The Mueller Hearing And The Theater Of The Macabre

Below is my column in The Hill on today’s hearing with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The hearing will no doubt be lively as a couple dozen members of the House Judiciary Committee struggle to stand out in less than five minutes to make the cut for a clip on evening news. That means that you have to be more outraged than every member who came before you. It should all prove to be a true theater of the macabre. I will be covering the hearing for CBS News and BBC.

I have previously published 3 questions, 5 questions, and 20 questions for Mueller. You can choose but none are likely to be answered.

Adding to the drama is the disclosure of a demand by Mueller that an aide be sworn in and allowed to testify with him. The move drew vocal objections from Republicans who suggested that Mueller may not have a good handle on the Report — reinforcing claims that his key staff aides actually controlled the investigation. It also has been reported that it was Mueller who asked for the letter limiting his testimony.

Here is the column:

Weeks like this make me regret there’s not a Wimbledon-like “performance rule” for politics, as when Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic was fined $56,100 for not trying hard enough to win his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

For more than two years, I’ve written that congressional Democrats never had the slightest intention of impeaching President Trump and, instead, have been running out the clock while pretending to build a case against him. Now, with former special counsel Robert Mueller scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday, this match is getting even more embarrassing than Tomic’s fiasco at Wimbledon. The problem is that this match has lasted roughly 580 days rather than 58 minutes.

The Mueller hearing is shaping up to be more of an autopsy than an exploration. Committee members will ask Mueller about his findings, and Mueller will read the findings as if he is recording an audio book for the visually impaired. In the meantime, courts and prosecutors have left various allegations against Trump in legal tatters:


After two years of pundits and politicians assuring us that crimes linked to collusion were well-established, Mueller found there was no basis to bring a charge on any collusion-related grounds.

Pundits and trolls have engaged in open denial, claiming Mueller was holding such indictments and slamming those who state otherwise as “Trumpsters” or “apologists.” That group now includes Mueller, who stated after an exhaustive two-year investigation that he could “not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

Of course, this all began with collusion allegations and how Trump worked with Russians to undermine our democracy. Now members of Congress rarely discuss collusion.


Democrats reportedly plan to focus on obstruction, which Mueller surprisingly left unresolved. I will not repeat why Mueller’s position was incomprehensible and unsupportable. However, Attorney General Bill Barr and his then-deputy, Rod Rosenstein, accepted the entirety of Mueller’s report and evidence, yet still concluded there was no case for an obstruction charge.

The reason was simple: Mueller detailed non-criminal motivations behind Trump’s actions, a record that would create an easy defense case on the issue of intent. 

Democrats are now adopting their own version of “Lock her up!” chants, with promises of prosecution if only people will vote for them. For example, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) has declared her Justice Department would “have no choice” but to prosecute Trump if she is elected president. That, of course, will not happen, any more than Hillary Clinton was ever at real risk of incarceration.

Moreover, it would be implausible to remove a president under a criminal-obstruction theory rejected by the Justice Department — including Rosenstein, who was long lionized by Democrats.

Campaign finance 

Democrats have highlighted the fact that newly released court records show Trump and his aides were directly involved in the effort to pay money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy bunny Karen McDougal to keep them silent about affairs. For two years, there has been a constant cable-news drumbeat from legal experts, saying such payments were undeniably crimes for those involved, from Trump aides to Trump lawyer Michael Cohen to Trump himself.  

The problem is, those documents being exhaustively covered this week were released because there were no charges to be brought on campaign finance crimes. This is a bit of a surprise, since Cohen included the payoffs in his plea deal; the other alleged culprit in that exchange was Trump.

One could argue that an indictment against Trump may be waiting until he leaves office, under Justice Department rules. However, there have been no charges against any other person associated with the payoffs, including various Trump Organization figures. The fact is, campaign finance charges are rare and hard to prove, as shown by the failed prosecution of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.


With the collapse of collusion, various Democrats and lawyers have pushed the claim that Trump’s D.C. hotel is a giant “emolument” magnet. 

Article 1, Section 9, prohibits emoluments, which cover compensation or gifts tied to a person’s public office, but it has never been well-defined. For example, Benjamin Franklin received a diamond-encrusted box from the King of France while serving as U.S. ambassador; Congress told him to keep it.

