The Democrats Still Appear Shocked That Robert Mueller Gave Them Nothing

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., gives his opening statement as former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before the House Judiciary Committee hearing on his report on Russian election interference, on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In the fallout from the ill-fated testimony from Robert Mueller, we are seeing reports from media outlets who are by and large allies of the Democratic Party detailing just how disappointed the Democrats are that they couldn’t get a definite impeachment case from the special counsel.

In reports from CNN, Washington PostThe Hill, and the New York Times, the picture we see painted is one of a caucus of Democrats who appear to have actually expected Mueller to give them something new and exciting.

From the New York Times:

Liberal House members who have been agitating for impeachment were buoyed by Mr. Mueller’s nearly seven hours of testimony, asserting, despite modest viewership numbers and no dramatic revelations, that the former special counsel’s words confirmed their case that Mr. Trump had tried to obstruct justice. They showed signs of momentum.

Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has gradually become convinced that his panel should proceed with impeachment hearings and do so as expeditiously as possible, though he has not stated so publicly, according to lawmakers and aides familiar with his thinking. In a closed room of lawmakers on Wednesday evening after the hearing, he broached the idea that House committees could soon begin contemplating articles of impeachment, though Speaker Nancy Pelosi has pushed back on the idea of quick action.

At The Hill:

Several rank-and-file Democrats in the House are feeling deflated over former special counsel Robert Mueller‘s public testimony, with some blaming the media and their own party for overhyping hearings they say fell short of expectations.

While many Democrats publicly heralded Mueller’s testimony before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees as a resounding success, some privately expressed disappointment in his, at times, shaky performance, the brevity of his answers and the lack of a big moment that would have shifted the electorate’s sentiment on whether President Trumpwas guilty of obstruction.

“Remember, I spent months trying to tell people that there will be no headlines out of this,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence Committee, told The Hill. “Quite frankly, I think it was both the Democrats and the media that sort of created this narrative that there was going to be some bombshell from Bob Mueller, there is going to be a bombshell from his deputies — there is not going to be a bombshell from him.

At CNN:

House Democrats who are publicly and privately agitating to begin impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump are growing worried that their time is running short — and that they are missing key opportunities to give them a clear opening to mount a formal probe.

New York Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who would be in charge of leading an impeachment inquiry, has repeatedly made a behind-the-scenes case to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and others to begin a probe, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

And at the Washington Post:

House Democrats are struggling to figure out their next move against President Trump after their highly anticipated hearing with Robert S. Mueller III fell flat, forcing some Democrats to second-guess their strategy while aggravating divisions in the party over impeachment.

Several centrist Democrats seized on the absence of a major revelation to argue it was time to end House investigations into whether Trump tried to obstruct the former special counsel’s probe and pivot to legislation.

Anyone who was looking for the smoking gun yesterday didn’t get it,” said Rep. Anthony Brindisi (D-N.Y.), who ousted a Republican incumbent by fewer than 500 votes in last year’s midterm elections. “It’s time to move on and focus on getting some bills passed here that can get signed into law.

It would appear that the most liberal of Democrats – largely those in deep blue districts – believed that Mueller was going to deliver the goods on Donald Trump during that hearing. It could be that they represent a reality-rejecting segment of the population, one that has repeatedly insisted that Trump worked hand-in-hand with Russia to win the election, repeatedly committed and commits crimes against the office and the country, and will surely fall if they file the articles of impeachment together.

The ones cautioning against it are many of the leadership Democrats and Democrats whose districts are more representative of the American public: Diverse in opinion and wary of extreme action.

The unity some might find in being the opposition party is fading fast, and the result is a party that will be unable to score a 2020 upset against the incumbent. The longer-serving members of the House know this, and they know that they have to try to appear moderate and sane. But many of the Democrats pushing for impeachment are also relying too much on media and social media opinions telling them just how right they are.

There is a large swath of the American public who does not want this, and really just want more sanity from Washington. Impeachment will hurt them, but they don’t buy it. Not yet.