After hours of Mueller testimony, I learned nothing that I didn’t already know. But that doesn’t mean that there was not any information that was confirmed by Mueller that should not concern every American citizen.
Of course, it will not. No matter what happened, we already knew how the Republicans were going to conduct themselves and we already knew that anyone that still supports these Republicans and Trump, were not going to be convinced otherwise. So, where does that leave us? Was this entire thing a waste of time, going all the way back to the appointment of Mueller?
Here are my thoughts, divided into three areas…Mueller’s performance, The Republican’s performance, and the Democrats performance.
I was pretty sure that Mueller would answer questions pretty much the way he did, sticking completely to what is written in the report. That’s not to say that I was not hoping that he would stand up and say,
“Screw it…I’ve had enough of all of this. Trump and his band of criminal sycophants obstructed justice. They obviously colluded with the Russians, even if not technically conspiring with them. He lied about everything involved with the whole situation, he tampered with witnesses, and he was/is a huge national security risk due to all of these things and the resulting compromising position he put himself in with adversarial foreign governments. I would have, 100%, indicted him were it not for a very foolish policy of the DOJ of which tied my hands. I wrote my report to make that abundantly obvious in the hopes that Congress would somehow miraculously come to their senses and get this POS out of office! That’s all I have to say, have a good day.”Steve’s fantasy Mueller statement
But Mueller didn’t do that. I didn’t expect him to. However, I also didn’t expect him to appear so weak during his testimony. He definitely did. That was disappointing.
Overall, I have very mixed feelings about Mueller at this point. I think he played it straight the whole way through, which is honorable for what it’s worth, but I also think he could have been a true hero in all of this. I am confident that he believes Trump is a criminal and should have been indicted. I am also confident that he believes that the DOJ rule on a sitting President not being indictable is BS. Therefore, I think he should have just indicted him, given the utter crap position he was in. That was the right thing to do. In the end, he proved to be too “by the book” and it caused even more problems as far as the right result being obtained, in my opinion.
Obfuscate, distract, deflect, and lie. Repeat. That Trump was so very pleased with their (the warriors) performance pretty much tells you everything you need to know. Not one of them showed an ounce of integrity or intellectual honesty, except for maybe Hurd, but he didn’t display any dissent from the Republican/Trump narrative…rather, he was just not as douche-baggery like the rest of them. It solidified my disgust for the whole of the Republican Party. I will not be voting Republican for the foreseeable future.
For the most part, they did all they could to present a picture of what the Mueller Report actually says. I thought they did well, all things considered. In the Judiciary Committee hearing, they seemed disciplined, on message, and well coordinated as they systematically walked us through 5 of the main obstruction issues. And they did that very well. There is no doubt that Trump obstructed justice and that anyone else who did the things he did would have been indicted. No doubt.
And they managed to get Mueller on record and on video agreeing with most of their assertions as they went through it all step by step. That will come in handy going forward…if they play it right.
In the Intelligence Committee hearing, I don’t know if they were coordinated with each other as well, but I did watch that one in a more broken manner, so that may have been a factor in my perception. I thought Schiff stood out as being particularly effective in his opening statement and his closing statement. I was surprised that Nunes declined to use his closing statement time (he must have gotten word that Trump was already pleased and didn’t want to risk saying anything to disrupt that).
All in all, while Mueller did not stand up and make the dramatic statement as I suggested above, I think the Democrats still managed to get him to state all of that anyway in a more methodical manner. Will it be an immediate game-changer? No. But it is also not as bad as many are making it out to be and certainly not the big win that Trump and his minions are pretending it to be. Far from it. While those of us who have been paying attention and actually have read the Mueller Report received no new information (which may seem to some to be a big disappointment), it still lays the groundwork for making the case to the larger population who have not seen any actual details of the report.
Pelosi’s news conference with Schiff, Nadler, and Cummings makes me think that they are, indeed, working toward impeachment. Up until now, I did not think that Pelosi had any intention of going there, thinking that she was playing the political card in that facing anyone other than Trump in the 2020 election was foolish. I think that is still the case. However, I do think she is working toward a situation where the House will impeach Trump, knowing that the Senate will not convict. First, I think the Dems need to do that in order to get their base fired up and drive more on the left to the polls. But also, I think they are attempting to build such a slam-dunk case that all rational voters will clearly see that impeachment is warranted. I see that the plan is to build just such a case that it will not only hurt Trump, but also make it abundantly clear that the Senate Republicans really are the dishonest, corrupt, shitheads that they are. If they attempt to proceed with impeachment before such a slam-dunk case is created, they risk it back-firing on them.
The theme of the Democrats, at least during the Judiciary Committee hearing, was that “no person is above the law”. Every one of them ended their time by stating that point. That further leads me to believe that they intend to take this to the ultimate conclusion. Whether we get there or not, and whether it is true that “no person is above the law”, is yet to be determined.