Arguments that the Trump family’s hotel constitutes an emolument are something of a stretch. Still, filings to that effect have been made by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) board chairman and vice-chairman Norman Eisen and Richard Painter, constitutional law scholars Erwin Chemerinsky, Laurence H. Tribe and Zephyr Teachout, and Deepak Gupta of Gupta Wessler PLLC.

While District Court Judge Peter Messitte unwisely ruled that these groups had standing and a meritorious claim, the Fourth Circuit recently dismissed the action as unsupportable. The court was equally dismissive of the theory that the hotel benefits from Trump’s name since many people, including diplomats, likely avoid it due to it association.

Judges in both Washington and New York also have rejected such lawsuits.

Since standing was never established, Congress could argue that there were unconstitutional emoluments lurking in these cases. However, there is no clear precedent to support that theory and, despite good-faith arguments, no president has been impeached on such uncontested legal grounds.

In the meantime, Congress again overwhelmingly rejected impeachment with a vote this week in which members tried to add bigotry as an impeachable offense. It failed, 332-95.

So if these crimes and impeachable acts have been largely negated, what is Congress planning to do on Wednesday? The answer is play … just not well.

Mueller has made it clear that he does not want to testify and will decline to give any information beyond his report. He has held up the hearing for weeks, first by declining to testify and then unilaterally maintaining that he would testify for only two hours before the House (an agreement was later reached on a longer format). Witnesses — particularly private citizens, as Mueller now is — usually are not given such leeway. One would think that after accepting the special counsel’s job and spending millions of public dollars, Mueller would have less, not more, ability to stipulate limits.

Yet, Democrats have yielded to his demands with only a slight increase in time, divided into the ridiculous five-minute segments of most congressional hearings.

Most members will prance and pose for four minutes in just introducing themselves. For his part, Mueller will continue his performance as the “American Sphinx,” even though there is much he should answer about his own conduct, let alone his conclusions (or lack thereof).

It will be nothing but “puddlers” — chip and drop shots — but it won’t matter. The same analysts who have been wrong for two years will give the same breathless courtside commentary. And the members of the congressional committees will scream like John McEnroe — while playing like Bernard Tomic. Of course, unlike Tomic, those members will continue the match despite it having been called weeks ago.

The play is and always has been for 2020. That is why there is no performance fine in politics because the score is entirely irrelevant — and you are never sure of what game is actually being played.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley

217 thoughts on “The Mueller Hearing And The Theater Of The Macabre”



    To focus on Trump, and whether his actions constitute impeachable offenses, is to miss the real bombshell in Mueller’s testimony — the scandal that could be unfolding right there in front of us.

    That was Mueller’s warning that what happened in 2016 could happen again. Asked by Rep. Will Hurd (R-Tex.) whether Russia might be planning another attack on the integrity of U.S. elections, Mueller replied: “They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it in the next campaign.” He said “many more countries” are developing the capability to do so as well.

    “I hope this is not the new normal,” Mueller added, “but I fear it is.”

    There is a good chance that Wednesday’s testimony marked the last time we will ever hear the former special counsel say anything on the subject in public. The message he wanted to deliver was that, in wrestling with the problematic past, we should not take our sights off a treacherous future. While that may not have made for electrifying television, Mueller delivered the goods.

    Edited from: “The Real Bombshell In Mueller’s Testimony Wasn’t About Impeachment”

    Today’s Washington Post

    Mueller’s warning was prompted by a question from Texas Republican Will Hurd; one of the party’s few moderates. However the other Republicans were only concerned with discrediting the investigation. In fact, since Trump entered the White House, barely any Republicans have shown genuine concern about foreign meddling. On Trump’s first Monday in office ‘his’ main concern was investigating alleged ‘illegal voting’; a probe that went nowhere fast.

    1. Hill — You see where this is going, right? The Dems know Trump is on his way to winning a second term and they are setting up the narrative now — “It was the Russians! Again!!”

    2. Hey Peter did you get a copy of that When Corruption Was King book yet? by the operation gambat snitch Robert cooley.

      talks about how the machine used to pay $5 for signed and otherwise blank voter ballots in cabrini green. seriously. i guess that was the 60s mostly.

