Last week’s performances by former Special Counsel Robert Mueller before the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees were as cringe-worthy as watching a top-ranked skater fall multiple times during a televised national competition. At least with a figure skater, one doesn’t have the sickening feeling that the judges will award them a medal anyway because of outright bias.

Not so the majority Democrats on these committees. They were absolutely appalling in their efforts to lead Mr. Mueller through his paces to the exact “Yes” answers to their soliloquies posing as questions. The goal of their questions was not to elicit any sort of explanatory response; it was simply to have Mueller rubber-stamp their dishonest rhetoric for media soundbites. This example is merely a portion of the invented-out-of-whole-cloth speculations of Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., and every Democratic question was of this ilk.

“Well, Mr. Mueller, I appreciate your being here and your report. From your testimony and the report, I think the American people have learned several things. First, the Russians wanted Trump to win. Second, the Russians went on a sweeping cyber-influence campaign. The Russians hacked the DNC and they got the Democratic game plan for the election. Russian (sic) campaign chairmen met with Russian agents and repeatedly gave them internal data, polling and messaging in the battleground states.”

Lofgren must live in an alternate universe, because the great majority of what she states as “facts” here are total lies. First, given that the Russians had paid the Clintons (through their foundation) more than $400 million after the Uranium One deal went through, and so clearly had a financial interest in seeing Hillary Clinton win, not Donald Trump, and second her "sweeping cyber-influence campaign” claim is beyond laughable. According to Facebook’s own statements, the Russian ad purchases amounted to about $100K, and much of it was after the election to continue sowing “discord” within both parties’ supporters.

After the “sweeping cyber-influence” expenditures reported by The Washington Post in 2017 in a congressional hearing on this very issue, Patrick Ruffini outlined Russian ad expenditures with Facebook in “battleground states” before the election as follows — Wisconsin, $1,979; Michigan, $823; Pennsylvania, $300.

Compared to the combined total of the Clinton and Trump campaigns' Facebook ad expenditures of $81,000,000 … well, the $100K possible total some Russian ad firms spent is maybe a micro-toothbrush in terms of influence.

Ruffini, a digital ad expert in the field of political campaigns, made the following observation about the Russian ads: “…And if the ads revealed this past week were an attempt to influence the election, they were a laughably botched and failed attempt. The total amount spent was less than what I've seen spent online in competitive congressional races. The ads were not well targeted to the battleground states that were most decisive. And the subject matter was designed to engage extremist voices on the political fringe, not persuadable voters undecided between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.”

The most important aspect of Mr. Mueller’s testimony really was what he shockingly asserted no knowledge of; the actual origins of, and persons behind, the specious claims of Trump campaign collusion with Russian agents of influence. As such, the Steele Dossier was “beyond my purview.”

Mueller’s answers to repeated questions in this area clearly appear calculated to avoid implicating his lead prosecutor, Andrew Weissman, and others who already have been identified as being knowledgeable of, and involved in, the dissemination of the so-called Steele Dossier.

As Andrew McCabe, the former FBI deputy director, previously testified under oath, without the Steele Dossier they would not have gotten the FISA warrants to spy on the Trump campaign/organization.

Mueller’s standard phrases of avoidance, “That’s beyond my purview,” "I can’t speak to that,” "I can’t get into that,” all under the fairy-cloak of supposed restrictions on what he was allowed to discuss according to a letter he’d received from the Department of Justice. Only what the media carefully left out was that Mueller specifically requested the letter from DOJ, it was not their initiative at all. A complete setup to make it appear his testimony was being throttled by the administration, when it was an excuse to avoid answering any awkward inquiries.

When questions were asked about people who are central to the specious claims of collusion/conspiracy, Mueller’s answers were indicative that either he had no functional knowledge of the actual investigation, or worse yet, he was using the “can’t speak of that” to prevent any mention of areas where the investigation/investigators themselves were violating DOJ ethics and legal guidelines, or contained outright untruths now exposed.

Here is just one example — the “Russian agent” that Lofgren invented in her questions — that Mueller made no objection to then — resurfaced in the questions from a California Republican, Rep. Tom McClintock, with a startling twist.


You — you extensively discussed Konstantin Kilimnik's activities with Paul Manafort. And you described him as, quote, "A Russian/Ukrainian political consultant," and, "longtime employee of Paul Manafort, assessed by the FBI to have ties to Russian intelligence."

And again, that’s all we know from your report, except that we’ve since learned from news articles that Kilimnik was actually a U.S. State Department intelligence source, yet nowhere in your report is he so identified. Why was that fact omitted?


I don't — I don't necessarily credit what you're saying occurred.


Were you aware that Kilimnik was a — a … State Department source?



I'm not going to go into the … ins and outs of what we had in the — in the course of our investigation.

This was a sad and a tremendous waste of Mr. Mueller’s time. If he was truly unaware until now, Mr. Mueller might need to ask his former assistant, Andrew Weissman, for some answers .He might actually learn what the criminal activities were that led to the attempted coup they are still trying to resuscitate.

Another View is written by a group of concerned conservative citizens/writers including Jan Dolcater, a retired salesman and former chairman of both Rockport and Knox County Republicans; Dale Landrith, former manager and owner of Manset Marine Supply in Rockland and founding member of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Camden; Ralph “Doc” Wallace, a former educator and member of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Blue Ribbon Schools Panel, who lives in Rockport; Ken Frederick, a retired intelligence community employee/contractor and secretary of Lincoln County Republican Committee; and Paul Ackerman, a published opinion and technical writer. The column has been honored with Maine Press Association awards.