#MuellerHearing: ‘That’s Beyond My Purview’ = ‘I Have No Idea What I Was Talking About’
Robert Mueller's appearance before House Judiciary Committee made clear the Mueller Investigation wasn't his at all.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller testified today under oath he has no idea who Fusion GPS is.
Let that sink in. When asked about the organization that produced the Steele Dossier for the Hillary Clinton campaign and worked closely with the FBI to feed the Trump Russian collusion investigation, the man ultimately heading that investigation said he was “not familiar” with them. Wow.
That’s like making spaghetti sauce without knowing what tomatoes are.
In addition, when asked about former British agent Christopher Steele relying on information from Russian agents, Mueller said that was out of his purview. In other words, Russians feeding information in order to interfere with our election had nothing to do with his investigation into Russia interfering with our election. Wow.
Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya before and after her Trump Tower meeting with Don Jr, that too was out of his purview. Yes. Don Jr. having a brief meeting with her is in Mueller’s purview, but her working hand-in-hand with a Clinton operative with Russian clients isn’t. Makes about as much sense as Jerry Nadler doing ads for 24-Hour Fitness.
Mueller didn’t seem to know much about Glenn Simpson either. That’d be like Marcia Clark asking “Who’s OJ Simpson?”
The Sad Spectacle
Robert Mueller’s appearance before the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning was a sad spectacle. A man who clearly did not know the fundamentals, let alone the details, about the report bearing his name. Someone for whom even simple questions needed repeating. Someone who when presented with clear conflicts of interest, such as his right hand man Andrew Weissman being a Clinton loyalist, and members of his team having actually represented Clinton, would answer, “I’m not going to get into that.”
Someone who repeatedly fell back on denying fundamental questions were within his “purview.” How about a simple fundamental question: Did Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election actually change a single vote?
.@RepGregSteube: Given your 22 months of investigation, millions of dollars spent and millions of documents, did you find that any American changed their vote because of Russian interference?#Mueller: That was outside our purview.
— Nick Short 🇺🇸 (@PoliticalShort) July 24, 2019
Mueller often seemed befuddled. At one point he could not even remember which president first appointed him. Even President Obama’s top strategist David Axelrod admitted as much. He tweeted, “This is delicate to say, but Mueller, whom I deeply respect, has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years. And he does not appear as sharp as he was then.”
No. He was not sharp. He was not effective. The Democrats were hoping for a weapon to be used to impeach the president. One could reasonably argue they committed elder abuse. The White House called the morning hearing an “epic embarrassment” for Democrats. You’d expect them to say that. You would not expect ABC New’s Terry Moran to say, “Impeachment is over.”
Mueller now steps into the House Intelligence Committee led by Adam Schiff. Instead of crying “impeachment,” one suspects Democrats will be crying “uncle.”
Al Perrotta is the Managing Editor of The Stream and co-author, with @JZmirak, of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Immigration. You can follow him at @StreamingAl. And if you aren’t already, please follow The Stream at @Streamdotorg.