      I’d be less worried about Russia than the cheats we grow right here at home. but that’s just me.

      of course it’s true, Russians probe our defenses in every way, constantly. i would expect elections are included in that, like systems hacking and other old fashioned forms of spying and so forth. they’re a sovereign nation and use the same forceful means and ways of deception that all sovereigns do. Speaking of which, people may have missed this but Russian jets got warning shots from the ROK the other day, after invading airspace. vigilance is necessary

      And now they’re holding new joint ops with China. ooh, not good


      That seems to be only lost on those that not paying attention or those whose minds are getting a bit old. Obama knew about the problems but he did absolutely nothing. That was Obama’s game… do nothing except bow to foreign leaders. For decades the Democrats have played footsies with the Russians who always tried to effect our elections. They are all talk no action and quite deceptive. In fact the Democrats have tried to prevent a more secure voting process. They are the lead team in illegal voters and would like illegals to punch the card for democrats.

      ““I hope this is not the new normal,” Mueller added, “but I fear it is.””

      Mueller of all people know that this has been normal since he has been active in government. He did get quite old so one could consider that he might have forgotten a few things. Then again he could in part have been playing old so he did’t have to answer the questions.


  2. A bad day for the Swamp

    It’s hard to understate just how badly today went for Congressional Democrats. It took a pressure campaign from the left to get former Special Counsel Robert Mueller to agree to testify before Congress in the first place. Now that he has, the reactions to today’s hearing from across the political spectrum were as ruthless as they are revealing.

    Here are a few of those reflections:

    “Impeachment is over. I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to stand for her members bringing forth something that is going to obviously lose.” – ABC News’ Terry Moran
    “I think the Democrats have to be disappointed that [Mueller] didn’t more vigorously defend his process and the team.” – former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
    “Aside from difficult to watch testimony, there has been no new information and no elaboration on the 448-page report.” – CNN Commentator Alice Stewart
    “There were also times when it seemed like [Mueller] was unfamiliar with parts of the investigation.” – CNN’s Jake Tapper
    “One has to wonder, too, where Democrats go from here.” – Politico’s Blake Hounshell
    If Democrats were looking to make headlines with today’s political theater, they got them. “This is Painful,” Mediaite reports in a pundit round-up. “A Sometimes Halting Mueller Parries Questions,” The Washington Post writes. “Democrats And Media Admit: Mueller’s Testimony Was A Total Disaster,” Townhall reports.

    They’re right. After taking 22 months, calling more than 500 witnesses, issuing more than 2,800 subpoenas, and spending more than $30 million in taxpayer money, Congressional Democrats didn’t get the result they were hoping for from the Special Counsel’s report. In response, they spent more than 6 hours today pressuring Mueller to say something different than what his team concluded in their 448-page analysis.

    They came up empty.

    While Democrats looked foolish, that isn’t what made today a bad day for the Swamp. It’s a bad day because, once again, Washington put itself first. Americans are sick of partisan theatrics and desperate for our leaders to keep their promises to the voters who sent them here. Instead, Congress spent yet another day arguing about the results of an election that happened more than two and a half years ago.

    In that time, President Donald J. Trump’s attention has been on the working-class Americans who put their trust in him. There is plenty of work left to be done, but the results so far are encouraging:

    More than 6 million new jobs have been created since Election Day 2016.
    The 3.7 percent unemployment rate remains near its lowest mark in 49 years.
    Unemployment has hit record or near-record low rates for historically marginalized groups including African-Americans, Hispanics, and women.
    U.S. stock markets continue to break record highs.
    Manufacturing job growth soared to a more than two-decade high last year.
    And that’s just the economy. From criminal justice reform that will make America’s streets safer while giving former inmates a second chance at life, to veterans choice programs that are holding the VA accountable to our nation’s heroes, President Trump is working each day to keep his promises to voters.

        1. Cindy good to hear from you again. I noticed you were out, I was worried for you, then I seen your husband had a health issue that now seems to be ok. I hope so.

          I seen a comment of yours & was thinking of all of us & some ole saying, something: There but by the grace of God we all go.

          But hey, I’m praying for so many people now it’s nothing for me to pray for your family as I’m been doing & I’ve plenty of room on this train I’ve got going.

          Anyway, enough of the mushing stuff Mespo/I/others have to get back to kicking Commies Azzes. LOL;)

          1. Oky1…You are so sweet. Thank you ….I think of your wife sometimes and hope her health is doing well!
            Thanks, again, Oky1

            1. Cindy,
              Thank you,
              My wife is going great. Think God/Jesus & people’s prayers.

              but I’m worried for a couple ole friends of mine from 40 plus years back. I’ve put off calling for a couple weeks, but I can’t wait another day, I have to call.

