Democrats are hoping that Mueller’s testimony on Wednesday will show us all the ways you can say there was “collusion” and there was obstruction.
In reality, there was evidence to show that Donald Trump’s campaign conspired with Russia to win the 2016 presidential election. Since then, Donald Trump has done everything imaginable and beyond that to obstruct the facts.
I’ll be watching Robert Mueller’s testimony knowing full well I won’t learn anything that I haven’t read in the report. I just want to watch the Republicans freak out every time Robert Mueller opens his mouth.
However, this is a big deal for the politicians on both sides of the partisan divide, and an even bigger deal for Donald Trump. After all, you don’t corrupt the Department of Justice over trivial things like money laundering. Trump has been doing that with impunity for years, just as Jeffrey Epstein enjoyed decades of tending to his human trafficking business with impunity.
But Trump wasn’t happy with running his criminal enterprise and hosting his cheesy reality show. Donald Trump nursed a grudge against Barack Obama and Putin nursed a grudge against Hillary Clinton – albeit for different reasons. Neither man subscribes to the theory that living well is the best revenge. They wanted to replace Obama and defeat Clinton, again, for very different reasons.
Putin wanted an end to sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration with Clinton’s enthusiastic support. And the road to making that happen involved Donald Trump. Trump wanted to replace Obama, but more importantly, in that scary place that is Trump’s mind, he wanted to monetize the presidential election.
Anyone who read the Mueller report knows it built a solid case for conspiracy between the Trump Campaign and the Russians. Too many Trump people met with too many Russians over too many policy areas of interest to Russia. The only world leader Trump had anything good to say about was Putin. The Republican Party’s mysterious about-face on the Ukraine never did make sense under any theory other than it was on Putin’s wish list.
After Trump finally found his Roy Cohn, the Mueller investigation was shut down quickly. Now, we’re waiting to hear from Mr. Mueller amid two other significant facts.
Jerry Nadler, the Chair of the House Senate Judiciary committee is now on public record saying he believes Trump committed impeachable offenses.
During a Sunday interview on Fox, Jerry Nadler told the audience
“the Mueller report contains very substantial evidence” that President Donald Trump is “guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors” — an impeachable offense.”
“We have to … let Mueller present those facts to the American people, and then see where we go from there, because the administration must be held accountable,”
So of course, Nadler and the other Democrats on the committee will want Mueller to repeat his findings saying as many ways as possible that there was collusion and there was obstruction to an audience that hasn’t had the time or inclination to read the 448-page report.
But, people won’t get the full content of the report. This is, as people have been saying, the movie. If you read the report, you get the detail and the nuance. The movie will go for the highlights and general thrust.
The degree to which the White House is freaked out is reflected by the severity of Trump’s attempt to deflect. Last week, on the day Mueller was supposed to be testifying, Trump soaked up every moment of a rally where he could stoke white supremacy sentiments. He went after four Democrats hoping his obscene remarks would be enough to bump anticipated coverage of Mueller’s testimony.
And while that disgusting and disturbing stunt brought us to a new low as a country, in that twisted, sociopathic mind of Donald Trump, it was all about the deflection.
Anyone who thinks that Jim Jordan, Mark Meadows and other Trump allies on the Judiciary committee are going to wait their turn, then engage in a gentlemanly Q and A with Mueller has not been paying attention to our collective nightmare.
They will act up like five year olds on an all sugar diet. They will sling mud and treat Mueller to the sort of abuse that will make their encounters with John Dean look like a Sunday sermon.
While Democrats want Mueller to repeat as much of his report’s findings as possible, the White House and its allies want him as contained as possible. Call this part of why their Roy Cohn strategy is blowing up in their faces.
Mueller is a private citizen and therefore is not obliged to follow the dictates of William Barr and Donald Trump. They know it.
But, Mueller is also a stickler for staying in his lane. So, the odds of him saying something beyond the report are very low, simply because that is who Mueller is.
The White House’s efforts are not really about keeping Mueller to the confines of the report at all. After all, they know that contrary to Barr’s letter misrepresenting the contents of Mueller’s report, and contrary to Trump’s chant “no collusion, no obstruction,” the report is as damning as it can be if one understands DOJ policy and Mueller’s ethics.
The central point Republicans will want to drive home is if Mueller found sufficient evidence to indict Trump, he’d say so. After all, that’s why he was hired. They’ll pretend the DOJ policy against indicting a president doesn’t really apply to Mueller, because it isn’t like they would accuse him of being out to get Trump, or being an angry Democrat. Oh wait.
Republicans will do all they can to put mud on the windshield, obscuring the very simple fact that, as Mueller said in his report, if he could have exonerated Trump, he would have. But the facts didn’t support exoneration.
In many respects, that alone, is all Democrats need to impress on the general public. For once, their job is actually easier than that of the Republicans.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.