Nel's New Day

July 25, 2019

Mueller Testimony Shows Republicans Live in an Alternate Reality

The week of Robert Mueller’s testimony about his investigation before two House committees began with a letter from DOJ Associate Deputy Attorney General Bradley Weinsheimer, who earlier declared that he had nothing to do with the investigation, ordering Mueller about what he can and cannot tell say. Attorney Neal Katyal, formerly a DOJ member,  described the letter’s tone as “bizarrely adversarial” and “not a way to treat a former FBI director.” Another former DOJ official, Matthew Miller, commented:

“DOJ’s position is it’s OK for [AG Bill] Barr to talk about decision making, findings that go beyond the report, etc., but Mueller can’t.”

Dictator Donald Trump’s (DDT) tried to seem casual about Mueller’s testimony. Asked if he was worried, DDT said:

“No, I’m not going to be watching. Probably. Maybe I’ll see a little bit of it. I’m not going to be watching Mueller.”

DDT then launched into his lies and “no obstruction” speech:

“Robert Mueller, I know he’s conflicted—he had a lot—there’s a lot of conflicts that he’s got, including the fact that his best friend is Comey. But he’s got conflicts with me, too. He’s got big conflicts with me. As you know, he wanted the job of the FBI Director. He didn’t get it. And we had a business relationship where I said, ‘No.’ And I would say that he wasn’t happy. Then, all of a sudden, he gets this position. But you know what? He still ruled—and I respect him for it—he still ruled ‘no collusion, no obstruction.’”

The day before Mueller’s testimony, DDT lied to an audience of conservative teenagers sponsored by Turning Point USA by claiming that the constitution’s Article II states that “I can do whatever I want.” This article explains impeachment if the president does anything that he wants. More DDT lies: immigrants “vote many times”; Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) is a “bad,” “sick,” “vicious” person; mainstream media companies are close to failing; liberal judges are not following the Constitution and “trying to take your arms away”; 2016 was the most important election ever because the country was “going wrong”; the U.S. is “respected” again; Nike is trying to take “heritage” away from young people; two years ago the military was on the brink of collapse; only 11 percent of the people support impeachment (although the number from one poll is 37 percent to begin proceedings); and the FBI is “crazy.”  DDT then moved on racist comments and lies about foreign policy before, luckily, C-SPAN’s web feed died.

During his speech, DDT stood in front of a “revised” presidential seal that showed a two-headed eagle, reminiscent of empire and dominance like the Russian coat of arms and flags of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro. The 13 arrows in the left talon have been replaced by golf clubs, and the talon on the right is holding cash. The white objects on the blue background above red and white stripes in the flag crest are hammer and sickles. The seal also replaced the nation’s motto with “45 es un titere,” Spanish for “45 is a puppet.” Graphic designer Charles Leazott sells the seal on his web site, https://one-term-donnie.myshopify.com/. No one noticed the error until later.

The morning before Mueller’s testimony, DDT tweeted several attacks against Mueller, Hillary Clinton, Andrew McCabe, and James Comey while accusing the hearings of being unfair and accusing political opponents of fabricating crimes against him. DDT also complained about Mueller’s aide, Aaron Zebley, testifying with him as a witness, and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) did the same in the committee meeting on Wednesday morning.

Robert Mueller’s testimony before two different House committees for six hours stuck to Barr’s demands. He was careful with his answers, to the point of looking to conservatives as if he were flustered and confused. 

 

Pieces from Mueller’s testimony:

DDT “was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed” and could be indicted after he leaves office.

The investigation did not “fully exonerate” DDT, and Mueller did not find that DDT did not obstruct justice. Mueller confirmed multiple examples of DDT’s obstruction in his report. 

Mueller didn’t bring charges against DDT, not because of lack of evidence but because of DOJ rules that refuse to charge a sitting president with a crime.

DDT did not cooperate fully with the investigation because he refused to an interview and would not answer written questions about obstruction. Mueller also found DDT’s “written answers to be inadequate.” He also indicated that DDT had not been truthful in some answers.

