Special Counsel Robert Mueller may have just upset American politics, but not in the way countless Democrats had hoped.
Mueller, of course, spent Wednesday answering questions about his special report before the House Judiciary Committee. Many on the left hoped that the former FBI director would deliver hard-hitting testimony that would bury President Donald Trump, or at least leave room for the liberal dream of impeachment.
That’s not what happened. In almost every way, Mueller’s appearance couldn’t have gone worse for Democrats — and now even outlets like ABC News are confirming that his testimony destroyed any anti-Trump momentum the liberal party had built.
During a discussion of the special counsel’s appearance, ABC’s senior national correspondent Terry Moran declared that impeachment talks had been totally stifled by Mueller.
“Was the ball advanced?” veteran anchor George Stephanopoulos asked.
Moran didn’t even hesitate.
“No,” the political expert replied. “Impeachment’s over.”
“I don’t think Nancy Pelosi is going to stand for her members bringing forth something that is going to obviously lose in the [Republican controlled] Senate, lose with the American public,” Moran said.
That was an implicit acknowledgment that Mueller’s somewhat bumbling performance did Democrats no favors, and pushing impeachment now would only frustrate Americans who are ready to move on.
“The problem with Mueller’s testimony on this issue is that he had to carry the ball for [Democrats], somewhat, whether he wanted to or not. At least by being a vigorous, strong, rock-solid prosecutor,” Moran said.
But that’s certainly not how the elderly ex-FBI head came across.
“And he looked like somebody who had slowed a step or two,” Moran said. “And perhaps as the Republicans are starting to put out there, maybe wasn’t even in control of all those angry Democrats. Maybe he’s a figurehead — somebody from the past that they put there so they could do their dirty work.”
While the ABC journalist noted that Democrats wouldn’t buy that claim, there’s no getting around the fact that Mueller seemed clueless on many aspects of his own report, leaving many to question how personally involved he truly was in its preparation.
Moran and the rest of ABC News are certainly no Trump cheerleaders, which make this appraisal even more damning. And he isn’t the only member of the establishment media to say the same thing.
Both CNN’s Jake Tapper and NBC’s Chuck Todd gave Mueller’s performance very low marks.
“There were also times when it seemed like he was unfamiliar with parts of the investigation. Like he didn’t seem familiar with the name, [Fusion] GPS. When the name Lewandowski was mentioned, he didn’t seem familiar with that,” Tapper noted about several bizarre moments in Mueller’s testimony.
As Moran said, impeachment is dead in the water at this point. Democrats over-sold the Mueller report for months, pinning all their hopes for taking down Trump upon it.
When the report was finally released, it made less of a hard impact and more of a soft thud. The anti-Trump claims that liberals had screamed about for years just weren’t confirmed by its pages, and the last-ditch effort to have Mueller personally nail the president with his testimony ended up being an epic dud.
Will Democrats take Moran’s advice and walk away from their impeachment rhetoric? We’ll have to wait and see.
With in-fighting between liberals like Pelosi and younger troublemakers including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez splintering the party, anything is possible — but continuing to attack Trump based on essentially nothing would be a political blunder for the left.
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