The day Democrats have been waiting for is finally here. Robert Mueller is on Capitol Hill testifying about his report.
The first of two scheduled hearings began at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday with Mueller answering questions from the House Judiciary Committee.
Proceedings so far have gone as most people would have expected, with Republicans and Democrats taking turns asking five minutes worth of questions to Mueller.
Democrats have praised Mueller and his report while seeking to get him to expand on his findings, and Republicans have looked to poke holes in his report.
The second round of questions came from ranking Republican Doug Collins of Georgia, who seemed to succeed in exposing a contradiction between Mueller’s words and his report.
“Is that indeed true, your investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in election interference activity?” Collins asked roughly halfway through his five minutes.
“Thank you, yes,” Mueller replied.
“Although your report states collusion is not a specific offense, and you said that this morning, or a term of art in federal criminal law, conspiracy is. In the colloquial context, are collusion and conspiracy essentially synonymous terms?” Collins followed up.
After asking Collins to repeat the question, Mueller answered, “No.”
“If no, on page 180 of volume one of your report you wrote, ‘As defined in legal dictionaries, collusion is largely synonymous with conspiracy as that crime is set forth in the general federal conspiracy statute,'” Collins said.
“You said at your May 29 press conference and here today you choose your words carefully. Are you sitting here today testifying something different than what your report states?”
Mueller stammered for sometime while looking at his report before eventually deciding he would “leave it with the report.”
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