Mueller did not subpoena DDT because DDT’s fight against it would prolong the Russia investigation. 

DDT lied under oath and asked his staff to falsify records for Mueller’s investigation. 

DDT lied when he said that Mueller was upset about not being appointed FBI director; Mueller said he was not a candidate for the post.

DDT’s encouragement of WikiLeaks are “problematic [as] an understatement.”

DDT and his campaign team lied about events in 2016 during the Russian election attacks.

Several people interviewed for the investigation lied.

Russia wanted DDT to win in 2016 and Russia worked to boost his election in a “sweeping and systematic fashion,” according to Mueller.  

Russia tampered in U.S. elections in the past, and “they’re doing it as we sit here.” DDT’s campaign welcomed this interference in 2016.

The investigation is “not a witch hunt.”

Mueller registered objections to GOP congressional members’ false interpretations of his report:

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) falsely accused Mueller of ignoring the FBI probe origins and not investigating a diplomat who said that DDT’s campaign aide said Russians had dirt on Clinton.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) falsely accused the investigation of being politically motivated.

Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) falsely accused Mueller of irresponsibly impugning DDT because he didn’t make a determination about DDT’s committing a crime and obstructing justice.

Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) falsely claimed that Mueller agreed with AG Bill Barr’s representation of the report to the public.  (She also told Mueller that he didn’t use Fox “news” enough times in his report.)

Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) falsely accused Mueller of leaving out evidence.

Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) falsely accused Mueller of weighting his team with anti-DDT members. (Two of them had each donated $2,700 to Clinton for her election. Democrats didn’t point out that Barr donated $51,000 to Republicans in the six months before he was appointed as AG.)

Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) used his questioning time as an interview for replacing Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats.

Most of the questions/comments from Republicans came from false Fox material. (Fact-checking the falsehoods.) Individually and collectively, Republicans treated Robert Mueller, a Republican who has served his country well in six other administrations, with complete disrespect while defending a person who dodged the draft and sold out the United States. 

Not all Republicans supported the GOP “head in the sand” denial practices toward DDT’s criminal behavior. MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, a former representative who helped DDT during his campaign, tweeted:

“Jesus, forgive me for ever being a Republican.”

After Mueller’s testimony, Republican politicians had only two talking points: DDT is guilty of nothing, and Mueller gave a bad “performance.” They lied about the first and presented the second as if behavior, like reality TV and DDT’s rallies, are the substance. Republicans attacked Mueller for not memorizing 448 pages and a two-year investigation while they give a pass to DDT who can’t memorize ahalf page of notes. To summarize for the GOP, Mueller made clear that DDT was not exonerated, that DDT would and did benefit from Russia’s massive election interference, that DDT’s behavior met all three criteria for criminal obstruction of justice, that only being sitting president saved DDT from criminal prosecution, and that only DOJ saves DDT from indictment while he’s in the Oval Office. Less than two hours after Mueller’s testimony, DDT lied about all Mueller’s statements.

Transcript of Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

If the Mueller investigation exonerated DDT, why are he and Republicans so bent out of shape about the findings? These ongoing activities may frighten the naysayers. They should become afraid when anti-DDT countries start their own election interference—like Iran. 

Senate Republicans polished off Mueller’s testimony about the danger of Russian interference in the next election by blocking two election security bills and a cybersecurity measure. The next day, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked the measures on Thursday, accusing Democrats of trying to give themselves a “political benefit.” One rejected House bill requires paper ballots and provides funding for the Election Assistance Commission. To McConnell, blocking Russian interference is “partisan legislation.” The other bill mandates notification of the FBI for “assistance offers” from foreign powers. Ironically, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report at the same time showing massive election interference from Russia since 2014. Republicans know, however, that they might not get elected if the United States has a free, unfettered voting system.

 In the past, fighting Russian control of the U.S. was bipartisan. Those days are gone, and DDT’s supporters live in an alternate reality.  

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