              The great thing is they have I think 25 + something grandkids. I’m jealous 🙂

    1. Hitler: “I am the resurrection and the Reich!”
      7 of 9: “You are irrelevant.”

  3. President Trump,

    After today’s, 7/24/2019, testimony of the former SC Mueller in front of the Democrats Congressional sub communities “For Un-American Activities” I now agree with Mike Adams of , & his other businesses.

    Trump, it’s time now you release all the docs related to the Traitor’s ongoing coup attempt against the USA & for you to invoke the Insurrection Act.

    They’re not going to quit until they are put to the sword.

    They were offered safe quarter by you around 1/21/2017 & they have refused it & continue their attacks on our nation. You President Trump must go on the offensive now & attack until these domestic Enemies have been removed from our nation.


    I think people that still support the USA should connect Trump & your reps & let them know your thoughts on the Dems/Neo-Cons Treason against the nation.

    And please read/listen to this below if you don’t believe me that those American hatin Azzholes are not quitting & this is just one more of many!!!

    1. Yep. Mueller is just a year older than Trump. If you want to make a case for removal due to incapacity under 25th Amendment, Mueller is your Exhibit A. Trump looks like the Energizer Bunny on sterioids by comparison to Mueller.

      1. Good clarification. Not dazed, but he was confused at times. And tired. Very tired. And old.

        And here’s another good point:

        “I would feel kinda bad for Bob “Mr Magoo” Mueller today-
        except he had no problem threatening, bankrupting, ruining and imprisoning people for minor crimes in the course of what he had to know what a politically motivated investigation that was all based on a lie”

        10:16 AM – 24 Jul 2019 Buck Sexton

        1. Yes.

          And there’s this — from Wikipedia:

          “In June 2013, Mueller defended NSA surveillance programs in testimony before a House Judiciary Committee hearing.[57] He said that surveillance programs could have “derailed” the September 11 attacks.[58][59] Congressman John Conyers disagreed: “I am not persuaded that that makes it OK to collect every call.”[59] Mueller also testified that the government’s surveillance programs complied “in full with U.S. law and with basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution”.[60] He said that “We are taking all necessary steps to hold Edward Snowden responsible for these disclosures.”[61]”

          And the following, from the above excerpt, is complete and utter bs. There’s a program that still hasn’t come to light.

          Mueller also testified that the government’s surveillance programs complied “in full with U.S. law and with basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution”.

          1. ‘Mueller also testified that the government’s surveillance programs complied “in full with U.S. law and with basic rights guaranteed under the Constitution”.’ -from Mueller’s Wikpedia page

            He’s lying or incompetent. It’s one or the other. (…which isn’t to saying that he couldn’t be lying and still be incompetent.)

            1. his record of incompetence is well established.

              yes men are like that. eventually they get promoted above their usefulness

    1. Apparently Jerrold Nadler looks like a fool, yet again


      The impeachment dream is dead, and nobody has more explaining to do at the next meeting of the House Democratic caucus than Judiciary committee Chairman Jerry Nadler of New York. In 2017 he asked his colleagues to entrust him with one job. As this column has noted, after former Rep. John Conyers Jr. resigned amid numerous allegations of harassing women, the New York Times described the Nadler argument for replacing him:

      Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York has a bold pitch to take over the top Democratic spot on the House Judiciary Committee — that he is best positioned to lead impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

      “As our constitutional expert, and with his demonstrated leadership on impeachment in the 90s, Nadler is our strongest member to lead a potential impeachment,” Mr. Nadler wrote on a pocket-size leaflet outlining his record.

      As House Democrats reflect on his bold pitch from 2017, perhaps they will decide it’s time for a stronger member to lead the committee.

      Of much greater significance, the death of the impeachment dream means that Democrats will now have to persuade voters—not just congressional colleagues—to dump Mr. Trump.

      How refreshing that even a group of political actors casting themselves as a “resistance” still has to use the constitutional process in America if they wish to remove a President from office.

      1. “Apparently Jerrold Nadler looks like a fool, yet again”

        Jerry Nadler always looks like he is constipated which goes along with him being full of sh1t. The most interesting thing today was when Trump met the press head on. I think that will impress voters who aren’t very up to date on the affairs of state. One can’t say that the President tries to disguise his feelings. He is the most transparent President of my lifetime.

