Unsurprisingly, it was questions that challenged the credibility of the collusion narrative that Mueller seemed the most reluctant to speak of. Here’s the top five.
Why Charge Russians But Not Joseph Mifsud?
Rep. Jim Jordan hammered Mueller for answers about Joseph Mifsud, a professor with Russian connections who allegedly entrapped Trump campaign member George Papadopoulos.
“Why didn’t you charge him with a crime?” Jordan asked Mueller of Mifsud.
“I can’t get into internal deliberations with regard who would or would not be charged,” Mueller said.
“You charged a lot of other people,” Jordan said.
“Well, I can’t get into it, and it’s obvious that we can’t get into charging decisions,” replied Mueller.
“When the special counsel’s office interviewed Mifsud, did he lie to you guys too?”
“Can’t get into that.”
“Did you interview Mifsud?”
“Can’t get into that.”
“Is Mifsud Western intelligence or Western intelligence?”
“Can’t get into that.”
No Dossier Questions Allowed
Mueller made it clear from the get go that he wouldn’t be answering any questions related to Christopher Steele and his dossier.
“I am unable to address questions about the opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation, which occurred months before my appointment, or matters related to the so-called Steele Dossier. These matters are the subject of ongoing review by the Department. Any questions on these topics should therefore be directed to the FBI or the Justice Department.”
How convenient that he can’t answer any questions about the document that created this whole mess?
Mueller would also impossibly claimed to not know what Fusion GPS is, the firm that produced the dossier.
Was Trump Exonerated or Not?
We know that the Mueller report proved a lack of collusion – but did it exonerate President Trump? That’s a question many Democrat lawmakers unsuccessfully tried to get Mueller to answer.
Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe challenged that, asking Mueller if he could identify which Justice Department policy “Set forth a legal standard that an investigated person is not exonerated if their innocence from criminal conduct is not conclusively determined…Can you give an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?”
Mueller replied: “I cannot but this is a unique situation.”
Why try to leave an element of doubt when the answer to the question of exoneration is obviously yes?
Leaks? What Leaks?
Mueller refused to answer whether or not information regarding the FBI’s raid on Roger Stone’s house was leaked to CNN (who were there on the scene), and refused to comment on other leaks.
Rep. Chris Stewart held up a binder with 25 examples of leaks from his special counsel, asking “I’m holding here a binder of 25 examples of leaks that occurred from the special counsel’s office and those associated with your work dating back to a few weeks after your inception and beginning of your work and continuing up to just a few months ago. Mr. Mueller, are you aware of anyone from your team having given advanced knowledge of the raid on Roger Stone’s home to any person or the press, including CNN?”
Mueller declined to answer the question, first saying that he was “not going to talk about specifics” and then stating he was “not gonna speak to that” when asked a second time.
About That Trump Tower Meeting…
That Donald Trump Jr. met with Russian lawyer Nataliya Veselnitskaya in the summer of 2016 was once the latest “smoking gun” proving collusion. It later turned out that Veselnitskaya was on Fusion GPS’ payroll, and had met with the company’s anti-Trump co-founder Glenn Simpson before and after meeting Trump Jr. She also had an interpreter who previously worked with the Clinton State Department present with her.
Strangely, Mr. Simpson and Veselnitskaya are absent from the Mueller report.
Rep. Steve Chabot asked Mueller “At the same time Fusion GPS was working to collect opposition research on Donald Trump from foreign sources on behalf of the [Hillary] Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee, it also was representing a Russian-based company which had been sanctioned by the U.S. Government. Are you aware of that?”
Mueller said it was “outside my purview.”
“You didn’t mention that or her connections to Glenn Simpson and Fusion GPS in your report at all. NBC News reported the following: Russian lawyer says she first received supposedly incriminating information she brought to Trump Tower describing alleged tax evasion and donations to Democrats from none other than Glenn Simpson, the Fusion GPS owner.”
Mueller, providing no further details, said the issue “was being handled by others” at the DOJ.
This exchange between Rep. Steve Chabot and Robert Mueller raised eyebrows in our live chat.
“If Mueller doesn't know who Fusion GPS is, this could be a long hearing,” said reporter @joshgerstein.
— POLITICO (@politico) July 24, 2019
But Still, No Obstruction!
Mueller was at least kind enough to answer a question about obstruction of justice, confirming that the investigation was not “curtailed, stopped, or hindered at any point.”
WATCH: Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller confirms his investigation was not curtailed, stopped, or hindered at any point. pic.twitter.com/HJqKh5b1Rk
— Trump War Room (@TrumpWarRoom) July 24, 2019
With Mueller’s nothing-burger testimony today, is this witch hunt finally over once and for all? Perhaps – but who knows what they’ll come up with next!