Time to Wheel Robert Mueller Away
How did a man in such a sorry state of such self-evident mental decline get appointed to head up one of the most significant investigations in American law-enforcement history?
That is the question one would be forgiven for asking watching Robert Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee regarding his investigation into alleged “collusion” between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia. The number of times he sat, mouth agape, while direct and straightforward questions were put to him, only to ask that the questions be repeated, was striking. “What was the question?” was one of Mr. Mueller’s most oft-repeated responses. The amount of stammering, stumbling, “ehs”, and “uhs” was almost embarrassing to watch. Even Democrats were obviously frustrated by Mueller’s halting, timorous responses, especially regarding President Trump’s alleged “obstruction” of the government’s investigation.
The image wasn’t helped when the first Republican to question Mueller, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, said he would make an extra effort to speak slowly for Mueller’s benefit. That kindness didn’t seem to help Mueller’s comprehension, based on the number of times he continued to ask that questions be repeated, or the time when he directly contradicted what he had written in “his” report: Saying that, in colloquial terms, “collusion” and conspiracy were not the same thing, whereas his report said they were.
Mueller did his best, given his declining faculties, to bob and weave, as Republicans did an estimable job of putting very reasonable, and often biting, questions to him. He frequently invoked the mantras “That’s outside my purview”, or “I can’t get into that”, or “I’ll stand by the report.” But those invocations only reinforced what has been apparent for months -- that Mueller was a figurehead who never effectively ran the Special Counsel investigation and didn’t know his own report’s contents.
Moreover, it was never really an “investigation” to begin with. It was an extension of a political destruction operation begun by CIA Director John Brennan and FBI Director James Comey in the spring of 2016, working with Hillary Clinton’s operatives and the complicit media, by mounting a bogus “counterintelligence investigation” of Trump and his campaign. After Brennan and Comey were ejected from the government following Trump’s election, the ball was then picked up by Mueller’s Special Counsel investigation, which was really run by Andrew Weissmann, a legal thug of the first order, as I discussed in these pages last month.
The excellent metaphor by Rep. Tom McClintock of Mueller’s report being a smoking bag of flaming manure left on the front porch of America’s doorstep was only inaccurate in one respect. He suggested that after Mueller deposited the malodorous sack on the front step, Mueller rang the doorbell and ran away. What was clear from Mueller’s testimony was that he is incapable of running anywhere, so after dropping and lighting the bag of excrement, Andrew Weissmann pushed Mueller’s wheelchair away at fast as his legs could carry him.
A popular refrain for many of the representatives, mostly Democrats but some Republicans, was to thank Mueller for his service as a Marine officer in Vietnam leading a rifle company and being awarded a Bronze Star with V and a Purple Heart. Those were truly valorous acts and worthy of all our gratitude as Americans, but the real tragedy is that that meritorious service is now being diminished by its use as a cynical shield to protect a man who sacrificed his integrity by putting America through an excruciating two-year long attack on its President with a specious, politically-motivated “investigation.” That treacherous role far eclipsed Mueller’s creditable service half a century ago in Southeast Asia.
One of the frequently repeated phrases among the preening Democrats in the Mueller hearing, applied to President Trump, was “No one is above the law.” I find this amusing, as this is the tag line of Judicial Watch, which has been one of the most effective instruments in Washington for exposing the machinations of the Deep State and the Hillary campaign in their plot to undermine Donald Trump. Those Deep Staters simply cannot abide the man or the fact that their beloved Hillary Clinton, whom they believed was destined for the presidency, lost to him. Wheeling out Robert Mueller didn’t help their cause. The American people don’t favor impeaching the President, with only 27 percent of Americans supporting impeachment, and Nancy Pelosi certainly doesn’t, recalling that impeachment caused President Clinton’s rise in popularity.
My point in this column is not to gratuitously mock a befuddled old man who could not remember which president first appointed him to high office. My point is to illustrate that Robert Mueller no longer has the wits to oversee a true large-scale investigation and did not do so in the case of the so-called investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, because it was not an investigation in the first place and Mueller was not really its head. He allowed himself, a nominal “Republican,” to be used as the figurehead of a political, faux-legal “investigative team,” populated by rabid, Trump-hating Democratic lawyers, designed to give the Democrats in Congress a glidepath toward impeaching President Trump. And for that, Mueller deserves both our mockery and contempt.
William F. Marshall has been an intelligence analyst and investigator in the government, private, and non-profit sectors for more than 30 years. He is a senior investigator for Judicial Watch, Inc. (The views expressed are the author’s alone, and not necessarily those of Judicial Watch.)