Last Wednesday: Former FBI director Robert Mueller testified before both the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees. Sticking to his report filed while special councilor, Mueller rarely spoke his personal opinion, making it difficult for either Republicans or Democrats to sway public opinion in their favor.
The Mueller report, establishing five accounts of the president impeding investigation, failed to either indict or exonerate President Trump. This lack of conclusive evidence prompted disorder among both Democrats and Republicans.
For Republicans, the primary objective for the hearing was emphasizing Mueller’s inability to indict President Trump on account of collusion. Republican congressmen believed that this exonerated the president, which Mueller repeatedly denied. Muller further emphasized the seriousness of Russian interference, warning “It wasn’t a single attempt[...] they’re doing it as we speak”. However, this did not prevent Trump's inner circle from challenging the former FBI director’s integrity.
Republicans sought to discredit Mueller with accusations relating to his bias against Donald Trump. Representative John Ratcliffe of Texas headed this assault, accusing the special prosecutor of inverting burden of truth and stating: “Respectfully, respectfully, you managed to violate every principle in the tradition… I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. He’s not, but he damned sure is not below it [either].”
The president could seemingly not refrain from speaking on the hearing, referring to the testimony as “devastating” for Democrats and commenting “Mueller did a horrible job, both today and with respect to the investigation[...] obviously he did very poorly today.” However, President Trump did not directly reference the contents of said report.
Failing expectations, the hearing did not give Democrats what they desired. The testimony lacked a climactic accusatory moment(i.e... what the nation witnessed during the trials concerning Nixon and Clinton). Following the testimony, only three congresspeople changed their perspective on impeachment, one being Representative Kathryn M. Clark of Massachusetts.
House Majority leader Nancy Pelosi continues to push against impeachment proceedings, instead pushing for a continued fight in the court system: “whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts."
Neither party seemed to achieve the desired results. However, during the writing of this article, Trump and his inner circle continue to push false accounts of exoneration. Although Democrats did not sway public and representative opinion in favor of impeachment, Republicans failed to lay the investigation to rest. With summer recess approaching, time for a conclusive decision is running out.
Luke is the Director of Current Events for The Weekly Cad.