I’ve never heard of Rep. Mike Turner before today, but the Ohio congressman is now forever in my pantheon of heroes for his takedown of Robert Mueller as an unprincipled political hack.
Turner began his question if Mueller before the House Intel Committee by asking the special counsel about his assertion in the report that he could not “exonerate” the president of obstruction of justice.
Mueller, of course, didn’t have much to say. What could he say — when he was wrong on the law and wrong on the facts? But Turner had Mueller on a skewer and he roasted him till he was well done!
Turner asked Mueller, “Does the attorney general have the power or the authority to exonerate?” He then brought out the US code and the Constitution and a textbook from Mueller’s law school.
Turner: “Nowhere in here, because we had them scanned, is there a process or description on ‘exonerate.’ There is no Office of Exoneration at the attorney general’s office. There is no certificate at the bottom of his desk. Mr. Mueller, would you agree with me that the attorney general does not have the power to exonerate?”
Mueller: “Uh, I’m gonna pass on that.”
Mueller: “Because it embroils is in a legal discussion, and I’m not prepared to go through a discussion in that arena.”
Turner then said the attorney general knows he doesn’t have the power to exonerate, and that Mueller doesn’t have that power either, so “if your report is to the attorney general, and the attorney general doesn’t have the power to exonerate, and he knows you do not have that power, you don’t have to tell him you’re not exonerating the president. He knows this already. So doesn’t that kind of change the context of the report?”
Mueller: “No, we included it in the report for exactly that reason. He may not know it, and he should know it.”
Say what? Attorney General Bill Barr may not know that monkeys flew down from Mars and gave Robert Mueller the divine right of exoneration? Shocking!
Turner: So you believe that Attorney General Bill Barr believes that somewhere in the hallways of the Department of Justice, there is an Office of Exoneration?”
Mueller: “No, that’s not what I said.”
Turner then “theorized” that maybe the non-exoneration has been included in the report — and in Mueller’s testimony — because it gave the anti-Trump media a nice cudgel to use to beat the impeachment drum. He even included a screenshot of a CNN panel blasting out that Mueller said “Trump was not exonerated.”
Turner: “Mr. Mueller, what you know is that this can’t say, “Mueller exonerated Trump.” Because you don’t have the power or authority to exonerate Trump. You had no more power to declare him exonerated than you do to declare him Anderson Cooper.”
For me, that may well have been the highlight of the more than five hours of hearings today. Let’s take up a collection to send Mueller back to law school!
Watch Turner schooling Mueller here:
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