Let's Talk About Trump's Russian Shitshow! Mueller Liveblog Part Deux
House Intelligence Committee hearing with Robert Mueller is a go! Let's liveblog it! (If you missed this morning's liveblog, it is here!)
LIVE: Robert Mueller Testifies Before Congress (C-SPAN) www.youtube.com
12:54 Annnnnnnnd here we go!
Adam Schiff starting out with a fiery opening statement that's already featured the words "disloyalty to country" and "greed" and all kinds of other stuff. Remember, we are in the INTEL committee now. We hope the committee all studied our very important Wonkette post about how Mueller may not have had enough evidence to charge conspiracy, we're still pretty sure there was one, and his name was Paul Manafort.
Oh by the way, the media reports that this morning's testimony did not send a thrill up the media's leg, therefore this morning was a failure. They never, ever learn.
12:59: Schiff reminds America of how Trump not only gleefully took help from the Russians last time, he's stated outright that he'd like to do it again. Because that happened. Because the president is an obvious Russian agent. ("Allegedly.")
Devin Nunes gets to talk now. He is saying conspiracy theories about the Steele Dossier. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.
1:02: NUNES: Blah blah blah dossier Bruce Ohr James Comey Loch Ness Monster I am suing an imaginary internet cow right now for hurting my feelings, so you should probably take me seriously. NO COLLUSION!
1:07: In this hearing, both Mueller and his deputy Aaron Zebley are being sworn in, so maybe Aaron Zebley can DANCE FOR THE MEDIA WHAT IS SO BOOOOOOOORED right now. Devin Nunes is very upset that Aaron Zebley is there, because Aaron Zebley and Hillary Clinton are cousins or something.
Schiff tells Zebley that he understands there is an "angry man down the street" who is upset he's there (he means Shitfuck McGee AKA the president), but reassures Zebley that he doesn't care.
1:10: Since Bill Barr has been hiding Mueller's counter-intel findings from Congress, Mueller is addressing how counter-intel worked in his investigation. Says they set up their office like a US attorney's office, and explains how counter-intel was farmed out to the appropriate places in the FBI, so please ask questions about that to them. (Which is awesome, because we really trust Bill Barr to tell us what the FBI has found about whether or not Trump is a true Russian asset.)
1:14: Ugh, Mueller (as we completely expected) "corrected" the record on what happened with Ted Lieu this morning, where he said he would have indicted Trump if not for the OLC memo saying he couldn't. What he meant to say was that he didn't make that determination, just like his report says.
1:15: SCHIFF: Trump loved the Russian election help, right?
SCHIFF: And he loved WikiLeaks!
MUELLER: Oh yeah.
SCHIFF: And Trump literally called on the Russians to hack Hillary.
MUELLER: We all saw that shit on TV.
SCHIFF: And all these fuckers lied about their Russian contacts, too. Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, George Papadopoulos, Rick Gates.
MUELLER: Yep yep yep yep yep!
SCHIFF: When Trump says your investigation is a witch hunt, that's a lie, right?
MUELLER: I sure hope so!
SCHIFF: Russia wanted Trump to win, yeah?
MUELLER: Sure did!
SCHIFF: And they communicated that to Trump campaign officials?
MUELLER: Well ... OK yeah.
Um ... Schiff just got more out of Mueller than a lot of the Democrats this morning did.
1:20: Devin Nunes is asking questions about some conspiracy theory he just pulled out of a cow's ass, we don't know. If you want to know what Devin Nunes is talking about, go read John Solomon's wet farts over at The Hill, but take a Cipro beforehand, OK?
1:22: Devin Nunes says that because Alexander Mifsud, who made the approach to George Papadopoulos about dirty Russian Hillary dirts, was recently in a picture with new British PM Boris Johnson, then he cannot be a Russian agent, because Devin Nunes is very stupid and does not understand how spying works.
1:24: Congressman Jim Himes, you're up!
Quotes Mueller Report saying that "The Russian government perceived" that a Trump win would help them, and so it tried to help Trump win. Says there is confusion on that committee about that statement, we guess because a lot of the Republicans are on the side of the Kremlin these days.
Mueller reaffirms that Russia did all this for TRUMP.
