Most Republicans were extremely wary about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation from the beginning. While President Trump called the whole thing a witch hunt, even impartial observers were tempted to agree. After all, where was the evidence? What had precipitated such an investigation. There seemed to be no predicate to explain why we actually needed an independent investigator to look into these absurd, fictional claims of Russian interference. And matters were only made worse when Mueller outfitted his team with partisan Democrat after partisan Democrat.
The only thing that kept the criticism at bay was Mueller’s reputation within the GOP and law enforcement communities. This was, after all, a lifelong Republican who had been made FBI director by George W. Bush. Maybe he would shoot things down the middle. Surely he would adhere to the facts and refuse to let his Democratic team drag him into a divisive fishing expedition.
The final report satisfied no one. While the conclusions of the report overwhelmingly favored President Trump – “no collusion, no obstruction” – Mueller left enough meat in the report to give Democrats something to chew on endlessly. Still, pro-Trump skeptics concluded, maybe this was the best we could expect from the overly cautious, law-abiding Mueller.
Now, after Wednesday’s hearings, one has to wonder how much, if anything, Robert Mueller actually had to do with this investigation. Confused, frail, and seemingly less knowledgeable about the Russia investigation than your average political pundit, Mueller stumbled through his boring testimony in fits, starts, and “that’s outside my purviews.”
Is it really possible he’s not familiar with the name Fusion GPS? Is it really possible that he has no opinion or knowledge about the fictional nature of the Steele dossier? A guy who watches Tucker Carlson once or twice a week would seem to know more about this investigation than Mueller.
Something doesn’t add up.
And people noticed.
“This is delicate to say, but Mueller, whom I deeply respect, has not publicly testified before Congress in at least six years,” said Democratic strategist David Axelrod. “And he does not appear as sharp as he was then.”
“A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions,” lamented socialist filmmaker Michael Moore.
But this wasn’t just about his testimony. If he was this out-of-touch on Wednesday, how was he able to lead such an extensive investigation in the first place?
Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) said it was unlikely that he did.
“The more this hearing goes on, the more it becomes painfully clear that not only did Bob Mueller not write his own report — he was barely involved or in control of it at all,” Meadows tweeted. “You know who was? His team of Democrats. This was a resistance-driven partisan witch hunt all along.”