Democrats Mueller fiasco is a gift to Trump
Robert Mueller’s disastrous testimony has taken the wind out of the sails of the Democratic impeachment drive. That is a victory for President Trump. But it also was good news for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.The alleged obstruction case was weak, to begin with, because there was no underlying crime. That Nadler still wanted to pursue impeachment after the fiasco of a hearing tells you something about how delusional many Democrats are about it. The more they push the impeachment track the more they will turn off voters.
For most Americans, the Mueller probe was about whether the president conspired with Russia to steal the 2016 election. Americans were told that the president was a traitor who had colluded with Vladimir Putin to subvert US democracy. So, when Mueller released his report in April concluding that “the investigation did not establish that the Trump Campaign coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” the country breathed a sigh of relief and was ready to move on.
A Harvard-Harris poll in May found that 65 percent of Americans said Congress shouldn’t begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, and 80 percent of Americans said they wanted their “congressional representatives working more on infrastructure, health care and immigration” instead of investigating the president. Pelosi was listening and tried to steer her caucus away from the suicidal push for impeachment.
But many Democrats refused to listen to her or the people. Instead of focusing on substantive issues, they kept probing Trump. Despite Mueller’s public declaration that he didn’t want to appear before Congress (because “the report is my testimony”), they insisted he appear — even threatening to subpoena him. The prospect of Mueller’s testimony loomed over the country for months.
That was a huge risk. The Washington Post reports that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee conducted focus groups in key battlegrounds that showed “the public’s impression of the new House majority is bound up in its battles with Trump, not in its policy agenda,” and the preoccupation with investigations was “overshadowing the party’s agenda, threatening its grip on the House in 2020.”
Rep. Charlie Crist of Florida, a DCCC vice chairman, warned that “it seems like there is a preoccupation with what’s happening as it relates to the White House, and so everything else sort of gets drowned out.”
Democrats took the House in 2018 by focusing on kitchen-table issues like health care and prescription-drug prices to flip districts Trump won in 2016. But the impeachment obsession is threatening vulnerable freshmen in those Trump districts.
... Mueller sounded fragile and confused, and he gave Democrats no new ammunition to use against Trump.
To the contrary, when he was asked by Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, “At any time in the investigation, was your investigation curtailed or stopped or hindered?” Mueller replied “no.” It’s hard to make a case for obstruction when the special counsel says he wasn’t obstructed.