Former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday on Capitol Hill, demonstrating — to many — a loose knowledge of his own report and leaving eager Democrats with far less than a slam-dunk move toward impeachment proceedings against the president.
Mueller himself had warned that his testimony would consist solely of his already public 448-page report and that he would “not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress” — but House Democrats had insisted Mueller appear before them.
Here’s a roundup of strong voices and impassioned opinions after the Mueller appearance.
1.) “Robert Mueller’s testimony was a stammering, stuttering mess,” said The New York Post.
2.) “Old Man Mueller: Fool on the Hill,” wrote Michelle Malkin, in part, on Twitter.
3.) “Clearly Mueller was not in the House. This is not going to move the needle ..[It] was a huge loss for the anti-Trump media … He appeared weak. He could not recall or answer basic questions … I don’t think Mueller wrote this report,” said Doreen Borelli of Fox News.
4.) “Robert Mueller dodged the Judiciary committee’s questions about 100 times today,” said Politico.
5.) “Jesus, forgive me for ever being a Republican,” tweeted MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 24, 2019
6.) The hearing was “political theater,” said RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel.
7.) “Hug a Democrat today! Their witch hunt is over, they look petty AF and they will lose again in 2020 for that reason and a million more. Sucks to suck!” tweeted Tomi Lahren.
8.) “I think it was a complete stalemate … I can just say he was not hitting on six cylinders today,” said Chris Swecker, former FBI assistant director, in an interview on Fox News. “That was not a stellar performance on his part … He was not sharp today … He punted to Congress or he punted to the American people [on this matter].”
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 24, 2019
9.) “Dems give Trump another gift with embarrassing #MuellerHearing,” tweeted Laura Ingraham, host of “The Ingraham Angle” on Fox News.
10.) “He’s there, to the best of his memory, trying to recall everything that’s in [the report] … I respect him for [his service to the country] … When all is said and done, this was not the best use of our time,” said Becket Adams, Washington Examiner.
11.) “Much as I hate to say it, this morning’s hearing was a disaster,” said well-known attorney Laurence Tribe, a Trump critic and professor of law at Harvard. “Far from breathing life into his damning report, the tired Robert Mueller sucked the life out of it. The effort to save democracy and the rule of law from this lawless president has been set back, not advanced.”
12.) “Impeachment’s over,” said ABC News senior national correspondent Terry Moran.
13.) “This has been a disaster for the Democrats and a disaster for the reputation of Robert Mueller,” said Chris Wallace of Fox News. “He has seemed very uncertain with his brief … He doesn’t seem to know things that are in the report. He’s been attacked a number of times and you would think that almost anybody else would have defended his own integrity and the integrity of the investigation and over and over. [Yet] Mueller just sits silent and allows the attacks from the Republicans to sweep over him and says nothing.”
14.) “We are only 30 mins into this thing,” tweeted Amy Walter, national editor for the Cook Political Report earlier in the morning, “but I don’t think that this is going the way Democrats were hoping it would.”
15.) “I actually felt sorry for [Mueller],” said a New York-based veteran and a father of four.
16.) CNN’s David Axelrod noted, “This is very, very painful.”
“Bob Mueller’s testimony today was not assertive, let alone aggressive. Bob Mueller’s grasp and presentation of the underlying facts … was not very detailed. It didn’t build in the way some had hoped.”
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17.) “The more this hearing goes on, the more it becomes painfully clear that not only did Bob Mueller not write his own report — he was barely involved or in control of it at all. You know who was? His team of Democrats. This was a resistance-driven partisan witch hunt all along,” said Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.).
18.) Conservative commentator, radio show host and writer Wayne Dupree noted bluntly of the appearance, “Mueller looked like a doddering old fool, slumped over his desk. ‘What was the question?’ ‘What did you say?’ ‘You can read it.’ ‘Can you repeat that?’”
19.) MSNBC’s Ari Melber had this to say: “Bob Mueller’s testimony today was not assertive, let alone aggressive. Bob Mueller’s grasp and presentation of the underlying facts … was not very detailed. It didn’t build in the way some had hoped.”
20.) Mueller was “not on top of his game,” said NPR.
21.) It was an optics “disaster” for the Democrats, commented NBC’s Chuck Todd.
22.) Legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, speaking on CNN, said, “It certainly seems like Donald Trump is winning.”
23.) “Second most pleased person today should be the guy in charge of Republicans winning back the House next year,” said White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
24.) “This was classic Mueller. He’s a guy who is a figurehead. He lets everybody else do the work for him and then he takes credit for it,” said Gregg Jarrett, a legal and political analyst for Fox News, speaking on “The Laura Ingraham Podcast” on Wednesday.
25.) “I think Robert Mueller did a horrible job … But in all fairness to Robert Mueller, he had nothing to work with,” said President Donald Trump to reporters.
We miss any great ones? Share your picks and your own thoughts in the comments section below.