Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III this morning delivered what he clearly hopes will be his final “Farewell Address” at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. In his televised presentation Mueller said “our investigation is complete”; “we are formally closing the Special Counsel’s Office”; and “As well, I am resigning from the Department of Justice and returning to private life”.
He both opened and closed his remarks with references to alleged Russian interference in the U.S. 2016 election concluding: “I will close by reiterating the central allegation of our indictments—that there were multiple, systematic efforts to interfere in our election. That allegation deserves the attention of every American.”
He cast a bit of shade on the @realDonaldTrump‘s claim that the report ‘proved’ there was no collusion and no obstruction but did so merely by reiterating and referring to what was already in the report – adding nothing new beyond what was in the report.
Depending on their biases, various commentators and so-called ‘news’ reporters have opined that he was trying to get people more concerned about Russian interference in U.S. elections; was trying to encourage House Democrats to move forward with impeachment proceedings against President Donald J. Trump (something, curiously that the Democrat Party leadership seems suddenly rather reluctant to do); or whatever. They have thereby totally missed what is really going on here.
The real news hidden in plain sight in Mueller’s announcement this morning is none of the above: It is that he is, and for very good reasons, terrified at the possibility of having to deal with the very tough questions he will get from Republican members of Congress (House and Senate) if he is forced to testify there. He knows very well that will not go at all well for him, for his highly partisan one-sided phony investigation, or for the Democratic Party and its chances to unseat Trump in 2020.
Mueller is clearly telling the Dems in Congress that he has nothing more for them and that if they want to try to impeach Trump they need to do it on the basis of what is already in the report. He is telling the Democrats that they should not insist on bringing him in to testify before any committee of the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives. He does not want to be required to answer the questions that will be asked of him by Republican minority members of House committee or, even worse, by Republican senators in committee hearings in the Republican-controlled Senate. That is the real issue here.
If the Democrats compel Mueller to testify before House committees, that will open the door for the Republicans to expose the ridiculous bias and partisan blindness of the Special Counsel and his team of ‘angry Democrats’. Mueller hopes he can get the Democrats to lay off, to not subpoena him to testify before the House committees. He hopes the Republicans will not independently require his testimony before Senate committees – something Mueller desperately wants to avoid – if the Democrats to not require him to testify on their own hook.
Based on at least their initial reactions and comments following Mueller’s speech, it looks like the Democrats (or, at least, the Democrat leadership) got the message. It will be interesting to see how well it plays out, however, with their increasingly strident left-wing troops. Enjoy the show!