Special Counsel Mueller took part less and less in Russia investigation and ceded substantial responsibilities to deputies.
One of the real reasons that Mueller was so reluctant to testify was because soon after the special counsel’s office opened in 2017, some aides noticed that Robert S. Mueller III kept noticeably shorter hours than he had as F.B.I. director, when he showed up for work daily at 6 a.m. and often worked nights.
Mueller would cede substantial responsibilities to his top deputies, including Aaron Zebley, who managed day-to-day operations and often reported on the investigation’s progress up the chain in the Justice Department. As negotiations with President Trump’s lawyers about interviewing him dragged on, for example, Mueller took part less and less, according to people familiar with how the office worked.
We saw this hands-off style display on Wednesday when Bob Mueller testified for about seven hours before two House committees. Once famous for his reported laserlike focus, Mueller, who turns 75 next month, seemed to forget about what was in his own 448-page report. He struggled at one point to come up with the word ‘conspiracy.’”
He asked for questions to be repeated more than a dozen times, even botched one about which president appointed him as a top prosecutor in 1986.
“I rely on the language in the report.”
“I’d have to pass on that.”
“I’m not going to get into that.”
“That’s an area in which I cannot get into.”
“This is outside my purview.”
“I can’t speak to that.”
“I’m not going to talk to that.”
“I am not going to answer that question.”
“Not going to talk about that.”
“I can’t answer that question in a vacuum.”
“I’m going to pass on that.”
“I’m not going to comment.”
The New York Times reported on the front page yesterday that, “as the prosecutor in charge of a two-year investigation of President Trump and Russian interference, he was not the Mueller of old. They also acknowledged that they knew Mueller passed on the majority of the investigation to his ‘top deputies.”
So if Times reporters knew that Robert Mueller was a hands-off leader with dwindling stamina who increasingly relied on his deputies, how did that remain such a closely guarded secret? Why now that Mueller is no longer special counsel, and his lack of knowledge about hos own report was put on public display, is it “safe” to publish the story now?.
The truth is, Mueller wasn’t as hands-on, nor was he fully running (if at all) the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential Election as the mainstream media or the left would have you believe.
For one instance, calendars show one of the top prosecutors, Andrew Weissman, met infrequently with Mueller, except for a daily 5 p.m. staff meeting. But the calendars say his aide Zebley was the team leader at these meetings 111 times.
MSNBC, on the other hand, are hailing the hearing as a success, especially seizing on a few buzz words here or there as if Mueller hadn’t said in his report four months ago that the report didn’t “exonerate” Trump.
One blunder MSNBC is using is a brief exchange with Democratic Rep. Ted Lieu, who said: “you did not indict Donald Trump is because of the OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct?”
“That is correct,” Mueller said.
This is despite the fact that Mueller started the second hearing by saying he had to “correct” something—“We did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime”—some at the cable network are placing more weight on the first answer.
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