Last night BuzzFeed reported that Donald Trump told Michael Cohen to lie under oath to Congress about Trump Tower Russia, and that Robert Mueller has him nailed for it. This evening Mueller issued a brief statement which is being widely interpreted as disputing that Trump told Cohen to lie. However, if you look at Mueller’s actual words, this is ABSOLUTELY NOT what he said.
Robert Mueller’s statement is worded vaguely – but that’s the point. If Mueller were looking to say that Trump didn’t tell Cohen to lie, he’d have said it in those exact words, which he did not. Instead he’s simply saying that some of the details of the BuzzFeed report are wrong. This ostensibly refers to the details about how Mueller obtained the evidence proving Cohen’s assertion. So why put out the statement at all?
This leads us to a key point. BuzzFeed said that Mueller wasn’t initially interested in commenting for the story. This suggests that he didn’t consider the incorrect details to be important enough to be worth issuing a statement over. But now that the story has exploded and led House Democrats to talk about immediately starting impeachment on Monday, suddenly Mueller has issued a statement.
We suspect that may be the point: Robert Mueller doesn’t want impeachment to immediately begin before his report is complete, particularly based on a media report that isn’t 100% accurate in its details. If so, Mueller must be awfully close to having his report finished, if he’s doing this to hold up the Democrats by just a hair.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report