Democrats are a party in disarray. The far left of the party has been brought to life just as the leadership was making progress in minimizing their footprint. Polling on immigration has turned decidedly against them after months of shameless propaganda about “manufactured crises” on the border. Their leading presidential candidate, Joe Biden, is in a neck-and-neck race with Ruth Bader Ginsberg for the title of Most Dead Non-Dead Person in D.C.
And what do people do in the throes of a storm besides search for an anchor; something familiar to grasp onto for feelings of security, fleeting or illusory as they may be. For Dims, this desperate lunge toward steady ground comes in the form of Robert Mueller, the man who served as a beacon of hope for Trump-deranged masses for the first two years of the Trump presidency. While the hopes of Mueller taking down Trump may have passed months ago, the desperation that made Mueller a Saint within the Democrat party rages strong as ever. Thus, one more round of political theater will be required to keep the rabid haters at bay for another day.
With that in mind, we won’t allow this story to dominate our recap. Instead, we’ll get to meat and potato points and attain our big picture before tomorrow’s testimony.
The most important piece of news regarding this testimony is guidance that came down from the DoJ on the subject matter that is in bounds. Basically, Mueller is limited to the report, period. If it’s not in the report, he’s not to indulge. This mirrors what Mueller himself requested is his own hack press conference. There’s a good reason for that. There are some very tough avenues of questioning that Robert Mueller would rather not face.
I recently wrote a piece on infamous Mueller presser called The Final Shot. It can be read in its entirety here. Below is an excerpt in which I describe some of the landmines that await Mueller:
From the look and sound of things, King Bob is really averse to testifying before Congress regarding this matter, just as he was averse to taking any questions following his drive-by hit job today on the president. Unfortunately, the can of worms he just opened may make it impossible for head witch-hunter Jerry Nadler to hold off on a subpoena, especially given the second wind now being enjoyed by mega-donor and professional impeachment advocate Tom Steyer.
If and when Mueller is dragged to Capitol Hill, he’ll need to answer some questions.
The first that comes to mind deals with a clear difference of accounts between he and AG Barr on the potential indictment of Trump for obstructing justice. In Mueller’s telling, the Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted informed his decision not to reach a conclusion about whether Trump obstructed justice. Charging the president with a crime was “not an option,” Mueller said, and accusing him of committing one when he could not try the case in court, Mueller added, violated what he considered “principles of fairness.”
Barr, however, seemed to leave a different impression in his own public statements. Speaking to the Fake News before the release of Mueller’s report in April, and again to the Swamp earlier this month, Barr said Mueller had told him the DoJ policy was not the chief reason he did not charge the president with a crime. “Special counsel Mueller stated three times to us … that he emphatically was not saying that but for the OLC opinion he would have found obstruction,” Barr told a Senate panel in early May.
OLC, or the Office of Legal Counsel, is the Justice Department office whose legal guidance has typically been used to mediate between government agencies.
So who is lying here: Barr, or Mueller? Did the Attorney General of the United States really perjure himself before the Senate in the name of mischaracterizing a conversation he had with the Special Counsel? Call me crazy, but I doubt it. I’m willing to bet that Bob Mueller, like the weasel he is, told AG Barr one thing to his face and then today, with Barr a thousand miles away, said something completely different to news cameras for the sake of putting a dark cloud back over the head of the president.
But hey, I can’t say for sure, which is why he needs to answer under oath. Then AG Barr can call his witnesses to support his version of events, which there are reportedly a few. Could that be why Mueller is so headstrong about “not answering anything beyond what’s in the report”?
I think we may be onto something here.
Jerry Nadler is stuck between a rock and a coochie cap. On one hand, he has very powerful donors and their vagina-clad rent-a-protestors making his life miserable. On the other, he had Bob Mueller himself essentially begging not to testify on national television, for very good reason.
Guys like Jim Jordan would have a field day with Mueller. Finally, under oath, King Bob would be asked when exactly it became clear that collusion was a fairy tale. If Mueller played dumb, Jordan would be armed with the knowledge of when the counterintelligence probe began, the intel assets that had been thrown toward the matter, the texts from Peter Strzok before the probe even began saying there was “no there, there,” etc.