        1. At home we didn’t vote for Trump and we still think he is a disgrace. we didn’t vote for Hillary either in case you want to know. However, Trump is articulating, rather in-elegantly, what many of us feel: disgust with the Democrats immoral, unethical, unscrupulous, lying, and in my case, manipulating minorities in order to claw their way to power after having r un this great country into the ground since LBJ. Trump does get our support at home to the extent that we loathe the media and the Dem and Rep old guard establishment. However, the Reps are still eunuchs, the national debt is a disgrace (see below WSJ quote) and I see little hope in Americas weaning themselves off of the teat of Federal handouts. It’s just not the country I once knew and I find that really distressing.

          The Bipartisan Spending Party
          The Congressional Budget Office has been forecasting that debt held by the public will absorb 92% of the economy in 2029, up from 78% today. It will be higher now. This year’s increases are built into the budget baseline that becomes the floor for increases in future years, and the pressure to raise taxes grows with each passing year. Congress’s budget process under both parties is broken. It makes no tradeoffs, lies to the public, and enforces no accountability.

          1. Estovir, I was nervous about Trump but a few of my friends were well accustomed to him. One of them was high level at one of the banks where Trump dealt. The bank lost some money on Trump but as he put it the bank had made a lot of money off of him so they would loan him money again for other things. He didn’t like Trump but said he would vote for him and that Trump would be a fantastic President.

            I think we worry too much about optics. I don’t care if he tweets and I don’t worry about his language. He gets the job done and has been totally transparent and honest. He is a breath of fresh air in a sewer. He hasn’t done everything I was hoping for but people are not looking at DC in the proper fashion. Yes, the Republicans had the House and Senate but Trump is not really a Republican. Thus with regard to the voting block Trump was facing the Democrats and the never Trumpers. Of the remaining Republicans a good number were, as you call them, eunichs, so he actually was facing a Congress that was against him.

            He has virtually been changing government by himself though supported by a few in the House and Senate. Trump has been right in most of his calls even the ones where I disagreed. Look at what happened when he revoked the security clearance of Brennan. It never happened which shows that the power of the President is far more limited than we assume. He has also been eaten alive by the courts and worst of all the media. He doesn’t stop or waiver but continues onward pushing back at the swamp virtually by himself and is succeeding. Now a days I put my faith in him because he is the only one that has the personal fortitude to never give up.

            After 2020 I am hoping that he controls the House and Senate meaning that the Democrats lose them both and the never Trumpers plus the Democrats together are in the minority. If that happens I think he will attack the budget and prepare the way for a change in the way America behaves.

            1. the optics I like to see are the backsides of my enemies as they flee, yet remain within range

            2. “(Trump) is not really a Republican”
              The morning after the election I remarked to my mother, finally we have an Independent in the presidency.

  4. Robert Mueller is the Christine Blasey Ford of Oliver Norths.

    12:40 PM – 24 Jul 2019 Sean Davis

  5. And for all those who clung to the ever-dwindling belief that Mueller was saying he would have indicted the POTUS for obstruction but for the DOJ rule against indicting a sitting President, here is the final coup de grâce. Game. Set. Match. Re-election.

    1. Yet, reading the Far Left sites they are practically celebrating Trump’s downfall. It is staggering and disheartening to see two totally different America’s within one nation battling each other to bring down / keep viable an elected US President.

      That’s What Matters
      Josh Marshall
      Among other things, these two hearings illustrate a basic, important point. Obstruction is very important. But the real issue is the collusion, the active encouragement and acceptance of help from a foreign power. In other words, the underlying substance.

      Obstruction is important in large part because it blocked getting the full story. The most important point here has never been narrowly statutory crimes. It’s the President’s betrayal of his country to get elected. That’s what matters.

      Mueller Shoots Down GOP Line: Inability To Indict Trump Didn’t Bar Me From Probing Him

      The Betrayal
      Josh Marshall
      I don’t want to get too fan-boyish about Adam Schiff. But his questioning and that of the intelligence committee Democrats so far is a good illustration of zeroing in on what is important in all of this. President Trump and his campaign encouraged Russian assistance in the 2016; they cooperated with it; they profited from it. The President and his campaign manager were both trying to make cash windfalls in Russia while all this was happening. This is what is important. This is a massive betrayal of country. Whether that amounted to a statute crime is secondary.

