In stock Downloadable Video A VIRAL COIN MAGIC SENSATION At age 15, Moritz Mueller has taken the world by storm. With more hits on youtube than we've sold decks, his infectious smile and effortless handling has us all hooked. Magician & Laymen alike. In this exclusive download Moritz teaches his approach to astounding magic with just one coin. Mueller has been praised for his flow & routining with coins. - No Switching - No Shells - No Gaffs - Can be done with a borrowed coin This is far more than method. This is brand new philosophy, timing and rhythm. If a 15 year old can do it, you can too. Learn Mueller's Routine TODAY. Customer Reviews Justin Amazing! I was just a beginner with coin magic and sleight of hand, but this download taught me a lot! It is a little difficult for beginners and I still need some work but overall, this video is great for coin magic and 100% it will improve sleight of hand! Summary by Really fun to learn Oct 2018 This was a really fun routine to learn. I first did the whole thing as intended by Moritz an then tweaked it a bit so it fit my style more. The explanation is very nice an detailed and while some moves take more practice than others, it is overall really fun to learn. You can really take the whole routine apart and make it your own and modify it. It really helps you with your coin handling, especially if you're still a beginner. Highly recommended. So I just purchased this download today and am exceptionally surprised at how thoroughly he explains the sleights. This I would suggest to an intermediate coin magician as well as card magicians. As you have probably noticed he has an immense amount of dexterity and just glides through the tutorial, but its not just on Moritz, I also appreciate the Ellusionist team bringing in a variety of age groups for their magic routines. From Eric Jones to, well, Moritz Mueller. They dont leave out anybody. Back to the trick Moritz finds the easiest way to do something that appears impossible. We watch in pure awe and I will say even with practice I doubt Ill be as good as this 15 year old kid. Lets just say this trick, One Coin Routine by Moritz Mueller is by far the best purchase I have made from Ellusionist. Thank you for taking the time to read my review and taking my word for whats good in this download. I realized that my sleight of hand needs work and I am not really a card trick kind of guy so I have attempted to work on some of the card illusions and coin illusions that involve sleights with the help of large mirrors and video recording myself. In addition to my older video collection of slights I wanted to learn some new stuff. This is when I saw "Next Spellbound" and this "One Coin" video. I have seen Moritz online before and his sleight of hand is great! The movements were very natural and at 9 it is a great deal to learn his moves and hear his thoughts on their presentation. Every manipulation was an obvious sleight to a magician watching but done very well. Most anyone can do these but it will take practice. I have played guitar for a few decades now and Magic is not new to me either. I consider myself a finger athlete and that said, the moves are very specific and although most are not hard you need to know how and why to do them which is always a challenge. There are many points that the kid brings up which make a big difference and you need to remember them and do each one but once you do, there is basically no set up other than having - in my case- a dollar sized coin. I found I can use a 50c coin but I am larger and older so bigger makes a ton of difference. He points out many subtle moves/reasoning and demonstrates them clearly for you. He speaks clearly in English and explains even minor details with why you do this or that very well. He also credits the styles used correctly and drops names of the people where they deserve it! Kudos for knowing your art and passing it on which is much better than just here is this move and showing it! I will say this, if you are a sleight of hand person with your illusions then this will be easier than if you are not. This kid is very dexterous (a perfect example at 10:50 the way he wiggles his little fingers is way cool. Not only back and forth on x axis but the y one to. I am not so slight of the hand and I have bigger hands for a person my size (I am 155pds, 5'8 with an athletic build. I have longer fingers and wear large or extra large gloves when most people my size would go med to smaller large sized. That should give you a rough idea of my hand size. This is why you need to know all this stuff about me. in the video he works what appear to be 50c coins but he is a small kid yet. I initially attempted with a 50c coin but my hands were too large and several of the holds were difficult but I could do them all. That is when I began looking at what he used, thought about the mechanical side and looked for my silver dollars. When I found one of them I attempted the same moves and this was MUCH BETTER! Real silver dollars are harder to manipulate so I ordered some especially for magic illusions as many of you likely have done. If you have larger hands and not got any dollar sized yen or replica palming silver dollars you better order some or this download is going to fluster you. If you are about 10 you probably could get away with 50c pieces and English Pennies but again I would go with the ones made for magic palming specifically that are sold here as well as many other popular magic stores. Another thought. I use the old stand by for magicians of waxing my fingertips as well as the coins ever so slightly before I do slights like these. The softer waxes are better or sometimes a harder wax for the base with just a little softer wax on top. Again I do not put enough to see unless you really get in and examine the coins. If I use some harder wax then it goes in my pocket for about 20 minutes (the whole container) and by then my body heat makes it more workable for a short time. If you feel the need to let the spectator examine a coin (which I would not) a quick breath, polish on the shirt or pant leg should remove the wax enough so they will not be suspicious or you could just tell them it is your skin cream that you over use. I prefer Michael Ammar Magic wax by Palmer Magic. No one paid me to say this I am just sharing my 2 cents on what is making this work for me. So overall, if you are an adult you will most likely need a dollar sized coin and wax for these maneuvers. I do not believe it is mentioned anywhere what size he uses or if he suggested wax although the way the coin appears to balance and ride his hands I would bet he is either in a warm moist climate or using wax. It is cold where I am, the air is cold and my hands are dry/lotion covered all the time. Before I do this stuff I wash them and apply a little wax, things work much better. I will say this video was EXTREMELY powerful and any one of these coin flourishes would make the novice wonder and fellow illusionists envy. You will need to practice and most likely not be doing the routine for several days or maybe even weeks if you give it the respect it deserves. I would buy this again and when M&M comes out with a new video I will not hesitate to purchase it either! Great moves, very easy to follow and mildly challenging to learn! I will say it is easier than some other coin sleight videos sold here I have bought. About half as hard to do as "Next Spellbound. half the price but still visually amazing! My other thought is possibly adding magnetic coins and a magnet under clothing to ditch/produce them. Maybe I will get some but they are about 50-70 more bucks each and regular coins are 3-6 so until I know the moves (I have lost large expensive magnetic coins before. they bounce and stick to the most invisible places, it sucks) I am not investing more than I have to. Decide what kind of wax and coins you will need before you watch it Firstly this is not for a first time coin magician. Having said that it's also not for the super advanced. The beauty of this download is the routine. No new moves that are not in almost every coin magic book. What is great is that the routine is flowing, easy to remember and purposeful. Nothing is forced. Something you can do impromptu. Loved every minute of it. Absolutely amazing routine. This is a must have GET THIS! Even if some things are difficult, its well worth the practice, and you don't have to use all of it. Its definitely worth it! Great video. I was caught practicing this by the nephew and he said it was cool. The Parker seal of approval by Scott Kenneth DuBois Jul 2017 Oh boy. love this! I've been working on Ponte the Smith's routine (very similar) and this purchase made my day even more complicated lol. Love the handling here and I'm considering integrating some from this into Ponte's stuff. Love hearing different views on coin handling! Great download! Amazing coin routine. I have never been into coin magic, and have little experience with a coin, yet this wasn't as hard as I had expected. Angles of demonstration could be better however Moritz goes really in-depth. Recommended.
Watch stream magic m c3 bcller karaoke. WASHINGTON — Special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday he was barred from charging President Donald Trump with a crime but pointedly emphasized that his Russia report did not exonerate the president. If he could have cleared Trump of obstruction of justice he “would have said so, ” Mueller declared. The special counsels remarks, his first in public since being tasked two years ago with investigating Russian interference to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election, stood as a strong rebuttal to Trumps repeated claims that he was exonerated and that the inquiry was merely a “witch hunt. ” They also marked a clear counter to criticism, including by Attorney General William Barr, that he should have reached a determination on whether the president illegally tried to obstruct the probe by taking actions such as firing his FBI director. Mueller made clear he believed he was restrained from indicting a sitting president — such an action was “not an option” — because of a Justice Department legal opinion. He did not use the word ‘impeachment” but said it was Congress job to hold the president accountable for any wrongdoing. “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so, ” Mueller said. “We did not however make a determination as to whether the president did commit a crime. ” Muellers statement largely echoed the central points of his 448-page report released last month with some redactions. But his remarks, just under 10 minutes long and delivered from a Justice Department podium, were nonetheless extraordinary given that he had never before discussed or characterized his findings and had stayed mute during two years of feverish public speculation. Read Muellers letter to William Barr about Russia report: ‘There is now public confusion Mueller, a former FBI director, said his work was complete and he was resigning to return to private life. For his rare appearance, he wore a black suit, crisp white shirt and blue tie, walking briskly onto the stage gripping a folder containing prepared remarks that he largely adhered to. His remarks underscored the unsettled resolution, and revelations of behind-the-scenes discontent, that accompanied the end of his investigation. Muellers refusal to reach a conclusion on criminal obstruction opened the door for Barr to clear the president, who in turn has cited the attorney generals finding as proof of his innocence. Mueller has privately vented to Barr about his handling of the report, while Barr has publicly said he was taken aback by the special counsels decision to neither exonerate nor incriminate the president. Under pressure to testify before Congress, Mueller did not rule it out. But he seemed to warn lawmakers that they would not be pulling more detail out of him. His report is “my testimony, ” he said, and he wont go beyond what is written in it. “So beyond what I have said here today and what is contained in our written work, ” Mueller said, “I do not believe it is appropriate for me to speak further about the investigation or to comment on the actions of the Justice Department or Congress. ” Trump, who has repeatedly and falsely claimed that Muellers report cleared him of obstruction of justice, modified that contention somewhat shortly after the special counsels remarks. He tweeted, “There was insufficient evidence and therefore, in our Country, a person is innocent. The case is closed! ” His personal attorney, Jay Sekulow, said that Muellers announcement “puts a period on a two-year investigation that produced no findings of collusion or obstruction by the president. ” Muellers comments, one month after the public release of his report on Russian efforts to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton, appeared intended to both justify the legitimacy of his investigation against complaints by the president and to explain his decision to not reach a conclusion on whether Trump had obstructed justice. Indicting Trump, he said firmly, was “not an option” in light of a Justice Department legal opinion that says a sitting president cannot be charged. But, he said, the absence of a conclusion should not be mistaken for exoneration. “The opinion says the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing, ” Mueller said, referring to the Justice Department legal opinion. That would shift the next move, if any, to Congress, and the Democratic chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which would investigate further or begin any impeachment effort, commented quickly. New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler said it falls to Congress to respond to the “crimes, lies and other wrongdoing of President Trump – and we will do so. ” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has so far discouraged members of her caucus from calling for impeachment, arguing that Democrats need to follow a methodical, step by step approach to investigating the president. But she hasnt ruled it out. On the other hand, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Mueller “has decided to move on and let the report speak for itself. Congress should follow his lead. ” Trump has blocked House committees subpoenas and other efforts to dig into the Trump-Russia issue, insisting Muellers report has settled everything. That report found no criminal conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia to tip the outcome of the 2016 presidential election in Trumps favor. But it also did not reach a conclusion on whether the president had obstructed justice. Barr has said he was surprised Mueller did not reach a conclusion on whether the president had criminally obstructed justice, though Mueller in his report and again in his public statement Wednesday said that he had no choice. Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein decided on their own that the evidence was not sufficient to support an obstruction charge against Trump. Barr, who is currently in Alaska for work and was briefed ahead of time on Muellers statement, has said he asked Mueller if he would have recommended charging Trump “but for” the legal opinion from the Office of Legal Counsel, and that Mueller said “no. ” “Under longstanding department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office, ” Mueller said. “That is unconstitutional. Even if the charge is kept under seal and hidden from public view that, too, is prohibited. ” Mueller, for his part, complained privately to Barr that he believed a four-page letter from the attorney general summarizing the reports main conclusions did not adequately represent his findings. Barr has said he considered Muellers criticism to be a bit “snitty. ” Associated Press writers Mary Clare Jalonick and Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
8. 17pm EDT 20:17 Summary The Mueller hearings dominated our day but were by no means the only news today. Heres our Wednesday summary: Democratic leaders in Congress, including Nancy Pelosi, said during a press conference that the Mueller hearings were just part of a case that she and her colleagues are building against Trump. During their own press conference following the Mueller hearings, Republican lawmakers urged their Democratic colleagues to put the Trump investigations behind them once and for all. “Now its time to build up America, ” said House minority leader Kevin McCarthy, “and turn the page. ” Trump criticized the hearings, and the probe itself, saying “Robert Mueller did a poor job, but in all fairness, he had nothing to work with. ” Several 2020 Democratic candidates reiterated their support for impeachment following Muellers testimony. Facebook had a big day — reporting soaring revenues, even as it faces investigation. In Puerto Rico, lawmakers indicated that they would go forward with impeachment proceedings against disgraced governor Ricardo Rosselló, unless he resigned tonight. Rosselló is expected to make an announcement later tonight but its unclear whether he will step down, or double down. Watch for Guardian updates later today. Updated at 8. 22pm EDT 7. 35pm EDT 19:35 A federal judge in California has ordered a preliminary injunction, blocking the Trump administration from enforcing new rules that end a sylum protections for almost all migrants who arrive at the US-Mexico border Zoe Tillman ( ZoeTillman) BREAKING: A federal judge in CA has entered a preliminary injunction blocking the Trump admin from enforcing its new asylum restriction "This new Rule is likely invalid because it is inconsistent with the existing asylum laws. " July 24, 2019 The order reads: “Rule is likely invalid because the governments decision to promulgate it was arbitrary and capricious. ” 7. 22pm EDT 19:22 Lauren Gambino Several Democratic presidential candidates have renewed their support for impeachment, The Guardians Lauren Gambino reports: Democratic 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren urged the House of Representatives to rise “above politics” and launch impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump after the former special counsel Robert Mueller testified that his report on Russian election interference did not exonerate the president. Several leading Democratic presidential candidates renewed support for impeachment proceedings one day after the NAACP, Americas oldest and largest civil rights organization, voted unanimously for the impeachment of Trump at their annual conference in Detroit, where several 2020 candidates spoke on Wednesday. 7. 20pm EDT 19:20 It seems Donald Trump has vetoed bipartisan attempts to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Mark Knoller ( markknoller) WH announces Presidential Vetoes of 3 joint resolutions to block certain US arms sales to Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, France, Spain & Italy. In veto messages, Pres said the measures would weaken America's competitiveness and damage important relationships with allies and partners. Josh Wingrove ( josh_wingrove) Trump Vetoes Measure Blocking Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, U. A. E. From Bloomberg: President Donald Trump vetoed three bipartisan measures passed by Congress intended to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the White House said in a statement. “This resolution would weaken Americas global competitiveness and damage the important relationships we share with our allies and partners, ” Trump said in a message to lawmakers released by the White House on Wednesday. 6. 43pm EDT 18:43 Republican leaders in the House of Representatives gave their own press conference. CBS News ( CBSNews) “Today is to put politics aside and put people first, put this country first, ” says @GOPLeader after Muellers testimony Wednesday. House minority leader Kevin McCarthy said he could tell the Democratic leaders were disappointed with Muellers testimony, because he “watched their body language, ” during their press conference. Jim Jordan, a Republican on the House oversight committee added that the president had been falsely accused. McCarthy said it was time for Democrats to put the investigations against Trump behind them. “Now its time to build up America, ” he said, “and turn the page. ” at 6. 48pm EDT 6. 25pm EDT 18:25 Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Elijah Cummings, Jerry Nadler hold a news conference following the Mueller hearings. Photograph: J Scott Applewhite/AP House leader Nancy Pelosi, who has been criticized by fellow Democrats for dragging her feet on impeachment, said todays hearings are all part of a case that Democratic leaders are building — but that case still isnt strong enough. “Whatever decision we make in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand, and we still have some outstanding matters in the courts, ” she said. To continue building a case against Trump, Jerry Nadler indicated that Democrats will pursue Muellers grand jury materials and to work to enforce a subpoena against former White House counsel Don McGahn. “If we have a case for impeachment, thats the place we will have to go, ” Pelosi said. “The stronger our case is, the worse the Senate will look for letting the president off the hook. ” She added: “The facts and the law thats what matters, not politics, not partisanship. ” Sabrina Siddiqui ( SabrinaSiddiqui) Pelosi doesnt say if todays hearings moved the needle on impeachment: “Whatever decision we made in that regard would have to be done with our strongest possible hand and we still have some matters outstanding in the courts. ” Adam Schiff says his position on impeachment is essentially the same as Pelosis: Before Democrats go down that path, they must have all the necessary evidence to “make that case to the jury of the American people. ” at 8. 01pm EDT 6. 05pm EDT 18:05 In opening statements, representative Elijah Cummings, who heads the oversight committee, said that investigating Trump is “not about not liking the president, its about loving democracy, its about loving our country. ” “Im begging the American people to pay attention to what is going on, ” Cummings said, “if you want to have a democracy intact. ” 5. 55pm EDT 17:55 Democratic leaders debrief on Mueller hearings “Its been a pretty interesting day, ” Nancy Pelosi says, speaking alongside judiciary and intelligence committee chairs Jerry Nadler and Adam Schiff, and oversight committee chairman Elijah Cummings. Watch the press conference here. at 6. 02pm EDT 5. 30pm EDT 17:30 Another lawmaker has come out in support of impeaching Trump. Democratic congresswoman Lori Trahan of Massachusetts appears to be the first member of the House to hop on the impeachment bandwagon following Muellers testimonies today. Congresswoman Lori Trahan ( RepLoriTrahan) I believe it is time to begin an impeachment inquiry against President @realDonaldTrump. No President, including this one, is above the law. Read my full statement: Per my count, were now at 1 independent and 93 Democratic members of Congress now publicly supporting an impeachment. To pass articles of impeachment against Trump, at least 218 representatives would have to vote in favor. at 5. 37pm EDT 5. 22pm EDT 17:22 Trump challenger Bill Weld warns that refusing to condemn the presidents racism would cost Republicans. From The Guardians Lauren Gambino who is at the NAACP-hosted town hall in Detroit, Michigan: Former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld, who is challenging Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, warned that his partys refusal to condemn the presidents racism could inflict lasting damage. “Unless the national Republican Party in Washington expressly, expressly rejects the racism of Donald Trump, it will become universally viewed as the party of racism in America, ” Weld said at a presidential town hall hosted by the NAACP in Detroit. How to respond to Trump was “not a political choice” but “a moral choice, ” Weld said. Weld is the only Republican challenging Trump for the nomination, a reality that underscores the presidents enduring popularity with the partys base. Trumps most outspoken critics in Congress have virtually all resigned or lost re-election – a warning sign to any member who considers speaking out. After Trumps attacks on four congresswomen of color last week, most Republicans simply shrugged. A Reuters poll found that Trumps support among Republicans climbed in the days after he told lawmakers to “go back” to the countries where they are from, a slur that is often directed at non-white Americans and immigrants. All four Democratic congresswomen – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar and Ayanna Pressley – are US citizens and only one, Omar, was not born in the US. at 5. 23pm EDT 5. 05pm EDT 17:05 Trump comments on the Mueller hearings Speaking to reporters outside the White House, Donald Trump said, of the Mueller investigation: “This whole thing has been three years of embarrassment and waste of time for our country. ” He added that he thought the Democrats, in questioning Mueller, “hurt themselves very badly for 2020. ” He accused the Democrats of “colluding” with the media and repeated several times that his opponents are going to “lose very badly” in upcoming elections. The president also criticized the probe itself, saying “Robert Mueller did a poor job, but in all fairness, he had nothing to work with. ” When a reporter asked him if he was worried about being indicted once he leaves office, he characterized the reporter as “fake news. ” You can watch the press conference here. at 5. 16pm EDT 4. 55pm EDT 16:55 Julia Carrie Wong Its been a big day for Facebook. The company has reported soaring revenues, even as it faces investigation. From The Guardians Julia Carrie Wong: Two giant fines by US government agencies totaling 5. 1bn could not derail Facebooks financial juggernaut on Wednesday, as the company reported revenues of 16. 9bn in the second quarter of 2019, exceeding analyst expectations. The social media companys regulatory concerns are by no means over, however. Facebook also disclosed on Wednesday that the FTC informed it in June that it has opened an antitrust investigation into the company. This follows the Department of Justices announcement of a broad antitrust review of online platforms on Tuesday. The one-time costs of the two settlements depressed Facebooks profits for the second quarter in a row – the company recorded a 3bn expense last quarter in anticipation of a major fine – but revenue growth remained strong, at 28% year-over-year. at 4. 56pm EDT 4. 25pm EDT 16:25 What a Wednesday indeed! Well have more updates on and analysis of the Mueller testimony throughout the rest of the day. Meanwhile, an update from Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rican legislature has announced that it will begin impeachment proceedings for disgraced governor Ricardo Rosselló unless he resigns, according to journalists reporting from the US territory. David Begnaud ( DavidBegnaud) BREAKING: The Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives just said that the Governor @ricardorossello has until today to decide what hes going to do - resign or not. If he decides to stay, the Speaker says the impeachment process will begin. stop if he resigns. Michael Deibert ( michaelcdeibert) Majority leader of #PuertoRico 's lower house of congress Johnny Méndez says body expects the governor @ricardorossello to resign this afternoon and, if he does not, the body will commence with the impeachment process. Lawyers commissioned by the president of Puerto Ricos House of Representatives found multiple offenses that constitute grounds for impeachment, according to Telemundo. Local media reported earlier today that Rosselló is expected to resign from office today after almost two weeks of continuous protest on the island. at 4. 47pm EDT 4. 01pm EDT 16:01 Thats it from me after the longest Wednesday of the year. Although, in the Trump era, next Wednesday could easily claim that title. Here are some of the most important points Mueller made this afternoon: The special counsel emphasized that Russian election interference remains ongoing. “It wasnt a single attempt. Theyre doing it as we sit here, ” Mueller said of Russias efforts. “And they expect to do it during the next campaign. ” He later expressed fear that foreign election interference was “the new normal. ” Mueller said in response to a question from Democratic representative Val Demings that it was “generally” fair to say Trumps written answers to the special counsel showed signs of being untruthful. He criticized Trumps praise of WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign after the website shared hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee. “Problematic is an understatement, ” Mueller said of Trumps laudatory comments. Trump appeared triumphant after the hearings arguably produced no major bombshell moments. The president tweeted minutes ago, “TRUTH IS A FORCE OF NATURE! ” But Mueller made a point to contradict Trumps repeated claims that his investigation constituted a “witch hunt. ” Answering a question from House intelligence committee chairman Adam Schiff, Mueller said, “It is not a witch hunt. ” And over at the White House, first lady Melania Trump is focused on a much more pressing matter today: holiday decorations. Melania Trump ( FLOTUS) Christmas planning has begun in the East Wing at the @WhiteHouse. I'm looking forward to sharing our final vision for this unique tradition in the coming months. Im signing off until tomorrow. I leave the blog in the capable hands of West Coast reporter Maanvi Singh. 3. 42pm EDT 15:42 Mueller says it is 'generally' fair to say Trump's answers were not always truthful Moments ago, Mueller said in response to a question from a Democratic congresswoman that it was “generally” fair to say that Trumps written answers were not always truthful. ABC News ( ABC) Rep. Demings: Isn't it fair to say [Trump's] written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didn't answer many of your questions, but where he did, his answers show that he wasn't always being truthful. Mueller: Generally. " Representative Val Demings, a Democrat of Florida, was asking about Trumps credibility in terms of the written answers he provided to the special counsel. “Isnt it fair to say [Trumps] written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete because he didnt answer many of your questions, but where he did, his answers show that he wasnt always being truthful? ” Demings asked. “Generally, ” Mueller replied. at 4. 05pm EDT 3. 30pm EDT 15:30 Mueller hearings conclude After nearly seven hours, the Mueller hearings have ended. at 3. 31pm EDT 3. 20pm EDT 15:20 Mueller explains he didn't subpoena Trump because of the expectation he would fight it Mueller said he chose not to subpoena Trump for the special counsels probe “because of the necessity of expediting the end of the investigation. ” NBC News ( NBCNews) JUST IN: Mueller says the decision not to subpoena Pres. Trump was for the necessity of expediting the conclusion of investigation: If we did subpoena the president, he would fight the subpoena and we would be in the midst of the investigation for a substantial period of time. " While noting that his office initially wanted to interview Trump, the special counsel said, “The expectation was that, if we did subpoena the president, he would fight the subpoena, and we would be in the midst of the investigation for a substantial period of time. ” Representative Sean Maloney, a Democrat of New York, then asked Mueller what he thought of Trumps written responses to questions from the special counsels office. “It was certainly not as useful as the interview would be, ” Mueller said. Maloney also said that the presidents answers included more than 30 instances of Trump responding to questions by claiming he couldnt recall. at 3. 22pm EDT.
Nearly three months after the release of Robert Mueller s report into Russias election interference and possible obstruction of justice by President Trump, the former special counsel will testify Wednesday in public before Congress. Mueller will appear in two back-to-back hearings before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees in what promises to be one of the most closely watched political spectacles of the Trump presidency. Broadcast, cable networks and streaming platforms will be blanketing with live coverage. Live, comprehensive coverage begins on CNN at 8 AM with Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper, who will be joined by other CNN anchors and correspondents, with analysis by CNN contributors and commentators. Related Story How To Watch Friday's New Hampshire Democratic Debate NBC s coverage will begin at 8:15 a. m. ET and continue through both sessions. The special coverage will be led by NBC Nightly News anchor Lester Holt, NBC News chief legal correspondent and Today co-anchor Savannah Guthrie, and moderator of Meet the Press and NBC News political director Chuck Todd. On MSNBC, live coverage will start at 6 a. ET with Morning Joe. Brian Williams, host of The 11th Hour, and Nicolle Wallace, host of Deadline: White House, will anchor coverage beginning at 8:30 a. ET in New York and will be joined by Ari Melber, host of The Beat, from Washington, D. C. in the lead up to and following both hearings. The testimony will also stream live on NBC News Now. YouTube, and other OTT platforms beginning at 8:30 a. ET. NBC News Now will host additional special coverage in the afternoon, hosted by Danny Cevallos, covering reactions to the testimony and more. Fox News Channel will present live coverage before both committee hearings beginning at 8:15 AM/ET preempting Fox & Friends. Special Report s Bret Baier and The Story s Martha MacCallum will co-anchor coverage live from Washington throughout both testimonies. Leading up to Muellers second hearing in front of the House Intelligence Committee which begins at 12PM/ET, FNC will present a special edition of Outnumbered, featuring co-anchor Harris Faulkner, Americas Newsroom co-anchor Sandra Smith, Fox Business Networks Dagen McDowell, FNC contributor and legal analyst Emily Compagno. Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will continue to helm special coverage for the afternoon testimony with additional special guests and experts. Fox News Radio will present special programming throughout the day available nationally on terrestrial affiliates and via podcast. will also feature wall-to-wall coverage. ABC News will begin live coverage at 8:30 AM ET led by Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulous in New York. World News Tonight Anchor David Muir will be reporting from the Capitol along with ABC News Chief Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas, Senior Congressional Correspondent Mary Bruce, and Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl from Washington, D. C., and Senior White House Correspondent Cecilia Vega. The special report will also feature Chief Legal Analyst Dan Abrams and Contributors Chris Christie and Kate Shaw. Muir will anchor World News Tonight from Washington, D. C. and FiveThirtyEight also will liveblog the proceedings. ABC News Live will broadcast the testimony in its entirety on the ABC News site and mobile phone apps, as well as Hulu Live, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon FireTV, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Senior Washington Reporter Devin Dwyer will lead the streaming coverage featuring ABC News political team. Daily newscast “On Location” will have a recap and post-testimony analysis on July 25 – exclusively for Facebook Watch. ABC News Radio will provide live coverage anchored by Correspondent Aaron Katersky in Washington, D. with reporting by Multi-Platform Correspondent Trevor Ault on Capitol Hill. ABC NewsOne, the affiliate news service of ABC News, also will provide full coverage with Correspondents Mona Kosar Abdi and Ault reporting from Capitol Hill. Thomas and ABC News Political Director Rick Klein will provide analysis for ABC affiliates. CBS News Norah ODonnell anchors a CBS News special report High Stakes and History starting at 8:30 AM ET. CBSN will begin streaming its live coverage of the testimony beginning at 7 AM ET. Joining ODonnell will be CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett; CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes; CBS News White House correspondent Paula Reid; and CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues. CBS News contributors Jonathan Turley and Kim Wehle will also provide analysis, and CBS News intelligence and national security reporter Olivia Andrzejczak Gazis will contribute reporting from the hearing rooms. CBS will deliver comprehensive coverage surrounding the hearing, beginning on CBS This Morning (7:00-9:00 AM) with Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil and Vladimir Duthiers (Anthony Mason is off) from Studio 57 in New York. Mueller has spoken publicly only once about his work as special counsel. Wednesdays hearings come after weeks of speculation about whether he would testify before Congress after the two committees issued subpoenas. Initially scheduled for July 17, the hearings were delayed by one week as part of an agreement that gives lawmakers more time to question the reluctant witness. “The House Judiciary Committee will convene on July 24 at 8:30am with Special Counsel Mueller testifying in public for three hours. After a brief break, the House Intelligence Committee will convene for additional public testimony beginning at 12:00pm, ” House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler and House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff said in a joint statement. “All members — Democrats and Republicans — of both committees will have a meaningful opportunity to question the Special Counsel in public, and the American people will finally have an opportunity to hear directly from Mr. Mueller about what his investigation uncovered. ”.
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Last updated July 24, 5:03 p. m. Thanks for joining us Former special counsel Robert Mueller spent Wednesday testifying before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. Check out our latest coverage here, read about peoples concerns about Muellers performance here and check out the White House chatter about the testimony here. With all the logistics now out of the way, lets do a quick recap of some highlights – Billy Joel style – of how we got here to what over the next many hours will be a Washington political reporters version of the Super Bowl. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:17 a. May 2014 - Russians begins strategizing about American election meddling Sept. 2015 – FBI tells DNC its been hacked March 2016 –Podesta hacked June 2016 – Don Jr. leads meeting with Russian lawyer offering Clinton dirt & DNC announces its been hacked July 2016 – Papadopoulos boasts over drinks in a London bar that Russians have dirt on Clinton, WikiLeaks publishes stolen Democratic emails, FBI confirms investigation of hacks Oct. 2016 – Obama administration says Russia is responsible for hacks, Trump says, “I love WikiLeaks” Dec. 2016 – Obama sanctions Russians, Flynn talks to Kislyak Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:17 a. Sing along: We didnt start the fire… Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:17 a. Jan. 2017 – Sessions testifies didnt communicate with Russians during campaign; Steele dossier published; McGahn warned about Flynns false statements Feb. 2017 – Flynn resigns March 2017 – Comey confirms FBI investigating Russia-Trump links May 2017 – Comey fired, Mueller appointed July 2017 – NYT breaks Don Jr. -Russian lawyer story, Papadopoulous arrested, FBI raids Manaforts home Sept. 2017 – Stone testifies to House panel Oct. 2017 – Manafort, Gates indicted, Papadopoulos plea deal made public Dec. 2017 – Flynn pleads guilty Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:18 a. Feb 2018 – Mueller indicts 13 Russian nationals; new charges brought against Manafort & Gates and Gates pleads guilty April 2018 – FBI raids Cohen July 2018 – Mueller indicts 12 Russia intelligence officers for hacking Democrats Aug. 2018 – Manafort convicted in Virginia, Cohen enters first guilty plea Sept. 2018 – Manafort pleads guilty Nov. 2018 – Trump turns in written responses to Mueller, Cohen pleads guilty to second spate of charges Dec. 2018 – Cohen sentenced to three years in prison; SDNY reveals deal with National Enquirer publisher Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:18 a. 2019 – Stone indicted Feb. 2019 – Cohen testifies March 2019, Manafort gets prison sentence of 7. 