Another line of inquiry would be why Mueller, who was supposedly tasked with digging into every nook and cranny of Russian interference and its possible connections with the Trump campaign, would not include the myriad attempts of US intelligence assets to entrap members of the Trump orbit in 2016 and beyond. And why would he omit critical information such as the special visa that had been given to the Russian lawyer who set up the “collusion” meeting with Don Jr. at Trump Tower? Given that these items are at the core of the subject matter he was supposedly tasked with investigating, how could there be no mention of it anywhere in the entire volume of the report that dealt with Russian collusion?
In short, Mueller was able to ignore everything on the other side of the Russia narrative for two years. He would have no such luxury before Congress. Nadler better think long and hard whether he wants to force Mueller into a position that Mueller himself is smart enough to try and avoid at all costs.
Now, it’s all a moot point, because Mueller can’t be asked about stuff he refused to include in the report if he’s limited to only discussing what actually did make it in. He most certainly knew what he was doing, the snake that he is. How convenient that he was given unlimited time and money to pursue things that absolutely nothing to do with the stupid Russian collusion theory, yet when it comes to his own examination, Mueller wants to keep a tight scope. It must be nice.
As for the Democrat side of the house, there will be plenty of questions lobbed for the sole purpose of creating news soundbites. They’ll ask Mueller to summarize his findings, especially as they relate to obstruction, since that’s their only hope. They’ll go on to ask about other things that were investigated or are still under investigation. They’ll ask his personal judgment on whether Trump should have been indicted, since Mueller gave every indication that he would have thrown the book were it known for that darn meddling Barr.
They’ll go through and ask about various instances of obstruction laid out in the report and seek an opinion on their legality. Some are likely to ask how he felt when the president was a big meanie to him on Twitter.
And yet, if Mueller’s own preferred parameters are obeyed, he’ll be able to answer very little of it, if any.
A Last Minute Ploy
Mueller pulled a last minute stunt with regards to his testimony agreement, and for what I believe are obvious reasons. Mueller has requested that his deputy on the Russian collusion probe, Aaron Zebley, be sworn in as well to address any questions that he can’t answer himself.
Zebley has long been an aide by Mueller’s side and both are neck deep in Clinton world. Zebley was Mueller’s chief of staff when he was FBI director. He also worked with Mueller at the private law firm Wilmer Hale before joining Mueller’s special counsel team.
One of Zebley’s most recent high-profile clients is one Justin Cooper, a former Clinton Foundation adviser and IT aide who set up and maintained Hillary’s illegal private email system for years while she served as Secretary of State. Cooper was involved in the destruction of some of Hillary’s personal devices. Remember hearing about those Blackberrys that were destroyed via hammer? Yep, that was him.
As I’ve written about extensively, Mueller is never more than a couple degrees removed from Clinton world, and he’s always had a way of popping up in important places just when Hillary has needed him most. It appears that tomorrow’s testimony will be a Clinton tag-team of sorts.
The selection of Zebley is certainly convenient for Mueller not only because it gives him another brain to lean on if the questions get tough, but because he will also be serving as Mueller’s counsel of sorts. By allowing Zebley to sit by and advise throughout testimony, Mueller has the luxury of a biased arbiter determining which questions are permissible as opposed to forbidden. If Democrats ask a juicy question that falls outside the session’s scope, Zebley just might find it relevant and advise to go ahead and answer. On the flip side, if Republicans ask something incriminating, I’m sure Zebley will have no issue hopping up to throw on the brakes.
These people are slimy. And even worse, they’re desperate. Combine those two traits and you have a recipe for some seriously underhanded shenanigans. They’ve already begun.
On paper, this should be a very boring day. The Mueller Report has been beaten to death. No one cares except Rosie O’Donnell, Tom Steyer and like four people sitting around singing lesbian folk songs in Portland.
However, we can’t assume that tomorrow’s testimony will be uneventful. As we’ve seen with the last-second stunt, Mueller has no more interest in being a straight shooter now than he has over the past two years — or two decades, for that matter.
I would expect Jerry Nadler and the Clinton crew to work in conjunction to ensure Democrats get as much red meat as possible while any and every poignant Republican question is killed before it gets legs. Dims control the House Judiciary Committee, unfortunately, and there is no honor to be found in their current ranks, only vultures hoping to get the juiciest cut of corpse.
The good news is it will not bring down the Trump presidency, not even close. The legacy media will run the soundbites its given for a few days, Twitter will start some cheesy impeachment hashtag, and poll numbers will be exactly what they were before this dog and pony show started.
In other words, just another day.
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