Today in the city Deming 17.08.2019

10 of the biggest moments from more than five hours of Mueller's blockbuster congressional hearings

The former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress for the first time on Wednesday in two of the most highly anticipated hearings in recent memory.
Mueller's brief and terse answers largely hewed closely to the 448-page report he submitted to Congress in late March and was made public a month later.
But the hearing had several moments where lawmakers devolved into rants or offered stout defenses of Trump, while the tight-lipped Mueller broke his silence on issues like election interference.
Here are 10 of the biggest moments of the Mueller hearings.
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The former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before Congress on Wednesday in two of the most highly anticipated hearings in recent memory.
Mueller's brief and terse answers largely hewed closely to the 448-page report he submitted to Congress in late March and was made public a month later.
Read more: We hired the author of 'Black Hawk Down' and an illustrator from 'Archer' to adapt the Mueller report so you'll actually read it
After a two-year investigation, the former special counsel found that Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election to help elect President Donald Trump. Despite outlining 11 possible instances of obstruction of justice against Trump in the report, Mueller declined to charge Trump with a crime, citing longstanding Justice Department guidelines against indicting a sitting president.  
For more than two decades, Mueller — a lifelong Republican — forged a reputation as a fierce protector of law enforcement's political independence. And Mueller made clear in Wednesday's opening statement that he would not go beyond what he already laid out in his report. "The report is my testimony. And I will stay within that text," Mueller said.
Read more: Read Robert Mueller's opening statement to the House Judiciary Committee
Mueller testified before the House Judiciary Committee, which focused on possible obstruction of justice by Trump. Then he took questions from House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. Democrats control both panels.
Yet the mostly calm hearings had several moments where lawmakers devolved into rants or offered stout defenses of Trump, while the tight-lipped Mueller broke his silence on issues like election interference.
Here are 10 of the biggest moments of the Mueller hearings.SEE ALSO: Everything you should know about Robert Mueller, who led the government's 2-year investigation into Trump and Russia
Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler of New York accused President Donald Trump of breaking the law in his opening statement for the House Judiciary Committee.

Nadler, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, kicked off the first hearing of the day with a statement praising Mueller for his work and long record of public service.
"For 22 months, you never commented in public about your work, even when you were subjected to repeated and grossly unfair personal attacks," Nadler said. "Instead, your indictments spoke for you, and in astonishing detail.
Then he charged that Trump broke the law as president.
"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."
Nadler later said that the committee would do its best to follow Mueller's example.
"Responsibility, integrity, and accountability. These are the marks by which we who serve on this Committee will be measured as well."
Mueller reiterated that Trump "was not exculpated" by his two-year investigation.

Under questioning from Nadler about his report's conclusions, Mueller veered from his characteristic short and terse answers to say the report didn't exonerate Trump as he and his Republican allies have claimed.
Nadler first asked several yes-or-no questions to establish that Trump wasn't cleared of wrongdoing by Mueller's investigation.
Then Nadler asked Mueller to explain his conclusions to the American public.
"Now, Director Mueller, can you explain in plain terms what that finding means so the American people can understand it?" Nadler said.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154021549051129857?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw 'The finding indicates that the president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed': Robert Mueller explains his belief that Trump sought to use his official power 'outside of official channels.' Follow our live coverage: https://t.co/oSfUEpmLBr pic.twitter.com/m5F9n5noJl
 
"The finding indicates that the president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed," Mueller responded.
Then he confirmed that Trump rejected the former special counsel's request for an interview.
Mueller said that Trump could be charged with a crime after he leaves office.

During the House Judiciary Committee hearing, Democratic Rep. Ken Buck asked whether the president could be charged with a crime after leaving office. Mueller responded yes.
Then Buck asked: "You believe that you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?"
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154040802454069249?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Rep. Buck: "Could you charge the president with a crime after he left office?"Mueller: "Yes."Buck: "You believe that you could charge the president of the United States with obstruction of justice after he left office?"Mueller: "Yes." https://t.co/m9KGQtpbkx pic.twitter.com/Sd1e1B7WMi
 
"Yes," Mueller said.
In the Mueller report, 11 possible instances of obstruction of justice by Trump were outlined. But the former special counsel did not come to "a traditional prosecutorial decision" on the matter. 
Mueller defended his investigation after Republican Rep. Tom McClintock blasted him for making "a political case" against Trump.

Though Mueller caught a lot of heat from Republicans, he occasionally struck back to defend his work.
Rep. McClintock grilled Mueller on the inner workings of his investigation, but Mueller demurred answering his question and said it was outside his boundaries.
Then the Republican congressman accused Mueller of investigating Trump out of a political bias against him.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154046212359774208?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw WATCH: In rare retort during his testimony, Mueller defends his report: "I don't think you reviewed a report that is as thorough, as fair, as consistent as the report that we have in front of us." pic.twitter.com/qpYe9BaZbL
 
"It's starting to look like having desperately tried and failed to make a legal case against the president, you made a political case instead," McClintock said. "You put it in a paper sack, lit it on fire, dropped it on our porch, rang the doorbell and ran."
Mueller pushed back against the charge.
He countered, "I don't think you will review a report that is as thorough, as fair, as consistent as the report that we have in front of us."
Rep. Louie Gohmert yelled at Mueller and accused him of "perpetuating injustice" against Trump during his investigation.

