Tom Fitton, the president of the right-wing organization Judicial Watch, asserted today that former Special Counsel Robert Mueller “abused his authority” while testifying before the House committees on intelligence and judiciary because Mueller reiterated to Congress that Trump was not totally exonerated by his report.
Mueller testified before two committees in the House of Representatives today regarding his special counsel investigation into Russian attempts to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. During his testimony, Mueller dismissed Trump’s claims that the investigation had resulted in total exoneration and that the investigation was a “witch hunt” against the president. Although Mueller refused to answer directly whether Trump had obstructed justice while the special counsel was investigating, Mueller did acknowledge how Trump’s behavior met “all three prongs of the test for obstruction of justice,” The Atlantic reports, and that Mueller said that Trump could be charged with obstruction of justice after he leaves office.
Fitton was presumably not excited about Mueller’s testimony, which led him to re-post a video dated May 31, 2019, and to write on Twitter that “Mueller, again, abused his authority today in smearing [Trump]. Recall, the Mueller report was an abuse of power. And Mueller’s false press statement doubled down on that corruption. Mueller and his team should be held personally accountable for this misconduct.”
Mueller, again, abused his authority today in smearing @RealDonaldTrump. Recall, the Mueller report was an abuse of power. And Mueller’s false press statement doubled down on that corruption. Mueller and his team should be held personally accountable for this misconduct. pic.twitter.com/ccWBuaMBtn
— Tom Fitton (@TomFitton) July 24, 2019
In that video, in an apparent reference to the opposition research on Trump performed by Fusion GPS, Fitton claims that Mueller’s May 29 press conference “reiterated the fake obstruction theory that he had put forward in the infamous Mueller dossier, as I call it.” During that press conference, Mueller said of the investigation’s inquiry into whether the president had attempted to obstruct justice, “if we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” Mueller noted “that under long-standing Department policy, a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office,” so the special counsel could not consider charging Trump with a such a crime.
Today on Capitol Hill, Mueller reiterated the same point he made during the May press conference and in his team’s report—that his investigation did not exonerate Trump and that Department policy prevented his team from considering charging the president with obstruction. Fitton said in the video published after Mueller’s press conference that Mueller’s “partisan, biased, abusive, you name it” investigation had maliciously attacked Trump with a “tenuous” allegation of obstruction. Because federal prosecutors ultimately answer to Trump as head of the executive branch, Fitton argued, prosecutors had “no business investigating the president, quote, for being president.” He said that Mueller “smeared” the president, and took the “Alice in Wonderland” approach to criminal justice and called the investigation in itself an “abuse of power” because the Department of Justice had no business assessing on Trump’s “duties as president.”
In the same video, Fitton falsely claims that Mueller is an “anti-Trump political activist.”
Fitton, who is not an attorney, was re-tweeted by the president earlier today: “No collusion. No obstruction, No impeachment. Shut the coup cabal down!”