On July 24, special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress about his report that investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible links between the Trump Campaign and Russian officials.
The White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, called the hearing an “epic embarrassment” for Democrats, but the hearing was an embarrassment for American politics.
Republicans decided to question Mueller’s motives, competency, and the reason for the investigation, while Democrats probed to find unanswered questions and reinforce what is in the report, which was released April 18, 2019.
During the hearing, Mueller constantly referred to his report, told the members of Congress to refer to the report, and refused to go outside of its boundaries. Watching the hearing was like sitting in a college class where none of the students did the assigned reading, leaving the professor flustered and tired. Most of what was said at the hearing was in the original 448-page report.
What is worse is the conspiracy theories brought up by members of Congress. On July 25, California representative Ted Lieu claimed in a CNN interview that Mueller “walked back” on a question and implied that somebody talked or got to Mueller during a recess to change his answer.
There is also the conspiracy that Democrats are working with Russia. Representative Devin Nunes said the Democrats had “colluded with Russian sources to develop the Steele dossier and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya colluded with the dossier’s key architect, Fusion GPS head Glenn Simpson.” Another theory is that the investigation was wrongfully and illegally started.
The hearing did not accomplish much, but more importantly, it distracted from bigger issues that are going on right now. Mueller testified that Russia is still working to interfere in the United States elections in 2020 and is “expecting them to do it again during the next campaign.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked two election security bills on July 25. Something like this should be much bigger news than it is, but our members of Congress are either too busy trying to protect the president or too busy trying to find ways to impeach him.
There are so many other issues along with election interference that deserve more attention. Chants of “send her back” directed at Ilhan Omar, a U.S. Representative for Minnesota, erupted at a Trump rally, which has since been disavowed by the president. The president’s attempt to lock down the southern border has been met with bad press as well. Awful photos of the camps that potential immigrants are forced to stay in and horrible testimonies have recently surfaced.
American politicians should be embarrassed at the Mueller hearing. It felt like there was a room full of people who either did not read the full report, or were too busy pushing an agenda to be taken seriously. Having a hearing for a Special Counsel who cannot go outside of his already released report’s boundaries seems incredibly asinine and a waste of time and resources.