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Mueller just handed Republicans a gift

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Former FBI General Counsel Jim Baker examines the media frenzy surrounding Mueller's testimony and explains why the special council's report provides "ample basis for an impeachment inquiry."

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 11:10 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 11:10 PM

Democrats fell all over themselves at Wednesday's televised House hearings to thank the former special counsel Robert Mueller -- deservedly -- for his service as a decorated Marine, a career public servant and a patriot, while Republicans impugned his integrity and that of his investigation and his team.

Although Mueller showed loyalty to his team, he did not show loyalty to his country. Whether he was cognitively impaired (as he seemed not to know the names or positions of some of his key witnesses, notably the former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski) or had simply misplaced his spine, he appeared to be lost. Why the man who showed such courage on the battlefield showed such timidity and hesitation Wednesday, requiring members of Congress to read him a bedtime story because he would not even read his own words aloud, is unclear.

Americans needed a definitive, plain-language, nonlegalistic statement from Mueller about one and only one question: Did the President and his henchmen and women commit a crime?

Did his participation in the dissemination of information from emails stolen by Russians and leaked by Wikileaks, with Trump's encouragement, violate campaign laws? Or was it treason, namely helping a hostile foreign power -- our chief adversary over 70 years -- attack our bedrock democratic institution, elections? Did Trump commit any of the 10 counts of obstruction Mueller laid out in his report to cover up those or any other crimes? And did he commit any other felonies, such as witness intimidation, as he had clearly indicated in the report?

If the answer to any of those questions had been an unequivocal yes, the House would have been required under the Constitution to hold impeachment hearings. If the answer were indeterminate, the House might still hold hearings to question the witnesses themselves, so it could decide, as the public watched, whether this was a "witch hunt" or a legitimate investigation. If the answer were no, Democrats might disagree, but they would better spend their time electing a Democrat in 2020.

Instead of answering any of the questions we Americans had hired him to answer, Mueller pleaded "no contest." This was not a "neutral" political move. It provided Republicans good reason to argue that the investigation was a two-year, multimillion-dollar waste of time.

Sure, his investigation put a half-dozen other people in prison for one crime or another, but Mueller chose to immunize the person who may well be the fulcrum for those crimes, allowing him to remain in the highest position in the land without a trial.

And sure, other state and federal prosecutors may ultimately indict Trump, in or out of office, or perhaps, like Nixon, he will face a reckoning a year or two after he is re-elected.

But as a taxpaying Democrat, as of this moment, I have to agree with Republicans that this was a waste of my time and money -- not, as they would argue, because the Mueller report made no determination about "collusion" or obstruction. It was a waste of time and money because we hired a prosecutor who, after agreeing to serve his country one last time, chose to go missing in action.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 110592

Reported Deaths: 3171
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds7731171
DeSoto655177
Harrison478481
Jackson429178
Rankin380086
Madison371092
Lee339279
Forrest292777
Jones281682
Washington250697
Lafayette241342
Lauderdale2329130
Lamar212038
Bolivar197775
Oktibbeha194154
Neshoba1795111
Lowndes173662
Panola164736
Leflore158786
Sunflower156749
Warren151854
Monroe143672
Pontotoc143019
Pike135555
Lincoln133954
Copiah133336
Marshall130026
Coahoma122836
Scott122729
Grenada119637
Simpson117648
Yazoo116933
Union113825
Holmes113060
Tate112339
Leake111839
Itawamba108724
Pearl River107456
Adams104042
Prentiss100919
Wayne97921
Alcorn94412
George93217
Marion92642
Covington90825
Tippah84820
Newton84227
Chickasaw81724
Tallahatchie81725
Winston81421
Tishomingo78640
Hancock76527
Attala76325
Clarke70948
Clay66621
Jasper66016
Walthall63427
Calhoun60912
Noxubee59516
Smith57716
Claiborne53016
Montgomery52723
Tunica51817
Lawrence48914
Yalobusha47914
Perry47522
Carroll45812
Greene44717
Stone44614
Amite41513
Quitman4096
Humphreys39916
Jefferson Davis39311
Webster36313
Wilkinson32920
Kemper31615
Benton3004
Sharkey27714
Jefferson26210
Franklin2283
Choctaw2036
Issaquena1063
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 152272

Reported Deaths: 2621
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson22300372
Mobile14273314
Tuscaloosa9886132
Montgomery9615196
Madison895192
Shelby700260
Lee643066
Baldwin636967
Marshall425348
Calhoun408459
Etowah399149
Morgan393232
Houston362332
DeKalb313326
Elmore308152
St. Clair276742
Limestone268327
Walker264192
Talladega253634
Cullman223923
Lauderdale204340
Autauga198928
Franklin198131
Jackson197914
Russell18993
Colbert188927
Dallas184527
Blount182723
Chilton178731
Escambia170328
Covington164429
Coffee16299
Dale161551
Pike130112
Tallapoosa126986
Chambers126643
Clarke126116
Marion103929
Butler99640
Barbour9819
Marengo96421
Winston88613
Geneva8297
Pickens79317
Randolph79314
Lawrence78830
Bibb78513
Hale73729
Cherokee71414
Clay70312
Lowndes69827
Bullock63417
Henry6286
Monroe6259
Washington62012
Crenshaw58830
Perry5796
Conecuh55413
Wilcox55412
Fayette54012
Macon52819
Cleburne5207
Sumter46421
Lamar4555
Choctaw38612
Greene33316
Coosa1963
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