Webb: Questions for Robert Mueller


Mueller, Mueller, Mueller.

I know it is a take from “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and close to what Democrats have been saying for months. For you Bueller fans who feel slighted, remember that imitation is the greatest form of flattery. 

{mosads}The delayed testimony before the House Oversight and Reform and House Judiciary committees gives you time to digest the questions and there is still time to review the Mueller report, if so inclined. 

It is possible the former special counsel Robert Mueller who testifies will be the one who wants to be invited to the Martha’s Vineyard parties and asked to speak at Harvard. It’s possible that the Mueller who wants to walk away from 22 months, millions of dollars spent and nothing of presidential level consequence in his plea deals and convictions says little and references his report. We’ve seen that play before. 

Who asks the questions also matters. Too often politicians pontificate and play to their donors and their base regardless of party. They don’t follow a line of questioning the way a prosecutor or defense attorney would. There are times to continue the line of questioning and there are times to pivot. 

In Michael Isikoff’s book, “Russian Roulette,” he explains that Christopher Steele’s own business partner didn’t believe the information in his reports was accurate. Likewise, Clinton vendor Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS couldn’t use Steele’s increasingly outrageous reports because they weren’t sourced or documented. 

Instead, to get the Steele info in play, they gave it to the FBI and then briefed national security reporters about the info to stir the pot, including the tip that the FBI was investigating the info. Isikoff took the bait and wrote one of the first stories at Yahoo News.  

CIA Director John Brennan called then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to download info and encouraged Reid to politicize the Russia-Trump connection in October. 

Imagine that. The CIA director politicizing unverified information that originated with the Clinton campaign. This information turned out to be false. 

Two days later, Reid penned a letter to Comey demanding an investigation into Trump. Most information in Reid’s letter was sourced to public news reports, but one issue alluding to Carter Page — reporting falsely that he met with a high Kremlin official — was not public. It came from Brennan or the Clinton campaign or law firm Perkins Coie. At that point, Brennan was directly coordinating campaign messaging. 

Since the subject was the obsession of the nation’s law enforcement institutions, intelligence agencies and national press corps, and the info was put into national circulation by the Clinton campaign and Steele Dossier, determining the original source and accuracy of that dossier should have been the first step of a thorough investigation.  

There is no indication such an inquiry occurred in the Mueller report. Mueller assumed the accuracy of the report, started with it, and investigated Trump. He should have started with the dossier info and tested it first.  

They all seem to feel the need to speak but in many cases some should not. Republican or Democrat here are some key questions.

Since the Steele Dossier reported contacts between the Trump campaign and Russians, the truth and accuracy of the dossier should have been an important part of your investigation. Explain everything you did to investigate the accuracy of the Steele Dossier and if not, why not? The accuracy is not discussed in your report, why not?   

Mueller’s mandate was to look at Trump’s Russia collusion. The obvious follow-up question is why did you prosecute Paul Manafort for completely unrelated matters from a decade back?  Were you aware that the Eastern District of Virginia had essentially declined that same case? 

Why didn’t you decide the question of obstruction? Wasn’t that your job? Wasn’t that why you were hired as special counsel? Were you concerned about the fallout from being “the guy who cleared Trump?” 

Isn’t it true that you spoke to Attorney General William Barr the day after your letter to him? 

Didn’t he specifically ask if you thought anything about the summary was inaccurate? Didn’t you say “no?” 

Don’t you agree that on a declination it is Department of Justice policy to not then attack the investigation subject with all kinds of negative facts? Shouldn’t the case be declined with nothing more said? 

You have been a prosecutor for years.  Have you ever exonerated anyone on a declination? For example, on a bank robbery investigation would you say “I’m clearing the alleged robber?” because the next day you might come across a video of him robbing the bank. 

What facts merited a 400-plus page report if not for political reasons? 

Digest these questions and come up with your own in a reasonable form. We will see if the donkey and pony show happens in Congress next week.

Webb is host of “The David Webb Show” on SiriusXM Patriot 125, host of “Reality Check with David Webb” on Fox Nation, a Fox News contributor and a frequent television commentator. His column appears twice a month in The Hill.

Tags Harry Reid John Brennan Mueller investigation Paul Manafort Robert Mueller William Barr

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