August 22, 2019

The Mueller Show Was a Bust

“The only person in Washington happier than Donald Trump about Robert Mueller’s Wednesday appearance before Congress is Nancy Pelosi. The House Speaker’s impeachment caucus had hoped the hearing would mobilize new public support despite her opposition, but it was more likely their last gasp.

Mr. Mueller provided little news during his many hours before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Democrats strained to place their obstruction of justice and Russia collusion theories in his mouth, but Mr. Mueller stuck to the script of his 448-page report. He even refused to read aloud from that document—denying Democrats an audio version for their TV ads.

Democrat Ted Lieu (California) sought to lure Mr. Mueller into saying he would have indicted Mr. Trump for obstruction if he weren’t a sitting President. “That is not the correct way to say it,” Mr. Mueller said. “As we say in the report and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime.”

Mr. Mueller also refused to answer Republican queries about why he didn’t fully explore the origins of the Russia-Trump conspiracy story, including the Steele dossier that was used to gain a warrant to spy on a Trump campaign adviser. Mr. Mueller said those issues were “beyond” his “purview,” though Russia’s election interference was central to his mandate. Mr. Mueller probably didn’t want to question the performance of the FBI he led for more than a decade.”

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