The mostly calm hearing took a sharp and strange turn when Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas started his questioning.
A stout Trump ally, Gohmert first submitted an article he wrote for Fox News host Sean Hannity's website into the congressional record. It characterized Mueller's investigation as a "coup."
Then Gohmert's asked Mueller about FBI agent Peter Strzok's role in the broader Russia investigation. Strzok was removed from the inquiry after it was found that he had sent anti-Trump text messages with Lisa Page, an FBI attorney with whom he had been having an extramarital affair.
"When I did find out I acted swiftly to have him reassigned elsewhere in the FBI," Mueller told Gohmert.
But Gohmert's line of questioning soon turned into a rant.
He defended Trump, saying the president knew he was "innocent" during the investigation and didn't obstruct justice.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154026154287910912?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Gohmert: "If somebody knows they did not conspire with anybody from Russia to affect the election & they see the big [DOJ] with people that hate that person coming after them...the fact that you ran it out 2 years means you perpetuated injustice."Mueller: "I take your question." pic.twitter.com/buO4pqQ2bV
 
"What he's doing is not obstructing justice. He is pursing justice and the fact that you ran it out two years means you perpetuated injustice," Gohmert said.
Mueller responded only with four words: "I take your question."
Mueller said that false statements and the deletion of evidence by Trump campaign and administration officials hobbled his investigation.

Democratic Rep. Val Demmings of Florida focused her line of questioning on how false information affected Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Mueller acknowledged that he dealt with a range of people who were questioned by his office, including "those not telling the full truth and those who are outright liars."
Demmings also asked whether it was correct to say that "lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded" Mueller's investigation.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154051443441176582?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Rep. Demings: "Lies by Trump campaign officials and administration officials impeded your investigation."Mueller: "I would generally agree with that."https://t.co/m9KGQtGMJ7 pic.twitter.com/Q5FA8KJWjh
 
Mueller paused for a few seconds before responding, "I would generally agree with that."
Mueller said in a back-and-forth exchange with Rep. Adam Schiff that his investigation was "not a witch hunt."

Trump repeatedly accused Mueller to be waging "a witch hunt" against him — and Mueller appeared ready to push back.
Asked by House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff about his investigation, Mueller responded that it was not carried out because of any political hostility.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154082948246921216?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw House Intel Cmte. Chairman Schiff: "Your investigation is not a witch hunt, is it?"Mueller: "It is not a witch hunt."Schiff: "When the president said the Russian interference was a hoax, that was false, wasn't it?"Mueller: "True."https://t.co/m9KGQtGMJ7 pic.twitter.com/6v5elmYL8G
 
"It is not a witch hunt," Mueller flatly said.
Mueller agreed with several of Schiff's statements, including that the Trump campaign had appeared to welcome Russia's intervention into the 2016 election and also pursued a business deal in Moscow while he was in the middle of a presidential campaign.
And a variety of witnesses caught up in Mueller's broad investigation, including Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen and George Papadopoulos, had lied to investigators, he agreed.
"A number of persons that we interviewed in our investigation did lie," Mueller said.
Mueller starkly criticized Trump's praise of WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign as "problematic."

Mueller gave one his bluntest criticisms of Trump's behavior yet when asked about Trump's praise of WikiLeaks during the 2016 campaign.
At the time WikiLeaks published thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic Party, including many from the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Democratic Rep, Mike Quigley listed some of Trump's previous statements on WikiLeaks. He once called it "a treasure trove" and said "boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks," making it a staple at many of his campaign rallies.
Then he asked Mueller whether those quotes "disturbed" him.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154094177967194113?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley just read off several quotes from President Trump about WikiLeaks, including "This WikiLeaks is like a treasure trove" and "Boy, I love reading those WikiLeaks."Robert Mueller: "Problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays..." pic.twitter.com/Uucz6R09rh
"Problematic is an understatement in terms of what it displays of giving some hope or some boost to what is and should be illegal behavior," Mueller said.
He went on to strongly defend his investigation once again, saying "absolutely, it was not a hoax."
The former special counsel offered dire warnings about continuing Russian interference in American elections and expects it to happen again during the 2020 presidential campaign.

Mueller issued a stark warning of continuing interference in American elections by the Russian government.
Rep. Will Hurd of Texas asked Mueller whether he thought that Russia's interference in the 2016 election was a unique attempt that happened once or whether the Russian government planned additional attacks. 
Mueller responded that he believed that Russian interference in American democracy to be an ongoing effort and that it wold continue into the 2020 presidential election.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154103214125572096?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw WATCH: Mueller on Russian interference in the 2016 election: "It wasn't a single attempt. They're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign."https://t.co/m9KGQtGMJ7 pic.twitter.com/s1Aa1nyLsU
 
"It wasn't a single attempt. They're doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign," Mueller forcefully noted.
He added that "many more countries" were developing similar capabilities. 
"I fear this is the new normal," Mueller said of future political campaigns accepting help from foreign powers.

In the hearings, Mueller was uncharacteristically stark on the matter of Russian election interference.
Asked by Rep. Peter Welch whether future political campaigns could be more likely to accept foreign help, Mueller responded that he feared the Russian disinformation campaign was ushering in a new dark chapter of American politics.
Tweet Embed: //twitter.com/mims/statuses/1154109183236747265?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Rep. Welch: Have we established a new normal from this past campaign ... [that any candidate] aware of a hostile foreign power trying to influence an election has no duty to report that to authorities?Mueller: "I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is." pic.twitter.com/MWgDff3Ume
"I hope this is not the new normal, but I fear it is," Mueller responded. 

the source: https://www.businessinsider.com/most-important-moments-mueller-testimony-congress-hearings-2019-7

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