Here are the six most significant quotations from former Special Counsel Mueller’s testimony yesterday as compiled by the Washington Post 202:
1) On Russian interference in domestic politics: “They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it in the next campaign.”
Mueller said he wrote the first volume of his report to serve as “our living message to those who come after us” so that they “don’t let this problem continue to linger as it has over so many years.” And he warned that “many more countries” are developing capabilities to do the same, emboldened by the success of Moscow, as he reiterated the need for “swift” action.
Asked about Trump campaign officials interacting with Russians who offered help to their election efforts, and the failure to report such overtures to the FBI, Mueller said he hopes future campaigns don’t think it’s acceptable to accept assistance from foreign governments. “I hope this is not the new normal,” he said, “but I fear it is.”
2) On Trump’s past praise for WikiLeaks: “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.”
Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) asked Mueller whether knowingly accepting foreign assistance is an unethical thing to do. “And a crime, given certain circumstances,” Mueller replied, nodding. “It’s also unpatriotic,” said Schiff. “True,” replied Mueller.
3) Rebutting Trump’s claims of total exoneration: “The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed.”
To be ‘exculpated’ is to be cleared from alleged fault or guilt. Merriam-Webster reported that look-ups of “exculpate” spiked 23,000% after Mueller’s statement.
4) “It is not a witch hunt.”
5) On why he didn’t subpoena the president: “We decided that we did not want to exercise the subpoena powers because of the necessity of expediting the end of the investigation.”
6) There was a coverup: “A number of people we interviewed in our investigation, it turns out, did lie.”
Read the full story here.
For two views on where we go from here, read Laurence H. Tribe and Elizabeth Holtzman. Whether you agree or disagree, contact Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Tom O’Halleran and let them know your views.