5 years, Mueller finishes probe April 2019, Mueller report released May 2019, Mueller gives first public statement Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:23 a. Alright gang, with so much hype going into this hearing, Im wondering what you expect will be the biggest moment - like, what do you think well remember from today 10 years from now? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:27 a. My two cents: I think many on the left are going to be disappointed, Darren, and theyll remember Mueller as a man who could have been more aggressive in how he handled his mission. Already, were seeing signs in polls that some Democrats are losing confidence in Muellers fairness – more a reflection, I think, of frustration than of doubts in the special counsels basic decency. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:27 a. Theres sure to be a gif-able, thats-a-clown-question response or eye-roll from Mueller that goes viral, no? I suspect something like that will be recorded in web-era pop culture forever. Whether that manages to educate the vast masses about the contents of Muellers report is another question. M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 8:28 a. I agree with Blake. I think Democrats, at least, will end up thinking of Mueller as someone who played too much by antiquated DOJ policies–starting with his recent request to the Justice Department for guidance on his testimony even though hes now a private citizen. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:29 a. As for Republicans, itll be interesting to see if they try to impeach his credibility. A dangerous tactic, given the publics general high regard for him. But it could put Democrats in a tough spot of defending Mueller while trying to air their gripes around the margins. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:30 a. I keep thinking back to Ken Starrs appearance before this same House Judiciary Committee back in 1998. I was just out of college and cant help but marvel at how grainy the footage of the hearing looks today. Personally, I dont remember much of anything discussed there. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:33 a. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:33 a. Here we go! Chairman Jerry Nadler kicks things off with an opening statement. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:36 a. Not to quibble right off the bat with Nadler, but…. Mueller did comment publicly about his work on a few occasions while it was underway, at least if you consider statements issued by Muellers office. This is the most prominent such statement Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:36 a. Nadler makes sure to note this point: “Although Department policy barred you from indicting the President for this conduct, you made clear that he is not exonerated. Any other person who acted this way would have been charged with a crime. And in this nation, not even the President is above the law. ” Its not actually clear if any other person would have been charged with a crime… or at least its not clear if Mueller thinks so. Thats one of the things folks will be trying to get him to elucidate today. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 8:37 a. Its going to be like pulling teeth trying to get that answer out of him. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:37 a. Heres who is with Mueller: Seated over his left shoulder is James Quarles, a deputy who worked on the Watergate probe and in the Russia investigation had a lead role in all exchanges with the Trump lawyers. Over Muellers right shoulder is Andrew Goldstein, a former top public corruption official from the Southern District of New York who had fingerprints on all aspects of the special counsels work. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:39 a. Republican ranking member Doug Collins makes sure to note that Muellers testimony marks “an end” to the Russia probe. Im not sure Democrats would agree, but Im sure the big guy in the Oval will be saying much the same later today. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 8:39 a. Right–Collins is now giving a preview of what Republicans will emphasize: the fact that Mueller did not find enough evidence to establish that Trump engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russia. “The president knew he was innocent, ” Collins says. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 8:40 a. The rebuttal would be: If he knew he was innocent, why did he take so many steps to try to end the investigation? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:41 a. Theres a gray area, of course, between what a prosecutor can charge and what the president and his associates stand accused of doing. Republicans want to elide that gap, and Democrats want to focus on what the report says more than what Mueller ultimately concluded he could make work in court. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 8:42 a. Mueller about to give his opening statement now. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:42 a. It would be so punk rock if Mueller just read the report. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:42 a. By asking about the origins of the probe, Collins is floating with Mueller something he knows the special counsel did not include in his report, so is unlikely to address in any detail. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, well after the investigation was underway. Muellers remit was laid out by Trump appointee and then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and that wasnt part if it. It is being reviewed by DOJs inspector general, whos expected to put out a report on his work shortly. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:42 a. And heres the image well remember for years to come. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:44 a. Mueller makes his first reference to Rod Rosenstein, without naming Rosenstein. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:44 a. So youre saying he… spared the Rod, Darren? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:45 a. In all seriousness, one thing Mueller has never explained is why he ended the probe when he did. His opening statement doesnt clear that up, and I imagine Democrats will want to ask him about that. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:47 a. Give it time, Blake. I expect Rod will during the course of this hearing come up again and again. Im curious if Mueller has an opinion on whether Rosenstein should have recused himself because of his role in the Comey firing. And I expect Mueller will be asked if he and Rosenstein disagreed at any point about major moves in the course of the probe that didnt rise to the level that theyd have to disclose them publicly in a separate Mueller report. Eliana Johnson 8:47 a. Mueller makes a distinction between collusion, the term that was thrown around by politicians and on cable television – but is not a crime – and criminal conspiracy, noting that he focused on whether there was “sufficient evidence” to establish the latter. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:47 a. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:49 a. Hey gang - what do you think that Mueller mentions how his team didnt leak? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:49 a. Mueller emphasizes yet again that his testimony will be limited. The man doesnt want to go beyond the proverbial “four corners” of his report – a cliche youll hear a lot today. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:49 a. Ongoing cases Mueller could get in trouble for addressing include those against Roger Stone, Greg Craig and Concord Consulting–a Russian firm prosecutors say is controlled by a businessman close to Putin. Eliana Johnson 8:49 a. And he emphasizes hell respect DOJs assertion of privilege on a number of matters. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:50 a. And a brushback pitch to Republicans: Mueller says he wont be able to comment on the origins of the Russia probe, because it started before he took the assignment. We did not address collusion which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy and it was not. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:51 a. Mueller name-checks Aaron Zebley, his deputy. There was a bit of drama yesterday as Republicans cried foul that Zebley would be sworn in today. President Trump even called him a “Never Trumper. ” As far as I know, theres never been any evidence of that. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:52 a. Nadler goes right at it, getting Mueller to contradict the presidents “no collusion, no obstruction” mantra. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:53 a. “Never Trumpers” are typically Republicans so its an odd construction since Trump has asserted that everyone working for Mueller is a Democrat. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:53 a. Yeah Blake, these yes and no questions to Mueller are what well be seeing from the Democrats throughout the day. Theyre looking to drive home what is actually in the Mueller report. A lot of monosyllabic or very terse answers from Mueller here, but putting him in clear conflict with the president. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:54 a. Then of course he says ‘exculpated. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:54 a. Well see how disciplined Democrats can be today, Darren. Each member of Congress is his or her own boss, and steering them is a bit like herding cats. How do one-word answers help Dems get the soundbites theyre looking for, Darren? Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 8:56 a. Mueller is now pin-citing specific statements in his report (“Page 7, Volume II”. Something of a retort to people who said he wouldnt be conversant in the facts or details. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:56 a. Theyre looking for a couple of soundbites, Josh. Give it time. Weve got five hours ahead of this kind of back and forth. Meantime, the yes and no answers put meat on the bones of the report. We just heard, for example, from Mueller saying Trump refused to be interviewed. The report is my testimony and I will stay within that text. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:57 a. The whole Trump-interview debate up to now had largely been a one-sided discussion where only Rudy & co. were talking. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 8:57 a. What Josh is hinting at is the whisper campaign around town that Mueller isnt quite sharp anymore. His voice may be a bit warbly, but I dont see any signs that he isnt 100 percent with it. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 8:59 a. Blake, you just opened up a whole big can of worms about the whisper campaign about Mueller not being sharp anymore. This has indeed been flying around town for weeks. But Jordan Sekulow, the son of Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, said it aloud on their radio show the other day: “I think again an old guy sitting there reading a report which he didnt really write on his own, he had a bunch of coauthors write, that was put together, I think what youre going to see is someone kind of stumbling through words because its not like its only his words, ” Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:00 a. Collins, the ranking Republican on the committee, is trying to get Mueller to emphasize that his report was extremely thorough. The upshot: His conclusion that there was no criminal conspiracy involving Trump and members of his campaign should be the gospel. End of story. Eliana Johnson 9:01 a. Blake/Darren/Josh, concern about Muellers mental acuity hasnt solely been voiced by Mueller adversaries. His allies have expressed fears about this as well. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:04 a. Its not clear where Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif. is going here. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:04 a. Mueller definitely did look at other countries attempts to interfere in U. S. politics during the 2016 election. Turkey would be one, with more details about that spilling out just in the last couple of weeks. Eliana Johnson 9:04 a. Thus far, Democrats questions dont seem to be coordinated to build off one another. But its early. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:05 a. Yeah. And it seems clear that Republicans plan here is just to cross-examine and try to jumble him. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:05 a. Going by seniority, questioning after Rep. Lofgren will come from Sensenbrenner (R-Wis. Jackson Lee (D-Texas) Chabot (R-Ohio) Cohen (D-Tenn. Gohmert (R-Texas) Johnson (D-Ga. and on. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:06 a. “Thats a little bit out of our path, ” Mueller says when Lofgren asks him to speculate on what Manaforts colleague in Ukraine, who is linked to Russian intelligence, intended to do with the information. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:07 a. The Democrats did prep with a mock hearing yesterday, Eliana. But Id agree so far its hard to tell what theyre trying to do here in terms of drawing information out of Mueller. