Like the marching band that refuses to yield to the football players on the day the music died in “American Pie,” the controlling Democrats in Congress will continue their outrageous political theater and witch hunt targeting the president of the United States likely until the American public finally cries out, “I can’t take it any more!” and votes in enough Republicans to bring this performance to an end. Meanwhile, here are some House Judiciary Committee highlights from Wednesday morning with Robert Mueller trying his best with Rep. Shelia Jackson-Lee, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, and then Rep. Steve Chabot who explains to us what this is really all about.
Rep. Jackson-Lee (D-Texas) said, “Does the conviction of obstruction of justice result in potentially in a lot of years of, a lot of years of time, in jail?” Mueller replied, “Yes, well, again can you repeat question just to make certain I have it accurate?” She said, “Does obstruction of justice warrant time in jail if you were convicted?” and Mueller replied, “Yes.“
Rep. Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.) said, “Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Let me begin by reading the special counsel regulations by which you were appointed. It reads, quote, ‘At the conclusion of the special counsel’s work, he or she shall provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declinations, decisions reached by the special counsel. Is that correct?” and Mueller replied, “Yes”
Sensenbrenner said, “Okay, now when a regulation uses the word ‘shall provide’, does it mean the individual is in fact obligated to provide what’s being demanded by the regulation or statute? Meaning you don’t have any wiggle room, right?”
Mueller replied, “I’d have to look more closely at the statute” and Sensenbrenner said, “I just read it to you.”
Rep. Chabot (R-Ohio) said, “Director Mueller, my Democratic colleagues were very disappointed in your report. They were expecting you to say something along the lines of, here’s why President Trump deserves to be impeached, much as Ken Starr did relative to President Clinton back about 20 years ago. Well you didn’t so their strategy had to change. Now they allege there is plenty of evidence in your report to impeach the president but the American people just didn’t read it. And this hearing today is their last best hope to build up toward some groundswell across America to impeach President Trump. That’s what this is really all about today.”
While Democrats search for any detail that might disparage the president in any way, Director Mueller answered questions that demonstrate his limited command of an investigation he was in charge of, his lack of knowledge of a report that he supposedly wrote, and his ignorance of critically important details that involved foreign entities and Russian key players in an investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Rep Chabot inquired about Fusion GPS, its owner Glenn Simpson, his connection to the Steele Dossier, and his connection to the Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Chabot said, “Now a few questions. On Page 103 of Volume II of your report, when discussing the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, you reference, quote, ‘The firm that produced the Steele reporting.’ The name of that firm was Fusion GPS. Is that correct? And Mueller replied, “And you are on page 103,” and then Chabot said, “Yes, page 103, that’s correct Volume II. When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GP. Is that correct?” And Mueller replied, “I’m not familiar with that.” And Chabot said, “It was. It’s not a trick question. It was Fusion GPS. Now Fusion GPS produced the opposition research document widely known as the Steele Dossier and the owner of Fusion GPS was someone named Glenn Simpson. Are you familiar with that name?”
And Mueller replied, “This is outside my purview.”
And Chabot said, “Okay, Glenn Simpson was never mentioned in the 448 page Mueller report was he?” Mueller replied, “As I say, it’s outside my purview and was being handled in the department by others.” And Chabot said, “Okay, he was not. 448 pages and the owner of Fusion GPS that did the Steele Dossier that started all this and he’s not mentioned in there. Let me move on. At the same time Fusion GPS was working to collect opposition research on Donald Trump from foreign sources on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, it also was representing a Russian based company, Prevezon, that had been sanctioned by the U.S. government. Are you aware of that?”
And Mueller replied again with “That’s outside my purview.”
And Chabot said, “Thank you. One of the key players, I’ll go to something different. One of the key players in the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was Natalia Veselnitskaya who you described in your report as a Russian attorney who advocated for the repeal of the Magnitsky Act. Veselnitskaya had been working with none other than Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS since at least early 2014. Are you aware of that?”
And Mueller replied, “Outside my purview.”
Includes reporting from HouseJudiciary.gov