Mueller on Trump’s willingness to accept the assistance of a hostile foreign power to win the White House: “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear that it is.”

Splitting his time between the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee, Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent approximately seven hours on Capital Hill today, answering questions about his investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 election. And it went pretty much just like most folks thought that it would. The Republicans attempted at every turn to raise the specter of conspiracy and throw out new red herrings [hello, Joseph Mifsud], while the seemingly exhausted former FBI Director kept referring back to his written report, as he warned us that he would back in May. We knew going going into this that, given Mueller’s demeanor, there probably wouldn’t be any highly theatrical, made-for-television moments that would immediately start moving Republican support away from Trump, and there weren’t. But, with that said, there were still things to like about today, like the fact that, for the first time, we got to hear Mueller, in his own voice, tell the American people that Trump was lying when he described Russian election interference as a “hoax” perpetrated by the Democrats… “(It was) not a hoax,” Mueller said, adding that Russian interference is still among the “most serious” challenges facing our democracy.

And, of course, as I’m sure you’ve heard by now, he also got to say that Donald Trump was full of shit when he came out last March, before the report had been made public, declaring that Mueller and his team had completely “exonerated” him… “Did you actually totally exonerate the President?,” Congressman Jerry Nadler asked Mueller this morning, to which the former FBI Director responded with a clear and firm, “No.” [Mueller found several ways over the course of his testimony to make it clear that Donald Trump has lied throughout this process, both to the American people and to investigators.]

Here, if you’ve forgotten it, is what what Trump said about the report back in March, before anyone had seen it… Today, during these two hearings, the Democrats, working together in a coordinated fashion (for a change), led Mueller through the report chapter by chapter, laying out every instance of witness tampering, obstruction of justice, perjury.

I could go on and on, but I’m sure that, without much effort, you can find better analysis elsewhere. Before I go, though, I wanted to be sure to share this exchange between Mueller and Congressman Adam Schiff, which is a pretty good four-minute recap of how the day went, with Democrats laying out Trump’s multiple crimes, and the former FBI Director responding that, yes, our President had actually done each of the horrendous things on the list.

Oh, and it’s worth noting that Mueller did, on occasion, depart from his “yes, no, I can’t talk about that” script, allowing his feelings concerning Trump’s behavior to come through. For instance, he said at one point, when asked about Trump’s willingness to accept the help of Russia in the 2016 election, “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear that it is“, which I found to be incredibly chilling.

One last thing. Mueller also made it clear that Donald Trump could be prosecuted for his crimes upon leaving office.

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31 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Agent Orange + Service station canopy + Rope (some assembly required)

  2. iRobert
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Democrats wanted more dramatic sound bites from the testimony, and Republicans don’t want Trump’s conduct reported publically. So everyone was a little disappointed.

  3. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    How is Mifsud a red herring? They cast him as a Russian agent and tried to set up Papadopolous. Everything you say is a lie.

  4. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I think Mark is trying to say questioning the basis upon which Trump was surveilled is not relevant to Mark’s particular agenda. So, totally a red herring if you change the meaning of red herring to mean something different from what it actually means.

  5. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “That is not the smell of dead fish. Everything smells
    fine over there”.

  6. Bob
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    There has been so much talk about every tangent of the case that it has obscured the obvious. Trump tried to stop the investigation from the start. He fired Comey. Obstruction of Justice. Very simple. We didn’t need Mueller yesterday. It’s all in his report. Impeach. Pelosi is the real obstacle. Fuck her “we don’t have the votes right now.” Start the process that will uncover more evidence and many of those opposing impeachment will fall in line. Most Republicans aren’t going to go down with Trump’s ship. Do what’s right Nancy. Fuck your political maneuvering.

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    The Deputy Attorney General recommended Comey be fired.

  8. EOS
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    @ Bob,

    Comey deserved to be fired. When he is charged and convicted for the actual crimes he committed you will see as well.

    Mueller found no basis for any criminal charges. The House can impeach any time it wants, but the Senate won’t agree. Dems need to stop wasting time and money and start doing the job they were elected to do. We need immigration laws either changed or enforced. We need a balanced budget. We need a lot of things other than trying to eliminate the freely elected leader of our nation because you might disagree with his policies.

  9. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Not obvious at all, Bob.

  10. iRobert
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I’m not a big fan of Pelosi, but on the subject of impeachment she’s simply doing her job of representing the majority of Democratic members in the House and taking into consideration the obstacles to impeachment. She is right not to go against the positions of the majority of members.

    I do believe Trump’s conduct is impeachable, but that doesn’t mean you automatically attempt to impeach him. The public strongly disagrees with proceeding with impeachment. That’s why their representatives are still not onboard. Anybody who wants Trump impeached would have to first change public opinion toward that goal. It won’t happen otherwise.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    To anyone who critiques Mueller’s “performance” yesterday, as opposed to the content of what he said, I have a message. Fuck you. This isn’t a reality television season finale spectacle. This is real life, and the future of our nation hangs in the balance. I say to the press, stop treating this like a sporting event, and treat it like the national emergency it is.

