In a photo taken Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Special Counsel Robert Mueller departs after a closed-door meeting with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee about Russian meddling in the election and possible connection to the Trump campaign, at the Capitol in Washington. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Robert Mueller was going to be the great hope of the media and the Democrats. He would be the guy to bring Donald Trump down. The Democrats had pinned all their electoral hopes on it. The media reported every single leaked detail as a big, breaking story that would lead us down the path to impeachment.
And then, the leaks stopped seeming so hopeful. They started signaling that Trump may not be going down for collusion with the Russian government. But, maybe if his inner circle was compromised, that would bring the general public to their side!
Of course… that didn’t happen either. So, we were told to focus on the investigation into whether or not Trump obstructed justice. Wait, though! The U.S. Attorney’s Southern District of New York office was investigating the Trump organization! That is sure to bring something out. If he could be nailed with obstruction and/or the Trump Organization was found corrupt and compromised, then we surely have him!
Then Mueller’s report came out. They couldn’t determine obstruction, and the Attorney General declined to pursue it. The SDNY closed its investigation without bringing up charges.
Every narrative that went into Trump’s coming legal troubles fizzled well before they became anything close to substantial. In a last-ditch effort, Mueller is now set to appear before the House Judicial Committee, led by the increasingly erratic Jerry Nadler and frothing Democrats who are desperately searching for any soundbites they can use to prove Trump did… something.
The Mueller hearing, set to start at 9:30 a.m. this morning, will be nothing short of a disappointment to any and all who have to watch it.
There will, naturally, be reporters, pundits, and activists tweeting out everything that is said in this hearing, and you will be inundated with soundbites all day. I would like to tell you that some of these will mean something, and maybe we could be in for a surprise, but the formula for this is already set in stone.
The Democrats will give long-winded questions that are meant to make Mueller say that he wanted to recommend charges of obstruction, but his hands were tied by the Department of Justice guidelines on indicting a sitting president. They’ll want him, essentially, to say something that isn’t in his report. They want him to add new information in.
The Department of Justice, at Mueller’s request, has already said he should not go beyond the scope of his report, and he will have no urge to do so because doing so means admitting he was wrong in his report or his press conference. Mueller wants no part of this circus anymore. He wants to be done with it.
That is probably why he has an assistant who is going to be sworn in with him, to give more details than he might have. Mueller wants to talk as little as possible, and having someone else to get questioned is just another way to avoid the partisan guillotine that will be set up for him no matter how he answers.
The Republicans, meanwhile, are going to decry the insanity of continuing on this path when Mueller’s report has already said there is nothing to charge Trump over. They will ask Mueller if his hands were tied in any way by Donald Trump and his administration, and he will say “No” and that will be that. He’ll be asked that twenty-five different ways, but the answer won’t change.
I want to tell you that this hearing will have some meaning, some impact on our lives. But, you and I both know it is a colossal waste of time.
This is the last chance the Judicial Committee Democrats have, and I truly think they have put all of their eggs in the Mueller basket because they can’t back out now. They are stuck here, whether they know it or not. You don’t hear non-Judicial Committee Democratic leadership really commenting on the hearing. You don’t hear a thing from Pelosi’s office. There is an eerie quiet from pretty much all Democrats ahead of this hearing. They know.
You and I know, as well. There is no there there, and once that is undeniably proven (again), the Democrats will be forced to address the plainest and simplest of facts: Absent a miracle, there is nothing to invalidate Trump’s election and the problem in recent elections is them, not the Republicans.