Mueller's Press Conference Was a Travesty

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Posted: May 31, 2019 2:38 PM
Mueller's Press Conference Was a Travesty

Source: AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Was there ever a more useless press conference than that convened yesterday by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller? Words that came to mind as I watched the travesty were: unnecessary, irresponsible, and perhaps calculating.

The first words out of Mueller’s mouth indicated that he had nothing to say that hadn’t already been said in his 400-plus page report. Well, then why did he organize a press conference? If everything he had to say had already been said, then there was absolutely no reason for him to jump in front of the media. If he had a presser, he should have merely stated: “I have absolutely nothing to say except what was in my report. Thanks for coming.”

If he was being honest, and if he really didn’t have anything new to say, then his press conference was utterly unnecessary.

But Mueller continued, telling us what he claimed was already in his report. He took particular pains, though, to incite and reignite the flames of impeachment by explaining that IF he and his team of partisan lawyers had found President Trump innocent of obstructing justice, the report would have specifically said just that.

What a performance! Mueller, in an easy turn of phrase, flipped the entire constitutional scheme on its head. The President would have to, in Mueller’s world, prove his innocence. (And in Mueller’s world, President Trump could never prove his innocence.)

At best, Mueller’s superfluous and gratuitous press conference was irresponsible, but it appears to have been calculated to jump-start impeachment proceedings. He overtly indicated that his handpicked team of partisan attorneys had found misdeeds on the part of President Trump, but he couldn’t proceed to indict under Department of Justice guidelines.

Since Mueller knew that there was no collusion within a couple of months of initiating his investigation, as evidenced by the lapsing of FISA warrants, then why did he continue to investigate President Trump?

The most damning evidence Mueller’s team found was that President Trump allegedly directed his counsel, in frustration, to fire Mueller. But, even Don McGahn, the former White House counsel, didn’t take the president seriously. And while this directive was purported to take place, presidential and campaign staffers were made available for interviews, and the White House turned over millions of pages of documents. Not really damning at all…unless you are basing your investigation on partisan and ‘gotcha’ politics.

In short, this investigation was started illegitimately when former FBI Director James Comey leaked information to a friend in order to manipulate the appointment of Robert Mueller. Mueller persisted in the investigation even after he and his team apparently knew there was no Trump conspiracy with the Russians. Mueller allowed the cloud to hang over the president throughout the midterm elections. And, having released a report that exonerated the president on the collusion claims, Robert Mueller asserted that the president had to prove his innocence on obstruction allegations. Obstruction of what? An illegitimate investigation – with no underlying crime? Then the circle starts again.

The Mueller statement seems more than just reckless; it seems designed to power up the House Judiciary Committee’s impeachment crusade. And that makes Mueller calculating. If Mueller really meant that he had nothing to say but what is contained in his report, he didn’t need to have a press conference – or even issue a statement. If he merely intended to redirect public attention to his report as his final word, he could have issued a press release saying so. But instead, he pressed on, pointing to the need for Congress to act. And, for my Democrat friends, the preferred action is removal of the 45th president of the United States. Until then they will settle for the embarrassing scene and headlines of impeachment.

Did Mr. Mueller appreciate how the pro-impeachment cadre of Dems would respond to his public statement? I undoubtedly believe so. Robert Mueller is a bright individual who has been involved in the Washington scene for decades. He had to have known where his intemperate comments would lead.

Democrats are no longer satisfied with undermining the president and his agenda; they want to achieve their coveted goal of impeaching President Trump. Remember, some Democrats were talking impeachment the day after the president was elected in 2016.

Mr. Mueller’s press conference and statement was unnecessary and reckless. More than that, though, his performance was calculated to stimulate impeachment of the president.