1:29: We guess GOP Rep. Dan Conaway does not want to talk to Robert Mueller, because he asked one stupid question and yielded to John Ratcliffe, who was stupid this morning in the Judiciary Committee hearing. (There is a little bit of overlap between the two. We will also see Eric Swalwell again.)
1:32: Ratcliffe is very obsessed with this idea that the Steele Dossier itself was 100 percent Russian disinfo, we guess to hurt Trump and help Hillary, because you know how Vladimir Putin secretly loves HIllary and wants to have her babies. John Ratcliffe may be stupider than Nunes, and did you know he is one of the Republicans some people think has a brain? How silly.
Anyway, Robert Mueller reiterates for the 80th time today that he's not commenting on the dossier, because that is part of "another matter that is being handled by the Department of Justice."
Now it is time for Dem. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama. She is reading from the Mueller report about Don Jr.'s Russian treason Trump Tower meeting, and how it was set up as "part of the Russia and its government's support" for Trump. Junior replied, "If it's what you say I love it, especially later in the summer!"
SEWELL: Isn't it against the law to accept things of value from foreign governments?
MUELLER: Yeah but these circumstances were unique. (For one, Junior is too absolutely and thoroughly stupid to know when he is committing crimes.)
You'll remember in the Mueller Report that his team had some issues with that situation, and seemed to get hung up on the "value" of what was being offered by the Russians to Trump. We are not sure they came to the right conclusion there.
1:40: GOP yapping shitbox Mike Turner seemed like he wanted to try to trick Mueller into saying "collusion" and "conspiracy" are the same thing, therefore NO COLLUSION, but then he got distracted.
Then Turner moved to some kind of bickering dumbassery about how Mueller can't say his report "does not exonerate" because Mueller doesn't even HAVE the power to exonerate people. He is shaking law books at Mueller:
Mike Turner's entire point is that Mueller is a tricky dicky, because he cannot exonerate, therefore he cannot exonerate! NO EXONERATE, NO EXONERATE! Wait, Mike Turner has tied himself up in knots.
Mueller literally let the dude's time expire and stared into space, because what the hell else could he do.
1:48: Rep. Andre Carson's questions have all been about Paul Manafort. Good. They should be.
1:51: Under questioning from GOP Rep. Brad Wenstrup, we almost worried Mueller was having a stroke in front of our eyes, but don't worry, he's fine. There was just a weird detail in the question that tripped him up. Anyway, Wenstrup asked a dumbfucking question about George Papadopoulos, Mueller tried to toss it to Aaron Zebley, probably because it's a question he would know the answer to better. Wenstrup was NOT OK with that.
Anyway, Wenstrup is just quoting things Democrats have said and trying to get Mueller to say the Dmeocrats are all wrong about everything. Wenstrup is not having much luck.
1:56: JACKIE SPEIER: Trump and Republicans like to say the Russian attack on America was a "hoax." Was it a hoax?
MUELLER: Not. A. Hoax.
1:57: Speier gave Mueller the remainder of her time to tell Americans what he wanted us to know about the Mueller Report, since America and the FBI director haven't read it. SPOILER: He really wants people to read it.
2:01: Um, GOP Rep. Chris Stewart is holding up a binder of conspiracy theories about times things were leaked to the media that were meant to hurt Donald Trump, it is very weird. He is upset that it never leaked from Mueller's office that NO COLLUSION, for example, when clearly the report says NO COLLUSION (it does not). He also wants to know about the conspiracy theory he pulled out of his butthole about whether or not CNN had advance notice of the Roger Stone raid.
These dumbass motherfuckers don't know how spying works or how journalism works or how anything else about life works. Jesus Christ.
Mueller is very confused, because apparently he doesn't huff Devin Nunes's farts, therefore he doesn't know these conspiracy theories.
2:05: Mike Quigley of Illinois reconfirms what Mueller said this morning about how you CAN indict a president once they're out of office. But what about a president out of office after the statute of limitations has run out? Mueller is not certain on that one!
Quigley asks Mueller if he agrees with Mike Pompeo that WikiLeaks is a "hostile intelligence service." Mueller says, "Absolutely."
Quigley then showed this slide of Trump quotes about WikiLeaks and asked Mueller to react:
And Mueller said, "Problematic would be an understatement."
