Thursday, May 30, 2019

Civic Duty

Robert Mueller’s nine minutes on TV yesterday pretty much wrapped up Trump and Attorney General Barr in Saran Wrap and delivered them to the front steps of the Capitol.  “Okay, Congress; this is your turd now.”

Departing special counsel Robert S. Mueller III finally spoke publicly Wednesday, and his carefully chosen comments highlight the ways in which he disagrees with his boss, Attorney General William P. Barr, about the facts and the law surrounding the investigation into President Trump.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said Wednesday.

Barr had that confidence. He declared in March that while Mueller’s principal conclusions did not include a determination of whether the president had committed the crime of obstruction of justice, Barr had reviewed the evidence and concluded Trump did not break the law.

“The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitutes a crime,” Barr wrote to Congress at the time.

In his report and his public remarks, Mueller indicated he holds a different view on the question of potential presidential crimes, refusing to clear the commander in chief and alluding to Congress’s impeachment power as the constitutional arbiter.

So now we will see what they will do with it.  If it was up to me, I’d send a cordial but unequivocal invitation to Mr. Mueller to show up at a Congressional hearing.  He can’t just ride into the sunset.

[…] that brings us to the most disappointing thing about Mueller’s brief appearance on Wednesday: his stated reluctance to appear before Congress. He has no excuse left. He is a private citizen now. And if he only repeats what’s in the report, on television, in front of the country, it will contribute mightily to the political momentum behind the demands that Congress do its damn job or shirk its duty entirely. He still needs to testify. He still needs to take questions. He’s only a citizen like the rest of us now, and he has a duty to do the right thing. We all do.

Shit happens when good people do nothing.