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Mueller just handed Republicans a gift

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Former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III stuck to his report during hearings with the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees.

Posted: Jul 24, 2019 10:40 PM
Updated: Jul 24, 2019 10:40 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: 38567

Reported Deaths: 1290
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds318859
DeSoto211220
Madison158940
Jones126651
Harrison126017
Rankin123420
Forrest110544
Neshoba105978
Lauderdale98383
Scott84315
Jackson82820
Washington80615
Copiah69616
Leake66420
Lee66223
Grenada64713
Oktibbeha64428
Lamar6257
Warren61622
Holmes61442
Leflore58856
Wayne58819
Yazoo5847
Lowndes56917
Sunflower5659
Lincoln54436
Pike53724
Lafayette5364
Panola5176
Monroe49139
Simpson4803
Covington4735
Bolivar46318
Tate43113
Pontotoc4066
Attala39424
Adams39221
Newton38410
Marion36312
Pearl River32332
Claiborne32212
Winston31413
Chickasaw31319
Marshall3104
Jasper3016
Walthall29210
Noxubee2869
Clay27411
Union26611
Smith26312
Coahoma2516
Clarke24125
Tallahatchie2394
Lawrence2222
Yalobusha2169
Montgomery1973
Carroll19611
Kemper18914
Calhoun1875
Humphreys18410
Itawamba1638
Hancock16214
Tippah15411
Webster13611
Jefferson1353
Prentiss1344
George1313
Jefferson Davis1304
Tunica1293
Greene12510
Tishomingo1251
Amite1243
Alcorn1232
Quitman1111
Wilkinson1079
Perry994
Stone852
Choctaw794
Franklin602
Benton580
Sharkey540
Issaquena111
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 60158

Reported Deaths: 1200
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson7449176
Mobile5349157
Montgomery4732118
Madison290112
Tuscaloosa283754
Marshall213313
Shelby188027
Lee179337
Baldwin149912
Morgan14897
DeKalb11457
Etowah113614
Walker113537
Elmore111825
Dallas103312
Franklin97016
Unassigned84228
Russell7610
Autauga74318
Limestone7254
Cullman7136
Chambers69932
Houston6848
St. Clair6714
Lauderdale6647
Tallapoosa66272
Butler65931
Calhoun6426
Colbert6138
Escambia56212
Jackson5113
Pike5016
Lowndes49723
Coffee4734
Covington45214
Talladega4517
Dale4283
Barbour4263
Bullock38110
Marengo38111
Hale37523
Chilton3693
Blount3671
Marion35514
Clarke3396
Wilcox3328
Winston3167
Sumter30613
Randolph28610
Monroe2833
Pickens2827
Perry2702
Conecuh2558
Bibb2382
Macon2359
Choctaw22112
Greene2029
Washington1679
Henry1653
Lawrence1590
Crenshaw1433
Cherokee1407
Geneva1100
Lamar961
Clay942
Fayette923
Coosa681
Cleburne621
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