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:08 a. If Democrats were hoping for a knockout blow from Mueller, its pretty clear – though its early – that Mueller has no intention of giving it. And as a witness, hes not especially compelling so far. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:09 a. Republicans are not sticking to seniority. They go to Rep. John Ratcliffe, a former George W. Bush-era federal prosecutor from Texas. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:09 a. Id still like to know WHEN Muellers team decided not to make a ‘traditional prosecutorial judgment about the president. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:09 a. Theyre trying to rattle him. Eliana Johnson 9:12 a. Worth noting: Mueller hasnt done much talking thus far. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:12 a. Ratcliffe accuses Mueller of offering his own prosecutorial analysis about crimes that werent charged. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:13 a. And Mueller says nothing in response. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:13 a. Ratliffes point about whether it was Muellers role to try to exonerate Trump seems like a valid one. Only problem with it I think is that officially the report was released by Barr, not Mueller, so it was not formally a public statement by Mueller. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:18 a. So far, it looks like Republicans have a disciplined, coherent strategy: Embrace Muellers overall conclusions, if not exaggerate them slightly in the presidents favor, while trying to confusing him with details. Its not clear to me that Democrats have a similarly coordinated approach. And when they do try to press him on details, as Barbara Jackson-Lee is doing now, theyre getting bogged down in “can you repeat the question” and references to the report itself. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:19 a. Seated to Andrew Goldsteins right is one of the newest members of the Mueller team: Jonathan Yarowsky, a DC lawyer who helped the former special counsel prep for these hearings. I profiled Yarowsky and his work over the last four decades in the House Judiciary Committee, the White House and as a lobbyist. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:20 a. Mueller not playing much of a role here. Democrats are just reading his report and asking him to affirm this and that, and Republicans seem uninterested in discussing the presidents conduct–theyre attacking the investigation itself. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:22 a. Am I right Mueller hasnt yet used the ‘I-word himself, guys? Members have said ‘impeachment now many times. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:23 a. Muellers report contains a pretty tight paragraph explaining why he kept investigating despite the OLC opinion saying a sitting president cant be indicted. Its at pp. 1-2 of Vol. II. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:24 a. For those following along out there, here are the DOJ regulations Sensenbrenner and Mueller were talking about. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:24 a. I have not seen one clippable “TV moment” from Mueller yet. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:27 a. These various ‘I rely on the report moments will be mashed up by the meme-makers, tho. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:29 a. If this keeps going as its going now, I imagine Democrats are going to be very disappointed with how today turned out. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:29 a. Republicans have now gone back to the seniority system for their questioning after that quick detour to Rep. Ratcliffe. Interesting strategy to put Ratcliffe up there given his prosecutorial experience. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:30 a. Jeez if Mueller doesnt know who Fusion GPS is this could be a long hearing. Eliana Johnson 9:30 a. Josh How is Mueller not familiar with Fusion GPS? That will likely be a clippable moment for Republicans. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:31 a. Yeah thats very concerning, unless Mueller just didnt want to get into something thats not in the report. Fusion GPS doesnt appear in the report. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:32 a. Perhaps he misunderstood the question Eliana, but he did seem entirely unfamiliar with the firm, which is odd. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:32 a. Fusion GPS, for the record, was the contractor hired by the Clinton campaign and the DNC through a Democratic law firm to produce opposition research on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Fusion GPS in turn hired Christopher Steele, a former MI-6 guy, to produce a series of reports that became the infamous “Steele Dossier. ” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:33 a. And Blake Fusion had done anti-Trump research earlier in the 2016 season, commissioned by never-Trumpers at the Washington Free Beacon Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:34 a. And for the record, Buzzfeed gave the wider world a chance to read the Steele dossier back in January 2017. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:35 a. Interesting that Rep. Hank Johnson brings up Muellers alleged conflicts before GOP does, noting WH Counsel Don McGahns deep skepticism about the conflicts. He called them ‘silly and ‘not real, according to the Mueller report. When you talk about the firm that produced the Steele reporting, the name of the firm that produced that was Fusion GPS, is that correct? — Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) Im not familiar with that. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:38 a. Mueller dedicated a couple of pages of the Mueller report to the conflicts Trump was complaining about. At one point, the special counsel quotes Steve Bannon telling Trump that the golf course dispute the president kept bringing up was “ridiculous and petty. ” Eliana Johnson 9:38 a. These lawmakers appear far more familiar with the report than does Mueller, which is making for some bizarre exchanges. Trump mentioned that golf course fee dispute again yesterday. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:40 a. Rep. Louie Gohmert has long feuded with Mueller, going back to when he was the FBI director. We got into one of the more notable interactions from 2013 about the Boston Marathon bombing in this Politico Magazine story. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:41 a. Mueller concedes he was ‘friends with Comey, after starting out by saying ‘business associates. Wont go as far as Gohmert wanted, which was ‘good friends. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:41 a. Darren, having studied Mueller in action before, is this appearance any different than those past performances you watched? You can work together and not be friends but you and Comey were friends. — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) We were friends. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:42 a. Back in December 2018 James Comey told Congress that he was “not friends in any social sense” with Mueller. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:43 a. Yes, Blake, Id say in this one Mueller is certainly more stilted that the earlier ones when he was FBI director. The stakes are so much higher here, and Mueller is under different pressures than back then when he was the head of the bureau. As special counsel, he was effectively a DOJ employee akin to a U. attorney. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:44 a. Wow. Gohmert, red-faced and pointing at Mueller: “You perpetuated injustice. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:44 a. Gohmert is the first GOP rep. to ask about Peter Strzok, who exchanged texts with an FBI attorney that disparaged Trump and other political figures. Mueller says he removed Strzok from his team “swiftly” after learning of the texts. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:47 a. Quickly scanning Twitter, so far @realdonaldtrump is silent but his oldest son Don Jr. has been busy on social media highlighting the GOP questioners. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:47 a. Blake Gohmerts performance is really just a more excited version of Bob Barrs presser, where he also argued the president was justified in his anger over the probe because he had been wrongly accused Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:48 a. If the GOP sticks to seniority buckle up for what is coming next: Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 9:50 a. And I stand corrected. Republicans skip Jordan and go to Rep. Martha Roby from Alabama. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:50 a. Ted Deutch tried pretty hard to get something out of Mueller, but it was like pulling teeth – even when it concerned the reports conclusion that President Trump likely tried to have Mueller fired. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:50 a. I stand by my earlier view that the long wind-ups from Dem questioners eager to have their moment and short answers from Mueller are making this very un-soundbite-friendly so far. I think Dems mightve been better off using staff counsel to ask these questions. Curious that Mueller wont get into details about separating out the grand jury information. Barr has been fairly detailed about that process. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:51 a. I think one of the first questions from Nadler will be soundbite worthy. Nadler: Did your report totally exonerate the president? Mueller: No. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:52 a. Thats a direct rebuke to what Trump has been saying for months—“No collusion, no obstruction, total exoneration. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:52 a. Other than that, not much else so far. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:52 a. The problem for Democrats, Natasha, is that it has kind of gone south from there. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:53 a. The DC Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled and recently decided not to reconsider, that judges cant approve release of grand jury information simply because its in the public interest. There is, however, a decision from the Watergate era that appears to allow release for an impeachment proceeding. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:54 a. A former FBI official just noted to me that your perception of this hearing will probably be different if youre watching it versus, say, listening on the radio. Muellers height and distinguished physical appearance helps him, but his answers have been somewhat stilted. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:55 a. Looks like Mueller is declining to engage at all really on his differences with Barr. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 9:56 a. Mueller should have gotten a temporary tattoo on his forehead saying, “I refer you again to the report. ” Eliana Johnson 9:57 a. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 9:58 a. Im curious as to why Mueller doesnt just refer to the report himself–read it, for example, and confirm certain aspects, rather than making members read it. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 9:59 a. Bass is making explicit, in the hearing, that Dems have attempted to coordinate their questions. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:00 a. I think were seeing the difference between a guy like Mueller – a prosecutor with an aversion to politics, and a stickler for following DOJ rules – and a guy like former FBI director James Comey, who obviously loves the limelight and feels much more comfortable leaning out with his own conclusions. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:03 a. Blake Comey is among the most skilled officials Ive ever encountered when it comes to back-and-forth with the press or members of Congress. Just extraordinarily good at it on the jousting level. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:04 a. “Im not sure I agree with your characterization” is about the feistiest comment weve seen from Mueller thus far. His riposte to Jim Jordan, the Freedom Caucus leader and one of President Trumps most loyal defenders on Capitol Hill. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 10:04 a. Mueller finally just rebuked a member–”Im not sure I agree with your characterization, ” he tells Jim Jordan, a Republican grilling him the foreign “professor” Joseph Mifsud. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 10:05 a. We were not expecting any breaks. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:13 a. You have to wonder, Darren, if Democrats are using this timeout like a basketball team huddling to adjust their strategy mid-game. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:15 a. But theres no coach, really and everyone thinks theyre a star Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:17 a. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:21 a. And we now have a tweet from @realDonaldTrump: Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:23 a. A prime example of the blood-from-a-stone element of this hearing: Mueller unwilling to say its appropriate for a WH attorney to take notes. Refers Richmond to the report. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:27 a. I doubt very many Americans have any idea who Chris Steele is, or who Pete Strzok is, but theyve been a theme of GOP questioning today. