The real story behind the controversy that’s erupted over Robert Mueller’s public testimony
When it comes to Robert Mueller’s inevitable public testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, two separate parallel tracks are playing out, and it’s not difficult to parse why it hasn’t happened yet. He’ll want to resign before testifying, so William Barr’s DOJ can’t screw with him, and he’s not quite ready to resign because he’s still using his position as Special Counsel to forcibly unearth the redacted portions of his report.
Last week Mueller used a court filing to publicly expose that Michael Flynn had turned over a mountain of testimony and evidence against Donald Trump. This means that when Mueller does testify, he can talk about what Flynn gave up on Trump, and Barr won’t be able to claim that Mueller is violating executive privilege by doing so. It’s pretty obvious at this point that once Mueller is done exposing the evidence, he’ll resign and then testify. In the meantime, we’re seeing a lot of nonsense being reported about Mueller.
Take, for instance, today’s new report from CNN. It’s being widely misinterpreted by the public as Robert Mueller being hesitant to testify for fear of appearing political. But if you actually read, the article, the first sentence gives away that this is something else entirely: “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has expressed reluctance to him testifying publicly in front of the House Judiciary Committee, according to sources familiar with the matter.”
So it’s not Robert Mueller who’s worried about looking political, it’s that someone on Mueller’s team is afraid Mueller will look political. That’s meaningless, considering that Mueller is their boss. Further, if the source of this story were actually someone on Mueller’s team, it would say so. Instead, some source “familiar with the matter” who’s not on Mueller’s team is putting words in the mouth of someone who is on Mueller’s team, in the apparent hope of making it look like those words are coming from Mueller. But you only have to read one sentence into the article to figure out that this is a non-story.
What’s really going on here? It couldn’t be more obvious why Robert Mueller hasn’t testified yet; the Flynn court filing made that 100% clear. But because Mueller prefers to do his work in silence, it opens the door for anyone to feed any nonsense they want to the media, in the hope of muddying the waters. Of course Mueller is going to testify. House Democrats know this, and they’re satisfied with why Mueller hasn’t testified yet, or they’d have subpoenaed him by now. None of this is difficult to parse; you just need to know what to ignore.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report