Top Excerpts from the Mueller Testimony 7-24-19

Post em if you got em.

– MUELLER ON MOSCOW: “The Russian government’s effort to interfere in our election is among the most serious” threats to democracy he’s seen in his career.

– REFUTING ‘NO OBSTRUCTION, NO COLLUSION’: Mueller re-emphasized that he hadn’t reached a conclusion on obstruction and that “the president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed.”

– REP. ZOE LOFGREN (D-CALIF.): “Did your investigation find that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from one of the candidates winning?” MUELLER: “Yes.” LOFGREN: “And which candidate would that be?” MUELLER: “Well, it would be Trump. The president.”

– ON FUSION GPS: Asked by Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) whether Fusion GPS was the firm that produced the so-called Steele Dossier, Mueller said: “I’m not familiar with that.”

– MUELLER said his conversation with President DONALD TRUMP regarding the position of FBI director was “not as a candidate.” He said he spoke to him about what it takes to do the FBI director job.

– MUELLER said he was “not going to get into that,” when asked whether A.G. BILL BARR’S March 24 “principal conclusions” letter was accurate.

– WHEN REP. HAKEEM JEFFRIES (D-N.Y.) put up a graphic showing the president met all three elements of obstruction when he asked McGahn to fire Mueller, MUELLER said, “I don’t subscribe necessarily” to that analysis.

– ON WHETHER WITNESSES LIED TO HIM: “I think there are probably a spectrum of witnesses in terms of those who are not telling the full truth or those who are outright liars.”



538 coverage:


WaPo Coverage:

The highlights:

The former special counsel makes clear his investigation did not exonerate the president

Mueller confirms obstruction episodes with single-word responses

Mueller pushes back against President Trump’s criticisms of his prosecutors’ work.


My coworkers and I got a good laugh out of Mueller’s nonresponse to Gohmert’s speech:

GOHMERT: Right. And if somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election and they see the big Justice Department with people that hate that person coming after them, and then a Special Counsel appointed who hires a dozen or more people that hate that person and he knows he’s innocent, he’s not corruptly acting in order to see that justice is done, what he’s doing is not obstructing justice, he is pursuing justice and the fact that you …
NADLER: The gentleman’s time …
GOHMERT: … ran it out two years means you …
NADLER: Gentleman’s time …
GOHMERT: … injustice, and I yield back.
NADLER: The gentleman’s time is expired, the witness may answer the question.
MUELLER: I take your question.

Jokes ensued. At least one lawyer explained that that response is “often” used when a witness doesn’t know an answer, or wants to deflect a rant. I had never heard that response before, but I try really hard to ask witnesses actual, discrete questions (to which that response would either get a request to answer the question or maybe just a slow repetition of the question). It is a fun thing to say after a friend’s rhetorical question, though.


Adam Schiff had some good stuff:

SCHIFF: I’d like to see if we can broaden the aperture at the end of the hearing. From your testimony today, I gather that you believe that knowingly accepting foreign assistance during a presidential campaign is an unethical thing to do.
MUELLER: And a crime.
SCHIFF: And a crime.
MUELLER: And a crime in given circumstances.
SCHIFF: And to the degree that it undermines our democracy and institutions, we can agree that it’s also unpatriotic.
SCHIFF: And wrong.

There was more, but I can’t find a full transcript of the Intelligence hearing at the moment.


That Gohmert thing only makes sense if you assume Trump is the platonic ideal of pristine stainless innocence and work backwards from there.

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I was taken aback that Mueller just stared blankly into the void while Republicans repeatedly tried to destroy his credibility. It made me think that Mueller at this point is more interested in retirement, than taking a stand again to defend our democracy. He kind of reminds me of Luke Skywalker in the last movie where he throws his lightsaber into the sea and begs the new character to leave him alone resigning to his fate of being a broken man that has fought to defeat a great evil only to see it rise again and feels defeated.

I thought that Mueller would be more animated in refuting the Republican attacks that attacked him, his reputation, or his allies.


Thanks for the great context. Heretofore I could only assume it was something Daniel Planview might say.



I don’t think that’s the right metaphor because Mueller never saw himself as a political partisan to begin with, and certainly not a partisan for the Democrats.

Remember Mueller is a lifelong Republican. He’s just one of the few remaining Republicans who has been able to put his professional responsibilities (as he interprets them) before blind loyalty to his party’s President.


Yeah. Mueller’s behaviour at the hearing was a stand on a set of principles about how a lawmaker should behave that seem weird and less important than broader issues, but a stand on principles nontheless.

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I think there’s definitely an element of, “I did my job. Now you do yours.” He did seem legitimately tired. But I also think it could backfire to actually engage with the ranting, grandstanding, hotdogging Republicans. “Ignoring the tantrum” (not in all circumstances, but during a Congressional hearing that won’t change anyone’s mind) is a legit tactic. On the flip side, I think there may also have been an element of, “Democrats, I said it was all in my report. You want me to bring fireworks? You want me to dance? I bring no fireworks and I do not dance.”


He can be a lifelong republican but, there’s still a thing such as love of country. I thought we would’ve seen more of that.

His restraint has been one of the reasons he was a good pick for this job. If he came across as an activist hell-bent on taking down the President then it would only give more ammo to the Trump apologists screaming that the whole investigation was a witch hunt.

He’s been a dedicated but dispassionate professional throughout the process, and that has bought him credibility with everyone who didn’t have their minds made up from the beginning. If the GOP had as much capacity for introspection as they did in Nixon’s time then Mueller’s report would have been enough to end this Presidency.

I didn’t expect him to yell back, to rant, rave, or flip a table. But I would have certainly hoped at some point he would have just calmly said “No.” Or “that isn’t true.” Or “that is not what the report says.” Anything, really.

It’s been pointed out that the “guideline” that Mueller referred to so often that tied his hands so tightly and prevented him from making any actual criminal accusations against Trump, or even recommending specific charges, isn’t a law or anything binding whatsoever. It’s just an inter-office DOJ memo from 1973.


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