Keep the Faith: CNN Boasts Mueller Hearing, Report Are Part of a ‘Watergate Roadmap’

During a brief break in Wednesday afternoon’s House Intelligence Committee hearing with former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, CNN again did its best to keep the faith for their boss Jeffrey Zucker and fellow lefties amidst their permanent impeachment campaign, hailing the hearing as part of a “Watergate roadmap” to begin ridding America of President Trump.

It didn’t start off that way as The Lead and State of the Union host Jake Tapper conceded that Mueller clarified a statement from the House Judiciary Committee hearing that the decision by he and his team on the President’s culpability was not solely based on an Office of Legal Counsel opinion that sitting presidents can’t be indicted.

 

 

Here was Tapper on Mueller’s clean-up (click “expand”):

So a cleanup there, it seemed as though in the earlier hearing, that Robert Mueller had said something the Democrats were excited about, but he walked it back and he's back where the report is which is to say that before they could ever make a conclusion about whether or not they thought the President obstructed justice, they knew that they would not be able to indict him, so they never even reached a conclusion. But there was some news and some illumination that took place during the beginning of the House Intelligence Committee hearing. At the top of it, the committee chairman, Adam Schiff from California, asked some probing questions, basically trying to make the case that even if there was no prosecutable evidence of conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia, there were things that happened that were wrong.

Going to chief political analyst Gloria Border, Tapper ruled that, on collusion (aka conspiracy), “not illegal, but not good news, not what President Trump and his team want to be out there on television.” Borger then hailed the line of questioning from Mike Quigley (D-IL) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) to have Mueller take issue with the President’s rhetoric.

After crime and justice reporter Evan Perez hilariously said that “no one can really make” the “assertion” that “the 2016 election was illegitimate,” Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer teamed with far-left legal analyst Laura Coates, chief legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin, and former FBI lawyer counsel Jim Baker to rally The Resistance (click “expand”):

BLITZER: Well, Mueller — he did say a few times, Mueller that after the President leaves office, after he's no longer a sitting president, potentially, assuming statue of limitations has not run out, he could be indicted. 

COATES: Which is exactly what we talk about in his report. The idea to preserve evidence, he need to preserve evidence. He acknowledged that he had the OLC opinion, which said “yeah, you can’t indict a sitting president. You can continue to investigate. You never know what's going to leave.” And the notion that you can actually indict someone who's no longer the president of the United States, all that says to me, is that it was a walk back of 1,000 yards by the way but when he did so, he was essentially saying, look, you can lead a horse to water, but I can't make it drink. I just outlined 11 — what — instances of why there was obstruction of conduct. I’ve let you know about whether you should have illegal activity associated with the activity. I can’t politically say to you the last bit that says, “Yes, you should act. I’ve got an OLC opinion. I am completely hamstrung by it,” so it was that essentially saying, “I'm not going to take it that far,” and reiterates again “Here's a green light. What else do you need?” If you actually want to say to investigate the President of the United States, Representative Lieu, everyone else, the ball is in your court.”

TAPPER: What — what do you think has been the most important so far? 

BAKER: Well, I agree. I mean, I think the Mueller report, and the way he's comporting himself here, he has served up to the Judiciary Committee the meal. All they have to do is eat it. The facts are there. They can interpret the various acts — alleged acts of obstruction and then take action on it. It’s — what I'm thinking about today is the Watergate road map that the Watergate prosecutors gave to Congress and that is it’s not very sparse, it’s not very long and it’s devoid of commentary at all. It's just fact after fact after fact. And the house judiciary committee in ‘74 was able to interpret it, figure out what was problematic, and then act.

TOOBIN: But I think the contrast to Watergate is so interesting here because, without Watergate, you didn't have Leon Jaworski, Archibald Cox, the prosecutors as the witnesses, you had the actual witnesses and that's what's missing here. You’re missing Don McGahn, Mr. Lewandowski.

To see the relevant transcript from CNN’s coverage of the Mueller hearings on July 24, click “expand.”

CNN’s Robert Mueller Hearing coverage
July 24, 2019
2:17 p.m. Eastern

JAKE TAPPER: So a cleanup there, it seemed as though in the earlier hearing, that Robert Mueller had said something the Democrats were excited about, but he walked it back and he's back where the report is which is to say that before they could ever make a conclusion about whether or not they thought the President obstructed justice, they knew that they would not be able to indict him, so they never even reached a conclusion. But there was some news and some illumination that took place during the beginning of the House Intelligence Committee hearing. At the top of it, the committee chairman, Adam Schiff from California, asked some probing questions, basically trying to make the case that even if there was no prosecutable evidence of conspiracy between the Trump team and Russia, there were things that happened that were wrong.

(....)

2:18 p.m. Eastern

TAPPER: Gloria Borger, let me bring you in here. So, again, not illegal, 

GLORIA BORGER: No.

