I’m pretty sure everyone is over the whole Mueller testimony thing and after twelve hours of live-tweeting it, I know I am. Here is a timeline run-down of the important points made by Mueller and members of Congress yesterday. You can click on each tweet to open the video attached. The times are pretty approximate as they are based on the tweet I’m referencing that was done live.
8:42 am: Things start with a protestor who, according to reports later from journalists in the room, screamed about Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, and encrypted apps.
8:42 am: Democrats, Republicans and Robert Mueller all read previously prepared opening statements in turn. Nadler starts the process by saying, “I want to say just a few words about our themes today: responsibility, integrity, and accountability.” Next, Rep. Doug Collins gives his opening statement for the Republicans. Mueller is sworn in and then makes his opening statement, where he summarizes his team’s top findings in the report and re-iterates what he will and won’t be discussing in his testimony.
Mueller makes several other points in his opening statement, I suggest you click the link above to read it in its entirety, there is a lot there.
9:00 am: Rep. Nadler gets right into it with asking about Trump’s refusal to be interviewed.
9:06 am: Mueller confirms he did not exonerate Donald Trump.
9:31 am: Rep Zoe Lofgren does an exceptional job with her entire line of questioning, and gets Mueller to confirm that the Russian government was invested in and would be benefited by Trump winning the election.
9:59 am: We get our first glimpse of crazy town from Rep. Louie Gohmert. (R-TX).
10:13 am: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) continues to use the strategy many of the GOP Congresspeople are using, which is to recant his version of conspiracy theories, surrounding issues Mueller specified he would not discuss due to ongoing investigations.
10:47 am: Rep. Ken Buck (D-CO) makes a great point for everyone watching.
10:50 am: Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) makes several great points about Corey Lewandowski’s involvement in assisting Trump to attempt to Obstruct.
Rep. Cicilline: That meeting [with Corey Lewandowski with Trump in the Oval Office] was just two days after [Trump] ordered McGahn to fire you, is that correct?
Mueller: Apparently so.
Cicilline: Mr. Lewandowski, a private citizen, was instructed by the President of the United States to deliver a message from the President to the Attorney General that directed him to limit your investigation. Correct?
Cyclone: An unsuccessful attempt to Obstruct Justice is still a crime?
11:20 This next interaction with Mueller and Rep Lieu (D-CA) caused a lot of speculation. Some argued that Mueller’s response initially meant that Mueller was admitting that but for the OLC opinion saying I couldn’t indict a sitting president, he would have indicted Trump.
After the longer lunch break, Mueller returned to clarify that his initial response to Lieu detailed above was not entire accurate.
Robert Mueller gave this clarifying statement after the recess:
2:51 pm: The afternoon session began with Mueller’s clarification and then was intended to focus primarily on Russian interference in the 2016 election.
3:45 pm: The Mueller Hearing comes to close.
Ultimately, this hearing was only beneficial to those who had not previously read or heard any of the key take-ways from Mueller’s Report after it was made public. Aside from the GOP grandstanding with some far out tales, the whole thing was fairly basic for the viewing public.
3:23 pm: Mueller gives a detailed explanation about how he wanted to subpoena the President and all of the reasons for why he didn't:
It’s important to note that despite prominent Democrats telling the media all week that they hoped it would help those who had not read the report (it likely did not), this hearing was a procedural necessity for getting the architect of the investigation and subsequent report on the record. If the House does proceed with impeachment hearings down the line, this public hearing is necessary as a precursor. As with many court proceedings, this type of procedure that establishes a necessary record is often boring. Unfortunately, this is not a court of law and critical public support is often garnered with the more theatrical moments. The result may have been more boring than Democrats had hoped, but brass tacks often are.
This is a very quick overview of the key points from yesterday and if you would like more detail about events and opinions, you can review my feed from Wednesday, July 24th, that covers all of it, including Trump’s post hearing response and the press conference from the Democratic Leadership later in the afternoon.
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Amee Vanderpool writes the “Shero” Newsletter and is an attorney, contributor to Playboy Magazine, analyst for BBC radio and Director of The Inanna Project. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @girlsreallyrule.