When Robert Mueller publicly testified to the House at the end of his Trump-Russia criminal probe, a lot of us came away thinking he’d gone senile. He struggled with basic questions. He had no clue about most of his own probe and report. Now Adam Schiff, the head of the House committee who conducted the Mueller hearing, is confirming that he was shocked at how far gone Mueller was.
It’s to Schiff’s credit that he’s flat out saying as much, and that he’s expressing regret at having had Mueller testify. But here’s the thing. Senility and dementia symptoms rarely come on all at once. If Mueller was indeed that far gone by the time of his testimony in mid 2019, then he had to have been pretty far gone by the time his investigation concluded in early 2019. This explains a lot.
For instance, it helps explain why Mueller folded up like his investigation like a tent the minute Bill Barr told him to, instead of pushing back, or trying to do anything. But really, if Mueller was that far gone, he wasn’t even the one making the decisions at that point. That role surely fell to his top sidekick, Andrew Weissmann. Ten to one odds says it was Weissmann who decided to admit in the report that Donald Trump Junior was guilty, but not indict him. It was surely Weissmann who decided not to even try to subpoena Donald Trump. It was surely Weissmann who decided to lay out the evidence of Donald Trump’s obstruction of justice, but then decline to officially state that it was indeed obstruction of justice. And it was surely Weissmann who decided not to prosecute any of Trump’s White House underlings for obstruction of justice, even though these would have been easily winnable cases.
So when is Andrew Weissmann going to be held accountable for any of this? There should be investigations into what he knew about Robert Mueller’s declining cognitive abilities during the course of the probe, why he kept it from the public, and why he pulled his punches on every endgame decision that he was apparently making on Mueller’s behalf. Was Weissmann trying to protect Mueller’s privacy, at the expense of carrying out justice? Was it something even worse?
The major media outlets should have been all over this from day one. Robert Mueller spent the first year of his probe going gangbusters, indicting everyone he could. Then in the second year of his probe, right around the time he likely started going senile, he and his team basically did nothing, before surrendering to Barr without so much as a whimper. There should have been media investigations into why Mueller caved to Barr, and what people like Weissmann were really up to while Mueller was going senile.
Instead the media eagerly helped Andrew Weissmann to promote his book, and then MSNBC hired him as an on-air political analyst. It’s yet another example of the media hiring a controversial figure instead of investigating them. It happens far too often. In light of Schiff’s new revelations about Mueller, Weissmann should step up and offer an explanation if he has one. Weissmann has a lot to answer for. The media has a lot more to answer for.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report