  12. Bob
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Are you such a Trump slappy EOS that you didn’t even hear Mueller’s words? I guess you are. He absolutely found a basis for criminal charges. He made that crystal clear and seemed to point towards it after he loses the election. Trump will likely take the Hitler golden parachute in his bunker before that happens, but it’s coming. Poor Melania Braun. More than one ball but the same outcome.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I wouldn’t be so quick to say “fuck you”. Mueller’s own statements seem to undercut his own major conclusions on Russian meddling. I really wonder if anyone else finds the Aaron Mate’s “crowdstrikeout” article, which I have linked twice, interesting or worth considering?

    Something smells funny to me.

  14. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    We no longer have a democracy of any form. We now have a corrupt kleptocracy that sells the country out to build hotels in Moscow and takes food away from poor people to pay for tax breaks for wealthy people, and now we have shown that any suggestion of criminality will be met with indifference by the electorate.

    Congratulations. You won.

    “We need a balanced budget.”

    Since when do Republicans care about a balanced budget? You guys vote for tax breaks to wealthy people and increases in military spending, oil, gas and farm subsidies, you guys don’t care at all about balanced budgets.

  15. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Mueller played it dumb. He said he could charge the President after his presidency without specifying that he could do it with the information in his report. Without that it is merely a statement of policy. It’s true you CAN indict a former President. Nowhere did he say he WOULD do it. Hey, whatever bitter little slice keeps you going…

  16. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I have been talking about crowdstrike’s Russian hacking claims being bogus for a loooong time. It’s all based on that and the phony Russian agent Mifsud and FBI asset Veselnitskaya and trying to bribe oligarch to say bad thing about T-r-rump and bullshit like that. These people are so screwed, Flakes.

  17. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Now Barr wants the government to kill people, that’s some real pro-life action there. Death panels.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Getting the public ready for executions of household names for crimes against humanity and treason. How come it all seems to be heading where I said it would a long time ago? Guantanamo is hoppin’ I hear. It’s like twice as big now with a new geriatric hospital wing. Huh!

  19. John Brown
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    It’s obvious he obstructed justice at a minimum and should be impeached. It’s also obvious that he still holds veto power over the budget deal Pelosi is try to get locked in. These two things are intertwined.

    Oh and also it sure sounds like HW is excited to start executing his fellow Americans for political reasons. Fascist scum.

  20. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Yes, it does sound like HW (and the people like him) are ready to start executing their political opponents. Truly frightening. This is exactly why the state should not ever have the ability to kill. HW would have fared well in any number of violent, fascistic states in history.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    It’s not for being a political opponent though. Fatal flaw in your logic. They are Trump’s opponents because of their crimes. If the Rosenberg’s were someone’s opponent would it make their treason go away?

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    No, it is obviously not obvious, fJB.

    I have heard several people on mm.com confess they wish for the death of their political opponents absent due process. HW is not one of those people, fake John Brown.

  23. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    You are the fascist. You want to let your people get away with murder and destroy YOUR political enemy with lies. You have no problem with antifa going around using weapons on people of all colors because of their political views. Antifa dies in domestic terror attack? He’s a hero. Andy Ngo gets attacked so bad he gets a hemorrhage so he must be a fascist. Come on now. That’s some crazy shit.

    Fascist/Communist – it doesn’t matter. They behave the same way. You think you can beat the patriotism out of us? You got another thing comin’ you miserable bastard.

  24. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    How do you know who my people are? I think that the erosion of institutions, the new lawless precedents being set, and now the resumption of state sponsored murder are bad for everyone, regardless of party. Who is to say that a Democratic administration won’t use their expanded powers down the road? I believe in limited government and also believe that government should not have a monopoly on violence and murder. Isn’t that a patriotic stands? The belief in democratic institutions, the rule of law, constrained government and limits on the use of violence by governments?

  25. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Antifa are a decentralized bunch of individuals with a shared political stance. Police and the courts are now the play things of the President. I have never met anyone that called themselves antifa. I have met lots of police and people who work in courts. I am betting the same for you.

    Can’t use see how the two are entirely different levels of scale?

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Above Anonymous,

    FJB accused HW of being a fascist above. Have you considered the consequences of using a handle used by others? Using a handle used by others seems like a good idea only in a very narrow set of circumstances….

  27. Meta
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    The best headline of the day came from the Washington Post:
    “Mueller didn’t fail. The country did.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/07/25/mueller-didnt-fail-country-did/

  28. Frosted Flakes
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Meta Whirled Peas was a good basketball player and helluva nice guy.

  29. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    “Police and the courts are now the play things of the President.”

    Nice opinion. Too bad it’s not the equivalent of a fact.

  30. John Brown
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Its equally obvious that a bunch of crazy MFers have no qualms about denying the white supremacist terrorism he’s fomenting, the rapid nonstop lying, the ass kissing of putin, and the all around desecration of American values.

    Get gunned up good people. If putin and McConnel hand him another crooked election there’s no limit to the depravity he’ll subject the country to.

  31. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted July 25, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Who cares about your opinion? No one but a diminishing handful of scumbags. Point a gun at me and I’ll take it out of your hands and beat your ass with it. No problem with violence in self defense here.

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