com after the hearing, said Mueller’s testimony backfired on Democrats, who are still intent on moving forward with impeachment against the president.
“Hill Republicans are breathing a sigh of relief today,” said a congressional official. “Nothing new. No bombshells. Democrats can’t further their impeachment efforts. Mueller looks old and unsure of his own report. If Democrats keep up with these investigations, the American people will see right through it.”
It appeared, the former longest serving FBI Director was used not just used by Democrats to push this theatrical hearing but by prosecutors on his Special Counsel team to push a highly politicized investigation into the Trump administration. In fact, Mueller contradicted himself on numerous occasions, particularly with the issue regarding obstruction and the failure by prosecutors to make a decision on whether or not President Trump obstructed.
What was clear, based on Mueller’s own testimony was that his investigation was never impeded and of course, he was never fired by Trump. It was evident that significant exculpatory evidence was also left out of the report and it was obvious that the second volume of the Mueller report regarding obstruction was intended to release ‘dirty laundry’ of private conversations between Trump and staff to create an illusion that the president obstructed.
The president’s private conversations, or outbursts of frustration, listed at exhaustion in volume two of the Mueller report ‘exposed a very frustrated man being accused of the worst crime and one he never committed,” said one senior congressional official. “It was never obstruction. And there was no evidence of any conspiracy with Russia.”
The drafting and the publication of some of the information in this report, without an indictment, without prosecution, frankly flies in the face of American justice and I find those facts in this entire process un-American, Rep. Reschenthaler
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, R-Pennsylvania, succinctly questioned Mueller on how airing ‘dirty laundry’ as he listed the reasons for those concerns under the ‘independent counsel statute’ and quoting former Attorney General Janet Reno, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton.
Reschenthaler noted that the Clinton Administration allowed the independent counsel statute to expire after Ken Starr’s investigation investigation into Clinton, which led to his impeachment.
Reading from Reno he said, ‘We believe that information obtained during a criminal investigation should, in most cases, be made public only if there is an indictment and prosecution not in a lengthy and detailed report filed after a decision has been made not to prosecute. The final report provides a forum for unfairly airing a target’s dirty laundry and it also creates, yet another incentive for an independent counsel to over investigate in order to justify his or her tenure and to avoid criticism that the independent counsel may have left a stone unturned.”
“Again, Mr. Mueller, those are AG Reno’s exact words. Didn’t you do exactly what AG Reno feared? Didn’t you publish a lengthy report unfairly airing the target’s dirty laundry without recommending charges,” Reschenthaler said.
“I disagree with that,” said Mueller, who refused to answer if any of the witnesses in the report had a opportunity to question the characterization of how they were portrayed or be cross examined.
“Well what you did is you compiled a nearly 450 pages of the very worst information you gathered against the target of you investigation who happens to be the President of the United States, and you did this knowing that you were not going to recommend charges and that the report would be made public,” he told Mueller.
Mueller said “not true.”
In which, Rechenthaler responded, “Mr. Mueller, as a former officer in the United States JAG Corps, I prosecuted nearly 100 terrorists in a Baghdad courtroom, I cross-examined the butcher of Fallujah in defense of our Navy Seals. As a civilian, I was elected a magisterial judge of Pennsylvania so I’m very well-versed in the American legal system. The drafting and the publication of some of the information in this report, without an indictment, without prosecution, frankly flies in the face of American justice and I find those facts in this entire process un-American.”
Christopher Steele’s Russian Dirty Dossier
Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, also pounded Mueller on the dossier’s author, Steele, who had gathered now debunked information from Russian sources to put together his report on Trump.
“Director Mueller, can you state with confidence that the Steele dossier was not part Russia’s disinformation campaign,” Gaetz asked.
Mueller replied, “in my opening statement, that part of building of case predated me by at least 10 months.”
Gaetz then slammed back that “Manafort’s alleged crimes regarding tax evasion predated you but you didn’t have a problem charging him. Matter of fact, this Steele dossier predated the attorney general and he had no problem answering the question. When Senator Cornyn asked the Attorney General the exact question I asked you Director, the Attorney General said, and I’m quoting: ‘no, I can’t state that with confidence and that’s one of the areas I’m reviewing. I’m concerned about it and I don’t think it’s entirely speculative.”
Gaetz then added that “Steele’s reporting is referenced in your report. Steele reported to the FBI that senior Russian foreign ministry figures along with other Russians told him, and I’m quoting from the Steele dossier: “extensive evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign team and the kremlin.” Here’s my question: Did the Russians really tell that to Christopher Steele, or did he just make it all up and was he lying to the FBI?”
“Let me back up just a second if I could,” said Mueller. “I said earlier with regard to the Steele that is beyond my purview.”
“No, it is exactly your purview Director Mueller and here’s why,” said Gaetz. “Only one of two things are possible, right? Either, Steele made all this up and there were never any Russians ever telling him of this vast conspiracy that you didn’t find. Or Russians lied to Steele.
Now, if Russians were lying to Steele to undermine our confidence in our duly elected president that would seem to be precisely in your purview because you stated in your opening that your organizing principle was to fully and thoroughly investigate Russian’s interference.
But you weren’t interested in whether or not Russians were interfering through Christopher Steele, and if Steele was lying, you should have charged him for lying like you’ve charged a variety of other people. But you say nothing about this in your report. Meanwhile director, you are quite loquacious on other topics,” Gaetz added.