Democrats Cry Disappointment With Robert Mueller’s Lackluster Testimony

Democrats Cry Disappointment With Robert Mueller’s Lackluster Testimony

Democrats were hoping to add further ammunition to their calls for impeachment Wednesday through former special counsel Robert Mueller’s testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives, which came up short in providing any new information.

Mueller spent two years investigating whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 presidential race, and on whether Trump obstructed justice in firing former FBI director James Comey.

His more than six hours of stumbling testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees Wednesday offered no new information that was not already revealed in the public report released in April. Mueller was clear at the onset of the hearings, however, that his testimony would not stray from what was stated in the report.

“I do not intend to summarize or describe the results of our work in a different way in the course of my testimony today,” Mueller told members of the House Judiciary Committee in his opening statement. “As I said on May 29: the report is my testimony. And I will stay within that text.”

Democrats hoping for Mueller’s appearance before Congress to contribute to their case for impeachment found themselves disappointed.

“This is very, very painful,” David Axelrod tweeted during the hearings. Axelrod served as a former senior advisor to President Barack Obama.

“It seemed like he was struggling to comprehend questions… He wasn’t totally on top of everything he was talking about,” said Rachel Maddow on MSNBC.

“Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster,” tweeted Laurence Tribe, a Harvard Law professor who worked as a judicial advisor to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. “Far from breathing life into his damning report, the tired Robert Mueller sucked the life out of it. The effort to save democracy and the rule of law from this lawless president has been set back, not advanced.”

“A frail old man, unable to remember things, stumbling, refusing to answer basic questions…” tweeted leftist documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. “I said it in 2017 and Mueller confirmed it today — All you pundits and moderates and lame Dems who told the public to put their faith in the esteemed Robert Mueller — just STFU from now on.”

“I didn’t expect more than this,” U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) told BuzzFeed News. “I do think it’s a bit of a dud, but that’s what I was expecting all along.”

Mainstream pundits in the media agreed that it was a bad day for Democrats.

“We are only 30 mins into this thing but I don’t think that this is going the way Democrats were hoping it would,” wrote Amy Walter, the national editor for the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.

“On substance, Democrats got what they wanted: that Mueller didn’t charge Pres. Trump because of the OLC guidance, that he could be indicted after he leaves office, among other things. But on optics, this was a disaster,” tweeted NBC News’ Chuck Todd.

“From the Democratic perspective, to me so far, this has been a bit of a bust. They needed this to come to life,” said ABC News’ Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams during the network’s special coverage.

Tristan Justice is a staff writer at The Federalist focusing on the 2020 presidential campaigns. Follow him on Twitter at @JusticeTristan or contact him at [email protected]
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