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Reactions to Mueller Testimony

Morning Testimony

  • Mueller did as he said he would and conducted himself with integrity and dignity.
  • It is astonishing to me that the huge central fact–that an enemy state undertook a massive effort to get Trump elected–was simply stipulated.
  • Even if there was no federally prosecutable conspiracy–which is unclear because as the report notes, obstruction efforts and lack of cooperation impeded them–the idea that Trump embraced, cooperated with defended and rewarded a US enemy is a massive betrayal.
  • Listening to Mueller it is 100% clear he feels Trump obstructed justice. In fact, I would say it is clear that he was disgusted by Trump’s behavior but maybe I am reading too much into his emphatic, if brief, answers.
  • GOP behavior trying to impugn Mueller and his investigation was unfounded and, in my view, indefensible. They have gone from the report exonerates Trump to the report was biased and unreliable because plan A just didn’t work.
  • Commentators who suggested this was a “win” for GOP were bending over backwards to find that outcome. It wasn’t there. The reality is this morning’s testimony is unlikely (as predicted before) to change anyone’s view of anything.
  • Was very disappointed in lack of coordination among the Democrats. They failed to question in a way to build a narrative. Questions should have been coordinated and carefully vetted in advance. They weren’t.
  • That said, this hearing left no doubt that the president is guilty of obstruction of justice, many counts of obstruction of justice.
  • The Dems will be judged on whether they rise to that challenge by beginning impeachment hearings.
  • You can’t have watched these hearings and care about justice and not believe that impeachment hearings are vital and urgently needed.

Afternoon Testimony

  • Dance around it all you want, this p.m. demonstrated that there was collusion and this morning demonstrated that there was obstruction.
  • Afternoon hearings better because of pace but also because they got to the core security issue.
  • @RepAdamSchiff set the tone with a superb opening and round of questioning. For now, he is the prosecutor-in-chief on this case and he conducted himself with great intelligence, professionalism and decorum.
  • Just as you can’t read Part I of the Mueller Report without concluding Russia attacked with the full support of Trump & team, you couldn’t listen to p.m. session without acknowledging that legal issues aside, Trump & Russia worked hand-in-glove.
  • As Mueller emphasized the Russian threat is still there and should be a massive concern for us. McConnell efforts to block legislation addressing this is as treasonous as Trump going all in with the Kremlin to win.
  • Schiff went to motive by describing the business ties in a way that has not gotten sufficient attention…and as he did, he also described the fabric of lies Trump & Trumpers wove to obscure those interests.
  • Schiff did a great job in outlining the future responsibilities of the Congress and his committee re: business ties, money laundering, improper handling of security clearances, etc.
  • @RepSeanMaloney was also excellent…perhaps the only name that popped above past levels of recognition in this process.
  • @DevinNunes was not just an embarrassment but made it clear that given his effective dismissal of the RU threat that he’d be a profoundly dangerous DNI.
  • Mueller’s “problematic is an understatement” characterizing Trump’s repeated embrace of Wikileaks is rightly a big headline take-away from the session.
  • The Nunes framing that this is the last chapter of investigations into Trump for Russia collusion and obstruction was obliterated. All the DC geniuses trying to calculate spin took their eye off the ball itself. Trump is a felon and a security threat.
  • Wagons need to be circled re: protecting 2020 elections and if Senate and Admin won’t do it, other entities must. But…every instance of attack will be a reminder that what happened in 2016 and was embraced by Trump was real.
  • Mueller made the wrong choice with regard to hearing from the president. He should have waited and worked it in the courts. Trump was the central player here. Someone needs to get him under oath talking about what happened–whether his lawyers like it or not.
  • Mueller’s other…worse…choice was not being more explicit on the issue of obstruction of justice. He made a powerful case against the president that has just one weakness…he didn’t make a prosecutorial recommendation. He should have. Trump’s a felon.
  • The fact Team Trump was able to embrace RU help, work w/Russian agents, lie about it, do so with big ties to Russia, defend the Russians, obstruct the investigation & reward the Russians on the policy front w/o being prosecuted to date is a scandal unto itself.
  • House ought to tomorrow advance legislation making it a crime for a candidate or a campaign to work with a foreign government or to accept the aid of a foreign government or fail to report ties to a foreign government. Tomorrow.
  • For now, the President of the United States is above the law. We can mouth platitudes until the cows come home. But the reality is the OLC Memo on indicting a sitting president has done huge damage & is as wrong as it gets. It must be discarded going forward.
  • GOP is clearly going after origins of the investigation which were sound. But take this as a warning, Barr’s not done with his mischief yet.
  • You can’t read the Mueller Report or have listened to today’s testimony (as I did from beginning to end) without concluding that impeachment hearings must begin immediately. Failure to undertake them would be a gross dereliction of duty by the House leadership. ASAP.
  • Trump is a felon. He betrayed the country. He is debasing his office and serving our enemies. This is beyond doubt. Voting for Trump is voting for the traitor responsible for the worst abuse of the public’s trust by a president in US history. There’s no defense for it.
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