by WorldTribune Staff, July 25, 2019
Pretty much from the get-go in his testimony before Congress on July 24, Robert Mueller was shaky to say the least. Democrats were puzzled. Republicans pounced.
The head of an investigation which took more than two years and cost U.S. taxpayers tens of millions of dollars seemed clueless about his own investigation. Was Mueller just a figurehead in a probe run by anti-Trump operatives? Had he taken too many sedatives?
Shocked Democrats and their corporate media allies may have had visions of Ben Stein calling out “Mueller? Mueller?”
After running with the headline “Dazed and Confused” on Mueller’s testimony, Drudge Report founder Matt Drudge tweeted: “Drug test everyone in Washington. Everyone!”
In summoning Mueller to testify, Democrats were “trying to create the illusion that Trump did something he didn’t do, that he committed crimes he didn’t commit, that he committed crimes that have not been charged, because they’re so obsessed now with the fact that Trump’s gotta go that they can’t get him. They’re long gone beyond reason,” radio host Rush Limbaugh said.
One of the few highlights from Mueller’s day before the House Judiciary Committee came in regards to whether or not the Department of Justice can “exonerate” people.
Enter Rep. John Ratcliffe. The Texas Republican blew that notion “out of the water,” Limbaugh noted.
Ratcliffe asked Mueller where in the DOJ’s policies and principles there is a legal standard where a person not found guilty of a crime is considered “not exonerated.”
Ratcliffe asked: “Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined,” Ratcliffe asked.
Mueller responded, “I cannot. But this is a unique situation.”
Ratcliffe said Mueller essentially made up a standard that does not exist:
“You can’t find it because — I’ll tell you why — it doesn’t exist. The special counsel’s job — nowhere does it say that you are to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the Special Counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him, it’s not in any of the documents, it’s not in your appointment order, it’s not in the Special Counsel regulations, it’s not in the OLC opinions, it’s not in the Justice manual, and it’s not in the Principles of Federal Prosecution. Nowhere do those words appear together because respectfully it was not the Special Counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence.”
Ratcliffe than blasted Mueller for violating Trump’s right to the presumption of innocence.
“It exists for everyone, everyone is entitled to it, including sitting presidents, and because there is a presumption of innocence, prosecutors never ever need to conclusively determine it,” he said.
“Now director, the Special Counsel applied this inverted burden of proof that I can’t find and you said doesn’t exist anywhere in the Department policies and you used it to write a report,” he added.
Ratcliffe also slammed Mueller for not following the special counsel’s regulations.
“It clearly says write a confidential report about decisions reached. Nowhere in here does it say write a report about decisions that weren’t reached…potential crimes that weren’t charged,” Ratcliffe said.
“Americans need to know this…this report, volume two of this report was not authorized under the law to be written. It was written to a legal standard that does not exist at the Justice Department. I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law which is where volume two of this report puts him.”
Limbaugh noted “there isn’t another example of it like Ratcliffe was pointing out! There isn’t anybody else who has, quote-unquote, ‘been exonerated’! CNN’s still running that headline, ‘Mueller: Trump Not Exonerated’. Nobody ever is! This is a crucial, crucial thing because Mueller is allowing media allies and Democrats to continue this illusion that Trump is guilty; they just couldn’t prove it! Or, in this case, they can’t charge him with it because he’s sitting president. That’s not even true! Mueller has admitted that had nothing to with it! He has had to change the record from his lying testimony this morning!”
During Fox News’s “Hannity” on July 24, radio and TV host Mark Levin said:
“I’d like to thank the Democrats, because they’ve really revealed themselves as the clowns they truly are. They’ve impeached themselves today and forevermore.”
Levin took aim at Mueller’s report, which he described as just a “prosecutor’s brief.”
“There was no reply report by the president that was permitted, no contrary witnesses, no contrary documents, no contrary evidence, no cross-examinations, no challenges of any type,” he said.
To that point, Levin said Rep. Adam Schiff, House Intelligence Committee chair, should have called some of his fellow Democrats to testify.
“If the Democrats were truly interested, Mr. Schiff — which you said over and over again there was overwhelming Russian involvement in our campaign — then, why the hell didn’t you call Barack Obama and Joe Biden to testify?”
Of Mueller, Levin claimed the ex-FBI Director was both in “no condition to testify” and in “no condition to be a special counsel. Rod Rosenstein should never have offered him a job.”
Rep. Matt Gaetz, Florida Republican, blasted Mueller for evading a question regarding the anti-Trump dossier which sparked the Trump-Russia investigation.
“Director Mueller, can you state with confidence that the Steele dossier was not part of Russia’s disinformation campaign?” Gaetz asked.
“No … that part of the building of the case predated me by at least 10 months,” Mueller responded.
“Yeah, and Paul Manafort’s alleged crimes regarding tax evasion predated you. You had no trouble charging them. As a matter of fact, the Steele dossier predated [Attorney General William Barr], and he didn’t have any problem answering the question when Sen. Cornyn asked the attorney general the exact question I asked you, director,” Gaetz responded.
Gaetz continued: “You identify no factual basis regarding the dossier or the possibility that [the dossier] was part of the Russia disinformation campaign. Christopher Steele’s reporting is referenced in your report. Steele reported to the FBI that senior Russian foreign ministry figures … told him that there was … ‘extensive evidence of conspiracy between the Trump campaign team and The Kremlin.’ Here’s my question: Did Russians really tell that to Christopher Steele? Or did he just make it all up and was he lying to the FBI?”
Mueller responded: “As I said earlier, with regard to the Steele [dossier], that is beyond my purview.”
Gaetz said: “No, it is. It is exactly your purview, Director Mueller, and here’s why: Only one of two things [are] possible. Either Steele made this whole thing up, and there were never any Russians telling him of this vast criminal conspiracy that you didn’t find, or Russians lied to Steele.”
Gaetz continued: “Now, if Russians were lying to Steele to undermine our confidence in our duly elected president, that would seem to be precisely your purview, because you stated in your opening that the organizing principle was to fully and thoroughly investigate Russia’s interference, but you weren’t interested in whether or not Russians are interfering.”
The Daily Caller noted that “While Mueller’s report relied on the dossier to obtain wiretap warrants against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, it also contradicted the dossier’s conclusion that the 2016 Trump campaign engaged in a ‘well-developed conspiracy of co-operation’ with the Kremlin.”