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:33 a. Democrat Hakeem Jeffries, whos questioning Mueller now, is trying to establish that the president committed obstruction of justice regardless of DOJ guidelines saying you cant charge a sitting president with a crime. He doesnt play ball. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:35 a. Mueller is kinda like a senator making the up or down gesture they do when they vote. Maybe with a sideways point for ‘I refer you to the report. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:39 a. Ken Buck makes the point that obstruction of justice can only be committed in connection with a grand jury investigation or some other formal government proceeding, not just an FBI investigation. But the proceeding need not be ongoing, it can be evidently imminent or inevitable. When it came to obstruction you threw a bunch of stuff up against the wall to see what would stick and that is unfair. Ken Buck (R-Colo. I would not agree to that characterization at all. What we did is provide to the attorney general in the form of a confidential memorandum our understanding of the case. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:41 a. Mueller did say the president could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office. But its not clear if he was speaking hypothetically, or if he was actually suggesting he believes this is possible based on the evidence his team assembled. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:42 a. Muellers claim that his report was a ‘confidential memorandum to Barr is somewhat disingenuous. The special counsels team clearly contemplated the report being released, prepared summaries for quick release, and complained when that didnt happen. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:51 a. Im not sure what Andy Biggs (R-Ariz. was trying to do there. President Trump has repeatedly claimed that Mueller was “conflicted” because he supposedly wanted to return as FBI director, but theres never been any evidence of that. Biggs seemed to be trying to suggest that Mueller might have sour grapes because Trump didnt ask him to return to his own job. The Mueller report details how Trumps own aides thought this line of attack was silly and urged the president to abandon it. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 10:53 a. And Mueller said under oath that he was not a candidate for the director position. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 10:53 a. Remember Muellers tenure was already extended from 10 to 12 years after Obama couldnt settle on a replacement. Required passing a law to allow that. Idea Mueller would want to come back after leaving is strange…... Although our current AG did just that, albeit after a longer break. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:55 a. If a congressional hearing witness were created in a lab to not make news, he or she would sound a lot like Bob Mueller today. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 10:57 a. And we have another Trump tweet. Its worth noting, however, that Mueller testified a bit earlier that obstruction does not have to be successful to be considered a crime. It is starting to look like having desperately tried and failed to make a legal case against the president, you made a political case instead. You put it in a paper sack, lit it on fire, dropped it on our porch, rang the doorbell and ran. Tom McClintock (R-Calif. I dont think youve referred to a report more fair than the report we have in front of us. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 11:05 a. I also think Mueller was addressing the possibility that DOJ/Barr/Rosenstein impeded him, not whether Trumps obstruction impeded him. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:07 a. One moment thats going a bit viral on Twitter is this exchange between Mueller and Democrat Ted Lieu. Lieu: “The reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president. Correct? ” Mueller: “That is correct. ” But its not at all clear from Muellers answer that he WOULD HAVE charged the president but for the OLC opinion. Its unfortunate that he didnt hasten to clear that up. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:09 a. Volume II is regurgitated press stories because President Trump is so reactive to news accounts. They set the predicate for his alleged acts of obstruction. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 11:10 a. With regard to my previous question about why Mueller wouldnt just read from the report himself, Im told by a congressional source involved in negotiations surrounding the appearance that “Muellers team specifically informed the committees that he would decline to read from his report during the hearing. ” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:14 a. Pretty bad optics for Mueller as several aides point at once to help him find the member who has been recognized to question him. Has happened several times now. Makes him look lost. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 11:15 a. Eh, I dont really agree with that. There are a ton of members on judiciary. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:17 a. The video is bad. Three guys over his shoulder pointing in different directions. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:19 a. A sampling of headlines on Breitbart right now: “Low Energy: ‘Can You Repeat the Question? … …No Answers on ‘Pee Dossier — Which Is Cited in Report… …Crushed on Presumption of Innocence…” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:19 a. Guy Reschenthaler now making point I mentioned earlier that Mueller report was clearly prepared with an eye to public release, despite Mueller calling it a ‘confidential memorandum. But it was Barrs decision to release it. If something ‘un-American was happening, Barr shouldve stopped it. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:23 a. Watching Mueller, Im reminded of the Herman Melville short story “Bartleby, the Scrivener, ” about a Wall Street clerk who answered all requests with the clipped response, “I would prefer not to. ” The drafting and publication of some of the information in this report without an indictment, without prosecution, frankly flies in the face of American justice and I find those facts and this entire process unAmerican. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:29 a. Some late-hearing shots at Mueller deputy Andrew Weissmann over his legal arguments about obstruction of justice in the Enron cases. Those stances were approved by the GW Bush Justice Department, but later rejected by SCOTUS. Mueller attempted to mount a defense of Weissmann, but never really got to the end of that sentence. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:29 a. If you thought we would make it through this hearing without a reference to Hillary Clintons email habits, think again. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:39 a. Were getting pretty far down on the Judiciary depth chart now, like one of those late-season T-ball games when every kid finally gets a chance to play. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:44 a. Mueller just said he didnt know prosecutor Jeannie Rhee represented Hillary Clinton (or the Clinton Foundation) before she came on to Muellers team. If thats true, its surprising. What if I had made a false statement to an investigator on your team. Could I go to jail for up to five years? — Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-Texas) Yes. Although its Congress so… Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:46 a. Josh, I think Republicans drew a little blood with some of this detail on Muellers team and its ties to Democrats. Some clippable moments there that Im sure well see circulated on the right. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:52 a. Contra Rep. Mike Johnson, the Mueller report doesnt indicate Muellers team had serious conflicts. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:52 a. This is what Mueller said in defense of his team: “We strove to hire those individuals that could do the job. I have been in this business for almost 25 years. And in those 25 years I have not had occasion, once, to ask somebody about their political affiliation. It is not done. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 11:52 a. That is the defense we were expecting Mueller to give—that he hired the most competent people to do the most efficient investigation. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 11:53 a. Notably, his was the most efficient special/independent counsel probe in history in terms of pace, indictments brought, guilty pleas secured, etc. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:54 a. Republicans want to have it both ways: They want to embrace Muellers conclusion that the investigation generally exonerates the president when it comes to colluding with Russia, but they also want to rough him up a bit and impeach his credibility. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:56 a. It is actually illegal at DOJ to make a hiring decision or personnel assignment decision based on political affiliation alone. Its a big part of why AG Alberto Gonzales and many aides resigned. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 11:58 a. There was a rare lighthearted moment a few minutes ago when a member asked Mueller, “What if I had made a false statement to an investigator on your team—could I go to jail? ” “Yes, ” he said. “Although, its Congress, so…” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 11:58 a. This questioning of Mueller by Rep, Greg Stanton about Muellers history is like a game show. ‘That is correct. …, Daily Double! Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 12:01 p. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 12:09 p. Mueller wont even explain what the report means by “constitutional processes, ” even as members try to get him to acknowledge that he was referring to impeachment. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 12:10 p. Although he did say, “I think you mentioned one of them, ” when asked about the processes. Escobar had mentioned impeachment. He genuinely just doesnt want to say the words. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 12:13 p. And thats a wrap for House Judiciary. Next up: Intel, which were told will focus a bit more on the Russian interference angle of the Mueller report. More Volume I (collusion) than Volume II (obstruction) if you will. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 12:43 p. Hey, Im back. Had to do some journalism there for a little bit. Heres a statement from Jay Sekulow, one of the presidents personal lawyers that just came across the text message transom: “This mornings testimony exposed the troubling deficiencies of the Special Counsels investigation. The testimony revealed that this probe was conducted by a small group of politically-biased prosecutors who, as hard as they tried, were unable to establish either obstruction, conspiracy, or collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is also clear that the Special Counsel conducted his two-year investigation unimpeded. The American people understand that this issue is over. They also understand that the case is closed. ” Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 12:51 p. Here comes Bobby Three Sticks. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 12:54 p. Keep in mind we are about 50 minutes behind the original schedule here. Expect Mueller to deliver another opening statement before we go to questions. This all should be finished around 3:30 pm Eastern time. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 12:57 p. While Trump has gone after both Democratic chairs as partisans - Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler – Schiff has earned more accolades from his own ranks for the way he has handled the Russia probe. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 12:59 p. It will be interesting to see how Devin Nunes, the ranking member, handles this. Hes been highly aligned with Trump on intelligence issues and has called the Mueller report a partisan “dossier. ” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:01 p. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is out with an official review of the morning hearing: “The last three hours have been an epic embarrassment for the Democrats. Expect more of the same in the second half. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:10 p. This hearing may be different than the last, since one of Muellers top deputies has been sworn in and can testify too. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:12 p. Nunes early shot at Zebley there was a reference to Zebley, as a private lawyer, representing longtime Bill Clinton aide Justin Cooper in the Hillary Clinton email investigation. This took place before Zebley and Mueller left Wilmer Hale and went back to DOJ. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:15 p. Mueller just ripped away one of very few comments he made this morning that Democrats considered a major takeaway. He effectively retracted his suggestion to Ted Lieu that Trump wouldve been indicted in the absence of the DOJ policy against indicting a sitting president. I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu who said, and I quote, ‘You didnt charge the president because of the OLC opinion. That is not the correct way to say it … we did not reach a determination as to whether the President committed a crime. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 1:17 p. Just a thought: How do you actually testify to the question of whether an investigation is a witch hunt? Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:19 p. Order up a CRS or GAO report. “Witch Hunts 1776-2017: a checkered history. ” Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:20 p. Here comes Devin Nunes (R-Calif. Hes been one of the Russia probes most passionate critics, and as chair of the Intel Committee before the House changed hands, he tried hard to discredit the investigation. Hes now asking a series of detailed questions about various minor characters in the Russia saga, including Carter Page. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:21 p. By the way, Schiff just asserted that Trump adviser Mike Flynn was taking money from the country of Turkey during the campaign. Those dealings resulted in a Flynn partner being convicted on two felony charges just yesterday Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:23 p. Weird question from Nunes just now: “What were trying to find out is if Boris Johnson or our NATO allies have been compromised. ” This after showing a photo of Johnson with Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:24 p. Devin Nunes focusing virtually all of his questions on the origins of the investigation, particularly the Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos. Papadopoulos admitted to lying to the FBI about his conversations with that professor, Mifsud, who told Papadopoulos about Russia having Clintons emails in April 2016. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:25 p. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:26 p. Seems highly unlikely, given that the FBI asked Papadopoulos to wear a wire to record his conversations with Mifsud. Doesnt seem like theyd need him to record Mifsud if Mifsud were already their asset! But thats getting in the weeds… Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:30 p. An example of how cautious Mueller is: He wont even say, when asked, if campaigns should definitely report suspicious activity of potential foreign interference to the FBI. “Could be, depending on the circumstances at the time, ” he answers. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 1:31 p. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:33 p. Yes, here was the exchange … Himes: If a campaign receives an offer of dirt from a foreign individual from a government, should the campaign report those contacts? Mueller: “It should be—and can be depending on the circumstances—a crime. ” Trump said recently that he might “look at it” if a foreign government offered him dirt on his opponent in the next election. Isnt it against the law for a presidential campaign to accept anything of value from a foreign government? — Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala. Generally speaking, yes, but generally the cases are unique. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 1:41 p. The Trump campaign is spiking the football. (image) Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:41 p. and of course, Mueller never confirmed any of that. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:42 p. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 1:42 p. Mueller specifically said during the first hearing that Trump was not exonerated. And he just repeated that he did not even use the word “collusion” to characterize any of his findings because its not a legal term. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 1:42 p. While were touting our coverage, heres the story I slipped away from the live-blog to write during the first hearing. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:45 p. Might that have been first flash of anger or indignation from Mueller in response to Rep. Michael Turner criticism of Mueller saying he did not exonerate the president on obsutrction... “We included it in the report for that reason, he [Barr] might not know it and he should know it, ” Mueller said. Seemed like might be some unhappiness with Barrs public statements reflected in that answer. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 1:59 p. Unlike Judiciary, the chairman is taking another round of questioning. On balance, it seems the Intel Committee Democrats have been a bit more effective in eliciting damning testimony from Mueller. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 1:59 p. Mueller returns to themes of his May 29 press conference, saying part of his investigation detailing the Russian effort to interfere in the U. election was “underplayed. ” Mayve even said he underplayed it. Was kind of a vague royal “we. ” Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 2:00 p. Agreed, Blake. While its still a struggle for the Dems and Mueller seems a bit like a hostage being dragged along, hes giving them a bit more fodder. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:06 p. Trump has been gleefully telling folks privately that the hearings have blunted any momentum toward impeachment, were told. And thats well reflected in his public commentary so far. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:07 p. Backing you up Blake, the House Intel panel has had several moments of success pulling out info in the course of the Mueller probe. I was chatting with a committee member the other day who said this had to do with the fact their staff were part of the prior probe while Republicans led the House. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 2:11 p. Im kinda meh on the outrage that repeating or retweeting stuff from Wikileaks is consorting with a foreign intelligence agency. A lot of news outlets republished much of that material, as did POLITICO. RT doesnt equal endorsement, as the kids say. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:11 p. If publishing WikiLeaks is a crime, then half this town would be locked up. Donald Trump October 31st, 2016. ‘Boy, I love reading those Wikileaks … How do you react to those? — Rep. Mike Quigley (R-Ill. Its problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays in terms of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal activity. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 2:15 p. I wish this Zebley guy would stop monopolizing this hearing. I mean he almost answered a question there. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 2:17 p. The House Intelligence Committee probably shouldve gone first, in asking Mueller to go through the campaign contacts with Russia and the lies told about them, given that that is the crucial context for potential obstruction of justice crimes. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:20 p. While today almost feels like its lasted a few weeks, lets be real and take a look at how many days it has been since the following big events happened in the course of the Russia probe: Since Trump urged Russia to hack Clintons emails: 1, 093 days Since Comeys firing: 807 days Since the Manafort, Gates and Papadopolous indictments were unsealed: 632 days Since the FBI Cohen raid: 471 days Since Roger Stones arrest: 180 days Since Muellers probe ended: 124 days Since the Mueller reports release: 97 days Since Mueller delivered his one and only public statement: 56 days Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:23 p. Darren, its like Lenin once said: “There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen. ” Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:23 p. Whos this Lenin guy you speak of Blake? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:28 p. What Im seeing right now on cable and among the chattering class on Twitter is the conventional wisdom hardening – that Democrats have made a mistake, the mighty Bob Mueller looks mortal after all, and this whole thing backfired. On the other hand, Dems have gotten some headlines they wanted: Mueller contradicting the president on collusion, the former special counsel agreeing with their framing of Russian interference, and so on. But its pretty clear that todays hearings havent been the televised Mueller report that many on the left were hoping it would be. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:29 p. Politico readers did get warned back in mid-March to temper their expectations for the Mueller hearings. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 2:29 p. Especially, Blake, since Mueller told Democrats he woudnt be reading from the report at all. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:30 p. What did Lenin say about conventional wisdom, Blake? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:31 p. One has to wonder, too, where Democrats go from here. Do they wind down the investigations, or keep up the pretense that their understaffed committees will find new things Mueller and his A-team of prosecutors could not? Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 2:31 p. I suspect they got the Dems got that word too late. Not like they couldve backed out of this anytime in past few weeks. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:34 p. The fate of Eric Swalwell, the Democrat quizzing Mueller just now, is instructive. He entered the presidential race only to exit it weeks later. Perhaps he overestimated the prominence his role in the Russia probe had given him. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:35 p. Swalwells question about whether Mueller questioned Donald Trump Jr. goes to a blacked-out section of the special counsels report, right after mentioning the presidents oldest son refused a voluntary interview. Trump Jr. s lawyer hasnt commented about this, but Rudy Giuliani told me in May he didnt think the redaction deals with the Fifth Amendment. “I can tell you I have no knowledge that anybody took the Fifth, ” he said. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:40 p. I referred to Bartleby the Scrivener earlier, but theres a more famous Herman Melville work that also appears relevant to todays hearing: Moby Dick. Pick your white whale: the Carter Page FISA warrant, the Trump Tower meeting, Joseph Mifsud – the Russiagate story is full of leads that had would-be Ahabs chasing their quarry down to the deep. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:47 p. Hurds line of questioning is some of the most substantive about proactive policy or legislative changes needed post-2016. Did I miss someone else? Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 2:49 p. No. And Mueller goes a bit further in agreeing there than I wouldve expected. Re legislation to unify the federal response, says: “It should be pursued…aggressively, early. ” Trouble is it sounds a bit like de-stovepiping legislation Congress passed back in 2004. Mueller wasnt talking really about a need for more authority but more coordination among federal agencies. I didnt even hear a mention of states. Adopting whatever — and Im not that familiar with the legislation — whatever legislation will encourage us working together. By us I mean the FBI, CIA, NSA and the rest, it should be pursued. Aggressively, early. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 2:50 p. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 2:51 p. Keep in mind that some of the questions asked today seemed designed to elicit a non-response from Mueller. So when you see numbers about the number of times he declined to respond, or said a question was out of his lane, take them with a grain of salt. He always made clear he was gonna stick by what his report said, and while he seems to be taking that to an extreme, lawmakers were certainly forewarned. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 2:54 p. Mueller appears to have shot down one potential avenue of Trump-Russia conspiracy—repeated pinging between the Trump Organization servers and servers belonging to Russias Alfa Bank in late 2016. “My belief at this point is its not true” that the servers were secretly communicating, Mueller said. Thats notable because Alfa and the pinging servers was not addressed in the report–he went outside the report there. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:04 p. Mueller is letting his hair down a little in this afternoon sesh. Just now, he said of the Trump campaigns behavior in 2016, “I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is. ” A man is placed in custody outside the House Intelligence Committee hearing while former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies. Getty Images Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:04 p. A little bit of drama outside the hearing room today… Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:06 p. Mueller just put into words the concern we long heard about and reported at the time that a subpoena fight with Trump for an interview would have stretched the probe out for a long time – and maybe wed be in the midst of the legal battle still right now. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:06 p. He still doesnt explain, though, why he needed to expedite the investigation as such. Thats one thing former FBI officials have pointed out – that he shouldnt have been afraid to let the probe last as long as it needed to to get that interview. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:07 p. This was my question at the outset of the hearings today: Why did Mueller end the probe? Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:08 p. Sean Patrick Maloney served in the Clinton White House as staff secretary, the same job Rob Porter had in the Trump era. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 3:08 p. I happen to think Trump or his lawyers wouldve asserted the 5th, which is and was clearly within his rights. Im not sure it wouldve even been as big a fight as people suggested. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:09 p. I should add that both Brett Kavanaugh and Harriet Miers had the staff secretary job during the George W. Bush era. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:09 p. Playing the devils advocate here: There was a risk in doing an interview with Trump. Namely, that it could allow him to clean up public comments or private moments that suggested he was trying to interfere with the investigation. Why didnt you subpoena the President? — Rep. Sean Maloney (D-N. Y. When we were almost toward the end of our investigation and we had little to no success to get the interview of the president, we decided we did not want to exercise the subpoena powers because on the necessity of expediting the end of the investigations. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:11 p. Trump constantly contradicts himself, though. The risk in an interview wouldve been for Trump, not for Mueller, in my opinion. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:11 p. To your point, though, Blake: Even Trumps allies were publicly worried about what kinds of “perjury trap” trouble hed get into if he sat down with Mueller for an in-person interview. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:15 p. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:16 p. Democrats holding the majority has its benefits here. With more members on the panel than the Rs, they get to stack members one after the other here to have some continuity to their questioning. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:17 p. By my read of the committee roster, Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill. is the final questioner - unless Schiff-Nunes do another round. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:20 p. And there we go. Weve got two more questioners: From Schiff and Nunes. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 3:21 p. Whyd Nunes say Mueller was there of his own free will, wasnt he subpoenaed Now, Director Mueller, is there any information you would like to share with this committee that you have not so far today? — Rep. Thats a broad question. And it will take me a while to get an answer to it, but I will say no. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:25 p. Heres another example of Mueller being a bit looser this afternoon. Asked by chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif. “We should hold our elected officials to a standard higher than mere avoidance of criminality, shouldnt we? ” Mueller says: “Absolutely. ” Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:26 p. Mueller also agreed with Schiff that it is “unpatriotic” and “wrong” to accept election help from a foreign power. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:27 p. The staffer over Chairman Schiffs right shoulder is Daniel Goldman, a former federal prosecutor from the Southern District of New York who until March had been working as an MSNBC legal analyst. (image) Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:28 p. Anyone know if Rep. Schiffs mention of ‘impeachment there was the first time a Democrat had used the word? I know Republicans have said it. But what about the Ds? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:30 p. There was an exchange earlier, Darren, where one of the Democrats on the Judiciary Committee was trying to get Mueller to acknowledge that the “constitutional process” he suggested in his report was impeachment. And he pretty artfully dodged the i-word. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:30 p. And Zebley didnt speak once…the one time Mueller tried to toss a question to him, a Republican intervened and said he wanted to hear from Mueller directly. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:31 p. Yep, to answer my own question, I see Rep. Hank Johnson asked an ‘impeachment question that Mueller didnt give a solid answer. By my count from the POLITICO transcript, I see 19 mentions of the “i-word. ” Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:32 p. Now that its over, a question: Would Democrats have had a better day if Intel had gone first? Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:32 p. And like clockwork, heres a statement from Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale: “These hearings were a disaster for Democrats. This entire spectacle has always been about the Democrats trying to undo the legitimate result of the 2016 election and today they again failed miserably. Robert Mueller confirmed what we already knew: No collusion, no obstruction, and the way President Trump has been treated is unprecedented. Almost three years and tens of millions of dollars have been wasted on this witch hunt and it is now even more apparent that Democrats are completely consumed with their hatred of the President and their obsession with overturning the will of the people who elected him. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:33 p. I think so, Blake. It seemed like Mueller was much more familiar with the subject (Russian interference and the campaigns contacts with Russians in 2016. That was, after all, his original mandate. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:33 p. I would say yes, Blake, it probably would have been smarter for Intel to go first. Even for continuitys sake itd make sense to have Mueller discuss the report in order: Volume 1 and then Volume 2. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:35 p. From a made-for-TV strategery perspective I can see why they put Judiciary first though. They figured more people would be tuned in for the obstruction-related discussion that is at least one element of a potential launch into impeachment proceedings. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:37 p. Ill throw another question out there: Did we learn today that it was indeed the Mueller prosecutors who were doing the heaviest lifting? Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:37 p. Adam Schiff ran a much tighter ship, too. His questions were focused and smartly targeted to elicit the answers he wanted. Judiciary Dems were all over the lot. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:40 p. From my perspective as a reporter covering this it was always clear the Mueller staff were doing some of the hardest work. Zebley, who didnt say anything while sitting by Muellers side today, was the day-to-day manager. Quarles, sitting behind Mueller, handled interactions with Trumps lawyers. Weissmann, Greg Andres, Brandon Van Grack & co. had the Manafort case. Jeannie Rhee and Andrew Goldstein (sitting behind Mueller today) had the lead on Roger Stone. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:41 p. And thats normal, according to legal experts. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:41 p. As an editor, I can sympathize with Mueller not being as well versed in the nitty-gritty of the report given that he wasnt the primary author. But his distance from it made for some jarring moments today. Yes, especially since he knew this hearing was likely inevitable. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:42 p. And what about the stories we heard about Mueller being obsessive about preparation? Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:42 p. Especially if he read Politico, Natasha, he knew the hearing was inevitable. Josh Gerstein Senior Legal Affairs Contributor 3:42 p. Ultimately, he was an unwilling witness. And it showed. Perhaps Dems shouldve given a bit more weight to why he was sending those signals for the past couple of months. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:44 p. I suppose this is no big surprise, but CREW, the non-profit government watchdog founded in part by Jerry Nadler staffer Norm Eisen, just called for a Trump impeachment inquiry. Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:44 p. He certainly used to be, Blake, according to everyone we spoke to who helped him prep in the past. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:44 p. Did we learn anything new today, folks? Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:45 p. Ah, Natasha, you missed a shameless opportunity to plug our story! Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:47 p. To your question, Blake, we always knew Mueller wanted to interview Trump beyond the written responses, but I suppose here we heard Mueller say for the first time that he knew that had he gone down that path wed probably still be in a subpoena court fight. So, not really new. But again, good to hear it come from Muellers mouth. Blake Hounshell Editorial director, 3:49 p. From Appendix C-2 of the report: “Recognizing that the President would not be interviewed voluntarily, we considered whether to issue a subpoena for his testimony. We viewed the written answers to be inadequate. But at that point, our investigation had made significant progress and had produced substantial evidence for our report. We thus weighed the costs of potentially lengthy constitutional litigation, with resulting delay in finishing our investigation, against the anticipated benefits for our investigation and report. As explained in Volume II, Section II. B., we determined that the substantial quantity of information we had obtained from other sources allowed us to draw relevant factual conclusions on intent and credibility, which are often inferred from circumstantial evidence and assessed without direct testimony from the subject of the investigation. ” Natasha Bertrand National Security Correspondent 3:50 p. It seems like if youre ever going to go through that kind of litigation, itd be now, in one of the most high-stakes investigations ever. Thats an answer we didnt get out of Mueller–why he felt compelled to expedite the investigation. Darren Samuelsohn Senior reporter 3:54 p. Alright Politico live-blog readers, after 7-plus hours were going to sign off here and end the discussion. Our reporter team has said many things here – not to mention given our editors all manner of follow-up story ideas that theyll be assigning to us any moment now. This concludes your continuing coverage of the 2016 presidential election. Live Live Analysis Mueller ends testimony before Congress.
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Published 5:06 p. m. ET July 23, 2019, Updated 5:52 p. ET July 23, 2019 CLOSE Special counsel Robert Mueller said Wednesday he believed he was constitutionally barred from charging President Donald Trump with a crime but pointedly emphasized his Russia report did not exonerate the president. (May 29) AP Domestic WASHINGTON – After months of lawmakers calling on Robert Mueller to testify on the Russia probe, the country will have an opportunity on Wednesday to see what he has to say. Mueller's highly anticipated testimony comes weeks after the former special counsel gave a rare public statement defending the findings in his 448-page report into whether Russia colluded with President Donald Trump's campaign. The probe also included possible obstruction of justice from the president. Muller will be speaking before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. Here's what you need to know: What time does it start? Mueller will be speaking before the House Judiciary Committee at 8:30 a. until approximately 11:30 a. m. His testimony before the Intelligence Committee will be at 12 p. and is scheduled to last for two hours. How do I watch? USA TODAY will be live streaming Mueller's testimonies on our website. The hearings will also be streamed online on the House Judiciary Committee 's Youtube account and Rep. Adam Schiff's, House Intelligence Committee chairman, Youtube account. More: Former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony, like his report, promises an ink-blot test for partisans What should I expect? The former special counsel will be questioned by 41 members of the Judiciary Committee. Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N. Y., on Sunday said he expects Muller to air “very substantial evidence” of wrongdoing by Trump, as Democrats continue to find a case for impeachment against Trump. The 22 members of the intelligence committee are expected to get five minutes to ask questions to the former special counsel. More: DOJ letter warns Robert Mueller not to veer from Russia report's written conclusions at House hearings Mueller is expected to give a brief opening statement, his spokesman Jim Popkin said Monday. The former FBI director's opening remarks will be similar to his public remarks from May, where he refused to clear Trump on criminal wrongdoing. The former special counsel is not expected to veer from his written conclusions, Popkin said. CLOSE President Donald Trump said he might watch "a little bit" of Mueller's testimony on Capitol Hill. Associated Press Will Trump watch? Although the president said Friday that he will not watch Muller's testimony, Trump has since said he may tune in. "Maybe I'll see a little bit of it. he said on Monday. Trump has in the past said he wouldn't watch large events, such as the first Democratic primary debate last month, but later live-tweeted during the event. The best way to know if Trump is paying attention is to keep an eye on his Twitter feed. Like what youre reading. Download the USA TODAY app for more Read or Share this story.
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