      1. “Yet, reading the Far Left sites they are practically celebrating Trump’s downfall.”

        Ultimately, Trump(and his administration) has the power to effectively exonerate himself via declassification and by using the judicial system. So far, we have zero on either count from him. As a supporter(for now), I find that very disappointing.

        1. “As a supporter(for now)”

          Based on the performance of the Democrats I would think that “(for now)” extends past the next election.

          1. We just find it hard to believe that not one good man or woman is a viable candidate for US President to represent that which is/was good in America. Must they all be moral cripples with hearts made of black coal and brains of rot?

            “Shut up, Bobby Lee,” The Misfit said. “It’s no real pleasure in life.”
            – Flannery O’Connor

            1. Estovir, I don’t find Trump to be a moral cripple. He doesn’t force himself on women. His sexual tastes may be different than the mean but that doesn’t make him abnormal. Abnormal is a Clinton. Abnormal is Clinton’s wife. He is a bit brash, but in business I have met all types of people and you need all types of people to make things work right. Trump is the man for the times and I won’t let my personal prejudices get in the way of supporting him. Survival is not easy and he is a surviver.

              What makes a good politician? A person that can convince the people to vote for him and a person that can say one thing and do another without making people angry. Trump is NOT a politician. He says exactly what he intends to do. We need more people that are not politicians because a lot of politicians are failures at everything else.

          2. Trump promised to drain the swamp. Here’s his chance to show if he’s the real deal or not. He better follow through. There’s no way I vote for the Dems, maybe ever.

            1. Ivan, as I was telling Estovir, the President is not as powerful as we think. He couldn’t even get Brennan’s security clearance cancelled. I think he showed more in his first two years than other President’s did in 8 despite the fact that he had to face a reluctant Congress dominated by Democrats, never Trumpers and eunichs. He had to face a media totally against him and judges that were playing politics instead of adhering to the law.

              Consider the fact that not voting at all is half a vote for a Democrat. (I am a former Democrat / Independent and today I am a Republican in name only but not a RINO.)

              1. The President has the sole power to declassify anything he wants. The Republicans gave him a long list a long time ago. He’s threatened to declassify many times, but yet he fails to do so. I see no good reason for this, but we’ll just have to wait and see if justice, for once, will be done. If he fails then I won’t vote because I don’t have a candidate…that’s not something that’s going to change.

                I’m happy with a lot that Trump has done, but exposing the attempted coup is a must.

                1. “The President has the sole power to declassify anything he wants. ”

                  Ivan, I think so too or I thought so. He removed Brennan’s security clearance but then found out it was never removed. He passed legal executive orders to protect the nation and then found out that a judge could stop that order yet relatively little was heard from Republicans. He was guaranteed that Republicans would repeal the ACA and it never happened. He was threatened with impeachment and under investigation for almost 3 years where we now know the SC didn’t investigate the affairs having to do with Russia that negatively impacted Democrats and our FBI and CIA were tainted though perhaps by only a few on the top.

                  We don’t know if he tried to release things that were never released or not, or what would happen if the order went out.

                  Trump was in the worst trouble of any President since Lincoln. He had precious little support in government even from his own side. When that happens one doesn’t expend power injudiciously. One tries to build power slowly and consistently. That is what he has done. Any other President faced with such opposition would have been gone by now and he looks like he will serve a second term.

                  What you call failure I call a judicious holding action. Based on what he has done he has earned my trust. Think of the movie Jaws and Steven Spielberg. He builds the suspense and doesn’t waste too much of it early on. That is what makes an impact.

  6. With regard to Mueller, there is a time when you need to realize that you need to move on to the next phase of your life. It shouldn’t be terrifying and it doesn’t mean you are useless. And 70 isn’t a magic number for that. But in Mueller’s case it is.

    When my Dad was in his seventies, he worked at a food bank and put in time at a nature center and scheduled some social functions — in moderation. He knew he couldn’t work 40 hours a week. But he contributed to the community. He was happy.

    Some people, regardless of talent and intelligence, don’t know when that time comes. And it has happened to Robert Mueller. I suspect it happens to people in Washington in larger percentages. Despite their belief, they don’t have as much enlightenment as most people in the rest of the country.

    1. Maybe there is nothing from them because it is “beyond their purview’.

      1. they’ll be back with fresh talking points from their masters. NPR is already spinning it as a Russians are coming narrative

        Yet no one questioned the veracity of the statement. Given his disposition and difficulty at following the hearings, the first question should be the reliability of his thinking.

