Over at CNN, national-security analyst Josh Campbell predicts that Robert Mueller “will frustrate the hell out of Congress” when he testifies tomorrow before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees.
I suspect we’ll begin to see signs of frustration by Democrats before we even hit the half-hour mark,” writes Campbell, who helped prepare Mueller for public appearances during his 12 years at the FBI. “Progressive members of the committees will almost certainly find themselves angered by a witness refusing to give them what they want.
It’s such a safe bet that the taciturn, just-the-facts-ma’am Mueller will answer variations of “If you read the report you’ll see,” that one wonders why House Democrats hyping the expectations for Mueller’s appearance. Or whether they just have excessive faith in their own ability to get Mueller to say something unexpected.
Here’s a man who made no public statements throughout the entire investigative process. When Attorney General William Barr released his summary, Mueller did not offer any public comment or objection or complaint that it emphasized some things too much or didn’t emphasize other things enough. When the full report was released, Mueller did not issue any further public statement.
The report was released to the public on April 18; Mueller did not hold a press conference until May 29 — a ten-minute appearance where he took no questions. During that press conference, Mueller repeated a summary of his findings and declared, “Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report . . . We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself . . . The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”
For those Democrats who hope they can somehow goad, trick, or pull an endorsement of impeachment out of Mueller, recall that in his press conference he concluded, “Beyond what I’ve said here today and what is contained in our written work, I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress.”
As far Robert Mueller is concerned, he has said what he has to say.
Democrats seem convinced that the visuals of Mueller repeating what was written in the report that was released to the public three months ago will somehow dramatically public opinion about the president. Good luck with that one, fellas.