I have been very critical of Robert Muller. I shared my thoughts on Muller’s report. Yesterday, I wrote questions I wanted to see Muller answer today. With as much as I have read about, listened to, and thought about Muller and his report, I would have never imagined his testimony going the way it did.
Since today was a workday, I only saw his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee and clips from his testimony to the House Intelligence Committee. Still, I feel confident in describingg what happened.
The three biggest ideas for me are: Muller was the wrong man for the job; Democrats were more interested in selling themselves than getting to the truth; and an impeachment inquiry is now a must. I would mention that the Republican Party is an embarrassing bunch of pathetic followers, but anyone who has been following politics since November of 2016 knows that.
I don’t want to be rude. I will say this nicely. Robert Muller is years past his prime.
At times he seemed confused. He stumbled over words and sentences. He was easily knocked off of his train of thought. For our purposes,the worst part of this is that he sometimes didn’t seem to understand what was in the report he signed. Several times I found myself knowing what was in his report when questions left Muller calling for citations.
The unfortunate reality that Muller was a figurehead with seemingly little day-to-day awareness of what his office was doing resulted in there being no chance of Mueller being able to rise to the occasion and tell the public the truths of his report in a way that could be comprehended by people who didn’t read the report and/or watch hours of testimony.
One of the narratives about Muller is that he always plays it straight. Unfortunately, he is playing against Donald Trump–the dirtiest player in the game.
Another narrative about Mueller is that his highest priority is the integrity of American values. Setting aside the very questionable idea that America’s historical values contain integrity, Muller doesn’t understand that Donald Trump is the greatest threat to American ideals since the Civil War.
Muller’s unwillingness to buck an opinion from the Nixon administration around the validity of indicting a sitting president, and his unwillingness to subpoena Donald Trump left his report missing essential information. His unwillingness and/or inability to answer basic questions left most people knowing little more than they did to start the day.
It matters that he confirmed the report didn’t exonerate Trump. It’s great that he agreed Russia interfered hoping Trump would win. But when America needed Muller the most–Mueller wasn’t up to the job.
If Democrats were motivated by the truth, they would have allowed a few skilled lawyers to ask the questions. Since Democrats wanted to make sure they had their moment in the sun and soundbites they could share, what could have been the most important Congressional testimony in decades was disjointed and lacked focus.
Democrats eventually got around to asking about Don McGahn and Korey Lewandowski, but they didn’t get there soon enough. When they did get there, they didn’t question Muller in a way that helped those not fluent in the law to understand the significance of what Muller’s report said about Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice.
Mueller told Democrats he wasn’t going to stray from the report. He didn’t want to testify. The questions needed to be short yes or no questions based on the report. Sadly, too often the politicians shared how they felt and asked questions they should have known weren’t going to be answered.
It’s Time for an Impeachment Inquiry
Until now, I didn’t support impeachment. But Mueller has spoken. Trump and his enablers are still not cooperating. If nothing else, many more Americans now know Donald Trump wasn’t cleared of obstructing justice. The only way to determine obstruction in a way that will be historically meaningful is through an impeachment inquiry.
It would have been nice if Muller had understood his report and the threat to America enough to say what needed to be said. With that door closed, Democrats must now exercise their constitutional responsibility and begin the process of holding Donald Trump accountable.