        Mueller On Election Interference: ‘They’re Doing It As We Sit Here’

        Updated at 4:56 p.m. ET

        Peril from foreign interference in American elections will persist through the 2020 presidential race, former special counsel Robert Mueller warned on Wednesday.

        Asked whether Russia would attempt to attack future U.S. elections, as it did in 2016, Mueller replied: “They’re doing it as we sit here.”

    2. Nothing has changed, I recognize the truth, you believe in fiction. Did Mueller knock it out of the park; sadly no that ship sailed months ago. Facts still indicate the orange gibbon is guilty.

      1. just imagine if your heroes had put all that effort into passing useful legislation! thankfully they were stroking themselves off to these perverse dreams which have now dissipated

        1. McConnell would never let the legislation see a vote. Not sure they are my heroes but they are on the right side here just not effective.

  7. Well now we know who they were talking about when they kept saying people didn’t read the Mueller report.

  8. The Dims went all in today:

    Mark Meadows

    Don’t let the left retroactively downplay the importance of today’s Mueller hearings because it went poorly for Democrats. They held mock hearings, practiced for cameras, and even set up a stand-in Jim Jordan. They went all in.

    It didn’t work. It flopped.

  9. How to speak Mueller-ese:

    Mueller: “We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”


    Legal Translation: “Given the high burden of proof and our time honored tradition of “innocent until proven guilty,” we could not establish that probable cause existed that a crime had been committed and that anyone at the WH was involved in it.”

    Regular People Translation: “Try as we might, we couldn’t pin anything as innocent as a jaywalking charge on this guy.”

    Political Translation: “We got nothing. Nothing on this guy to beat him in the next election.”

    Strzok Translation: “Our insurance policy just lapsed.”

      1. Mr. K:

        Good stuff:

        “”I think this has been a disaster for the Democrats, and I think it’s been a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” Wallace told anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum. “[He] doesn’t seem to know things that are in the report.

        “He’s been attacked a number of times, and you would think that almost anybody else would have defended his own integrity, the integrity of the investigation,” Wallace continued. “Over and over, Mueller just sits silent and lets the attacks from the Republicans to sweep over him and says nothing.”

        Like most “great men” Mueller couldn’t withstand an assault of truth. I love the Lord Acton quote about “great men”:

        “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

        Here are the greatest names coupled with the greatest crimes; you would spare those criminals, for some mysterious reason. I would hang them higher than Haman, for reasons of quite obvious justice, still more, still higher for the sake of historical science.”

        Under almost every pair of white shoes are feet of clay.

        1. we have pointed out again and again how Meuller was promoted after shows of incompetence but this one really takes the cake. He’s obviously ready to retire and has already taken the check to the bank, looking forward to fishing or golf or whatever.

    1. “Strzok Translation: “Our insurance policy just lapsed.””

      LOL and can’t stop. LOL

  10. hot off the press.

    Rutger Hauer has died

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.

  11. Mueller and Congress has been obfuscating on this: In light of the OLC rule about not indicting a sitting President, did the Special Counsel consider a conclusion referring Pres. Trump for a deferred indictment? This question forces the question: Was there sufficient evidence to prosecute for obstruction, including unambiguous proof of corrupt intent? Nobody I heard asked Mueller directly about the option of a deferred indictment. He (Mueller) seems to be now hiding behind the OLC rule to explain away a weak case. To wit, the President has a good chance to defend his action in recommending to fire Mueller based on conflict-of-interest in the staffing of his team with Clinton supporters. All Trump would need is a credible reason (cause) for firing the SC. The other defense is that replacing Mueller as team lead would not have obstructed the investigation, but perhaps only delayed it slightly.

    1. He (Mueller) seems to be now hiding behind the OLC rule to explain away a weak case.

      Ya think? The idea was to prosecute him for obstructing the obstruction investigation.

  12. Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald tweeted:

    “It’s honestly sad to watch people – after 3 years – still clinging to the hope that Mueller will save them from Trump. You’re going to have convince people in 2020 that your party won’t be devoted to Goldman Sachs, Silicon Valley & other Dem funders but making their lives better.

    “5:42 AM – 24 Jul 2019”

    1. sensible remark from Glenn. he was right about a lot of things his lDem party critics should be apologizing to him for especially.

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