WATCH: Robert Mueller's Most Breathtakingly Bizarre Answer of the Whole Day

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Posted: Jul 25, 2019 1:45 PM
WATCH: Robert Mueller's Most Breathtakingly Bizarre Answer of the Whole Day

At the risk of beating a dead horse -- having made versions of this point in consecutive posts yesterday -- I feel compelled to share this video from the Mueller hearings.  As scintillating as the proceedings were, I did step away from watching for relatively short passages of time, and evidently missed this genuinely jaw-dropping exchange.  When I first saw the tweet below, I wondered if it could truly be an accurate representation of what occurred in the former Special Counsel's back-and-forth with a Republican Congressman.  Watch the video, and see for yourself:

Rep. Brad Wenstrup, a Republican from Ohio, asked Mueller whether it was “accurate to say that your investigation found no evidence that members of the Trump campaign were involved in the theft or publication of Clinton campaign-related emails?" ...Mueller first paused and then asked Wenstrup to repeat the question, which the congressman did. Mueller paused again, and then answered, “I don't know. I don't know. Uh, uh, what they've, well, uh...um, that portion of that matter does not fall within our jurisdiction, or fall within our investigation.”

The "I don't know, " followed by the jurisdiction comment, is utterly confounding. After all, digging into the issue being discussed was at the very heart of Mueller's mandate:

In his own report, he concludes involved the Russian intelligence’s hacking of Democratic emails and their provision of those emails to Wikileaks to publish — and to what extent, if any, the Trump campaign was involved in those efforts. When then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel on May 17, 2017, the formal appointment order said the former FBI director was picked to “ensure a full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election” and that his top mandate was to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” The subsequent scope memo from Aug. 2, 2017, again makes it clear that the question of whether the Trump campaign was involved in the Russian effort to hack or leak emails stolen from Democrats was certainly within the jurisdiction of Mueller’s investigation.

Former federal prosecutor Andy McCarthy told me yesterday that based on Mueller's performance, he doesn't believe the former FBI director truly grasped or ran the probe with which his name is so closely associated. Even if this was just one of a number of moments of confusion on Mueller's part, it does not inspire confidence in his granular, hands-on leadership of the investigation. Meanwhile, let the internal grousing and second-guessing among Democrats begin:


It looks like the team over at the Washington Post was really, really hoping for another outcome:


I'll leave you with President Trump's approval rating ticking up to (+11) on the economy -- up from just (+2) a few months ago in a series of Fox News polls.  It's not hard to see why: