Robert Mueller has spoken.
In his own tepid, cautious, institutional style, the former Special Counsel has testified before two House committees completely within the four corners of his report and left no room for argument on the following:
- Russia interfered in our election, one of "the most serious threats" against democracy in his eyes.
- The Trump campaign benefited from this interference, although the amount of lies and obfuscation during the investigation from various parties made it impossible for Mueller to conclusively determine if Trump was a willing accomplice or an unwitting tool of the Russians.
- All along the investigation, Donald Trump made various moves to slow down or kill the investigation (aka "obstructing justice") into Russia interfering in our election, ostensibly because he felt it threatened his own position, but because of the OLC memo saying that presidents cannot be indicted, Mueller chose not to go further than to document ten different events that may be pursued for further indictable charges.
There are other takeaways that anyone with critical thinking skills could come away with (like how the Republicans have ZERO interest in preventing Russia from interfering in our elections again and Louis Gohmert is the dumbest person in Congress), but let's stick with Mueller's testimony.
After Mueller's testifying before the the Judiciary and Intelligence committees, the two chairmen, plus Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Oversight Committee chair Elijah Cummings held a press conference. Some assumed or hoped that the Democratic leadership would be announcing the imminent impeachment inquiry.
But that didn't happen. Leadership reiterated how Mueller reinforced what they've said all along. But they stayed frustratingly close to the edge of calling for the opening of an impeachment inquiry without fully leaning in.
Instead, Cummings put out a plea:
And they're going to ask the question, 'What did you do when we had a president who knew the rules and knew that our Founding Fathers had done a great job of creating a constitution and had put in all the guardrails but never anticipate that we would have a president that would just throw away the guardrails?'
And that's why what happened today is so critical. It was a giant step in making sure that the American people were -- got a picture of all of this and hopefully, will look toward the future and say, 'We're not going to have this.'
It's not about liking the president; it's about loving democracy. It's about loving our country. It's about making a difference for generations yet unborn. That's what this is all about, and I'm begging -- i'm begging--the American people to pay attention to what is going on.
That may sound like a whole lot of nothing, but let me overlay some math on this:
At this point, there are less than 100 congresspeople supporting the opening of an impeachment inquiry. That's not to say that the congresspeople (Republicans included) believe that Trump is honest or even remotely fit for office. But they are listening to consultants, pollsters and pundits who are constantly normalizing Trump's malfeasance.
They need to hear from YOU.
It's really easy to throw Nancy Pelosi under the bus and blame her for the reticence towards impeachment. But the one thing Pelosi knows how to do is count votes. And we don't have the number of votes we need.
So Cummings and the rest of the leadership are begging to hear from you. They're begging you to talk to your neighbors and co-workers and friends and ask them to call too. Go to town halls during this summer break. Reach out to their local offices.
We have to pay attention to OUR responsibility in this democracy. It's up to us to tell our representatives how best to represent us.