Democrats hoping to get the “movie version” of Robert Mueller’s 400-page report on the Russia investigation’s findings might have been sorely disappointed by the former special counsel’s response given at the top of a much-hyped House Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday.
Rep. Doug Collins, a Georgia Republican, cut straight to the heart of a matter that many of President Donald Trump’s opponents see as key to possibly removing him from office: whether his administration obstructed justice by interfering with the Russia investigation.
“At any time with your investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped or hindered?” Collins asked.
“No,” Mueller replied.
Congressional Democrats have largely abandoned accusations that Trump colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election and pivoted to Mueller’s refusal to “exonerate” the president on obstruction of justice charges. The sub-text of their remarks could be taken to mean that the Mueller report hasn’t exactly had the bombshell effect on the American people that they’d anticipated.
WATCH: Democrats were hoping Robert Mueller would provide the "movie version" of his report. #MuellerHearings@chucktodd: "In no movie would the best actor, the lead person here, have the fewest words spoken." pic.twitter.com/nDRQhQRKMv
— Meet the Press (@MeetThePress) July 24, 2019
House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff expressed his hope over the weekend that Mueller’s on-camera testimony would succeed where his “pretty dry prosecutorial work product” had failed.
“Since most of our constituents in their busy lives haven’t had the opportunity to read that report — and it’s a pretty dry prosecutorial work product — we want Bob Mueller to bring it to life, to talk about what’s in that report,” said Sunday during an appearance on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”
The conservative response to the much-hyped Robert Mueller testimony
But for many on the opposite side of the aisle, Democrats’ insistence on re-litigating the Mueller report is partisan flailing born of frustration that the two-year buildup spawned by the Russia investigation failed to deliver enough dirt on Trump.
Conservative commentator Eddie Scarry, writing in the Washington Examiner, predicted that Mueller’s hours-long testimony this week “won’t change a single thing.”
“The conclusion of his two-year long investigation will still be that there was no proof of a conspiracy between Russians and President Trump’s 2016 campaign,” he wrote. “Mueller will still abstain from determining whether Trump obstructed justice, though his boss, William Barr, has already made that call for him. And Democrats, regardless of what is said, will still push for impeachment, despite failing to point to any particular act that would justify it.”