2:10: Ooh, who is this nasty trashy hair monster?
He asked questions, but they aren't important because he's a Republican, and they weren't crazy hilarious or anything, so fuck him in the ear.
Devin Nunes takes back over and explains to Mueller what Fusion GPS is, so that he can tell Mueller some conspiracy theories about Fusion GPS. Again, if you are wondering what kind of methane Nunes is regurgitating into the Capitol Building, please check John Solomon at the Hill, but use take an iodine tablet before you go in, for your own protection.
2:14: NUNES: Dossier.
2:28: Break over!
Eric Swalwell is going through all the Trump associates who are guilty SO FAR of lying about their Russian contacts during the campaign. Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, George Papadopoulos, Michael Flynn, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stone, who is technically not convicted yet.
SWALWELL: Was your investigation hampered by the deletion of electronic messages?
SWALWELL: For example, your report states that Rick Gates deleted the polling data Manafort told him to send to the Russian spy on a daily basis, right?
(Swalwell, you read our post!)
SWALWELL: Did you want to interview Dumbfuck Junior?
MUELLER: No comment.
SWALWELL; Did you subpoena him?
MUELLER: No comment.
(Pretty sure it's because Mueller knew Dumbfuck was going to plead the Fifth.)
SWALWELL: Is it fair to say you were "unable to fully assess" Russia's attack and Trump's collaboration because of all the deleted communications and the witness tampering and the dangled pardons?
MUELLER: "We don't know what we don't know."
2:34: Now it is a Republican idiot named Elise Stefanik who is saying lies about the Steele Dossier forming the basis of the investigation, which is absolute bullshit and they know it. (Or maybe they don't know it. Maybe they really are that stupid. It is entirely possible.)
2:36: Yay, time for Devin Nunes to whine like a scorned cow and ask some more stupid questions Mueller has already made clear that he isn't going to answer. Republicans REALLY are mad Mueller did not indict Joseph Mifsud, because they are pretty sure he told a bunch of lies and framed George Papadopoulos.
Once again, if you are interested in what Devin Nunes is talking about, please read John Solomon at The Hill, but wear a mask to protect your brain and your lungs before you go to there.
2:39: Joaquin Castro is now up! All his questions are about the shady characters Trump surrounds himself with, and all the lies about the Trump Tower Moscow deal.
2:46: CASTRO: Wanna talk about whether Trump is literally compromised by the Russians?
MUELLER: Can't get into that.
Then Republican Will Hurd took over, and actually asked a couple interesting questions, after saying that he's PRETTY SURE Mueller isn't going to answer any dossier questions, HINT HINT to all his idiot colleagues. Hurd wanted to know about a couple media stories that haven't been fully confirmed:
1. Did he have evidence, like McClatchy said, that Michael Cohen did go to Prague? Mueller said he couldn't get into it.
2. And what about that story about a Trump Organization server communicating only with Alfa Bank? Mueller's answer was a bit confusing here, but our best read is not that he said it's "not true," but that rather he doesn't know if it's true. So we guess his investigation really never went into that. And he made clear he was not saying it was not investigated. So that's interesting.
There's still a story there. We just don't know what it is.
2:52: Oh golly, we had to walk away for a second, and we missed a couple things! Denny Heck is talking to Mueller about all the Trump campaign people who ever talked to Russians about sanctions relief, because it's all about sanctions (and also grifting). It's weird how everyone in Trumpland lies about sanctions!
John Ratcliffe, supposedly again one of the "smart" Republicans, yields his time to Devin Nunes, who has never been considered one of the "smart" Republicans.
Nunes is worried that Erik Prince was somehow victimized by #Spygate and #wiretapps, we don't know, we don't fucking care.
If you are interested in what is inside Devin Nunes's heart, you're free to check on that for yourself, but it's probably just a bunch of cows.
2:56: NUNES: Paul Manafort's Russian spy friend is not a Russian spy, stop saying that!!!!!!!!11111!!! He has ties to our State Department, according to my conspiracy theory!
Jesus Christ, has Devin Nunes ever heard of a double agent? Fuck. There's also such a thing as a re-doubled agent! Spy stuff is cool, Devin!
Nunes's last question was somehow about the pee tape or something.
2:58: Time for Peter Welch, Rep. of Vermont:
WELCH: Did you find NO COLLUSION?
MUELLER: I seriously need a Red Bull, but no, we don't use that word.
WELCH: Your report did not identify enough evidence for conspiracy, is that correct?
WELCH: Lemme read all the times that are just up against the edge of conspiracy, like Paul Manafort passing polling data to Russian intelligence and the Trump Tower meeting and Trump calling on WikiLeaks and Paul Manafort passing polling data to Russian intelligence and Paul Manafort passing polling data to Russian intelligence.
MUELLER: Those are all things that happened.
DAMMMMMMMN, House Intel, you guys read yr Wonkette last night! Or maybe you are just smart. Or maybe it is both!
By the way, Mueller is TIIIIIRED. It's almost over though, the Republicans are done. Just a few more Dems.
3:04: Sean Patrick Maloney wants to know WHYYYYYYYY Mueller did not subpoena Donald Trump.
Mueller says they negotiated with Trump for over a year, they were almost done with the investigation, and ultimately decided not to exercise subpoena powers, in order to not extend the investigation for a million years, because Trump would have dragged that shit out in court forever.
And what did Mueller think of Trump's responses to the take-home questions Mueller gave him? Not as useful as an interview would have been.
Maloney says his theory is that Mueller didn't think he needed it.
MALONEY: Did you have sufficient evidence of Trump's intent to obstruct justice, and therefore didn't need it?
MUELLER: Something something balance balance.
(For the record, we think Maloney is right, but Mueller doesn't want to say that outright.)
3:12: Also for the record, Rep. Val Demings is going through all the times Trump lied in his written answers and simply refused to answer questions and refused to answer follow-ups, and so forth and so on.
DEMINGS: Would you say the president is credible?
MUELLER: I can't answer that question.
(Because the president is a liar.)
3:14: RAJA KRISHNAMOORTHI: You did a criminal investigation, right? Not a counter-intel one.
KRISHNAMOORTHI: So you did not come to counter-intel conclusions.
MUELLER: The FBI probably did that.
Krishnamoorthi just went through a laundry list of things Mueller therefore did not look into, and we have a feeling he is very cleverly getting this stuff into the record for quickly upcoming court cases. His report did not look into Trump's Russian financial ties, it did not look into Russian oligarchs using Trump's businesses to launder money, Mueller is not going to speak to whether he got Trump's taxes, and he's not going to speak to how Trump officials like Michael Flynn, or Trump himself, might be compromised by the Russians.
So, you know, next time a Trump lawyer tells a judge that the Democrats are just trying to do a DO-OVER.
3:20: Schiff now closing out the hearing.
SCHIFF: Accepting foreign assistance is unethical.
MUELLER: And a crime.
SCHIFF: And unpatriotic.
SCHIFF: And wrong.
SCHIFF: We should hold our elected officials to a higher standard than "just don't be a criminal."
SCHIFF: When people act unethically with foreign entities, it can open them up to blackmail and extortion and all other manner of corruption.
MUELLER: All of that is true.
SCHIFF: Michael Flynn was a secret foreign agent for Turkey during the campaign. That could have opened him up to blackmail by Turkey. He was lying about his contacts with the Russians. That could have compromised him.
MUELLER: All of that is true.
SCHIFF: And if Trump was lying and saying he had no dealings with the Russians, and the Russians had a tape of that, they could hold that against him, right?
SCHIFF: That's a counter-intelligence nightmare.
What Schiff is doing here is one of the most important things that's happened all day. And next year's Democratic nominee would be smart to edit it together into a campaign commercial.
3:27: Oh by the way, THIS happened. One reason we're not hearing that much about the counter-intel side?
Just now: Mueller reveals the FBI is CURRENTLY still investigating the counterintelligence aspects of Trump and Russia. @msnbc— Frank Figliuzzi (@Frank Figliuzzi) 1563996153.0
3:29: And we are done! Thank you for attending this liveblog, and please remember, Wonkette's only revenue comes from you, the readers, so if you value this coverage and everything else we do, then click below to give us donations and subscriptions and also a billion dollars. Oh yeah, and click that button to follow me on Twitter, because you will cry if you don't.
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