Schiff Knew Mueller Was Suffering from Cognitive Decline, Decided to Dumb Down Questions Instead of Dismissing Him


Sure, Democrats said in the summer of 2019, the Mueller report hadn’t dug up anything of substance. But just wait until the special counsel himself got in front of Congress. Then America would see.

America saw, all right — but what we saw was a public figure visibly diminished by cognitive decline.

Now, in a new book, the man who led the investigation into former President Donald Trump and his chimeric ties to Russia admits Robert Mueller was so mentally reduced by the time he appeared before Congress that he told his Democratic colleagues to simplify their questions to the special counsel.

According to CNN, Rep. Adam Schiff’s new book, “Midnight in Washington,” details plenty of what went on in D.C. during the Trump years. Lo and behold, it makes the California Democrat look like a valiant hero. Even Trump thought he was great once upon a time.

“In the days before Rep. Adam Schiff became then-President Donald Trump’s chief congressional nemesis, Trump praised the man who would go on to epitomize his toxic relationship with Democrats on Capitol Hill,” CNN reported.

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“‘You know, you do a good job,’ Trump told Schiff in the Oval Office in March 2017, according to new details from an upcoming book written by the House Intelligence chairman and obtained by CNN ahead of its release next week.”

I can’t wait to read the part where Schiff dons a cape and rescues a tied-up Lady Liberty from railroad tracks right before a locomotive runs her over.

Anyhow, in some incidents the truth is too blatant to ignore. Mueller’s congressional testimony in July 2019 is one of them.

In case you need a refresher, Mueller couldn’t remember numerous details of his own report, including what Fusion GPS is. (That’s the Democrat-linked firm that funded the Steele dossier, a document that became the key component of the Trump-Russia investigation.)

There’s no way to turn Mueller’s performance into an act of heroism — and, to Schiff’s (minimal) credit, he doesn’t even try.

“The book walks readers through Schiff’s real-time reaction to some of the most consequential events of the Trump administration, like the high-stakes July 2019 testimony of former special counsel Robert Mueller after his two-year investigation into Trump had concluded,” CNN reported.

“Schiff had sent Mueller a handwritten note to help convince him to appear before Congress, and he writes that it was ‘heartbreaking’ to then see Mueller struggle to answer basic questions.”

“Had I known how much he had changed, I would not have pursued his testimony with such vigor — in fact, I would not have pursued it at all,” Schiff wrote.

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Nice try, but whether or not Schiff knew about Mueller’s diminished mental acuity, hiding him in the attic wasn’t going to work — not after Democrats had poured so much political capital into his report.

Whatever Schiff knew of Mueller’s mental state, America quickly caught on once the special counsel had to answer difficult questions.

So Schiff had a plan to mitigate the damage: Make sure the questions weren’t difficult.

“As Mueller testified in the morning before the Judiciary Committee, Schiff writes that Intelligence Committee Democrats overhauled their strategy for Mueller’s second session with them in the afternoon. ‘No questions calling for a narrative answer,’ Schiff said he told the committee. ‘No multipart questions. If you think your question may be too long, it is. Cut it down.'”

Mueller is a former FBI director and the man charged with unraveling what Democrats wholeheartedly believed to be a conspiracy between the sitting president and a country that’s arguably the silver medal winner in the U.S. geopolitical adversary Olympics. (It depends on how testy Kim Jong Un is being or whether he’s down with the gout again.)

Nearest we could tell from his testimony, Mueller couldn’t follow a train of thought without repeatedly consulting a railway timetable. While that fogginess may not have been evident when Mueller took the job, by the climax of the whole affair Schiff was asking his fellow Democrats not to confuse gramps.

The subtitle of Schiff’s “Midnight in Washington” is “How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could.” How ironic.

Was the Trump-Russia collusion theory a hoax?

One way to do that, for instance, is to foment baseless rumors that the president of the United States is in bed (in one case, very literally) with the Russians. Then, appoint a former FBI director as special counsel to investigate those rumors. Make sure the special counsel’s office is stocked with Democratic apparatchiks, too. No need to check that he’s entirely compos mentis, either.

Next, when his report can’t turn up any conclusive evidence of Russian collusion, have him testify before Congress. When he comes across as an already dim linebacker with a bad concussion, formulate conspiracy theories as to what happened. For example, you could have Rep. Ted Lieu of California tell reporters, “I don’t know who got to him. I don’t know who talked to him, but that was very odd.”

Theoretically, of course. I’m not saying any of that happened.

I mean, except for all of it — but don’t expect to hear about that debasement of our democracy anywhere in “Midnight in Washington.”

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture