Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify Wednesday about his investigation into Russian interference in our 2016 election. Thus far, the investigation he lead has resulted in 34 indictments of individuals, three corporations, five jail sentences, 500 search warrants, 500 witnesses, 2,800 subpoenas, as well as numerous ongoing cases and investigations including one Mueller referred to the FBI and DHS about Russians hacking our election systems.
Captain Robert Mueller, United States Marine Corps, enlisted, served, and fought in the Vietnam War rising through the ranks to lead a platoon into combat. He earned the Bronze Star with “V” for combat valor when he rescued a wounded Marine under enemy fire when half his platoon became casualties.
In a separate battle, Mueller was shot and wounded but returned to lead his platoon. For his service in Vietnam, Mueller also earned a Purple Heart, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Combat “V”, Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with four service stars, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Parachutist Badge.
Robert Mueller always finishes the job and it is always a job well done.
But, Mueller’s job as Special Counsel isn’t finished…yet.
Mueller may be a reluctant warrior when he testifies on Wednesday, but, it is the most important fight of his life and our country. The fate of our democracy rests in his ability to persuade Congress and the country to act on the Mueller Report because the subjects of his investigation are a greater threat to us than the enemy he faced as a Marine.
Mueller must make clear to Congress, and the country, the threat to our democracy posed by those he investigated, including Donald Trump, is one of the most serious in our history.
To succeed Mueller must understand that the terms of engagement have changed. It is incumbent upon Mueller to explain clearly and pointedly exactly what Trump, his associates, and Russia did to illegally interfere in the 2016 election.
Mueller doesn’t have the luxury of his previous congressional appearances from a bygone era where he could speak in neutral terms and let others draw their conclusions. Just as adjustments are made on the battlefield when facing enemy combatants so, too, must Mueller change the way he makes his case before Congress.
The fate of our democracy rests in his ability to persuade Congress and the country to act on the Mueller Report because the subjects of his investigation are a greater threat to us than the enemy he faced as a Marine.
Undoubtedly, Mueller believes he has already done it. Mueller’s public statement on May 29, 2019, was the equivalent of a hair on fire moment for him.
His quaking voice at the outset made clear Mueller’s disbelief about what he was about to share with the country and the threat we face from Russia as well as those who cooperated with them including numerous Americans.
The urgency of each word Mueller spoke that day was a five-alarm fire pleading with Congress to act.
Yet, nothing has happened.
We are witnessing a classic chicken and egg situation. Mueller’s plea to Congress to open their own investigation is based on his belief that if the material from the Mueller Report, including unsealed indictments and underlying evidence, is publicly revealed then the support for impeachment will soar. That is what Mueller is advocating.
On the other hand, Speaker Nancy Pelosi wants substantial public support before she begins impeachment hearings.
The fact is one begets the other but someone has to go first.
That is why on Wednesday Mueller must explain in stark terms what he found in his investigation that makes this threat true and why during his nine-minute statement Mueller implored Congress to take his report and use it to investigate then impeach Trump…because that’s exactly what he said.
Of course, you wouldn’t know it from the media coverage or perhaps watching him that day. But, if you read the Mueller Report and listened to what he said there’s no question he was pulling the alarm.
For example, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”
Let me translate what Mueller said: “Trump committed a crime. The reason I didn’t publicly indict him at this time is a Department of Justice policy that won’t allow it while he is president.”
Mueller needs to speak in plain, stark terms when he testifies. That doesn’t change the meaning of what he stated nor is it prejudiced. It is a fact. But, using that approach will make clear what he means.
Mueller can change the dynamic by changing his approach to detailing what Trump, his associates, and Russia did to interfere in our election. If Mueller does that then the American public will understand the gravity of the situation and demand Congress act. Support for impeachment will increase in the polls and when that happens Congress will act.
That is why the more that is revealed by Mueller, and the more clearly he makes his case before Congress, the more likely impeachment hearings will begin.
It is also an opportunity to address a score of lingering questions about the investigation. Why did Mueller wait 68 days to speak publicly about the report after he gave it to Barr? Did Barr interfere with the report/investigations Mueller referred? Why did Mueller resign in the midst of the press appearance? Is it because resigning was the only way he could hold make a public statement as Special Counsel without being fired? Why won’t Barr unseal the existing indictments Mueller issued or provide the underlying evidence in the report to Congress? Is Barr obstructing justice now?
Furthermore, it isn’t enough for the House alone to start impeachment hearings. A symbolic gesture will only increase Trump’s political standing and do nothing to stop the same concerns we faced in the 2016 election in the 2020 election. In fact, it is the one way to ensure Trump returns to the White House.
That’s why the Senate must do the same. The more information that comes out of the hearing Wednesday from Mueller and his report the more pressure there will be on the Republican Senators, especially the 22 who are up for re-election like Susan Collins (Maine), Cory Gardner (Colo.), and others who are in tough re-election fights.
In the face of the facts, any Republican who doesn’t support impeachment proceedings once the evidence is revealed must have their motives questioned.
Finally, there is no doubt that House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee, especially Congressmen Jim Jordan, Louis Gohmert, and Matt Gaetz, will try to sully Mueller’s reputation during his testimony. But, in doing so they only sully themselves by revealing their true character.
Not one investigation they have participated in as Republicans in the majority, including the Benghazi investigation, ever resulted in one indictment, one conviction, or one jail sentence. Nothing.
That’s because all of those investigations were undertaken for political purposes. The Mueller investigation is the antithesis of their investigations. Their willingness to serve as accomplices to defend Trump rather than our democracy shows that power is more important to them than the people they represent and the oath of office they took when they swore to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
Mueller should face them down just like the enemy combatants he vanquished as a commander in Vietnam.
The truth is a powerful weapon. All Robert Mueller has to do Wednesday is tell the truth, present the facts, and do so in a way every American can understand.
We are about to find out who the true patriots are in this country. Not those who simply proclaim that mantle but the Americans who actually carry it.
Robert Mueller is a patriot. He has always been a patriot. And he has one last mission in behalf of our country. God speed, Captain Mueller. God speed.