Democrats put a big burden on the shoulders of former special counsel Robert Mueller heading into his congressional testimony Wednesday. They hoped Mueller's testimony could produce an ironclad case for impeaching President Trump, specifically on the grounds of obstruction of justice.
On Wednesday morning, Rep. Ted Lieu posited to Mueller, "I'd like to ask you the reason again that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?”
Mueller responded, "That is correct.”
This exchange, about an opinion by the Office of Legal Counsel that a sitting president could not be indicted, caused a firestorm. Many in the media inferred that Mueller would charge Trump with a crime were he allowed to. Slam dunk case for impeachment, right? Well, not exactly.
That afternoon, Mueller walked back his response, saying, "I want to add one correction to my testimony this morning. I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu, who said and I quote, ‘You didn’t charge the President because of the OLC opinion. That is not the correct way to say it. As we say in the report and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime.”
On top of that, Mueller had this exchange with Georgia Republican Rep. Doug Collins on the question of obstruction of his investigation.
"At any time during the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped … or hindered?” Collins asked.
Mueller said, “No.”
And there it is. Despite what is written in the Mueller report about attempts to obstruct justice, Mueller made it clear during his testimony that it had no impact on his investigation. But some Democrats, like House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, don’t see it this way.
“Today was a watershed day in telling the facts to the American people. With those facts, we can proceed. And we face a time of great danger,” Nadler told reporters after the hearing. “This cannot go on. And it’s up to Congress to safeguard the Constitution and we will do it.”
So, Nadler is still calling for impeachment, but the general reaction is that Mueller didn't deliver what impeachment advocates had hoped for.
In our Opinion, Democrats misfired with this hearing, and it has gone to the point where they’re not making a convincing case to the American people that they should be the ones in charge in Washington.