Reno Gazette Journal August 4, 2019
The highly anticipated testimony by Special Counsel Robert Mueller has come and gone and here are my key takeaways from his separate Congressional testimonies in front of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.
For starters, it was a huge bust. At many points during his testimony, Mueller seemed lost. He claimed that the origins of the probe were out of scope for the investigation, yet, failed to explain why Paul Manafort’s crimes which occurred way before the probe (and had nothing to do with the probe) were in scope. He stated that he did not take into consideration the political affiliation and the resulting conflicts of interest of his team members, almost all of whom have contributed to Democrats. Sadly, Mueller couldn’t even recall the cornerstone of this entire investigation, Fusion GPS, which compiled the Steele dossier, which was sourced mostly from Russian officials and served as the origin of FBI’s spying into President Trump’s campaign. Mueller also failed to cite a single instance where a prosecutor exonerated a target that was being investigated. All this is very strange, given that Mueller has a history of excellent preparation before he testifies.
Here’s my speculation on Mueller: Rosenstein requested Mueller to lead the probe because he wanted someone credible; Mueller agreed under the condition that he could lead the probe but be totally hands off; Mueller recruited Weissman as his chief deputy; Weissman recruited the rest of the team which did all the work and kept Mueller periodically updated; Mueller was never operationally involved with the probe. Again, that is purely my speculation and not based on any inside information.
As for the Democrats, the far left wants to impeach the President. Those who won in districts carried by the President are worried about a backlash. Speaker Pelosi is in a bizarre position when she claims that the President has committed a crime but does not want him to be impeached. Their Russia collusion storyline is best summarized by an email I received a few months back: “While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it”.
As for the House Intelligence Committee, Chairman Schiff continues to be consumed by his hatred for the President instead of concerning himself with Iran, North Korea, China, Russia and other global adversaries. Somewhere in the Kremlin, Putin is smiling.
While Republicans were unable to get much information on the origins of the probe, they were able to get two key concessions from Mueller: (1) When asked if he was obstructed in any way, Mueller responded that he was not; (2) Mueller also confirmed that there was insufficient evidence on obstruction. “We did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime” said Mueller.
One final point: Assigned to the dangerous Mutters Ridge in Vietnam, Mueller gallantly led the Marines through an eight-hour battle that earned him the Bronze Star. Four months later, Mueller led his platoon to rescue pinned-down American troops under heavy fire. Despite taking an AK-47 round to his thigh, he held his position until the troops safely retreated, earning him the Purple Heart. Mueller led the FBI’s transition after the 9/11 attacks and served as FBI director for 12 years under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. He was, and always will be a hero. It is sad to see heroes go out on a whimper, and if this testimony is his last act, it is a disappointing end to a highly distinguished career.