There’s going to be a lot coming out about Mueller’s testimony today and none of it is particularly for the special counsel or Democrats.
Mueller was thoroughly embarrassed and exposed at multiple points, some of which will be covered later by other writers, but one exchange stuck out like a sore thumb to me.
Robert Mueller literally just said he wasn't familiar with Fusion GPS. My Lord. My Lord.
— Mollie (@MZHemingway) July 24, 2019
Mueller says he is "not familiar" with Fusion GPS, which is quite surprising https://t.co/PPMeF0sapv
— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) July 24, 2019
Former special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday that he was “not familiar” with Fusion GPS, the opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier.
Mueller revealed his surprising lack of familiarity with the firm during an exchange with Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee.
“When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS, is that correct?” Chabot asked.
“I’m not familiar with that,” said Mueller, while scouring through his 448-page report of the Russia probe.
I’m not even sure what to say to that exchange, so here’s a gif before I go ahead and come up with something to say about that exchange.
Does Robert Mueller not realize that Fusion GPS played a central role in the Trump Tower meeting that formed a large basis of his investigative work? Shouldn’t he also know that Fusion GPS was behind the Steele Dossier, which formed a basis for the entire investigation and was cited in his report?
On that note, things get worse. Mueller then inexplicably claims he didn’t investigate the Steele dossier because it was “not in my purview.”
Again, here’s a gif to express my feelings on this while I gather my thoughts.
The Steele dossier, which was the foundation of all the claims of conspiracy that eventually led to Robert Mueller’s appointment, was not in Mueller’s purview? It was also cited in his report, which means there’s no excuse whatsoever to not have looked into its credibility.
When cornered about that fact, Mueller gives this nonsensical excuse.
Mueller says questions of dossier are 'not in my purview' because of Barr/Durham investigation. But that investigation just started recently. Were such questions in Mueller purview before Barr/Durham investigation?
— Byron York (@ByronYork) July 24, 2019
The Barr/Durham investigation is new. It started after Mueller’s investigation was completed. Is the special counsel seriously making the claim he didn’t look into Fusion GPS or the Steele dossier because he knew, via some future telling power, that it would later be subject of a DOJ investigation by an AG who wasn’t even appointed yet?
Let’s also note that Mueller spent much of his time going after Paul Manafort for crimes that occurred years earlier, had nothing to do with Russia, and had no connection to the 2016 election. Yet, he found those “within his purview” while a document and agency (Fusion GPS) that formed the basis of the conspiracy claims were found to not be not in his purview. Does that make sense to anyone? It shouldn’t.
This is a total cluster. Mueller was clearly, as I speculated last night, a figurehead. He doesn’t even know what’s in his own report, as streiff pointed out earlier in a piece. This guy is absolutely clueless and that led to rabid partisans like Andrew Weissmann running wild, making baseless accusations and insinuations against DOJ policy. Much of the report doesn’t even appear to have been approved by Mueller outside of rubber stamping.
Even though a few Republicans are still desperately trying to hold onto the idea that Mueller was honorable, I see no evidence of that. I see an old man who did a terrible job, not even investigating key tenants of the issue, while allowing what amounted to a partisan witch hunt to occur. I say that not to echo Donald Trump, but to echo the reality that Mueller inexplicably only focused on Trump associates when figures like Glenn Simpson and Michael Steele were major factors in the entire ordeal.
Today, Mueller’s investigation was exposed for exactly what it is and that’s a good thing.
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