Pity poor Robert Mueller III, if you can.
For nearly six excruciating hours last week, Mr. Mueller had to endure, in real time, the crumbling of his last vestige of professional integrity. As career enders go, this one ranks with that of a certain Senator from Wisconsin.
As viewers of CNN, Fox, MSNBC, and the Bid Three broadcaster watched, Mueller was well and truly seared by the Republicans, who at last, it must be noted, found their long-lost spine.
As to the testimony itself, there is nothing Mueller had to say that was unknown to those with a casual interest- Mueller’s investigative team of closet Clintonites had found no evidence of “collusion”, and there was no evidence of any kind of conspiracy between Trump and the Russians. His report he considered final, and did not consider it his job to “exonerate” Trump from obstruction of justice. He was absolutely right. Again, no surprises here.
What was fascinating was that the Committee’s Republicans came loaded for bear. In instance after instance, they took the opportunity to shred the Mueller report, it’s investigative processes, and its authors (who, we can now surmise, did not include Mueller himself). They exposed the man as profoundly unfamiliar with the work that bears his name, the report for which the American taxpayer spent $42 million. There is little question that Mueller did not even write his own statement disputing Attorney General Barr’s summary of the report.
One could read from a list of major donors & supporters of Hillary Clinton, and a list of Mueller’s legal and investigative team charged with looking into this whole affair, and credibly not know which list he was reading. Some of the closet hacks on his team were so embarrassingly brazen in their public or private condemnations of Trump that the old cop had to fire them.
Republican committee members successfully took the general public on a trip back in time, to the origins of the collusion theory in spring of 2016. Joesph Mifsud, an academic and foreign intelligence agent from Malta, told a low-level Trump staffer that the Russian government had Hillary Clinton’s emails, gleaned from her illegal “home brew” server. The Republicans focused on the dossier as the primary impetus, and indeed the foundation, of the whole Trump-Russia hoax. British spy Christopher Steele had marketed the dossier, full of disinformation made from whole cloth by the Russians, to the Clinton campaign. Clinton paid good money for the dossier through her own intel firm, Fusion GPS (also financed through Clinton campaign money); who then eagerly passed it on to the FBI. All in all, a beautiful, classic setup by Clinton, Inc. No wonder Hillary was so calm in the Clinton-Trump debates.
Mueller deflected all these lines of questioning, claiming, incredulously, they were outside his purview. The old fed had desired to produce the results of his investigation and leave it at that, preferring the Justice Department and Attorney General Barr to decide to call or hold pat.
Instead, Mueller found himself in the crosshairs of a Democrat-led committee, under the auspices of Nadler, who desired Mueller to give a recitation of the great sins of the Trump 2016 campaign. Mr. Mueller could do nothing of the sort. Rather, he was left as raw meat to Republican cross examination that has publicly sounded a sour final note on the long career of one Bobby Three-Sticks.
If the Democrats pursue this further, and perhaps they will have to in order to placate their increasingly rabid base, they will find, for once, a united GOP ready to fight and to win. That was the message sent last week by the Republicans in the House. Their instincts and their polling tell them the median Republican voter is furious at this two-year-long theatre of the absurd, and is ready to say it with votes come November 2020.