TAPPER: but not good news, not what President Trump and his team want to be out there on television. 

BORGER: That’s right and he went on later to say it's a responsibility of political campaigns to inform the FBI if they get this kind of communication from a foreign government offering help, so he did go there. One other thing that I thought was kind of pushing the envelope here for — for Bob Mueller at least, I think it was more forceful on the Russian interference in a way than he was this morning, but when he was read by Congressman Quigley the President’s tweets and transcribing what the President said about Wikileaks, I love you and all the rest. And Mueller was asked, well, what did you think about that? And Mueller said, “problematic is an understatement.” And then when Schiff brought it up again, Schiff being the prosecutor here. He brought it up again, and — and asked about it, and Mueller called these communications disturbing and also subject to investigation which I think is kind of interesting, because it's the first time we heard him sort of take on the President and say, that was completely out of line and problematic. 

(....)

2:21 p.m. Eastern

WOLF BLITZER: And Christopher Wray, the FBI director said if someone comes to a campaign from a foreign government. Especially a hostile foreign government and says we have information on your opponent, that could be very helpful to you, you should immediately call the FBI.

EVAN PEREZ: And I think it's an important thing because a lot of Republicans on this panel are not going to say that, nobody wants to say that because nobody wants to certainly incur the wrath of the President or to say the 2016 election was illegitimate, which, you know, obviously, no one can really make that assertion here, but that's where the President gets most unnerved and that's what drives so much of his reaction. 

(....)

2:22 p.m. Eastern

TAPPER: To go back to the clarification that the President — I’m sorry — that Director Mueller made about why they did not indict President Trump, that's something the Democrats had gotten excited about. They thought — they thought that this was big news. 

JEFFREY TOOBIN: For good reason, and we all noted at the lunch break, because the idea that there was proof of a crime committed by the President, and the only reason it was not prosecuted by Robert Mueller is because of the Justice Department decision you cannot indict a sitting president. That’s what he said to Ted Lieu. He came back and walked that back it's not like we made it up that it was a big deal. It was a big deal. 

TAPPER: And Ted Lieu’s question, by the way, was — you could not be clearer. 

BORGER: Very clear.

TAPPER: By the way, in his cleanup, Mueller blamed Ted Lieu.

BORGER: Right.

TOOBIN: Actually.

TAPPER: He said — he said that's not the correct way to say it. He said “Mr. Lieu, and I quoe, ‘you didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion.’ That's not the correct way to say it.” Well, it's a question. I mean, the thing that was incorrect was what Mueller's answer. 

BLITZER: Well, Mueller — he did say a few times, Mueller that after the President leaves office, after he's no longer a sitting president, potentially, assuming statue of limitations has not run out, he could be indicted. 

LAURA COATES: Which is exactly what we talk about in his report. The idea to preserve evidence, he need to preserve evidence. He acknowledged that he had the OLC opinion, which said “yeah, you can’t indict a sitting president. You can continue to investigate. You never know what's going to leave.” And the notion that you can actually indict someone who's no longer the president of the United States, all that says to me, is that it was a walk back of 1,000 yards by the way —

TAPPER: Yeah.

COATES: — but when he did so, he was essentially saying, look, you can lead a horse to water, but I can't make it drink. I just outlined 11 — what — instances of why there was obstruction of conduct. I’ve let you know about whether you should have illegal activity associated with the activity. I can’t politically say to you the last bit that says, “Yes, you should act. I’ve got an OLC opinion. I am completely hamstrung by it,” so it was that essentially saying, “I'm not going to take it that far,” and reiterates again “Here's a green light. What else do you need?” If you actually want to say to investigate the President of the United States, Representative Lieu, everyone else, the ball is in your court.”

TAPPER: What — what do you think has been the most important so far? 

JIM BAKER: Well, I agree. I mean, I think the Mueller report, and the way he's comporting himself here, he has served up to the Judiciary Committee the meal. All they have to do is eat it. The facts are there. They can interpret the various acts — alleged acts of obstruction and then take action on it. It’s — what I'm thinking about today is the Watergate road map that the Watergate prosecutors gave to Congress and that is it’s not very sparse, it’s not very long and it’s devoid of commentary at all. It's just fact after fact after fact. And the house judiciary committee in ‘74 was able to interpret it, figure out what was problematic, and then act.

TOOBIN: But I think the contrast to Watergate is so interesting here because, without Watergate, you didn't have Leon Jaworski, Archibald Cox, the prosecutors as the witnesses, you had the actual witnesses and that's what's missing here. You’re missing Don McGahn, Mr. Lewandowski.

NB Daily Congress Mueller Report Push to Impeach Trump Conservatives & Republicans Liberals & Democrats CNN CNN Newsroom Video Robert Mueller Wolf Blitzer Jake Tapper Jeffrey Toobin Donald Trump
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