Judicial Watch has been at the forefront of pushing right-wing propaganda narrative that the Mueller investigation was an attempted “coup” against President Trump by shadowy forces in the so-called “deep state.” As RWW’s Jared Holt reported, JW President Tom Fitton charged yesterday that Mueller had “abused his authority” by testifying before the congressional committees charged with oversight of activities and incidents detailed in the report compiled by then-Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team at the Justice Department. A Judicial Watch press release regarding yesterday’s testimony continued to push that line, while misrepresenting what the investigation found about Trump’s apparent obstruction of justice, which included lying to the special counsel.
The release includes this gaslighting statement from JW President Tom Fitton:
The corruptly formed and constitutionally abusive Mueller investigation failed to find any evidence to support the big lie of Trump-Russia collusion.
Nonetheless, Mr. Muller attempted today to smear President Trump with obstruction of justice innuendo despite concluding that no such charges could be credibly sustained. Frankly, Mueller never had a valid basis upon which to investigate President Trump for obstruction of justice.
Let’s be clear, neither Mueller, the Obama FBI, DOJ, CIA, State Department, nor the Deep State ever had a good-faith basis to pursue President Trump on Russia collusion. Russia collusion wasn’t just a hoax, it is a criminal abuse of President Trump, which is why Judicial Watch has fought and will continue to fight for Russiagate and Mueller special counsel abuse documents in federal court.
In the middle of that rhetorical blast, Fitton says that Mueller had concluded that obstruction of justice charges against the president could not be “credibly sustained.”
That’s not true. Mueller testified that the report did not conclude that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice. And, as The Atlantic’s David Graham noted:
Despite what Trump has repeatedly said, the report does not exonerate him. And while Mueller has been forced into semantic linguistics to avoid saying what is clear, his report laid out in great detail multiple examples where Trump met the three-prong test for obstruction of justice. But Mueller said in his report, and again today, that he had decided at the outset of his investigation that he would not bring charges against Trump regardless of evidence, because of Justice Department guidance that says a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime.
Under questioning by Democratic Reps. Hakeem Jeffries and Ted Lieu in a hearings before the House Judiciary Committee, it became clear that Trump’s actions did in fact meet that three-prong test for obstruction of justice, even if Mueller believed it was improper to say so directly.
In the Intelligence Committee hearing, Mueller also agreed with Rep. Val Demings (D-Fla.) that Trump’s answers to Mueller’s questions—delivered in writing, because the president declined to sit for an interview with the special counsel—were less than honest. From a transcript in the Washington Post:
DEMINGS: Director Mueller, isn’t it fair to say that the president’s written answers were not only inadequate and incomplete, because he didn’t answer many of your questions, but where he did his answers showed that he wasn’t always being truthful?
MUELLER: There — I would say, generally.